When it comes to bringing your creative design to life through print, supplying the right artwork is the crucial first step. The process of supplying artwork for print involves careful preparation to ensure that your design is saved correctly so that it transfers from the screen to a high-quality print. Follow this step-by-step guide to navigate the intricacies of submitting artwork for print like a pro.
1. Understand Print Requirements:
Before you start designing, familiarise yourself with our specifications. These include details such as preferred file formats (usually PDF, EPS, or AI), colour mode (CMYK for full-colour prints), resolution (300 DPI for images), bleed and trim margins, and any other specific guidelines.
What we prefer is straight forward, a flattened PDF with 3mm bleed for most items except for banners where we like to have a 25mm bleed. If no bleed is present, then your artwork runs the risk of having a slight white outline.
2. Design in the Right Colour Mode:
Ensure your design is created in the CMYK colour mode, which is optimised for print. This ensures that the colours you see on your screen (which displays in RGB) closely match the colours in the printed piece.
3. Set Up Bleed and Trim:
Incorporate bleed into your design. Bleed extends the design elements beyond the trim edge, ensuring that no white edges appear after trimming. Our recommended bleed for most items is 3mm.
An internal bleed of 5mm, also known as a safety margin or margin of error, is an important aspect of preparing artwork for print. It’s the space within your design that ensures critical elements like text, logos, and important visuals are positioned safely away from the trim edge. This prevents the risk of unintentional cropping or cutting during the finishing process.
4. Maintain Image Resolution:
Use high-resolution images (300 DPI) to ensure sharpness in your print. Low-resolution images can appear pixelated and blurry when printed. Fonts downloaded from the internet can usually lead to a poor print quality.
Recommendations to avoid this can include using stock photo libraries or images used straight from your camera or modern phone.
5. Embed Fonts or Outline Text:
If your design includes custom fonts, either embed them in the document or outline the text. This ensures that we can print without having access to the necessary fonts, thus avoiding any font-related issues.
Difference devices and design programs have access to a slightly different array of fonts. Not all these fonts will be available to us and so by flattening or outlining fonts can help avoid this issue.
6. Proofread and Review:
Before submitting your artwork, thoroughly proofread and review all text, images, and design elements. Check for typos, alignment issues, and other errors.
We cannot be held responsible for errors in print that result from incorrect information.
7. Export to the Correct Format:
Export your design as a high-quality PDF. Be sure to include all linked images and fonts used in the document.
We also accept high quality Jpeg (with bleed) Ai & EPS.
8. Check for Overprint and Transparency:
Transparent elements should be reviewed, as they can sometimes cause unexpected results in print, this is where elements that should be transparent or cropped print at full image and therefor make things look messy.
9. Colour Accuracy:
If colour accuracy is crucial, consider calibrating your monitor and requesting a colour proof. This ensures that the printed colours match your expectations, There are always slight differences in colours when transferred from screen to print so, sometimes having that last min check can make all the difference.
10. Contact us:
If you have something delicate or specific, then we are just a phone call or email away from you getting the required information.
11. Backup Your Files:
Always keep a backup of your original design files. In case of any unforeseen issues, having the original artwork ensures that you can make necessary adjustments quickly.
Supplying artwork for print involves a meticulous approach to ensure that your creative vision is faithfully replicated on paper. Attention to detail, adherence to printer specifications, and clear communication with us are all essential elements of the process. By following these steps, you’ll not only streamline the artwork submission process but also pave the way for stunning, high-quality printed materials that leave a lasting impression.