At 5QD, we have our own in-house graphic design studio allowing us to offer a competitive price for design services. We also work closely with our clients to ensure their supplied artwork will be printed to the highest quality and expectations.
When we receive an artwork file to be printed, it must meet certain requirements in order to achieve the best outcome. There are a number of checks we complete and often changes / corrections are required to be made in order to ensure the file is print ready. However we are limited to the amount of changes we can make to supplied artwork, and extensive changes may result in charges to the client.
Whilst you’re being a creative genius and designing your document for print, ensuring that you follow these steps will cause less headaches for you further down the track – it may well even save you a few cents too!
5 tips for creating print ready files:
Create your file at the required print size
One of the most common mistakes we see when we receive a file to be printed is that it is supplied at the wrong size. When building your masterpiece, ensure you build it to the exact size of how it will be printed. For example, if your final trim size is 210mm x 297mm, then ensure your document is set up at 210 x 297mm.
Add Bleed to your document
The term bleed is used for all objects overlapping the edge of your document. Any photo, graphic or background colour that goes right up to the edge of the page, must be built to extend the edge of the page by at least 3mm (30mm for large format documents). Otherwise you run the risk of having a white border printed around the edge of your document – which could be a fatal error after spending hours over your design! Crop marks are guide lines included on artwork to ensure printed sheets are cropped/trimmed to the correct finished size.
Set your margin
There are several variables that can affect your final printed document such as paper shrinkage, paper quality and alignment, therefore we have a trimming variance of +/- 1mm. Whilst we try our very best, certain variables are out of our control and steps must be taken to allow for a margin of error during the printing process. For this reason we specify you add bleed to your document (above) and keep your text and any other critical design aspects within a “safe-zone” called a margin. It is advisable to have at least 3mm margin (10mm for large format documents) from the edge of the document page to your work area. Margins can be specified when you set up your document, and are a guide for you.
Top Tip: If youre creating a poster and wanting it reduced to a flyer, add another 1mm of bleed and margin per size change. Eg:if your file is A2, add 4mm of both bleed and margin if you want it printed in A6 as well.
The colour presented on your computer screen can look completely different to colours within the final printed product. Computer monitors emit colour as RGB (red, green and blue) light. Colour on a printer is produced based on properties of ink in a process that combines CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). We require all files to be supplied in CMYK format. If files are supplied in RGB we cannot guarantee colours will print the same.
Avoid using 1 colour black (C0, M0, Y0, K100) as this will produce a pale black or 4 colour black (C100, M100, Y100, K100) as this is a needless waste of resources. For a rich black we recommend using C30, M30, Y0, K100. Avoid using tints lighter than 7%. If you are concerned about the colour of you document, it is recommended to request a hard copy proof prior to going to print (charge may apply).
Ensure any images used in your design are at least 300dpi (dots per inch).You may think your images look ok on your computer screen, but when printed the difference in resolution will be very visible. If the resolution is lower (72dpi for example) your images will appear blurry or pixelated when printed. Also, ensure that your images are at the correct physical size for the page, but still at 300dpi. Bear in mind, if you enlarge an image it will lower it’s resolution.
Print Artwork Templates
A collection of Adobe design software templates for our range standard folding and cutting print jobs.
Please call us if you can’t find the template you need. We love to help!