Supplying artwork for print

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In order to achieve the best possible finished result we need your artwork to be supplied in the correct format. Below are some notes which we hope you’ll find helpful when you’re preparing your artwork for print.


Wherever possible we prefer artwork to be supplied in PDF format. When exporting your PDF file you should have the option to specify a Setting/Standard. Please choose ‘PDF/X-a1:2001’.

Page size

Please check that your PDF page size matches the dimensions of the finished document you require (see bleed section below for further info). Here are some of the common sizes you’re likely to encounter.

A3420mm x 297mm426mm x 303mm
A4297mm x 210mm303mm x 216mm
A5210mm x 148mm216mm x 154mm
A6148mm x 105mm154mm x 111mm
Business / Credit Card85mm x 55mm91mm x 61mm


If your design includes graphics which meet the edge of the page we need those graphics to ‘bleed’ off the edge. Page bleed should be 3mm on all edges. Design software such as Adobe Indesign will allow you to add this additional bleed when you create a document (remember when you export your PDF to include your bleed).

Not all software allows you to add bleed, but it’s essential and there is always a work around for this. For example if you use Microsoft Word it’s necessary to simply make your page 3mm larger all round (see table above), and remember to move your content away from the edge by the same amount. We also have a work around for software such as Microsoft Publisher but it’s more complex, get in touch if you need help with this.


Important content such as text should never be closer than 5mm to the edge of a page (of course this doesn’t apply to graphics which are intended to bleed). It’s also not a good idea to include a border close to the edge since even a tiny amount of variation will be noticeable and not look good.


Photographic files should be a minimum of 300ppi and CMYK colour mode. Where appropriate use vector graphics for a sharp finish.


Your files should be CMYK colour mode. No spot colours should be included unless agreed in advance. It’s generally better not to include non-printing elements such as cutter or fold lines on the artwork, instead specify them separately to avoid confusion.

To get a really solid black over a large area use Black 100% + Cyan 20%. However, don’t use this technique on small text as it can look blurred.

Don’t use colours with a total ink density over 225%. For example Cyan 100% + Magenta 50% + Yellow 50% + Black 25% = Total 225%.

Crop marks

You may include crop marks but they’re not essential provided your page trim and bleed sizes are all correct.

If you’d like any further guidance, don’t hesitate to get in touch.