Setting up artwork for print

Navigating the world of print can be tricky, but here at Go Digital we want to make sure you receive your print looking its best. A vital part in all of this is making sure your artwork is set up and sent over to us correctly. To help reduce any issues we have created this blog to guide you through some common issues and how to tackle them.

Setting up your design – making sure your file is set up the correct way is the first important step. The most common programs used for print design are InDesign and Quark. These have specific inbuilt pre-sets that do a lot of the set up for you. Selecting the correct page size will prevent the artwork having to be reduced or increased in size. Here are the page sizes for general print:

Bleed – As an industry standard, printers require documents to have a 3mm bleed area all the way around the artwork. This is to make sure quality remains when the product is trimmed to its finish size. Not adding bleed may lead to white edging been visible when it is trimmed. Most desktop publishing programs will include a bleed set up option, however with other software you may have to enter the extra 3mm manually. For example, if you were to set up an A4 leaflet you would have to enter 216mm x 303mm.

Colour – It is important to set up your design in CMYK format as this is the standard for print. If you set a document up in RGB, it will look great on screen – but not when it is printed! Setting up your document in CMYK will help to avoid unexpected results on the final printed version.

Images – If you have a creative design that uses lots of bright vivid colours, images are often used to compliment the overall effect. However, if those images are not printed crisps and clear it can really let the overall design down. It is best to use images that have a resolution of 300dpi (dots per inch) and are in the CMYK colour format. Pulling images from the internet is a bad idea as they are only being used for screen so only have 72dpi. It is best practice to use stock images from image banks or photos straight from cameras.

Saving your file – The recommended file type to send your artwork to print is PDF. This preserves the quality of images, colour formats and embeds the text automatically. If you have used images and fonts, the links of these must be submitted too.

Sending your file – You can send the artwork over to us in a variety of ways. The quickest way is by email, but some inboxes do have issues with files over 10MB. In the case where the file is larger than 10MB, we would recommend using a third-party method such as We Transfer. These sites are free to use and send the recipient an email with a link so they can download the artwork.

If you need any help at all submitting your artwork, give us a call. We would be happy to talk you through it.

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