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Should small items, like business cards, vouchers, and coupons; be sent to a printer with 1 item per page, or with multiple copies of the same item arranged on a larger page?

If it is 1 item per page, should the PDF any particular size?

Are crop marks and bleed area needed?

I am a complete newbie with designing for print.

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If you do not have experience on printing process or costs you should probably send just 1 copy of the design with bleed and leave the printer to arrange the copies.

But this depends. If you are sending to a copy shop, where there are no design personal, and you just need some few copies, you need to prepare your page. The size is limited to the one the printer can handle. Probably Letter or Tabloid if you are using imperial units.

You need to know the exact paper size, the necessary margins where the paper can not be printed, and leave some gap between the pieces to cut them.


If your business card measures, for example, 90x50mm prepare one pdf with a few millimeters for bleeding, 3 mm each side so your document is 101x61 mm. Sorry about using the metric system.

But the truth is... ask the printer where you are going to send your files.

  • Thank you. So if I send just once copy of the design, should I use an 8.5x11 PDF and place the small design anywhere on there? Does it matter where I place it on the page? – Max Pfleger Jun 22 '17 at 3:36
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Just send the item in PDF at full size and let the printer tell you if that's ok or they need any changes. You're not being very specific but generally yes, that means sending a 9x5cm pdf for a business card, a DL or A5 pdf for a flyer and so on.

I have just delivered ~30 business cards for a client as a single pdf with ~30 pages, each page being 9x5cm in size.

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