Artwork Preparation Guide

Use this guide to prepare your artwork file as a high resolution PDF. Our aim is to give you the best possible results!

  1. Create a file using Adobe Illustrator or a similar commercial graphics program. (Unfortunately files created with Canva, Google Apps, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Publisher etc are not suitable.)
  2. Create your design at actual size or 100%.
  3. Set the file colour mode to CMYK. Use either CMYK process colours or Pantone spot colours in your design (no RGB or Hex colours). Include the colours in the colour swatches for the file.
  4. To avoid blurry or pixelated images, use only vector or high resolution graphic elements.
  5. If your design includes a background colour or element that will be printed to the edge of the material, allow for a bleed area of at least 3mm on all sides (e.g. if the finished size is 30mm x 30mm, the design with bleed would be 33mm x 33mm).
  6. For all other designs, leave a safe zone of 2mm from the edge on all sides to allow for cutting (e.g. if the finished label, sticker or seal size is 30mm x 30mm, the printable area would be 26mm x 26mm).
  7. So your design will be positioned correctly when printed, always include a cut line (crop marks) in a distinctive colour that is not used in your design. Show the cut line colour in your legend.
  8. Optional but strongly recommended: Save the file now as an AI file (or in the standard format of your graphics program). This will ensure you have an fully editable version of your artwork file for future use.
  9. Save/export the file as a PDF, using the “High Quality” or “Press Quality” setting or similar.
  10. Ensure that only the text/other elements and layers to be printed are visible, then select them all.
  11. Flatten transparency or convert to curves/outlines using the “High Resolution” setting or similar. Set the line art and text resolution to 600ppi and and set the gradient and mesh resolution to 300ppi. Also convert all text and strokes to outlines. Save the PDF again to finalise the artwork.
  12. Print the PDF on your desktop printer at actual size or 100% to proofread it and make sure the design and layout is as intended. You’re done!

Send us your artwork file when you order. We’ll use it to create an electronic proof for you to review and approve as a final check before we print.

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