A Guide To Printing
Get your artwork print ready with our handy checklist
Please set up the page size of your document at the exact size that you wish the artwork to be printed. Do not supply artwork floating on a larger page or include multiple items on the same page.
If your design includes colour or images which are printed up to the edge of the page, you will need to provide at least 3mm of additional artwork to all sides. This is called bleed and refers to colours “bleeding” off the page, this avoids the risk of white edges on your final print when it’s trimmed to size.
Also known as trim marks, these are small lines printed in the corners of your artwork to show the printer where to trim the final print. They are used by commercial printers for creating bleeds where an image or colour on the page needs to extend all the way to the edge of the paper.
Pantone colours are often specified for printing as a ‘spot colour’, a specific colour printed using an ink made exclusively and typically for jobs which require no full colour imagery like colour matching for corporate branding to ensure consistent colour reproduction.
You can learn more about colours for use in printing by reading our colour types blog post under the news section on our website.
Scans & Images
All scans and images included in your final print-ready artwork should be supplied at least at 300dpi (dots per inch) and in the correct colour mode.
Images and logos saved from websites are typically between 72-96dpi and are normally unsuitable for use in print. If you upscale or add resolution changes to your images in an editing software program this will not increase the quality of the image and may result in blurry print. For example, a 300dpi image scaled to 400% when placed is only 75dpi and will lessen the quality of your end result.
We recommend using professional images from photographers to stock image websites like Shutterstock or Getty Images unless you can provide your own high-quality images.
When supplying a PDF file, all the fonts should be embedded and only correctly licensed fonts used. If supplying original artwork, all the font files must be clearly marked as a separate file and included within the main artwork folder.
Press Ready PDF
To prepare your files for print with the best results, we prefer to receive artwork as a press quality ready PDF.
All PDFs should be exported at press quality to be print ready.
- Artwork should always include 3mm bleed or more.
- Fonts must be embedded within the artwork or supplied alongside PDF.
- Any process colours are converted to CMYK before creating a PDF. Converting spot colours to CMYK.
- After creating a PDF may produce unexpected results especially when transparent effects are involved.
- We would recommend exporting artwork using the PDF/X-3 standard.
- Make sure you always check the final exported file before sending it onto us or a printer to make sure no errors have occurred and the artwork is as you wish it to print.
The Final Check
- Checked the paper size is correct?
- Set your colours to CMYK or provided reference numbers?
- Made sure your images are 300dpi and not pixelated?
- Added a 3mm bleed and crop marks?
- Embedded all your fonts or provided the files?
- Saved your PDF correctly?
- Proofread your document?