A Quick Guide To Creating And Checking Artwork For Printing
The little snippets in this guide will not teach you how to be a good designer or how do be an efficient Computer operator. What they
will do is highlight the fact that 85% of all reprints are due to artwork errors.
Most jobs are ganged up on large sheets with an automated Imposition program. These Imposed sheets are then Ripped and a color plotter proof is output. This proof is purely as a quick check for Imposition and Backing Up. We do not check each individual image/job
for content or spelling. The supplied PDF artwork must be supplied correctly the first time. However, we won't disregard problems if
they are spotted. If we do spot a problem we will attempt to make the correction. On some occasions this may be possible.
There are no hard and fast rules regarding the creation of artwork. Use what tools you are comfortable with, but please take the time
to learn new software and ask yourself which program works better for the task ahead.
We work with the software package Adobe CS Suite featuring programs such as PageMaker, InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop.
Adobe created the postscript language and the PDF file format, therefore it makes sense that as a group who relies on PDF
compatibility we should back the Adobe offering.
Other software packages you're likely to come across are:
Fonts must be supplied, embedded or outlined in artwork to ensure that they print correctly. A common problem with supplied
artwork is when fonts are not packaged correctly, and if not rectified these will drop out of the printing. If you supply a PDF to a us,
please embed the fonts.
In printing, a bleed is printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet prior to any trimming. In other words, the bleed is the area to
be trimmed off. The bleed is the part on the side of a document that gives your printer a small amount of space to account for
movement of the paper, and design inconsistencies. Artwork and background colors can extend into the bleed area. After trimming,
the bleed ensures that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed document.
It is very difficult to print exactly to the edge of a sheet of paper/card so, to achieve this, it is necessary to print a slightly larger area
than is needed and then trim the paper/card down to the required finished size. Images, background images and fills which are intended
to extend to the edge of the page must be extended beyond the trim line to give a bleed. Bleeds must be 1/8 of an inch from where
the cut is to be made.
For example, if you have designed a standard 3.5" x 2" business card with a background covering the whole area, you will need to
enlarge that background to 3.75" x 2.25". This will make the background extend 1/8" on every side of the page. All text and images
that do not bleed must have a margin of 1/8 of an inch. Margin is the zone inside the trim area.