Print Artwork Specifications
When designing your printed pieces, we are happy and confident that we can help design and prepare your print-read artwork, leaving you with the best results. Of course, if you have an artistic side and wish to supply us with your own documents, we have some guidelines to help you.
You can either bring your chosen artwork directly in to our London Print Shop in either a memory stick or you can send it via email. You can also use our Upload Facility if your file is too large to be sent through an email.
Preferred Artwork Format
Your print artwork should preferably be sent as a print-ready PDF. For best results we recommend high resolution 300dpi including bleed and crop marks where appropriate.
Other Accepted 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 cannot be accepted.
Adobe Illustrator – supplied as AI or EPS files. Or save as ‘Press Ready’ PDF from Illustrator including all 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 cannot be accepted.
Adobe Photoshop – flatten layers, at least 300 dpi, JPEG, PDF or Tiff. Remember to include 3mm bleed. PSD files can be supplied – please inform us if your artwork contains layers and include any font used.
Corel Draw – fonts converted to Curves then exported as Illustrator AI or EPS file.
Pixel Based Programmes – i.e. Photoshop/Paint/Gimp. When sending to print, always ensure the original artwork is ‘press ready’ at 300dpi and includes 3mm bleed area.
Unacceptable print-ready artwork
Please note, we cannot accept any Microsoft files as printable artwork including: Word, Publisher, Excel or PowerPoint; this is due to lower resolution quality.
These programmes CAN be used as a reference for creating finished artwork from, but this would be subject to additional artwork charges.
Computer Aided Designs (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 sent to us with at least 300dpi (dots per inch) at actual size and with the maximum or highest quality settings.
Low Resolution Images
If you are using images you found on the internet in your printed work, you may not be aware that these are often low quality for a professional looking print, due to higher levels of pixilation and lower resolution images that lack detail. When you send us lower resolution images that are scaled up to posters, banners or displays, the result may be exceedingly disappointing. We can easily scale your artwork down but when images are scaled up, detail may be lost. Higher resolutions will make the final image sharp and more detailed.
Older mobile device cameras often lack the resolution and quality required for a high-quality print. Ensure that when sending over images or exporting them, always use the highest quality setting available on your device.
When working with images, the bleed is the small amount of extended area that goes around the outer edge that is then cut away; like a buffer. When an image is required to have an edge, a 3mm bleed must be used to frame it to minimise errors. In graphic design and commercial printing, we print on a larger sheet of your chosen material and then trim it down to your desired size. This ensures that your finished piece does not have uneven and unattractive white edges around its border.
Crop marks, also called ‘trim marks’ are lines that are printed on to your artwork or design, indicating where to cut. It is worth noting that we cannot accept artwork that has borders or dotted lines as cut marks, as these may show after your piece has been trimmed to size.
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
As obvious as it may sound, please ensure that your desired piece is set to print at the correct physical size and always place one piece of artwork on a page. It is easier for us, when needed, to print multiples of an image per page, to save on paper usage.
Editing artwork at different size to that of the final piece may also create issues, such as pixelating and loss of definition when scaled up. Reused art work (like a logo) may be taken from an existing poster and scaled down to fit an A5 flyer. While we can achieve this, the text being scaled down from a poster to A5 may not be readable.
Therefore, it is best to create 2 separate pieces, each sized to desired print size.
Booklet Printing Artwork
When sending us your booklets, please supply your document as single pages in the running or chronological order you wish them to appear in the booklet. Do not send them as double page spreads. Do not send imposed pages as this may lead to issues with printing and clarity. Keep your text and important pieces away from the edges of the booklets; a margin of 7mm-10mm is recommended to achieve this.
As booklet printing is based on folded sheets, the number of pages you send for us to print must be a multiple of four, which will include blank pages at the front and the back. Due to this, we are unable to print booklets with 7 or 35 pages as this is a physical impossibility. Blame physics!
Large Format Print artwork
Sometimes, larger sized artwork printed to actual size may not be achievable due to limitations in the overall design. Designs that are ready to print can be supplied to us at 25% of the final physical piece with a 5mm bleed around the edging; ensure that your artwork is kept at the same proportion before sending it to us.If you are looking to print a very large piece with us, we recommend using artwork-based applications like Adobe Illustrator. This will allow you to adjust the images to a very large size while also offering you the option to send it to us at 25% of the finished scaling.
Pullup Roller banner Artwork
The standard roller banner display we offer has an area 850 mm × 2000 mm with crop marks and 5mm bleed on top and side edges, 150 mm bleed on bottom edge.
If you require different sizing, please contact us and we will see if we can help you.
Vinyl PVC Banner Artwork
PVC banners are often created with a welded hem, which has eyelets at equal distance across it for even hangings. Our standard eyelet distribution across larger banners is one per metre. If you want a different distribution of eyelets or are wishing to create an interesting visual display with your eyelet placing, please inform us when you place your order.
With banner-based pieces, we advise giving an inner margin of 6mm within the artwork. This will allow space around the edging for eyelets to be placed, along with space for welding.
As usual, ensure that you keep any important information away from this margin and use only background images and colours to fill it, if desired.
A new selection of print templates will be available soon- watch this space!