A Print Ready PDF is firstly a PDF! Not a word file, InDesign, Excel file, Publisher file, or any other file. What we are looking for in a Print Ready PDF, is trim and bleed marks.
What are trim marks?
Trim marks tell us where to trim the job, what size the finished job will be. Trim marks should be external trim marks, which means they are on the outside of the trim box. Internal trim marks actually sit on the edge of the trim marks which can be helpfully when trimming by hand. As we trim with guillotine then we prefer external trim marks.
What is Bleed?
This one is harder to explain. I will in due course put up a video to show what I am now going to try to explain.
Bleed is where you want to take text or images off the edge of the page. Traditionally printers could not print edge to edge of the sheet so we print on oversized paper, which in the UK is part of the SRA paper sizes. So if we take an A4 which is 210x297mm the SRA4 size is 225x320mm. This is obviously bigger and it allows us to print with trims and bleed. So if you wanted your picture to go across the width of an A4 (which is 210mm) You would actually make the picture 216mm wide and we would then trim of 3mm of each side, this is the bleed, it bleeds off the edge of the page once trimmed and gets thrown away. So be thoughtful about the positioning of text and images close to the edge of your designs.