We have prepared the following guide to assist you with your electronic file preparation and submission. 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 production.
►Type is legible and crisp.
►Page layout is correct.
►Correct bleed and all text and images are in the safe area.
►Text is converted to curves/outlines
►Artwork matches the specified dimensions.
►Colours in CMYK mode.
At least a 2mm border must be added to pictures and designs bleeding to the edge, so that there is no white space or border showing around the artwork. It is also important to keep text at least a 3mm away from the paper edge or the trim line to prevent accidental cropping.
Trim lines are the finished size of the document. The document is cut close to the trim line, but because of the mechanical tolerances involved in printing, the actual cut can happen anywhere between the bleeds and the safe margin. This is why it is important to keep your text and important images within the safe margin.
The safe margins are borders that are definitely inside the place where the cut will take place. Please remember to keep all important information, like names, addresses, phone numbers or logos within the safe margin (at least 3mm from the trim edge) to ensure that they aren’t cut off when your document is trimmed.
CMYK & RGB
CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) are the colors used in the printing process, whereas RGB (Red, Green and Blue) are the colours used by screen displays such as your monitor. Most photos and images are in RGB.
RGB is a much larger colour space so all fluro colours cannot be printed in CMYK.Most green appear much brighter in RGB, these may need to be double checked once converted to CMYK.
Your document should be created in CMYK mode so that the colors that you see on the screen most closely match the final printed product. If you create your document in RGB, the colors in your printed product may vary slightly. Many of the bright values produced by your monitor cannot be reproduced in print.
Print previews are not a safe and sure measuring tool for colour accuracy. Colours on the file might be effected by monitor calibration, screen resolution and lighting, just to name a few. Many Pantone colours show a marked colour shift when converted to four colour process.
To achieve the desired colour on press, digital files must reflect accurate colour models and percentage. Please make sure all colours are in CMYK mode for colour accuracy and a better quality output.
Types of Images
Images from the Web
Images found on the web are typically at a resolution of 72-dpi. This resolution can be too low for printing and will result in very low quality. In addition, most images on the web are protected by copyright laws. For these reasons, we do not recommend using images from the web.
Images from a Scanner
Many scanners default to 150-dpi (or spi). Set your scanner’s resolution so that it results in 300-dpi at the image’s final print size. Scanned images are not recommended for any large printing.
Images from a Digital Camera
Before you take pictures make sure the camera is set at a high enough resolution to result in 300 DPI at the intended photo print size. Most cameras have various settings for resolutions. The highest resolution for your camera depends on how many megapixels it has.
You cannot increase the resolution of a photo after it is taken, except by reducing its printed dimensions (after you upload the image).
You may create printed products on our web site using digitized images from a variety of sources. Your designs, photos and images can come from a digital camera, scanner, or the Web.
Any image you plan to use must be 300-dpi at 100% output size for the very best printing results. It’s helpful to know that shrinking an image on a product will increase its resolution.
Resolution refers to the number of dots/pixels per inch (dpi), or the amount of detail the image has. Higher resolution means a more detailed image, and also larger file and longer upload time however this will result is a higher quality print.
►All images and pictures should be 300 dpi.
Converting fonts to outlines/curves
Text can be converted to curves (paths/outlines) in some graphics programs. This will fix upload errors that result when fonts are not embedded in your file. Following these easy steps will help ensure that your text prints clearly.
How to convert fonts to outlines in Adobe Illustrator
1. Select all text.
2. Click Type Menu> Type> Create Outlines
3. Text has now been converted to a graphic.
4. Prepare and submit file for printing.
Vector and Raster images
What are Vector Images?
Vector images use mathematical equations to define each component of an image. This allows vector images to retain their high-quality at any size. When possible, use vector graphics created in a desktop publishing program.
What are Raster Images?
A raster image is composed of a collection of tiny dots called pixels. When these pixels are small, and placed close together, they fool the eye into forming a single image. Raster images work well when subtle gradations of colour are necessary. Because they contain a fixed number of pixels, a major disadvantage of raster images is that their quality suffers when they are enlarged or otherwise transformed. They are also large in file size.
Guidelines by Application
The following outline the specific file requirements by application. If you have any questions please contact us.
►This is our preferred file format
►PDF files can be created from all design software using either export, print or save as.
►Check the setting to ensure everything is embedded / flattened in your file.
►If you are creating files from indesign or illustrator, please make sure you have NOT selected "OVERPRINT".
We 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, please ask for a hard copy proof.