We realise that not everyone is an expert when it comes to print, which is why we are here to guide you through the process. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we get asked, which we will continue to build over time!
Paper Sizes (millimetres)
What file formats can I send to print?
High resolution PDF (fonts must be embedded or outlined)
Note: If supplying in open file format, all linked fonts and images must also be supplied.
What are Crop and Bleed Marks?
Crop Marks are a set of marks that indicate where to trim the artwork to (because we print on oversized paper).
Bleed is the term used for the extended area of your artwork that goes beyond where the final artwork will be trimmed to (the Crop Marks).
We add Crop and Bleed to printed documents to avoid any white edge after cutting!
How to add Crop and Bleed Marks
How to add Crop and Bleed Marks in Adobe InDesign
Click File then Export
Choose format Adobe PDF (Print) and click Save
Choose the Adobe PDF Preset High Quality Print
Click Marks and Bleed (side menu)
Click on Crop Marks and Bleed (under Marks)
Add the Crop and Bleed your printer has requested
How to add Crop and Bleed Marks in Microsoft
Click Page Design
Click Size and then Page Setup
In the Page Setup box, under Page you can either select one of the listed dimensions, or you can enter your preferred width and height
Click File, then click Print then choose Advanced Output Settings
Under Printer's Marks, choose Marks and Bleeds then click the Crop Marks box
Under Bleeds click Allow Bleeds and Bleed Marks
How to add Crop and Bleed Marks in Adobe Illustrator
Click File then Print
Select Marks & Bleed
Select the print marks you need
How to add Crop and Bleed Marks in Adobe Acrobat
Click Tools, then Print Production, then select Add Printer Marks
Choose the pages you need to mark
Enter the marks and settings you would like
What's the Difference between Coated and Uncoated Paper?
Typical use: Stationery
Uncoated paper has no added layer on the surface. It is completely natural, although the surface may be sized with starch. Uncoated papers are generally whiter than coated papers and is absorbent - so inks, varnishes, and coatings perform differently than on coated papers. This does mean that images are not as crisp and tend to appear flatter than on coated materials.
Typical use: Brochures, Leaflets and Flyers
Coated paper has a PCC, china clay, pigment or adhesive coating that fills the miniscule pits between the fibres in the base paper giving it a smooth, flat surface. This improves the opacity, lustre and colour-absorption ability, which means that images appear sharper and brighter. The coating can be gloss, matte, depending on your preferred finish. Because coated paper is smoother and has better ink holdout it is more suitable for certain types of overprint finishing techniques such as varnish, laminates or special finishes.
What does Print Ready Artwork mean?
Before you start creating any artwork, you should first decide how the job will be printed. This is because different printing processes and papers will have an impact on the finished results. For example, if printing on uncoated paper, solid areas of colour may cause drying or picking issues.
If you're unsure how your artwork should be printed, we're always happy for you to give us a call and chat your ideas through!
Setting Up Your Artwork - The Basics
Artwork should be set up as Reader Spreads (how it will appear to the reader). The page size must be the exact size of the trimmed and finished object*.
3mm Bleed and Crop Marks will be required, to allow for the tolerances of finishing and trimming. These must not be included in the document measurements but should exist outside of the printing area. Your artwork can be exported with Bleed and Crop Marks - see our instructions above!
*There are exceptions to this rule for certain projects - such as folders.
Image Resolution and Colour
Image resolution should be at a minimum 300 dpi at 100% size as it appears on the page, and to avoid unpredictable colour changes images should be converted to CMYK - not supplied as RGB screen colours.
Files should be saved as individual pages, not as spreads. It is preferable that your files are saved as PDFs as this is the safest way of transferring content - however the PDF must be press-ready quality! If you're not sure what that means, give us a call.
Using Cutter Guides
If you're creating a job with cutters (such as a folder), cutter guides should be set up as a spot colour - not as part of the CMYK and must be set to overprint.