How should I prepare my artwork for printing?

This only applies if you’re sending us finished artwork for printing (i.e. you’re designing the artwork yourself).

1) Your artwork must be in CMYK format, not RGB format. This ensures your colours are reproduced properly.

2) We recommend all artwork is 300 dpi (dots per inch). This ensures the detail comes out clear and sharp when printed.

3) Your artwork must have a 3mm bleed around the outside. This ensures there’s no unwanted white margins left around the edge of the paper when it’s trimmed in the production process. See below for more info.

4) We recommend your artwork has a 3mm safe zone for text. This ensures the important parts of your design are not at risk of being chopped off. See below for more info.

5) Please do not add printer / crop marks in your artwork. This is not required in our production process.


Can you explain more about the bleed zone and safe zone?

In the example below, the red outline is the finished size of your paper, e.g. an A6 sheet is 148mm by 105mm.

The grey area is called the bleed zone. It must be 3mm extra around the outside. This is the area that gets chopped off during the production process. By extending your artwork outside of this trim edge (e.g. background colours and photographs), it means there’s no white margin left around the outside of your finished product, so you get nice clean edges.

For example, if you’re designing an A6 sheet, your artwork must therefore be 154mm by 111mm, which includes the extra 3mm around the edges (the grey area below).

If you place any text or important objects right on the edge of the artwork, there’s a risk they will get chopped off during the production process, so printers use the term “safe zone” to recommend placing these important parts away from the edge of the paper. The safe zone we recommend is 3mm inside the paper size. It’s shown above in green.

Let’s have a look at this example below:

Here, we’ve ensured all the important objects (e.g. our logo) is within the safe zone (green). Everything in the bleed zone (red) is in the trim area, so we expect most of this will be chopped off during the production process. It’s subject to a small tolerance level (so it may vary a tiny bit), but by using a safe zone we can guarantee nothing important goes off the edge of the paper.

If you would like us to check and correct any artwork, so it’s ready for printing, we can normally do this on a paid basis. Ideally, your artwork should be in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign formats.

in Printed Products
Did this article answer your question?