How to supply print ready artwork

Obviously, we want to provide you the best quality printing possible and we certainly have the staff, equipment and space to do just that. But to provide this we need you to give us the best possible source material to work from.

A little time spent at this stage will pay absolute dividends on the quality of the finished product and also save time and money.

So, here’s the short version of what we would ideally like….….

CMYK with a 3mm bleed with crops. 300DPI at actual size with fonts outlined and file types PDF, tiff,eps or Ai. Simples.

And here’s the long version…..

For full colour print, all images must be in CMYK four colour (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black). All swatches used in the artwork must also be made from CMYK.

Make sure all edges have the 3mm bleed - Any images or colours touching the edge of the page should bleed over 3mm to avoid white borders on your final job.

Crop Marks
Don’t forget your crop marks to indicate the final size required - Crop marks on your jobs indicates the final size of your printed area. Ensure the documents page size is the finished trim size.

.PDF should be high resolution at 300dpi - High resolution PDF’s look sharp and clear, it’s possible to print from a lower resolution but pixelated is possible. Large format printing at 150dpi+ is sufficient

Outline all text - Its best practice to outline your fonts. Doing this will make the text into vector paths which in turn will make your text sharp. Or alternatively embed your fonts..

Just a few more tips:-

  1. Check that any trim, cut or score marks are indicated and are outside of the live print area.
  2. Check that black text is fully 100% and not a CMYK mix.
  3. Make sure any white text is set not to overprint.
  4. Check that any multiple page PDF consists of single pages – running from the front cover to the back page, including any blank pages if needed. In short single pages, not spreads.
  5. If artwork includes folds, please ensure the document folds as intended and the crease/score marks are correctly positioned.

As part of our service we’ll check your artwork over before printing and if there’s time send you a PDF proof . It’s still possible though that we’ll still have to edit your PDF file to optimise your artwork for our own print processes.

But we do appreciate that all of the above can be a bit daunting but don’t forget our artwork team is only a call away to help you get through any issues.

Some of these we can probably fix real quick but others do take time and may incur a charge.

As an alternative to all of the above we can assist in creating your artwork for you so it’s right from the start - alternatively just call us or email us if you get stuck!


Dipak Patel, Artwork Manager at First Colour

020 7636 2571

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