Artwork Specifications I artXpress I Printing Frequent Question

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Artwork Specifications

If you are supplying artwork, please follow these guidlines to ensure that your artwork prints correctly.  Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information, we would be happy to help and guide you.

1.  CMYK Colourspace - ensure all elements are set up in CMYK and NOT RGB.  RGB colour gamut is larger than CMYK, the conversion when output to CMYK causes elements to appear dull.

2.  Resolution - ensure all raster images have a minimum resolution of 300dpi at the final print size.  As a guide, DPI = 2 x LPI.  Our screen rulings (LPI or Lines Per Inch) vary from 175-250LPI, therefore we suggest a resolution of 400dpi at the final print size.  Please also ensure that your PDF output settings are not downsampling elements to below these recommended resolutions.  Please contact us for a copy of our distiller settings.

3.  Bleeds - all artwork up to and including A3 size should have a minimum of 3mm bleed.  Anything up to A1 size should have a minimum of 5mm bleed.  For larger banners and signs, 10mm+ is recommended.

4.  Margins - all artwork must have suffiucient margin to ensure essential text and details do not get trimmed out of the final product.  All artwork elements that are not essential can extend past this margin area.

Please use these recommendations as a guide when setting up artwork -

        Business Cards             Size - 89x54mm              Bleed - 3mm            Margins - 3mm+

        A4 Letterheads              Size - 210x297mm          Bleed - 3mm            Margins - 10mm+

        A3 Poster                       Size - 297x420mm          Bleed - 3mm            Margins - 10mm+

        A2 Metal Sign                Size - 420x594mm          Bleed - 5mm            Margins - 20mm+

        A1 Banner                      Size - 594x840mm          Bleed - 10mm          Margins - 30mm+

5.  Spot Colours - do not set up artwork in spot colour unless it is to be printed in this method.  Although our modern RIPs (Raster Image Processors) can convert spot colours into CMYK values, this is not recommended in the artwork workflow because it can lead to problems with various output methods & devices in future.

6.  4 Colour Blacks - set up all elements (especially text and line art) that are to appear solid black as 100% black, not combinations of CMYK.  Mis-registration and fit across the sheet may cause elements to not be properly aligned and appear blurred.

7.  Total Are Coverage (TAC) - set up all elements with a TAC of between 340% for coated stocks and 260% for uncoated newsprint.  Uncoated stocks have a higher dot gain than coated stocks, so Grey Component Replacement (GCR) should be used especially for artwork such as Newspaper Advertisements where TAC can effect the entire publication with offsetting, marking and drying problems, as well as dark images due to the large amount of dot gain on this type of stock.

7.  Colour Variation - due to the many different printing methods on many different substrates, along with the variations in the run, we cannot guarantee 100% colour consistency.  Our quality control system has a 5% variation in each primary colour density value, this is well above the industry standard, but does not produce 100% colour consistency.