Trim and Bleed
Trim: Always include trim marks (trim area is the final size of your print job). Internal Bleed: We require 3mm of internal bleed on all files – that means you need to keep all your important information away from this area. External Bleed: We require 3mm of external bleed on all files. Your job is printed on a larger sheet than its finished size and then trimmed to size. External bleed is the area extending past your trim area and allows for a small amount of movement that may occur when your work is being cut to size.
Creating your file
We require all files to be supplied as pdf files. If your job is single sided then you simply supply a one-page pdf. If your job has two pages i.e.: a front and a back then we need a two-page pdf file, the first page of your pdf will be the front page and the second the back page. If you have a job with multiple kinds then you simply supply one two-page pdf for each kind. Please note that files supplied as: multiple files on a single page, a common back with multiple fronts or vice-versa, separate files, or EPS or JPEG files, will all have to be manually corrected by our operators. This may incur a nominal charge and may slow the turnaround time.
Naming your file
Clear and concise naming will ensure a smooth print process. So to begin with make your file name descriptive, but keep it short and sweet for example: Acme company are sending us their business card so they name the file ACME_BC.pdf. Please try to include only alphanumeric characters and limit the total length to a maximum of 16 characters.
Supply in CMYK mode
You will have more control over the final appearance of your print job if you convert all of your images from RGB to CMYK before sending them to us.
Resolution is the number of pixels within an image. The higher the resolution, the better the picture, however if you have too high a resolution it is not utilised and makes your files too large. We suggest making your artwork at 300dpi when it’s at full size. Resolution has an inverse relationship with size – if you enlarge an image you lower its resolution and conversely, if you reduce an image you increase its resolution. How an image is originally attained will determine its resolution and what size it can be printed at in order to be clear and crisp.
The maximum ink coverage possible in our printing process is 400% – however, if we were to print a file with this amount of ink coverage, the ink would never dry! That is why we recommend the maximum coverage is 300% for coated stocks and 260% for uncoated stocks. This means the colours that you use should contain less than a total of 300% (or 260%) when you add together cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Here’s a trick: If you are looking for a deep, rich black, the best combination is 100% K and 40% C – we love this stuff! Please note: this is for areas 30mm square or larger, excluding text.
We accept all industry standard programs – Adobe Creative Suite and Quark Xpress. We do however require print ready PDF files created to our own specifications. Files provided in another format will require our operators to complete a manual change and may incur a nominal charge.
Always outline or embed your fonts
Outlining or embedding the fonts that you use in your files means we can print them even if we don’t have those particular fonts installed on our computers and they will look exactly the way you want them to. Remember you must have a license to embed certain fonts, please don’t send fonts on a disc with your print job – it is not legal.
To avoid banding when printing a gradient. All gradients should be created in Photoshop and saved as an .eps file and placed into the working document (either inDesign or Illustrator). Create the gradient in PhotoShop, apply “Noise” (Filter > Noise > Add Noise), then to smooth the noise apply a Gaussian Blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur….) and then save as.
If your job is CMYK please remember to remove unwanted spot colours or convert them to CMYK. We hope this section has proved useful in helping you prepare your files, however, if you are still needing more information or have a specific questions, then please feel free to contact us.