We have created a detailed guide to help you understand how to create perfect, print-ready artwork with ease.
To ensure that your product will be produced as accurately as possible to your expectations, please look through all of the below requirements on this page.
If there is anything that you are unsure of or need further instructions then you can call us on 0845 072 2770 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We cannot be held responsible for issues contained in artwork supplied to us. These things include:
• Spelling mistakes
• Grammatical errors
• RGB colour mode
• Missing fonts
• Missing images
To avoid these issues, please ensure that your artwork adheres to our requirements. Artwork not supplied to our requirements will likely render an unsatisfactory result or delay your order. If you are unsure about the artwork you have then please check with us beforehand to make sure there are no complications with your order.
If artwork cannot be used to produce what has been ordered, we will advise you of this and request how you would like to proceed. If the artwork is set to a size different from what was ordered, then the ordered size will take precedence. This is due to the fact that artwork from our customers can be supplied in a variety of scales. With subjective issues of quality such as image resolution, we will advise you if the quality is extremely low, though again, we cannot be held responsible if the artwork is supplied in such a manner and isn’t suitable to your needs.
Sending Your Print-Ready Files
For ease, we accept all files electronically. If your file is below 10MB in size, then please send this to your account manager via email or for new orders, to email@example.com.
If your files are bigger than 10MB then you can pop in and see us with a memory stick or use an online file transfer platform. Our preferred platform is WeTransfer. WeTransfer allows you to send us multiple files at one time, up to a collective size of 2GB.
Please note: The transfer completion time depends on the speed of your internet connection and the file size.
Our preferred format to print your documents from is a PDF file. This is the best format for you to provide your artwork as it will not change depending on user settings, like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. Please make sure that your images are at least 300dpi and all colours are correct.
We accept artwork created in any of the following software packages:
• Adobe InDesign
• Adobe Illustrator
• Adobe Photoshop
While we do accept files made in Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc.) these are not designed for commercial printing and may look different on our screens than it does to you. This is because of user settings and fonts that we might not have installed. Please export any Office files to PDF before sending to us.
InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop, allow you to package your artwork, which collects all the elements used in your files (images, fonts, etc.) and puts them all into one convenient folder. This can be done by going to File > Package in your Adobe apps. Simply send us the folder and we should have everything we need.
All placed images and used fonts should be included with your artwork when you send it across just in case there is an issue with something that we need to fix or check. It is a good working practice to include at least a low-resolution PDF along with any original artwork to check against.
Please make sure that you set the page size of your document to the exact size that you wish your final printed materials to be. Do not supply artwork floating on a larger page or include multiple pages on the same page.
When supplying a print-ready PDF file, all the font should be embedded or outlined, and only correctly licensed fonts should be used. If supplying original artwork, all font files must be included within a clearly marked folder inside the main artwork folder.
Bleed and Crop Marks
If the design of your document includes colour or images that go to the edge of the page, you should provide 3mm additional artwork on all sides. This is called bleed. Bleed avoids the risk of white edges on your work when trimmed.
Crop marks or trim marks shows us where the edge of your artwork is so we know exactly where to trim it and make sure it is the correct size that you ordered.
Process colours are referred to as CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black)). These different colours are used to reproduce a colour image. Combined together in varying proportions, CMYK produced the full colour spectrum.
Pantone colours are often specified for printing as a ‘spot colour’ which is a specific colour printed using an ink made exclusively for jobs which require no full-colour imagery, like colour matching for corporate branding to ensure consistent colour reproduction.
- Pantone spot colours that are intended to be four colour process and litho printed should be converted to CMYK using the Pantone+ Color Bridge® library. This is not necessary for digital printing as our digital presses create a colour simulation for spot colours.
- Ensure that you convert all RGB colours to CMYK as colour separations for printing cannot be made from RGB files.
- If your job is full colour, please ensure that you work entirely in CMYK. If your program does not support CMYK or Pantone, we will need to convert your colours before printing.
- Please bear in mind that monitors and desktop printers do not produce accurate representations of the press printed colour.
Scans and Images
All scans and images included within your artwork should be supplied at 300dpi or as close as you can get to it, in the correct colour mode at the right size.
Images and logos saved from websites are mostly between 72-96dpi and are therefore unsuitable for printing. If you upscale or add resolutions to images in your image editing software, this will not increase the quality of the image and may result in blurry or bit-mapped images. For example, a 300dpi image scaled to 400% when placed is only 75dpi!
Creating a Print-Ready PDF
For the best results, it is best that you send us your artwork as a print-ready PDF.
- All PDFs should be set to high resolution (300dpi) to be print-ready.
- All PDFs must include 3mm bleed and crop marks.
- All fonts must be embedded within Adobe Acrobat: the ‘File > Properties > Fonts’ tab shows a full list of fonts used in the document. Every font should show as embedded.
- Any process colours are converted to CMYK prior to creating a PDF. Converting spot colours to CMYK after creating a PDF may produce unexpected results (especially when transparent effects are involved).
- We recommend using the PDF/X-4 standard.
- We recommend checking a PDF using the Output Preview prior to sending us your file. This can show overprinting and will list all the separations included.