Technical Tips

Mike’s Technical Tip: Info You Should Supply When Requesting a Print Ad

Resizing Indesign Files

When in need of a print ad from your design agency or department, there are some universal items you should be prepared to include if you want the project to go smoothly. Without one or more of the following things, the result could be delays, the ad having to be redone, or even the deadline being missed.


You should let your designers know:

  • When you’d like to see the first round of design for review
  • When you expect to get changes, if any, back to the designers
  • When the ad is due to the publication


You should let your designers know:

  • The name of the publication (for clarity in file naming)
  • Whether the ad will be in color or black & white
  • Dimensions, and if it has bleed or not (important: see Live Area, Trim, and Bleed in Ad Specs)
  • If not a full-page ad, whether it should be vertical or horizontal
  • In what format the ad should be supplied to the publication (almost always high-res PDF)


It might seem obvious, but on occasion, a firm will assume the designers will “come up with something” if you simply mention a general topic. This is actually not the case, unless there’s a pre-existing agreement with your designers specifically stating as much. If no such agreement is in place, you’ll need to either supply the text and/or images, or request that the designers write the text and/or find the images.

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