To get the best possible results when supplying your artwork we require it to be supplied to industry standard requirements. Below are hand guides & notes on what we need – if you get stuck just drop us a message.
CMYK not RGB
Nearly all commercial printers we use use the industry standard CMYK. If you design in RGB and then convert to CMYK, you may notice your colours dull or alter. It is better you use a program like Adobe Photoshop or similar where you can try to rebalance the colour difference using levels & tones. When creating your own artwork, always try to begin in CMYK so there are no last minute changes.
RGB has a much wider colour gamut than CMYK. There are millions more colours available on screen than can be mixed using four inks. If you are using bright colors on screen, specifically greens/blues/purples, you are going to notice a greater variation when converted.
Try to use a good calibrated monitor to show simulated CMYK. Working in CMYK mode will not display electric blues or radioactive greens. The final printed result will be much closer to what you see on screen though remember your computer is backlite and prints are NOT. Therefore it is essential your artwork is supplied in CMYK format as we cannot be held responsible for colour changes if we are required to convert to CMYK to print your artwork.
A common issue with printing can be pixelation, a term used when images look blocky usually due to low resolutions or Dots Per Inch. One of the statements we commonly hear are “it looks fine on screen, why won’t it be ok to print?” The technical answer to this is that a screen will only display a document at 72dpi where when printed you will see 300dpi. Generally images and graphics are made up from small dots (pixels), dpi refers to the number of these dots per inch. An image made from dots is called a raster image. There is another format called vectors, these are graphics made from equations and will never distort at any size.
Typically saving images from Facebook and other online image sources are not great in quality as they are usually compressed and optimised to help loading times and storage. You will find that a typical photo saved from Facebook is approx 150kb-250kb which is tiny when looking at commercial printing from a jpg file. The best thing to do is to use or supply the original photo from your camera or phone.
Typically the modern smartphone has a large enough pixel count to be print usable with no issues. There are still variations in quality depending on the shakiness, lighting etc but thats down to the photo itself not the resolution.
3mm Bleed & Safe Area
Bleed is an extra bit of artwork over running the dimensions of the finished size after trimming. This is to avoid any slight margin of errors/adjustments when cutting and leaving any unprinted white areas showing. If the design runs over a bit extra when trimmed it will cut off that extra bit with a small allowance either side. This is called bleed. On top of this and to allow any trimming too close the other way and cutting into any text or important graphics the safe zone also suggests leaving an area of space buffer from your content edge to the trim edge – again to allow for small minor margins of errors.
We use the industry standard requirements when requesting artwork of:
3mm Bleed & 3mm Safety Zone
This means if for example you were designing an A5 Flyer with a finished size of 148mm x 210mm then you will need to add an extra 3mm on each side (watch out for rookie mistake – 6mm in total horizontally & 6mm vertically) so in total the artwork should be 154mm x 216mm and should run to the edge. The area of the safe zone should be marked as 3mm in from the finished size edge so all content should be within 142mm x 204mm area.
There are many ways that you can create a flyer, poster, business card and everything else – but there are only a handful of ways that would give the best output when supplying to a commercial printer. We’ve already mentioned that your outputted file should be able to be CMYK & 300dpi – and for this reason we recommend that the files you submit are of a type that allow the best possibly printed product but this list is not exhaustive or by any means definitive.
- AI (adobe illustrator)
(*as a last resort if you can not output the file to a flattened format as these tend to be very large)
Although these are preferred we appreciate that not everyone is format savvy and you are welcome to send in your file before making a purchase for us to evaluate and feedback if it is useable or not. Files such as MS Publisher, Word and BMP’s may very well be ok to use but we would not recommend them where possible.
A0 841 x 1189 mm
A1 594 x 841 mm
A2 420 x 594 mm
A3 297 x 420mm
A4 210 x 297mm
A5 148 x 210mm
A6 105 x 148mm
A7 74 x 105mm
Business Card 85 x 55mm
Downloadable templates coming soon – please get in touch if you require one