Print Artwork Specifications
Designed4Print Ltd are happy to completely design and prepare the print-ready artwork required to give the best results. However, if you wish to supply your own print documents, here is some useful guidance. You can send your artwork by email or alternatively use WeTransfer if the file size to too large to be sent via email.
What is Bleed?
To ensure that your printed product looks the way you intended, it's important to consider the trim edge and size of your document. Make sure to select the correct size for your final printed product and set your document dimensions to match it exactly.
If your artwork requires printing to the edge of the page, you'll need to add bleed to your design. This involves adding an extra 3 mm to each side of your artwork, allowing your colours or graphics to extend into this additional space. Keep in mind that this adds 6 mm to the overall dimensions of the artwork page size, which will be trimmed off during production.
When positioning text and images, it's also important to consider the trim edge and fold lines. We recommend leaving a safe edge of at least 5 mm to ensure that no important elements are trimmed off during production. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your final printed product looks professional and polished.
RGB vs CMYK
Converting an image from RGB to CMYK involves shifting between colour spaces, which requires careful consideration. Each colour space has a gamut, which represents the range of colours that can be displayed or printed. However, not all colours in one colour space can be reproduced in the other. For example, the gamut of a typical RGB monitor is different from that of CMYK printing, which may result in colour shifts when converting RGB images to CMYK.
The CMYK colour space has a smaller gamut than RGB, which means that some colours may be clipped or compressed during the conversion process. Deep blues and greens are particularly susceptible to these shifts. The actual range of colours that can be achieved is determined by various factors, including the ink, paper brightness, and press characteristics.
To minimise image degradation, it's essential to convert from RGB to CMYK only once. Repeatedly switching between the two colour spaces can result in the loss of colours, compression, and changes to the image. Therefore, it's crucial to carefully consider the colour spaces used and the conversion process to ensure the best possible outcome.
Preferred Artwork Format
Print artwork is required preferably as a print-ready PDF. Please ensure that all images used are in CMYK. Files converted from RGB to CMYK may change the colour appearance.
For best results we recommend CMYK, high resolution 300dpi including bleed and crop marks where appropriate.
Other acceptable formats
Save as a ‘Package’ and zip the fonts, images and InDesign file in one file. Or export ‘Press Ready’ PDF from InDesign including bleed and crop marks. InDesign documents without linked images and fonts will not be accepted.
Supplied as AI or EPS files. Or save as ‘Press Ready’ PDF from Illustrator including bleed and crop marks.
Collect for Output and zip fonts, images and Quark file in one file. Or output ‘Press Ready’ PDF from Quark including bleed and crop marks. Quark documents without linked images and fonts will not be accepted.
Set at least 300 dpi at correct, JPEG, PDF or Tiff. Remember to include 3mm bleed. PSD files can be supplied – please keep your layers, do not flatten and supply any fonts used.
We can accept PDF files generated in Canva but please be aware that they are RGB and will have to be converted by us to CMYK. See RGB v CMYK on this page.
For a detailed description of how to save a print-ready PDF in Canva please click here.
Unacceptable print-ready artwork
Please note we are unable to accept any Microsoft files as printable artwork including: Word, Publisher, Excel & Powerpoint – these CAN be used as a reference for creating finished artwork from, but this would be subject to additional artwork charges.
Artwork must be supplied with at least 300dpi (dots per inch) at actual size and with maximum quality settings.
Low Resolution Images
Images taken from the internet are often inadequate for professional quality print and will result in pixilated, low-resolution images that lack detail.
We can scale artwork down, but up-scaling images will not successfully return the detail which has been lost. High resolution is what makes the image sharp and crisp.
Also, older mobile device cameras may lack the resolution and quality required for print. Always use the highest quality setting available send or export with original quality settings.
Size and Layout
Please ensure your artwork is set to the correct physical size and just ONE artwork per page. Where appropriate, and to give best value with paper stock usage, we will print as multiples per page. However, it is best for us to determine this process and prepare the final artwork for our workflow.
Creating artwork at a different size to that of the final output size can also cause problems. Frequently artwork is repurposed for different items such as existing A1 poster artwork used for an A5 flyer. This can be done, however the smaller text on the original poster may not be readable when reduced to the new size.
Booklet Printing Artwork
Please supply your document as single pages in the correct running order, not as double page spreads. Do not supply imposed pages or ‘printers pairs’ because our workflow includes imposition software to impose correctly for our printing methods.
Please keep text and important elements away from the edges, 7mm to 10mm ‘safe area’ margin is recommended.
Booklet printing is based on folded sheets, therefore the amount of pages will always be a multiple of four, including blank pages i.e. 4 page, 8 page, 16 page 24 page etc.