Helpful tips

Printing can be a complex business. That’s why we’ve filled this section with tips, technical guidelines and explanations of what we do and how you can help us get the best from your projects. If you have any other questions, contact us here.

Proofs

With digital printing, there is no guarantee that colours and images will exactly match your requirements.  We can provide a digital, printed proof to show you roughly how it will come out. Even then, there are many factors which can alter the print from one day to another.  It is, and always will be, a judgment call.

Colour

RGB images are okay for digital print, but will be converted to CMYK, so colour shift may occur.  To be sure of how your colours will print, it may be best to convert them yourself.

For full colour litho print, CMYK is a necessity.  Be aware that, if you use spot colours, a plate and setup charge will apply to every colour used, including the C, M, Y & K.

Bleed

At least 3mm of bleed is required if you want images to be printed to the very edge of the page.

Please include crop marks.

Fonts

Please embed the fonts in the output file.  You can embed a ‘subset’ of the font or the entire font.  If you are unable to embed it due to licensing issues, then convert the text to outlines.

Resolution

The accepted resolution for print is 300dpi (118 per cm).

Note that images from the internet are usually unsuitable for print.

We cannot guarantee the quality of artwork created in programmes such as Word and Powerpoint, as they are not desktop publishing programmes.

Size

For digital printing, the largest stock on which we can print is SRA3 (320x450mm).  This must include the bleed and crop marks.

For posters, we can print up to 1000mm across, with unlimited length (within reason).

For litho printing, we print on larger stock, with multiple copies printed at once, to increase efficiency.

Format

The preferred output format is PDF, preferably using the ‘PDF/X-3:2002’ or ‘Press Quality’ preset.

For litho with spot colour, use ‘PDF/X-1a:2001’.

We can accept native formats such as InDesign or Illustrator and QuarkXPress (up to v7). If using InDesign or Quark, make sure you ‘Package’ or ‘Collect for output’ respectively, to include the images and fonts. Missing images will print at very low resolution.

EPS (encapsulated PostScript) files are okay as well, but try to ensure that you maintain vector data when text is involved, especially from Photoshop.

Transparency

Please flatten transparency to the Medium preset.  Never try to use transparency with spot colours.

Always put text on top of any transparency effects, such as drop shadows and translucency.

Pens down…any questions?

For more information, download our new artwork guide here.
If you’re still not sure or just want some advice, just call any of our two printing branches. Click here for details.