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It's my first time to design a flyer in adobe illustrator, but I have a few questions that may sound naive or easy for all of you as experienced designers. I really need your answers as I have to deliver that flyer to the client tomorrow. note that: I already watched all videos on youtube !

1) My document is 4.25 x 5.5 inch, so what should be the bleed?

2) I placed the images in my flyer design, but I can see that those images loss their quality, how can I place them without losing quality, are there additional steps after placing them? and how to make them print- ready with the highest quality as part of the flyer design?

3) How to save the flyer as a PDF for print-ready with all the images and texts added? what are the options that must be changed?

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    How many of those videos were cat movies?
    – Jongware
    Jan 14 '18 at 0:30
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I really need your answers as I have to deliver that flyer to the client tomorrow.

I commend you on venturing out. You might want to consider not taking on clients until you have at least a basic footing in file creation. Remember you don't just represent yourself when you "take on clients". You represent the industry as a whole. And bad word of mouth can reflect on any future designer someone comes across. I'm not stating you won't do a good job. Merely stating that these questions should really be knowledge you already have before any "client" is involved. Especially an overnight delivery client.

1) My document is 4.25 x 5.5 inch, so what should be the bleed?

For US design (assumed since you posted inches, not metric)... .25" or a quarter inch is a decent bleed. It generally encompasses any commercial printer you'll find. Some may ask for .125" (8th inch) some for .25". But there's really no such thing as "too much" bleed - in fact some more complex reproduction methods (gravure, flexo) may require much larger bleeds. So by using .25" you're generally covered for practically all offset printing. I tend to work in picas/points and I use 1p6 Picas or 18pts... which roughly translate to a quarter inch.

2) I placed the images in my flyer design, but I can see that those images [lost] their quality, how can I place them without losing quality,

By "place" I assume you are using the Place command and inserting raster images into an Illustrator document. Raster images are imported at their set resolution. That means, if the raster image is only 72ppi, that is what Illustrator imports. Illustrator does not increase the native PPI of raster images ever. There are some caveats... such as effective PPI. See Here But in general, you need to ensure any raster image is already at the correct PPI (300) before placing it in Illustrator. And you should be aware that it is practically never correct to enlarge a raster image within Illustrator. You only degrade the image if you enlarge a raster image.

3) How to save the flyer as a PDF for print-ready with all the images and texts added? what are the options that must be changed?

Save as a PDF/X-1a File. Leave everything set at the defaults unless you've specifically been asked to change something. That's all you need to to generate a press-ready PDF.

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  • Thanks @Scott, I have one last question, so If the flyer is a front and a back side. so how can it be saved as one PDF? Jan 14 '18 at 6:18
  • Illustrator artboards are treated as ages in Acrobat. Save as a PDF/X and it'll have a page for every artboard.
    – Scott
    Jan 14 '18 at 6:30
  • What about the press quality option ? related to @Lucian 's answer. because I am really confused. Jan 14 '18 at 6:40
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    "Press Quality" will save a high resolution file.. so will PDF/X-1a. PDFX is an ISO standards compliance PDF that will ensure settings are correct for most offset printing. Lucian's answer is fine, but he's basically telling you to turn on options that are defaults for the PDFX formats. In the last 20 years I've saved 3 types of PDFs... 1) Interactive PDFS which are completely inappropriate for printing 2) a "Proof" PDF which has custom settings slightly better than the "Smallest Files size" and 3) A PDF/X-1a file - that's all you really need, except maybe PDF Forms.
    – Scott
    Jan 14 '18 at 6:48
  • PDF/X info ---> en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDF/X
    – Scott
    Jan 14 '18 at 6:50
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  1. Try 0,125 inches for the bleed. The printer should be able confirm that, or give you a different value when they see your file after step 3 below.
  2. Normally no quality is lost when placing files. Quality starts to decrease depending on the export settings you'll be using. Which leads to..
  3. When you save a final PDF, choose the 'Press Quality' preset from the PDF export options, and tick the 'All Printer's Marks' and 'Use Document Bleed Settings' options under 'Marks and Bleeds'.

enter image description here

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  • Thanks @Lucian, You were totally right. The bleed is fine and the image quality was fine when I saved as a PDF press quality. Jan 14 '18 at 6:54

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