Technical Guide

If you want to save yourself charges for time you can use this guide to help set up your own artwork for printing. Or, you can just ignore it all and send us what you've got to work with and we will do the layout, and design your artwork, for you.
OFFICE: 0845 900 5792

MOBILE: 07757-279554


A3 297mm x 420mm
A4 210mm x 297mm
A5 148mm x 210mm
1/3 A4 99mm x 210mm
A6 105mm x 148mm
A7 74mm x 105mm
Business Cards 85mm x 55mm

(BLEED may have to be added of 2mm to the length and breadth).

When supplying artwork for a 4-page leaflet (e.g. A4 folded to A5) please supply it as a 2-page PDF with the pages in PAIRS. Therefore page 1 of your PDF would be pages 4 & 1 of the leaflet, page 2 of your PDF would be pages 2 & 3 of your leaflet. Please don’t supply it as a 4-page PDF (single pages).

Please ensure all jobs have 2 mm bleed if required. Bleed is required when images, colour or text go right to the edge of your page. To create a bleed simply extend your image(s), colour(s) or text 2mm over the edge of the page. If making a PDF for print, make your PDF page size large enough to incorporate the bleed i.e. if your flyer is A5 with bleed, make your PDF page size A4, etc

Always make your PDF with crop marks. These should be software-generated and added at the PDF-making stage (by ticking the ‘Crop Marks’ option). Please also try to ensure your PDF has a trimbox. This can be checked by going to Preferences, Page Display, Page Content and Information, then ticking ‘Show Art Trim and Bleed Boxes’. The trimbox will show up as a green line (or may show up as red if the artbox is in the same position as the trimbox). If your PDF does not have a trimbox, this can be set by selecting the Crop tool, double-clicking on the PDF, then under Crop Margins change ‘Crop Box’ to ‘Trim Box’ then set the correct values. If your trimbox should be 3mm in from the PDF page edges for example, then set Top, Bottom, Left and Right Values as 3mm. For a more professional look, keep a "quiet border" of at least 5mm from the trimmed edge of your artwork.

Ensure all colours in spot colour jobs are assigned Pantone colours (or are ‘Black’). CMYK and RGB cannot be used in spot colour jobs. Please do not use fountain fills in spot colour jobs.

Do not use RGB colour in full colour jobs as the resulting colour may not be as expected once converted to CMYK for print.

Please note if you use RGB black (R 0 G 0 B 0) as a vector fill colour this will be automatically converted to CMYK black (100%k) by our workflow. Please also avoid having vector RGB black joining bitmap RGB black in your design as the join will be extremely noticeable once the conversion has taken place.

If you accidentally set a fill or line to overprint, the final printed job will NOT look as it does in your design file, since all inks are transparent. Once you have created your PDF for printing view it in Acrobat Professional and go to the drop down menu Advanced/Print Production and activate: Overprint Preview. In this view you will be able to see if you have inadvertently left any Overprints on your job. Overprints are also identifiable by printing separations.

Ensure all black text and fills have the colour value C0 M0 Y0 K100. Try to keep text below 12pt in black whenever possible, as small coloured text may not look as sharp once printed. Large solid areas of black can be ‘beefed up’ with the addition of 60% Cyan (C60 M0 Y0 K100) resulting in a deeper looking black known as ‘rich black’.

When Pantone colours are converted to CMYK for full colour printing a change in colour is inevitable, it is impossible to exactly replicate spot colours using CMYK inks. Similarly, with RGB images, when they are converted to CMYK, there is a colour shift. Allow for this colour shift when designing your job.

Areas of colour which have vector fills will appear different to areas of colour which have bitmap fills once printed even when the colour values are identical. This means that a ‘join’ will be visible where vector colour meets bitmap colour. This will be more pronounced if RGB colour has been used after the conversion to CMYK has taken place. The solution is to extend your bitmap colour out in a bitmap package (such as Photoshop) avoiding the joining of vector and bitmap colour completely.

Please do not use Fountain Fills in spot colour jobs but Fountain fills in full colour jobs are fine. If you have a spot colour job containing a fountain fill please supply us the native design file as File Assist and we will convert the fountain fills to a printable format. Do not use transparencies in Microsoft Word or Publisher and flatten any transparencies in Adobe Illustrator or Indesign prior to submitting your file. If transparencies are present, please ensure that you do not use multi-layer transparencies (two or more transparencies sitting on top of one another) as this may cause problems when your file is processed through our PDF workflow, and may not give the desired end result. Do not use transparencies in any document which contains spot colours. The flattening of transparencies and the conversion of spot colours to CMYK occur during the same process, and this simultaneous double-conversion can often be too complex for our software to give an accurate end result.

Try not to exceed 300% ink coverage in any of your chosen colours in your design file (work out the total percentage by adding the C, M, Y and K values together). High ink coverage takes longer to dry and may result in set-off (colour from one side of your job getting transferred onto the other side of your job leaving a mark) and a delay to your job. Please note that our corrective software will reduce any ink coverage between 340-400% down to 340% by altering the CMYK values. It does this in such a way as to still give an accurate end result and produce a colour very similar to the original intended colour (in fact you may not notice any difference). You can avoid this happening, though, by keeping all of your colours to a maximum of 300-340%.

Try to ensure all images in your design file are of high resolution, that is to say, 300ppi. The lower the ppi the worse your image(s) will look when printed, so please bear this in mind when scanning, manipulating or sourcing images for your job. Images and logos saved from websites are most likely to be between 72-96dpi and are therefore unsuitable for print. We highly recommend images to be CMYK, any RGB images will be converted to CMYK in our workflow which may result in a small colour shift. Sourcing images - always try and use professional-quality images; low quality images will only downgrade your designs. We can provide images for your for a small charge.