Print Artwork Specifications
We are happy to completely design and prepare the print-read artwork required to give the best results. However, if you wish to supply your own print documents, here is some useful guidance. You can bring your artwork directly to our London Print Shop on a memory stick or send it by email. Alternatively, use WeTransfer if the file size to too large to be sent via email.
Preferred Artwork Format
Print artwork is required preferably as a print-ready PDF. For best results we recommend high resolution 300dpi including bleed and crop marks where appropriate.
Other acceptable formats
Adobe InDesign – 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.
Adobe Illustrator – supplied as AI or EPS files. Or save as ‘Press Ready’ PDF from Illustrator including bleed and crop marks.
Quark Xpress – 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.
Adobe Photoshop – 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.
Corel Draw – fonts converted to Curves then export as Illustrator AI or EPS file.
Pixel Based Programmes – i.e. Photoshop/Paint/Gimp. Ensure the original artwork is ‘press ready’ at 300dpi and includes 3mm bleed area.
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.
CAD drawings for plan printing must be supplied as PDF. We do not accept DXF, DGN, DWG or any native CAD format.
Artwork must be supplied with at least 300dpi (dots per inch) at actual size and with maximum quality settings.
Low Resolution Images
Images acquired from the internet is very often inadequate for professional quality print and will result in pixilated, low-resolution images that lack detail.
If you supply low resolution images that are to be printed big such as posters, pullup roller banners, vinyl PVC banners or foamex displays, then the result may be very disappointing. 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.
Bleed and crop marks (trim marks)
Bleed is the small amount of extended area that goes on all the outer edges of your printed piece and then cut away. Where an image or colour is required to reach the edge, 3mm bleed must be used.
Edge to edge printing is not how professional commercial print is achieved. Instead we print on a larger sheet of stock and then trim it down to the correct size. This ensures your printed item does not have unsightly white edges along the sides.
Crop marks, also known as trim marks, are lines printed in the corners of your artwork, away from the print area, to indicate where to cut. Borders or dotted lines are not acceptable on artwork and may show after being trimmed.
Please ensure that all images used are in CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) as these are the ink colours used for standard print production. RGB images may look good on your screen but final output to print is always in CMYK.
Be aware that files converted from RGB to CMYK may change the colour appearance.
Spot Pantone print artwork must be set to separate correctly and not as RGB or CMYK.
If you require advanced information regarding print profiles, spot colour or colour matching, please contact us directly.
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 no 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. No, we cannot print a 7 page or 33 page booklet due to the laws of physics and interdimensional reality.
Large Format Print artwork
Occasionally, actual size artwork for very large items such as vinyl banners or signage panels is not achievable due to the limitation of the design application. Print ready artwork can be supplied at 25% of the final physical size and with 5mm bleed. Please check your artwork is kept at the same proportion.
Vector based artwork produced in applications such as Adobe Illustrator are preferred for very large items.
Pullup Roller banner Artwork
Standard roller banner display area 850 mm × 2000 mm with crop marks and 5mm bleed on top and side edges, 150 mm bleed on bottom edge.
Vinyl PVC Banner Artwork
Banners are usually given a welded hem and eyelets inserted at equal distances along the hem. The standard distribution of eyelets is one per metre. If you require a different distribution or specific placement of eyelets, that’s no problem, let us know what you need when you order.
We recommend giving an inner-margin of 60mm within your artwork. This perimeter area around the edge of your design will leave space for the weld of the hem and any eyelets. Please keep the area free from any important content such as logos or text and only used for background images and colours.
A selection of print templates will be available soon.