When supplying your artwork for professional printing, there are certain specifications needed to ensure that the printing process runs smoothly and also to ensure your job is to the quality expected from a commercial press.
Today we would like to take a closer look at the 5 most common errors when supplying your artwork:
1. FILE IS NOT A PDF All print documents need to be supplied as a pdf files. While you may be able to print a word, excel or publisher file from home or work, it works quite differently on a commercial press.
2. INCORRECT BLEED If you want your design to print to the edge of the sheet, the supplied file will need to have bleed. As there is a degree of movement when printing on any press, there should be an additional 3mm of bleed past the trimmed size. If you don’t want to print with bleed, then all graphics need to be a minimum of 5mm in from the edge of the sheet. Supplying your artwork without bleed may result in white lines when it is trimmed. Read more here – what are crop marks and bleed.
3. INCORRECT FILE SIZE In Australia the “A Series” is the accepted paper size series for printing. This is how we purchase our paper from our suppliers. Many programs default page sizes to US Letter size, so ensure your page sizes are correct before sending through is important. Read more here – paper sizes explained.
4. INCORRECT COLOURS Quite often we receive files that have RGB when they need to be CMYK, or contain spot colours when they need to be CMYK. When designing for print, it is important to understand the distinction between RGB, Spot Colour and CMYK. RGB is for on-screen use only, CMYK and Spot are used for printing, but not often combined. Read more here – rgb, cmyk and spot colours.
5. LOW RESOLUTION IMAGES When using images for print, they must be high resolution at 300dpi. What does this mean? A good example is not what to do, such as cutting and pasting web graphics into print documents. The image might look great on screen, but will often be pixelated and poor quality when printed. This is because the ppi resolution of the image is most likely to be 72ppi and recommended resolution for a great result in print is 300ppi. We recommend sourcing images and graphics from stock sites such as shutterstock. Read more here – images – what is dpi, ppi resolution.
Most printers use layout programs such as Adobe InDesign and have certain specifications that need to be met in order to make the printing process run smoothly. Quite often programs such as Canva, Word, Excel and Publisher don’t have the capabilities to set files up for commercial print.
After receiving a supplied file we run a comprehensive pre-flight check. This process determines whether there are any technical issues with the artwork including checking for the correct document size and specifications, colour type, image resolution, correct colour separation, bleed and crops. This helps ensure your file will print the way that you intended. We understand that print and design concepts can be overwhelming and our design team can help you achieve the desired look for your next printed piece.
Make sure you download our supplied artwork guide for everything you need to know about supplying artwork correctly. If you don’t have access to Adobe InDesign, then ask our team for a quote to design your next project for the best possible result!