How to create print-ready artwork

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There are a few things you need to do in order to produce print-ready artwork, especially if you want to print in full colour and you need a high-quality finish.


It's important to use appropriate software to produce your digital print-ready artwork. We recommend desktop publishing software and/or vector drawing software. Suitable programs include: Adobe Illustrator and InDesign, and CorelDraw. Whichever program you use, it must be able to export PDF files in CMYK colour.

You should avoid using image editing software such as Photoshop, as these programs generate bitmaps instead of vector artwork. If you need to do image editing in these programs, import the finished image into a vector-capable program to add text and vector graphics.

Do not use word processing software (such as Microsoft Word), slideshow software (such as Microsoft Powerpoint), or any other software that is not capable of producing artwork to the specifications listed below.

Artwork specifications

The following specifications apply to artwork for all of our products.

  • Save your artwork as a single PDF file. Make sure all fonts are embedded or converted to vector paths.

  • Images must have minimum resolution of 300ppi. Save images at 600ppi or optimal print quality.

  • Use CMYK colour. Do not leave any page elements in RGB or spot colour.

  • Flatten your document. Merge your document into a single layer.

  • Add bleed area. This is only required for bleed-to-edge artwork. Most printing requires 2mm of bleed area.

  • Set the Trim Box. This is only required for bleed-to-edge artwork. Define your document’s trim box to the finished size of the print job.

We will reject files that do not meet these specifications, and you may be charged a processing fee.

Bleed-to-edge artwork

In order to print to the very edge of the medium, we often print on an oversized piece of stock and then cut it down to the required size.

Bleed-to-edge artwork must have bleed area and a trim box.

Bleed area

The bleed area is a box that extends at least 2mm beyond the edges of the finished size of the artwork. This gets printed onto the medium and then we cut into it, leaving the finished product without an unsightly white edge.

Trim box and Safe Area

The trim box tells us where to cut. The trim box is smaller than the bleed area and is equal to the finished area of the print. You should keep all important content within a safe area, which is 4mm smaller than the trim box for most artwork.