Preparing your artwork
Bleed refers to the necessary additional printed area which extends beyond the outer edge of an artwork. This ensures that when the artwork is printed, any colour which extends to its edge, finishes as an unbroken clean edge of printed ink when trimmed.
A margin indicates the outer edge of a safe area (sometimes called a 'live' area) on an artwork. Important elements such as type and logos should be kept away from the trim (ie. within the margin) to avoid being lost when the item is trimmed. A minimum margin of 5 or 6mm is recommended but we are happy advise when the process may require an increased or specific margin.
Crop marks are lines placed on the artwork and appear outside the printed area of the item to indicate where the printer should trim the finished piece to its required size.
A printer may have to access your artwork file for their own production purposes. If the file contains live (un-embedded) fonts, problems in formatting may occur (the printer may not have the exact version of the font you have used, causing reflowing of type or other errors). We recommend 'outlining' all type where possible to avoid any font issues.
Spot colours and CMYK
The 'Spot Colour' format is used for printing using pre-mixed single colour inks (usually to a Pantone© specification) for thermo and litho processes. CMYK is the format used by digital and litho processes to print in full colour (also called 4-colour) using various percentages of the ink colours Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.
The rule of thumb is the bigger, the better.
When using a bitmap (like a .jpg, .bmp, .png or something similar) the more pixels that are contained within the file, the more detail it will show and that means more information is available and therefore less chance of loss of quality when resizing, converting or remaking your artwork. Where appropriate, we will need to convert bitmap files to vector format, so it's better to give us as much detail in the original bitmap as possible.
Trust your original bitmap imagery to our artwork service, where we'll work with you to get your bitmap logo and other artwork print-ready and the very best quality for the best value.
We prefer all artwork to be supplied to us as high resolution PDF format to size with fonts embedded or outlined, and for the best results high resolution images at 300dpi.
We are able to accept the following file formats for print:
- Adobe PDF (.pdf)
- Adobe Illustrator* (.ai)
- Adobe InDesign* (.indd)
- Quark Express* (.qxd)
- Encapsulated postscript (.eps)
If your design bleeds over the edge of the paper, please include a minimum of 2mm bleed all around to allow for trimming.
Most of the jobs we print are set in spot colours, please make sure you send artwork accordingly. Any areas that need embossing, debossing or foiling must be set in one colour only.
High resolution digital proofs in Adobe PDF format are available to the client on request for every job we process.
To get your artwork files to us, use any of the following methods:
Email your files to us at the usual address: email@example.com
Use our contact page to tell us about your requirements and upload your artwork files directly through the form.
For large files, transfer services are a great way to send us your digital artwork and designs.
Some examples of free file transfer services are:
Cloud storage and sharing
Many cloud storage services provide a way to share files without actually attaching them to emails. This usually takes the form of sending an email via your chosen storage provider to the intended recipient, containing a link to download the file in question. Most cloud storage providers have a free membership option - or - if you have a free email account from one of the big email services like Hotmail or Gmail, you may already have access to their own cloud storage services.
Here are some links to some of the free storage and sharing services on the cloud:
If all else fails or you'd rather not use the internet to transfer your files, we are happy to receive your artwork on physical media as well.
Feel free to make a copy of your files (remember to always have a backup) and put them on a USB stick, an SD or MicroSD card, DVD or CD.