Artwork Guidelines

Sending your Print-ready Files

We accept all files electronically uploaded online.  However you can also email files to up to 10mb .

For larger files, we recommend using online file transfer platform such as ‘WeTransfer’ or ‘MailBigFile’ to send them to (The transfer completion time depends on the speed of your internet connection and the file size).

File Formats

PDF’s are the best format for you to provide your artwork, please make sure your images are at least 300dpi and all colours are correct.

If your artwork is created in any of the following software packages:

  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • QuarkXpress
  • Please be aware that files from the Microsoft Office suite of programs (Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Publisher) are not designed for commercial printing.
Then please export your design to PDF format including a 3mm bleed and trim/crop marks (see below).

Bleed & Crop Marks

Bleed: If your design includes colour or images which are printed up to the edge of the page, please provide 3mm of additional artwork to all sides. This is called bleed. Bleed avoids the risk of white edges on your work.

Crop Marks: Show us the edge of your work so we know exactly where to trim it.

Paper Size

Please set up the page size of your document at the exact size that you wish your job to print.  Do not supply artwork floating on a larger page or include multiple items on the same page.


When supplying a PDF file, all the fonts should be embedded and only correctly licensed fonts should be used.  If supplying original artwork all the font files must be included within a clearly marked folder within the main artwork folder.


Process Colours are referred to as CMYK, Cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y) and Black (K), four colour process or even just process.  These different colours are used to reproduce a colour image.  Combined together in varying proportions CMYK produces the full colour spectrum.

Pantone colours are often specified for printing as a ‘spot colour’, a specific colour printed using an ink made exclusively and typically for jobs which require no full colour imagery like colour matching for corporate branding to ensure consistent colour reproduction.

  • Pantone spot colours that are intended to be four colour process and litho printed should be converted to CMYK using the Pantone+ Color Bridge® library.  This is not necessary for digital printing as our digital presses create a colour simulation for spot colours.
  • Convert all RGB colours to CMYK as colour separations for printing cannot be made from RGB files.
  • If your job is full colour, please ensure that you work entirely in CMYK.  If your program does not support CMYK or Pantone, we will need to convert your colours before printing.
  • Please bear in mind that monitors and desktop printers do not produce accurate representations of the press printed colour.

Scans & Images

All scans and images included in your artwork file should be supplied at least 300dpi in the correct colour mode at the placed size.

Images and logos saved from websites are mostly between 72-96dpi and are therefore unsuitable for printing.  If you upscale or add resolutions to images in your image editing software, this will not increase the quality of the image and may result in blurry or bit-mapped images.  For example, a 300dpi image scaled to 400% when placed is only 75dpi!

We recommend using professional images as low quality images can only downgrade your design.  There are many companies supplying stock image galleries online for example, Shutterstock or Getty Images.

Creating a Print-ready PDF

To prepare your files for print, for the best results we prefer to receive artwork as a press ready PDF.

  • All PDFs should be set to high resolution to be press ready
  • All PDFs must include 3mm bleed and crop marks
  • All fonts must be embedded within Adobe Acrobat: the ‘File > Properties > Fonts’ tab shows a full list of fonts used in the document. Every font should show as embedded or an embedded subset
  • Any process colours are converted to CMYK prior to creating a PDF. Converting spot colours to CMYK after creating a PDF may produce unexpected results (especially when transparent effects are involved)
  • We recommend using the PDF/X-3 standard
  • We recommend checking a PDF using the Output Preview prior to sending us your file. This can show overprinting and will list all the separations included

If you choose to use our artwork templates that can be found in the Artwork Guidelines tab within each product, please ensure you remove all notes & guides from the templates before submitting your artwork file or these will be printed.

Brochures file format

Saddle Stitched

Please supply your booklet artwork as a single, multi-page PDF in the correct running order, with each page the correct size, for example a 20 page booklet will run from pages 1-20 with page 1 being the front cover and page 20 being the back cover. Please do not supply your booklet as printers’ pairs or as spreads. The total number of pages must be divisible by 4. We recommend you avoid content which crosses two adjoining pages.


The closer to the centre pages of a booklet, the more has to be trimmed off the page edges. While our imposition software makes allowances for this, it is not recommended to have text or images too close to the edges of your booklet pages. We recommend a gap of at least 5mm on all edges.


The closer to the centre pages of a booklet, the more has to be trimmed off the page edges. While our imposition software makes allowances for this, it is not recommended to have text or images too close to the edges of your booklet pages. We recommend a gap of at least 5mm on all edges.

Perfect bound

  • For Perfect Bound Booklets, please submit artwork as two files.
    • One file is the cover pages, submitted as a spread including the spine.  Please contact us to ensure you have the correct spine size.
    • The second file should be the inner pages, submitted with individual pages in running order.
    • For example, for a 40 page brochure, please supply an inner PDF of 36 pages and a cover PDF of two pages – page 1 being the outside cover spread and page 2 being the inside cover spread.
  • Booklets must contain a page total divisible by 4.
  • It is recommended you do not place words, page numbers or images too close to the edges of each page.  We would recommend a safe zone on all sides of at least 10mm for Perfect Bound.
  • To ensure the best possible finish, please leave the inside spine and 5mm either side of the spine blank as the glue works better on areas with no print.

Preparing your Spot UV Artwork

Spot UV is an area of Ultra Violet gloss coating that creates a glossy finish to targeted areas of your print job. This works well on larger areas and as a pattern on a flat background, and it is not recommended for small text or thin lines.




Supplying your files

When supplying files for artwork containing Spot UV, you must supply artwork for the spot UV itself as well as your artwork. The spot UV artwork should consist of solid black shapes (100% K only, no cyan, magenta or yellow) in the exact position on the page where the spot UV is required, ideally in vector as opposed to bitmap formula. The Spot UV artwork should be on a separate page but have the same dimensions and crop marks in the same position as the design artwork.

Please note, Spot UV is applied using a process similar to screen printing, and has registration tolerances of approximately ±0.5 mm and is therefore not recommended for small text or thin lines.


Spot UV Business Cards

Please supply as 1 print-ready PDF file, containing 4 pages, as follows:

Page 1: Artwork Front

Page 2: Artwork Back

Page 3: Spot UV Front

Page 4: Spot UV Back


Single Sided Spot UV

For a single-sided Spot UV Business Card, please supply a 2-page PDF file, page 1 being the artwork and page 2 being the spot UV artwork.

If you would like single sided UV but a double-sided print, the order still needs to be placed as a double-sided business card and we require a 4 page file. Follow these instructions:

  1. If you have a page that doesn’t require either artwork or Spot UV, please insert a blank page so you always supply 4 pages in the correct order.
  2. To insert a blank page into your print-ready PDF, firstly create a blank PDF that is 85 x 55mm

Combine your files using Acrobat’s Combine PDF function, or alternatively, insert the blank page into the PDF by using Acrobat’s Insert Page function.

How to prepare your Flag artwork files

Once you have placed your order you can upload your print ready artwork.

Please ensure your files have the following:

  • 300dpi resolution
  • Supplied at a scale of 25%
  • 3mm bleed on all sides
  • Outlined or embedded fonts

Please download the relevant template and use this as a guide when designing your artwork.

When submitting artwork, please send us two files: one with the artwork template visible and overlaid on your artwork, and another with the template removed, displaying only your artwork. We use the first document to check your files are accurate, and we will proof and print the second document.


Download artwork templates from the product page.

How to set up artwork for drill holes and cut to shape rigid boards

When you are ordering a cut to shape rigid boards or a board with drilled, you must include multiple pages for your artwork:

Supplying Drill Holes

If you require drill holes, please supply the following pages of your artwork:

  • Page 1 – Artwork for print including drilling holes

We require the drill hole position to be marked on the artwork as a circular 100% magenta keyline with a 5mm diameter. We recommend that drill holes are positioned at least 25mm from the edge.


Cut to Shape Boards

If you require a cut to shape board, please send us a 3 page PDF. Your cutting shape must be a closed vector shape, supplied in 100% magenta with a line weight of 0.25 pt.

  • Page 1: Artwork for print
  • Page 2: Artwork visual showing the cutting guide overlaid in 100% magenta
  • Page 3: 100% magenta vector cutting guide. The cutting guide must consist of one solid keyline (no cut outs).

We cannot do cut outs and would not advise using an overly complex cut line.



Cut to Shape Boards Plus Drill Holes

If you require drilled holes on a cut to shape board, please include:

  • Page 1: Artwork for print plus drilling marks
  • Page 2: Artwork visual showing the cutting guide overlaid in 100% magenta plus the drilling marks
  • Page 3: 100% magenta vector cutting guide plus the drilling marks