Guidelines & Tips
Get it right the first time
Avoid possible additional costs by following these simple guidelines for producing print-ready artwork.
In the meantime if you have any queries about the artwork you are going to supply then just give us a call on 01471 822 555 or email us.
We will only consider your artwork to be truly print-ready if it meets the following requirements:
We prefer PDF files which meet the following specifications:
- Colour images should be 300dpi.
- Artwork should be four-colour CMYK, unless Spot colours are required.
- Bleed – at least 3mm – trim marks are optional.
- Files provided in any other format may require our designers to make changes and might incur an extra charge.
Please ensure that all fonts are embedded in the PDF document or make sure you convert fonts to outlines to prevent any issues with fonts. If you need us to use a specific font, please send it along with your artwork.
If there are any images within the document, they must be saved as CMYK and no less than 300dpi, preferably in PSD, TIFF, EPS or high quality JPG to ensure quality. All RGB images need to be converted to CMYK for printing, so best do this yourself to avoid the end result being an unpleasant surprise. Please make sure you have the right to use any images in your artwork.
Please specify if the job is to be printed in black only or CMYK. All spot colours will be converted to CMYK before printing.
What Is Bleed? It is the additional space around the edge of your document where the sheet will be trimmed off. The space usually extends beyond the trim area of your printing document. Therefore, you can say that bleed is the area on your print document that needs to be trimmed off.
We require bleed to allow for the tolerance of our guillotine (the machine used for cutting your job after printing).
If your image finishes exactly at the edge of your required finished size then these small deviations may produce unsightly white flashes at the edge of your print. By extending your background colour or image beyond the edge of your finished job the effects of the same deviations are not noticeable.
If your document has colour or images placed up to the edge of the page, a 3mm bleed is required.
‘Professional’ design programmes, such as Indesign, Illustrator or Affinity allow elements to extend beyond the size of the page. This makes it very easy to bleed backgrounds and pictures beyond the trimmed edge.
With other programmes (such as Microsoft Word or Canva) bleeding beyond the boundaries of the page is not as straightforward. However it is still possible to create a page with bleed using these programmes by setting up pages which are 6mm bigger than the required sheet size in each dimension. (E.g. for a required finished size of A4 – 210mm x 297mm – set up your page to be 216mm x 303mm).
Ensure that any element which you do not wish to bleed is at least 8mm inside the extended page edges (3mm of bleed plus 5mm of quiet border).
Trim Marks & Fold Lines
Trim marks (use solid lines) can be included so the document can be trimmed to the desired size.
If you require folding, please indicate by inserting fold lines (use dotted lines). Trim marks and fold lines are to be set outside the print area. Please speak to us before creating your artwork so that we can advise on the correct placement of the fold marks.
Margin or 'Quiet Border'
A quiet border is the distance you should allow from the edge of your finished page size for text, diagrams or images not going to bleed.
The reason for the border is again the tolerance in cutting. If you have a design where the text runs to the very edge then any cutting deviation may result in some of your text being cut off.
With a very small quiet border even the smallest cutting deviation could result in the finished job looking uneven. We recommend a quiet border where there is no text or important images of at least 5mm around the edges of your job. For business cards a quiet border of 3mm will usually suffice.
Please send finished artwork by email, or if your artwork is too big to be emailed, you can send us a disc or usb storage device.
If you have any questions relating to these specifications please give us a call on 01471 822 555 before sending your finished artwork.