We’ve prepared this guide to help you with your file preparation.
If you have a specific problem that is not covered in this guide or have other questions, please feel free to contact us.
Improperly prepared files can cause delays in printing.

 

Quick Check-list:

Remember to check ALL the below is correct in your digital design;

  • All fonts are included.
  • Type is legible and crisp.
  • Page layout is correct.
  • Margins are set.
  • The artwork matches the specified dimensions.
  • Colours in CMYK mode.

 

 

Bleeds:

A 3mm border should be added to pictures and designs bleeding to the edge so that there is no white space or border showing around the artwork if you’re ordering borderless designs. It is also important to keep text at least a 4-5mm away from the paper edge or the trim line to prevent accidental cropping.

 

Colour Specifications:

Screens are not a safe and sure measure for colour accuracy. Colours on the file might be effected by monitor calibration, screen resolution and lighting, just to name a few. Pantone colours may also show a marked colour shift when converted to four colour process.

To achieve the desired colour on print, digital files must reflect accurate colour models and percentage. Please make sure all colours are in CMYK mode for colour accuracy and better quality output.

 

Image Resolution:

  • All images and pictures should be 300 dpi.
  • Rasterized text or logos should be 1200 dpi.

 

Guides By Application:

The following outlines the specific instructions for saving a PDF by application.

Adobe Photoshop
  • Make sure your artwork has a 3 mm bleed (image area outside the trim area), and all fonts used are loaded.
    • Go to:
      • File / Save as under Format
      • select ‘Photoshop PDF’ save,
      • this takes you to the ‘Export Adobe PDF window,
      • under ‘Adobe PDF Preset’ select ‘PDF/X-4:2008’
      • then Save PDF.
Adobe Illustrator:
  • Make sure your artwork has a 3 mm bleed (image area outside the trim area), and all fonts used are loaded.
    • Go to: File / Save as under Format
    • select ‘Adobe PDF’ save,
    • this takes you to the ‘Export Adobe PDF window,
    • under ‘Adobe PDF Preset’ select ‘PDF/X-4:2008’
    • select ‘Marks and Bleed’
    • and click crop marks on
    • and add 3mm bleed
    • select Save PDF.
InDesign:
  • Make sure your artwork has a 3 mm bleed (image area outside the trim area), and all fonts used are loaded.
    • Go to: File / Export under Format
    • select ‘Adobe PDF’ save,
    • this takes you to the ‘Export Adobe PDF window,
    • under ‘Adobe PDF Preset’ select ‘PDF/X-4:2008’
    • select ‘Marks and Bleed’
    • and click crop marks on
    • and add 3mm bleed
    • select Export.
QuarkXPress:
  • Make sure your artwork has a 3 mm bleed (image area outside the trim area), and all fonts used are loaded.
    • Go to: File / Export / Layout as PDF,
    • this will give you the ‘Export as a PDF’ window,
    • select ‘PDF/X-4:2008’ under the ‘pdf Style’
    • and save.
What is PDF/X4 and why do you recommend it?:
  • PDF/X compliance is an agreed standard on the best settings for printing a typical PDF. 
  • PDF/X-4 is a subset of these rules specifying
    • eg that the PDF must be CMYK and to a set colour standard, it must have all the fonts embedded, etc.
  • If your artwork is PDF/X-4 compliant, it reduces the chance of issues when we print your job.

 

If you can’t save as a PDF/X-4 don’t worry, we are fully equipped to alter the file to ensure excellent print quality.

 

Digital Proofs:

When requested we will provide PDF files as electronic soft proofs. These digital proofs intend to show you the layout and design elements of your job, but cannot be a guarantee of colour accuracy.

If colour accuracy is of extreme importance to you, we suggest ordering the smallest quantity available for that product to minimise your financial exposure and then make your larger order once you are happy with the colours you have used.