Print Ready Artwork GuidelinesOur tips ‘n tricks to create print ready artwork like an expert.
To achieve the best possible print result, run your eyes over our tips'n tricks for creating print ready artwork...
If you can double check your file ticks all our boxes before supplying, you will make our prepress team a very happy bunch. Besides that, good print ready artwork will prevent any hold ups and also give you a quality finished product. Graphic designers familiar with print design will do most of these things by default, but in case they forget our prepress team will act as your backstop. If your file is unsuitable for printing we will make you aware, before pushing forward..
What type of file do I supply for printing?
- Print Ready .PDF
PDF's are the perfect file for all straight forward CMYK print runs. If your job has no embellishments this is the best format to supply.
- Print Ready .AI or .EPS
We require Illustrator files for any jobs which are a little bit fancy. If your job gets die-cut, spot uv, emboss or foil, this is the best format to supply.
How do I check my file is 'print ready'?
Embellishments - Die-cut, Spot UV, Emboss & Foil+
Embellishments always give your print a quality finish, but they do require a little extra attention when preparing the files. For any of print that is going to be ether, die-cut, spot uv, embossed or foiled, we require a print ready Illustrator file (.AI or .EPS) - we cannot use a .PDF file. To ensure everything runs smoothly, please follow the guidelines below as well as these extra few here:
- Create your Illustrator file with a seperate layer for each embellishment.
- Use a seperate Spot colour for each embellishment. Do not use CMYK colours for embelishments. It’s also a big help if you can name the spot colour the same as the embellishment it is intended for.
- Just to be safe, set all your embellishments to ‘overprint’ too - Window > Attributes > Overprint Fill & Overprint Stroke.
Feel free to download our templates on the right hand side, which are already setup with layers and spot colours to help you out. If this has confused you, you’re welcome to contact us.
Bleed - 3mm+
We ask you to please include 3mm of bleed on all your print ready files. Bleed is image/data which extends past the finished trim size of your artwork.
When trimming through thousands of printed copies it is inevitable there will be small amounts of movement. Bleed is used to avoid undesirable white lines along edges.
Margins - 5mm+
When preparing your print ready artwork, ensure all text is at least 5mm from each edge. If text is any closer than 5mm you run the risk of having it chopped off! For saddle stitched books, it’s a good idea to extend your margins to 7-10mm, just to be safe.
Trim marks - Offset+
When making a PDF from InDesign or Illustrator your trims will offset 2.117mm by default. If you can extend this to 3mm, it is a great help to us. When trims have 0mm offset it is equivelant to no bleed, as the slightest movement when cutting will result in visible trims in the corner of your job.
Fonts - Outlines+
Fonts are known to change and do all sorts of funny things. Like subsitute for a different font, which can cause type to reflow and then sometimes disapear off the page. This is why we strongly suggest you turn all your type to outlines before sending us your print ready artwork. Save yourself any unexpected suprises.
Colours - CMYK+
What is CMYK? Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black inks.
Take a look at almost any printed product really, really close and you will see the colours are made up of tiny cyan, magenta, yellow and black dots. Please supply your print ready files using a CMYK colour space. Any RGB (Red, Green Blue) or Pantone colours will be converted to the closest CMYK break-down for printing.
High resolution - 300dpi+
High resolution is important for achieving a great result. Resolution relates to the quality of your photos and rasterized graphics. We like to see our customers supplying print ready artwork at 300dpi (dots per inch). If you follow this rule your image/data will appear nice and sharp!
Download our FREE artwork templates!
Make things easy for yourself by using our InDesign & Illustrator templates as a base to create your artwork from. Pick one below:
- Booklets ›
- Brochures ›
- Business cards ›
- Desk pads ›
- Flyers ›
- Letterheads ›
- Notepads ›
- Postcards ›
- Posters ›
- Stickers ›
- With compliments ›