Artwork Guidelines

We have prepared the following checklist to assist you with files you are submitting prior to ordering which is considered final. Improperly prepared files will be printed at your own risk.

If you need further instructions, see File Guidelines for assistance.

Quick Checklist if Supplying Print-Ready Files (not using our online design tools).

Some of these items may not be applicable to your specific artwork.

►Minimum resolution of any graphic file is 300 DPI and maximum resolution is 350 DPI.

►Remove all crop and registration marks, and anything not meant to be printed.

►Rich black is C30 M20 Y20 K100. If you don't know what rich black is, you can ignore this guideline, but if you are a designer or prepare files for clients, please ensure you use this rich black combination.

        ► Do not confuse rich black with regular black.
             Use only C0 M0 Y0 K100 for solid black.  Black type needs to be trapped for best results.

►Type is legible and crisp.

►Fonts MUST BE converted to outlines, not just embedded.

►Page layout is correct. See below for File Types, too.
    Click here to see an example of file setup

►Margins are set (see below for recommendations for both inside and outside margin space).

► Borders / Horizontal Rules (Lines and Hairlines) /Inside Margins: ** DO NOT USE WHITE or BLACK as a bleed if the background is NOT white or black!

If you plan on adding a border around the edge of any of our products (WARNING: WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THE USE OF SMALL BORDERS OR EDGES especially for items such as business cards and bookmarks because they will not trim evenly), we recommend that it not be smaller than 1/4"; 1/8" for trimming and 1/8" on the inside visible area (recommended for all products). This is especially crucial for business cards where the border will almost always trim off balance due to the nature of trimming and the small size. For example, on a 4x6 postcard, 1/16" off balance is barely noticeable, but quite noticeable on a 3.5 x 2 business card. Use small borders, lines and/or inside margins less than 1/8" at your own risk!

Why can't I use borders in my business cards? Paper shifts on a guillotine and we have to cut the cards in a stack, not one-at-a-time, and due to the shifting of a stack of cards, there will be a percentage of your order that will have uneven borders. This is not a unique issue to our company, but something that happens to every printing company in a very fast-paced environment. You can certainly use them if you wish, but you do so at your own risk.

We also reserve the right to remove any tiny lines or borders from your artwork if they are too close to the trim edge.

►Artwork matches the specified dimensions, i.e. if you are ordering 3.5 x 2, files should not be smaller or larger, except for bleed area, if applicable.

►DO NOT LINK IMAGES in Illustrator or InDesign - Embed them.

►Colours in CMYK mode (US Sheetfed Coated v. 2 is our recommended profile).

►Screen values should be between 133 lpi and 175 lpi.

►Scan all transparencies and line art at 100% of print size unless data size is prohibitive.  DO NOT scan materials that have already been printed unless you'll be satisfied with poor quality results.

►Flatten all layers

Bleeds (Ink Goes to Edges)

A 1/8" bleed must be added to pictures and designs bleeding to the edge, so that there is no white space or border showing around the artwork. For example, business cards trim to 3.5 x 2 and if there is a bleed, your files (both sides) need to be 3.75 x 2.25. It is also important to keep text at least a 1/4" away from the document edge or the trim line to prevent accidental cropping. ** DO NOT USE WHITE or BLACK as a bleed if the background is NOT white or black!

IMPORTANT: Bleeds cannot be white or black unless the background is white or black. If you try to fit an image directly on the trim line and presume it will be trimmed that way, you will be disappointed with the results, i.e. we cannot trim cards one at a time and because paper shifts on a guillotine, you will 100% of the time have uneven borders.

Colour Specifications

Print previews are not a safe and sure measuring tool for colour accuracy. Colours will be affected by monitor calibration, screen resolution and lighting, just to name a few. Many Pantones shift when converted to CMYK process; in particular bright blues tend to convert to purple.

Please make sure all colours are in CMYK mode for colour accuracy and a better quality output.