Artwork Guide


We require Bleed to allow for tolerance in the print and finishing process.

If a design finishes exactly at the edge of the required finished size, then without bleed, when the job is trimmed there may be slight white edges to the finished print. By extending the background colour or image beyond the edge of the finished job, this defect can be rectified. We recommend that elements intended to go to the very edge of the finished job should extend 3mm beyond the edge.

Similarly, within the printed area a quiet area of 5mm from the edge of the job should be allowed.



The artwork should be in Press ready PDF ( font embedded) format, CMYK format, with a minimum of 300dpi resolution.

We process only in CMYK format.

If there are any Spot colors in the artwork, it will be converted to CMYK.


Page size

Ensure your artwork is on the correct page size.


Make sure there is a 3mm bleed around the finished artwork. Bleed is required to allow for the tolerance of guillotines used in the finishing/cutting of the job and eliminate any margin of error. We recommend a 4mm clearance from the trim size for all important elements – text, imagery etc.

Processing colours

There are four basic, universal colours in the printing industry: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. Unless you are using a 5th (spot) colour in your document everything should fall within these four colours, including Pantones, unless the Pantone is the 5th colour. If you plan to use Pantones for fills, be sure to convert them to CMYK or use Pantone to Process. Watch the Pantone conversion as colour shifts will occur.


Please make sure all fonts used in the artwork are embedded while producing your PDF. Where you have used a rate font outside the ‘normal’ range we recommend converting the text created with this font into curves, paths or outlines – dependent upon the software package being used. This means that we do not necessarily require the original font when we print your job.


Always flatten the layers in your artwork before converting to PDF. This eliminates any problems with special effects (Drop shadows, Embossing, Feather, external plug-ins effects etc.) at the time of processing at a later stage. It will also reduce the size of your pdf and speed up processing time.


This is the problem in which artwork to press looks perfect on screen, but dreadful in print. E.g. when areas of solid black allow images behind to show through. The overprint settings need to be set correctly before going to press, which is why modern page layout programs such as InDesign and pre-press programs like Acrobat have built-in PDF overprint Preview options. Please check PDF by “Overprint Preview ON” (Shift+Ctrl+7 for Windows), (Shift+Command+7 for Mac). These allow you to spot potential overprinting problems before they become expensive!


All PDF’s should be single-sided pages with cut marks/bleed and not created as spreads.

Incorrect blending options

In setting up blends where the colour fades, we have commonly found that one colour is set at 100% and fades to white or 0% of the starting and sometimes different colour. Please refrain from setting up your blends like this as it causes unexplainable banding. While it may seem logical to do so, this is not practical because white is not considered a colour in the printing world and realistically you cant’ have a 0% of any colour. When setting up your blends, set your ending colour at a minimum of 1% of your starting colour. This will insure against any blending problems. If you are using a 5th colour for a blend, start at your Pantone and end at a minimum of 1% of that same Pantone.


Images should be 300 dpi with a minimum of 200dpi. Any less will result in a blocky image.

File size

Unnecessarily large files will cause a slow down in the processing of your files. An image for and A4+3mm bleed at 300dpi is absolutely NO larger than 40MB. Anything beyond that and the laws of negative returns comes into play. Please to file size question for help reducing file sizes.



If an image is going to be resized up or down in your publication we offer the following sizing conventions:

  • You can safely enlarge your image to 120% of its original size in the application. Anything beyond that and the resampling rate degrades the quality of the image.
  • When reducing the image in size, anything below 75% of its original size results in a 23MB file. That equates to less processing time.

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