Setting Documents Ready for Print

This guide will cover the technical do's and dont's, give you tips and best practices and walk you through how to take a project from your computer to the printing press.

Choosing the right software or Format :

We like to work with PDF’s, packaged InDesign files and Ai / eps files.

Make sure to include a bleed: 

A bleed on a print document is an area which comes outside of the finished design on the document, which we and all other printers will use to trim the artwork to the right size. If bleed hasn’t been applied, it would require us to either cut into your artwork, meaning your finished print will end up being smaller than you expected it to be or leave a white border around it, making it unsightly. 

One thing we do request, and there is a good possibly a lot of other printers are the same, is a minimum of 3mm bleed around the document, for all small and large format print. The only time that this changes is when a Roller Banner is being printer. In this instance, we request that a 100mm bleed is left at the bottom so that it can be fitted

Including Margins: 

Margins are similar to that of bleed, as they provide a safe area with which there is leeway. The margin is included in the space between the edge of your document and any important pieces of information that may be included in it. The inclusion of this ensures that nothing important within the design is cut off when it is being trimmed

Crop Marks: 

Crop marks, also known as trim marks, are  lines printed in the corners of your publication's sheet or sheets of paper to show the printer where to trim the paper. They are used by commercial printers for creating bleeds where an image or colour on the page needs to extend all the way to the edge of the paper.

Choosing the right colour format: 

Colour is something that is vitally important when it comes to print, as it makes the final design. Colour needs to be perfect, as nobody wants a document that is either too washed out, or too punchy. In this regard, when setting your document up for print, it is important to make sure that you have set it up to use CMYK colours not RGB, as RGB is for documents that are going to be viewed online or in digital online format. 

Make sure that any images included are high resolution: 

300 dpi is the key size,  Images can be one of the most awkward things to get right when setting documents up for print, but they don’t have to be. The reason for them being awkward is because of the format that they are in, which is Bitmap Graphics instead of Vector Graphics. This means that when an image is first brought into the document and then resized it loses some of its quality. When resizing images, just make sure that they are high quality to begin with and end up having a high DPI and they will be fine.