What software should I use to design my artwork?
We recommend using a professional design program such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or InDesign. While we can handle work created in basic Microsoft applications such as Word and Powerpoint, these programs are not capable of producing high quality designs and may result in print defects. If you are not comfortable using the recommended software, our design team can help to produce the design you require.
When setting up your document, ensure it is set to the correct size including the bleed (more on this below). We have created a useful size guide to help you get it right:
What is a PDF and how can I create one?
PDF stands for portable document format, and is a standard format for files that need to be printed. It's easy to create one: simply navigate to the toolbar of the design program you are using, click 'Export to PDF' and follow the on-screen instructions. For best results, ensure that you have set your image resolution to 300dpi and converted your text to outlines (more on this below) before creating your PDF.
What’s the difference between RGB and CMYK colour?
RGB (Red, Green, Blue) is the standard colour format for viewing graphics on computer monitors, while CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) is better suited for printing. It is always best to convert your graphics into CMYK before printing, as this will allow the colours to be reproduced accurately. Microsoft programs such as Word and Powerpoint work in RGB, these would be converted to CMYK prior to printing. Download our colour guide to find out more:
Why should fonts be changed to outlines before printing?
The fonts you have used in your design may not be available on other computers, particularly if you have downloaded them from the internet. Changing your text to outlines means your font will remain the same across all computers, and will therefore print how you intended. In the Adobe programs (Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign/etc) you can convert to outlines by highlighting your text and going to Type > Create Outlines (Shift + Ctrl + O)
What kinds of photographs or graphic images can I use in my designs?
We recommend a resolution of at least 300dpi for printed photographs. Saving your photos in TIF format (rather than as JPEGs or GIFs) will help to retain the colour and sharpness of your images. If you are using someone elses images, make sure you have their permission.For more information on the resolution of your work, download our resolution guide here:
How can I ensure my artwork is printed right to the edge of the page?
Printing that goes to the edge of the page is known as full bleed. This can be achieved by changing the settings in your design software. Our team can provide additional information on creating full bleed images for printing – simply get in touch or download our guide here:
Can you provide proofs and check my artwork for errors?
Our standard service does not include proofs prior to printing. But if you would like to see proofs before the final version of your artwork is printed, this can be arranged by discussing it with our team beforehand. If you are concerned about anything (such as colour or quality) we would always recommend having a proof printed before the full print run.
Can you provide layout templates to use in my designs?
We certainly can, just choose the size you need below to download the PDF template. If you need a template in a different size or format just let us know.