Artwork Guidelines

Artwork Guidelines for Business Stationery

Artwork Guidelines for Wide Format Printing

 

 

Artwork Guidelines for Business Stationery

We provide these guidelines to ensure that the print you get from us is as good as it can possibly be. We realise that many people, students in particular, are trained and educated in a wide variety of skills but quite frequently the design skills specific to print are not part of the process.

We feel that helping our customers to understand some of the rudimentary aspects of Design for Print will help create desirable outcomes for us and our customers, and feel therefore we are providing you with the information in this guide.

What we do

We specialise in full colour high quality litho and wide format printing if you are not using our graphic design services we can only achieve this high level of quality if your files are set up correctly. Anything that is not correct to out specifications can always be sorted out but may take extra time meaning that any deadlines agreed could be missed and you may incur extra costs.

If you are unclear on any of these points or have any other questions then please contact us for further details. If you are not sure about preparing your artwork to comply with our guidelines then please contact us for an artwork preparation or design quote, this will ensure that you get the best quality and hopefully do not miss any deadlines you may have.

 

Files Accepted

PDF – Our preferred file format
EPS - (CS6 and below)
AI - (CS6 and below)


All artwork must also be supplied:


•    With 3mm bleed where required
•    With crop marks
•    With each artwork as a separate file or page
•    With each file named including the finished dimensions eg A4 Letterheads
•    At 300dpi
•    At the correct height and width proportions
•    In CMYK colour mode
•    With any images/photos embedded
•    With fonts embedded or converted to outlines

Please note:

Artwork supplied at less than 300dpi can be printed although the result may be unsatisfactory. We recommend that you pre flight check your artwork using Adobe Acrobat before sending as we cannot be held responsible for any issues contained in the supplied artwork itself such as spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, incorrect colour modes, overprints, transparencies, low resolution, missing fonts or missing images.

 

Files Not Accepted

QXP – (Quark Express)
INDD (Adobe InDesign)
CDR - Coral Draw
VSG – (Scalable vector graphics)
JPG/JPEG
JIF
PNG
BMP
DOC/DOCX – (Microsoft Word)
XLS – XLSX – (Microsoft Excel)
PPT/PPTX – (Microsoft Powerpoint)
PUB – (Microsoft Publisher)

Artwork will not be accepted:

•    Without 3mm bleed where required
•    Without crop marks
•    With multiple artworks on one page
•    At the wrong height or width proportions
•    With missing links or images which are not embedded
•    Without fonts embedded or converted to outlines

 

Quiet Boarders

A “Quiet Border”, (i.e. an area where no text or logos should be present), of at least 5mm from the trimmed edge of your artwork should be observed. This will avoid any part of your design appearing too close to the edge of the page and will give your job a more professional appearance.

For A5 - A4 booklets we recommend 10mm quiet border for a much better finish.

 

Hairlines

Hairlines are ‘device dependent’.
Because hairlines are device dependent they could print differently on different printers. Often they may look fine on your 300dpi laser printer but will disappear on our 2400dpi press. Therefore avoid hairline text and lines - use 0.25pt.

 

Spot to Process Colour Conversion

When Pantone colours are converted to CMYK for full colour printing a change in colour is inevitable, it is impossible to exactly replicate spot colours using CMYK inks. Similarly, with RGB images, when they are converted to CMYK, there is a colour shift. Allow for this colour shift when designing your job.

 

Blacks

Ensure all black text and fills have the colour value C0 M0 Y0 K100. Try to keep text below 12pt in black whenever possible, as small coloured text may not look as sharp once printed. Large solid areas of black can be ‘beefed up’ with the addition of 60% Cyan (C60 M0 Y0 K100) resulting in a deeper looking black known as ‘rich black’.

 

Preparing your Files

Create PDF and EPS files from vector packages (Corel, Freehand, Quark, Illustrator, etc). Please do not save files from vector packages as Tiffs or Jpegs.

Tiffs and Jpegs from bitmap packages (Photoshop, Photo paint,
Photo Impact, etc). Please do not save files from bitmap packages as PDFs or EPSs.

EPS files MUST be supplied with crop marks to show where the job is to be cut.

 

PDF Creation

When creating your PDF to submit for print please use a recognised PDF-maker such as Acrobat Distiller to make your PDF. Using a design package’s own PDF maker may result in your job being rejected.


Always save as a High Quality or Print Quality PDF.

If using Acrobat Distiller then choose PDF/X-1a:2001 from the drop-down list. When creating your PDF please embed all fonts.

If your job has a bleed please ensure, you choose a large enough PDF page size to accommodate the bleed i.e. if you design an A6 flyer with a bleed, make your PDF page size A5.

Create your PDF with crop marks if possible.

Supply all files as 1up as we will deal with the imposition at this end.

Please always view your PDF with Output Preview open before submitting it for print as this gives the most accurate representation of how the file will look once printed, and may flag up errors that aren’t visible without Output Preview open.

 

Colour Variation

Due to the complexities involved in printing there are a number of other factors to consider as these will affect the finished look of your job.

The type/colour of paper you chose for your job may affect the final printed colour of the job itself, as all inks are transparent. So if your job is printed on an off-white paper, this may have a slight effect on the ink colour i.e. it may turn out slightly darker than anticipated.

There will be a visible difference in colour between a job printed on coated paper and one printed on uncoated. So if you were to get full colour letterheads on 120gsm bond (uncoated) printed along with full colour business cards on 400gsm silk (coated), any common colours may appear different on the final print.

Gloss and matt lamination will have a noticeable effect on the appearance of your printed colour, so please bear this in mind when you are designing your job.

If you have a printout of your job which has been produced on an ink jet or laser printer please note that the colours may appear different to the colours on your final litho printed job. Refer to process Pantone Book for accurate preview of colour.

 

Screen Colour

When viewing the colours in your job on-screen you are looking at colour which is made up of red, green and blue light, and these colours cannot be exactly replicated with ink on paper.

How the colours appear to you on-screen will also vary hugely depending on how/if your monitor is calibrated.

Please always choose your colours from a Pantone book to give a predictable result. Please also note that the colour/content of your PDF as it appears on-screen will vary depending on which simulation profile you are using to view it in Acrobat, so please ensure you are not using a simulation profile for a web-based press.

Artwork Guidelines for Wide Format Printing

We provide these guidelines to ensure that the print you get from us is as good as it can possibly be. We realise that many people, students in particular, are trained and educated in a wide variety of skills but quite frequently the design skills specific to print are not part of the process.

We feel that helping our customers to understand some of the rudimentary aspects of Design for Print will help create desirable outcomes for us and our customers, and feel therefore we are providing you with the information in this guide.

What we do

We specialise in full colour high quality litho and wide format printing if you are not using our graphic design services we can only achieve this high level of quality if your files are set up correctly. Anything that is not correct to out specifications can always be sorted out but may take extra time meaning that any deadlines agreed could be missed and you may incur extra costs.

If you are unclear on any of these points or have any other questions then please contact us for further details. If you are not sure about preparing your artwork to comply with our guidelines then please contact us for an artwork preparation or design quote, this will ensure that you get the best quality and hopefully do not miss any deadlines you may have.

 

Files Accepted

PDF – Our preferred file format
EPS - (CS6 and below)
AI - (CS6 and below)


All artwork must also be supplied


•    With 5mm bleed where required
•    With crop marks
•    With each artwork as a separate file or page
•    With each file named including the finished dimensions eg 2000mm x 1000mm 440gsm Banner
•    At 300dpi at full size for anything viewed closer than a metre eg Exhibition Displays
•    At 150dpi at full size for anything viewed from more than one metre
•    At the correct height and width proportions
•    In CMYK colour mode
•    With any images/photos embedded
•    With fonts embedded or converted to outlines

Please note:

Artwork supplied with less than 50mm quiet border on PVC Banners could result in text or images being cropped or overlapped. We recommend that you pre flight check your artwork using Adobe Acrobat before sending as we cannot be held responsible for any issues contained in the supplied artwork itself such as spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, incorrect colour modes, overprints, transparencies, low resolution, missing fonts or missing images.

 

Files Not Accepted

QXP – (Quark Express)
INDD (Adobe InDesign)
CDR - Coral Draw
VSG – (Scalable vector graphics)
JPG/JPEG 
JIF
PNG
BMP
DOC/DOCX – (Microsoft Word)
XLS – XLSX – (Microsoft Excel)
PPT/PPTX – (Microsoft Powerpoint)
PUB – (Microsoft Publisher)

Artwork will not be accepted

•    Without 5mm bleed where required
•    Without crop marks
•    With multiple artworks on one page
•    At the wrong height or width proportions
•    With missing links or images which are not embedded
•    Without fonts embedded or converted to outlines

 

Quiet Boarders

A “Quiet Border”, (i.e. an area where no text or logos should be present), of at least 10mm from the finished edges of your artwork should be observed. This will avoid any part of your design appearing too close to the edge of the page and will give your job a more professional appearance.

For Banners we recommend a quiet border of at least 50mm to allow for hemming and eyeletting

 

Hairlines

Hairlines are ‘device dependent’.
Because hairlines are device dependent they could print differently on different printers. Often they may look fine on your 300dpi laser printer but will disappear on our 2400dpi press. Therefore avoid hairline text and lines - use 0.25pt.

 

Spot to Process Colour Conversion

When Pantone colours are converted to CMYK for full colour printing a change in colour is inevitable, it is impossible to exactly replicate spot colours using CMYK inks. Similarly, with RGB images, when they are converted to CMYK, there is a colour shift. Allow for this colour shift when designing your job.

 

Blacks

Ensure all black text and fills have the colour value C0 M0 Y0 K100. Try to keep text below 12pt in black whenever possible, as small coloured text may not look as sharp once printed. Large solid areas of black can be ‘beefed up’ with the addition of 60% Cyan (C60 M0 Y0 K100) resulting in a deeper looking black known as ‘rich black’.

 

Preparing your Files

Create PDF and EPS files from vector packages (Corel, Freehand, Quark, Illustrator, etc). Please do not save files from vector packages as Tiffs or Jpegs.

Tiffs and Jpegs from bitmap packages (Photoshop, Photo paint,
Photo Impact, etc). Please do not save files from bitmap packages as PDFs or EPSs.

EPS files MUST be supplied with crop marks to show where the job is to be cut.

 

PDF Creation

When creating your PDF to submit for print please use a recognised PDF-maker such as Acrobat Distiller to make your PDF. Using a design package’s own PDF maker may result in your job being rejected.

Always save as a High Quality or Print Quality PDF.

If using Acrobat Distiller then choose PDF/X-1a:2001 from the drop-down list. When creating your PDF please embed all fonts.
 
If your job has a bleed please ensure, you choose a large enough PDF page size to accommodate the bleed i.e. if you design an A6 flyer with a bleed, make your PDF page size A5.

Create your PDF with crop marks if possible.

Supply all files as 1up as we will deal with the imposition at this end.

Please always view your PDF with Output Preview open before submitting it for print as this gives the most accurate representation of how the file will look once printed, and may flag up errors that aren’t visible without Output Preview open.

 

Colour Variation

Due to the complexities involved in printing there are a number of other factors to consider as these will affect the finished look of your job.

The type/colour of paper you chose for your job may affect the final printed colour of the job itself, as all inks are transparent. So if your job is printed on an off-white paper, this may have a slight effect on the ink colour i.e. it may turn out slightly darker than anticipated.

There will be a visible difference in colour between a job printed on coated paper and one printed on uncoated. So if you were to get full colour letterheads on 120gsm bond (uncoated) printed along with full colour business cards on 400gsm silk (coated), any common colours may appear different on the final print.

Gloss and matt lamination will have a noticeable effect on the appearance of your printed colour, so please bear this in mind when you are designing your job.

If you have a printout of your job which has been produced on an ink jet or laser printer please note that the colours may appear different to the colours on your final litho printed job. Refer to process Pantone Book for accurate preview of colour.

 

Screen Colour

When viewing the colours in your job on-screen you are looking at colour which is made up of red, green and blue light, and these colours cannot be exactly replicated with ink on paper.

How the colours appear to you on-screen will also vary hugely depending on how/if your monitor is calibrated.

Please always choose your colours from a Pantone book to give a predictable result. Please also note that the colour/content of your PDF as it appears on-screen will vary depending on which simulation profile you are using to view it in Acrobat, so please ensure you are not using a simulation profile for a web-based press.

 

White Ink & Cutting

If your order includes contour cutting please be sure to add a separate layer to your file with the contour cut line stroke set at 0.25pt and supplied in the following CYMK spot colour - C:0% M:100% Y:0% K:0% renamed to CutContour When supplying artwork for contour cutting please be sure to provide your artwork with a 5mm bleed to avoid any white edges showing.

 
Contour cutting or Kiss Cut = CutContour
Die or Through Cut = PerfCutContour
White Ink = RDG_WHITE
 

How to create a Contour Cut or White spot colour in Adobe Creative applications

Adobe Illustrator - Open up your swatches pallet by going to Window > Swatches. Then in the submenu of your swatches pallet select New Swatch. Enter RDG_WHITE as the name, then choose Spot Colour from the Colour Type option and CMYK from the Colour Mode option. You then need to enter the following values for the CMYK colour; C=25%, M=25%, Y=25%, K=25%. Your swatch will now be available to use in your swatches pallet.

Adobe Indesign - Open up your swatches pallet by going to Window > Colour > Swatches. Then in the submenu of your swatches pallet select New Colour Swatch. Enter RDG_WHITE as the name, then choose Spot Colour from the Colour Type option and CMYK from the Colour Mode option. You then need to enter the following values for the CMYK colour; C=25%, M=25%, Y=25%, K=25%. Your swatch will now be available to use in your swatches pallet.

Setting artwork up for white ink printing

Firstly you will need to supply your artwork in a PDF/Vector format with all fonts converted to outlines. All artwork should be in the CMYK colour mode with the white areas of your artwork set to a specific Spot Colour.

We offer white ink printing on any of our clear vinyl range of materials. When you're printing using white ink, you use what's called a "spot colour" when you create the printing data. You can then use this spot colour to specify and print the areas requiring white ink.

The white ink usually sits behind the printed elements to make them stand out when placed on darker backgrounds. Please be aware that white ink on a large format digital press will not be comparable to white ink in screen printing or flexographic printing, its not 100% opaque. White ink enables you to have clear stickers or labels that will show up on darker background but will have some show through from beneath, White ink is best suited for window graphics.

 

RDG_WHITE can also be used in gradients Densities of white and clear can be controlled by adjusting the tint of fills. In the example below, the rectangle is filled with a linear gradient with colors ranging from RDG_WHITE=0% to RDG_WHITE=100%. Note that using composite white (CMYK=0%) instead of RDG_WHITE=0% will not produce the expected result.

Important Notice

Composite colour objects are processed separately from the RDG_WHITE object and do not affect the RDG_WHITE object, therefore the areas will need to be knocked out separately. RDG_WHITE with 0% tint is used to knockout areas of white ink leaving the area clear this only affects objects filled with RDG_WHITE spot colour. Composite colour object also needs to be knocked out separately when not required. 

For a more Advanced File Preparation guide including how to create white gradients Click Here

Still need help?

If you’re still unsure about how to set your artwork file up for white ink printing, we’re more than happy to give you a hand. Just supply us with an editable vector PDF and give us a detailed description of where the white ink should be printed on the design. We’ll do the rest!*

 

* A charge may be applied to this service contact us for more details