Pre-Press Printing Advice & Tips
We accept files in all sorts of formats including professional layout application such as Quark Express™ and Indesign™ to desktop applications like Word™ and Powerpoint™. The format we prefer above all is the industry standard PDF (Portable Document Format). For the best results from your files please follow these guidelines carefully. However, if all of the information below seems to be written in another language, and makes no sense at all, please give us a call and we will be happy to guide you through the process from start to finish.
Page size and printers marks
Please supply your artwork at actual size, apart from when producing large format material like banners and pop-up display stands, they can be supplied at quarter size. If your document is designed to print right to the edge of the page, please supply adequate bleed of 3mm or more and include crop marks to show trimmed size. Pages should also be supplied in running order and not in spread format or printers pairs. The only exception is front and back covers for books with a spine.
Clear text (safe) area
It’s a sensible idea to design your documents a safe distance away from the edge of the page to avoid text being chopped off during finishing. We recommend a distance of at least 3mm from the edge on all jobs and 5mm on perfect bound documents. This rule also applies to page numbers.
Embed all fonts within the Pdf document by checking the embed fonts check box when producing your job. Otherwise if you are suppling the native file to us (i.e. Indesign™, Word™ etc.) please also supply the fonts that you have used.
If you are creating artwork for 4 colour (CMYK) printing then please make sure all colours used within the document (including linked graphics like illustrator files) are all in this colour space. Please do not supply RGB colours as they will appear very flat and dull looking. If you are preparing artwork for spot colour work (i.e. Pantone colours) please make sure your document only contains one version of the Pantones you wish to use. Please avoiding having duplicate Pantones like Pantone 233C with Pantone 233CVC as they will produce two separate plates.
Images should be at least 300dpi and CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black). All line art images to be 1200dpi placed at 100%. Avoid using multitone images, instead convert them to CMYK, unless you're doing spot colour work.
Maintaining Legible Type And Strokes
One typical mistake in design is the use of type or strokes / hairlines that do not print well and thus wind up being illegible. To avoid this mistake, shy away from type sizes smaller than 6 pts and lines (rules) thinner than 0.4pt.
Type smaller than 6 pts becomes difficult to read anyway, and finer details may be difficult to hold on the press without breaking up or filling in. Typical body copy should run between 9 and 12 pts in size for maximum readability.
Be careful when using "reversed out" copy (ie: text that is a light colour running across a darker area). Because the darker area tends to bleed into the lighter text area on the press, it is recommended that you use at least 6 pt type, and sans serif fonts, in these instances.