Artwork Preparation

The following guidelines are provided to assure that you get good results. If you have questions about these requirements you can request additional information by email or read our blog where we write longer articles explaining some of these concepts.

General Artwork Standards

  • PDF is the standard file type which can be created from Illustrator, InDesign, Word and Publisher.
  • Ensure that your PDF is at 300 DPI resolution. Higher than this is unnecessary.
  • Do not include crop marks, registration marks or additional file information in the margins.
  • Allow a .125″ bleed zone on all outer edges of the artwork.
  • Outline fonts (convert to vector) or embed them in the document.
  • Flatten artwork with layers prior to generating your PDF file or specify flattening in the Acrobat output settings.
  • Each job (including multiple paged projects) must be submitted as a single PDF file.
  • Ensure that all pages are the same size.
  • Files must be submitted with proper orientation, especially important in double-sided documents and folded pieces such as brochures.
  • Include all important artwork within the Safety Line  – approximately .185″ from the trimmed edge.
  • It is best to avoid using borders in your design. If a border is too close to the trim line it may be slightly off-centre.
  • PMS colours should be converted to CMYK in your artwork. We do not print individual spot colours. For colour critical artwork, it is advisable to request a hardcopy proof so you can adjust colours appropriately.
  • Convert your work to a US Web Coated (SWOP) 2 or Coated GRACol 2006 colour profile if colour accuracy is important.
  • If you are designing it yourself, calibrate your monitor to assure that the colours you see on screen are as close as possible to what you are printing.
  • If you are embedding photos in your artwork, reduce the size to 300 DPI in Photoshop or other program beforehand or set the Acrobat downsampling to 300 DPI for any files over 450 DPI.
  • It is advisable that you convert photos to a CMYK colourspace in Photoshop or other editing software and then include them in your design. The conversion usually affects the colour and brightness and will require further adjustments.
  • If your job includes folds, specify the fold type and which panels are on the front and back of the finished item.
  • If your item is being die cut, provide the original artwork and a second file with just the die line. Do not combine the two in one file.

If artwork does not meet these requirements the following may occur:

  • your files will be rejected and you will be required to make corrections.
  • you can request that we fix errors, assuming that we have editable files available. In these cases we will charge for out time at a rate of $55/hr.
  • we can proceed to print (assuming the errors do not prevent this). This is generally limited to issues related to colour and not design. In these cases, you will be required to confirm that we are to print.