PDF stands for portable document format:

Supplying a print ready PDF not only eliminates all of the extra files you would have traditionally sent to a printing company, it will also speed your file through our pre-press department as we won’t need to load everything into our system. By supplying a print ready PDF you create a simple workflow, enabling a problem free transition from design through to print. A print ready PDF must meet certain standard criteria for your file to print without problems.

What is bleed and why is it important:

Bleed is the area printed beyond the trim edge of the page to ensure it extends to the edge of the page after trimming. As there is a degree of movement when printing on any press, you should always create 3mm bleed on all edges where bleed is needed. Supplying your job without bleed may result in white lines when trimmed.

What is CMYK / RGB and Pantone:

CMYK : Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black (K means Key Colour). All colours consist of a mixture of these four and is the standard colour model used for full colour artwork.

RGB: Red, Green and Blue is the typical colour model used by display devices. In order to print a document that has been saved as RGB, it has to be colour matched and converted into CMYK. This ensures that the printed document looks the same as it appears on screen. This process can be quite difficult and time consuming, especially when dealing with full colour artwork.

Pantone Colour An ink system where the eight primary colours are mixed by defined ratios in order to make a specific colour. This colour is given a pantone reference example - PMS 525.

What is DPI?

All images should be a min of 300 dpi for best results in printing.  DPI is the amount of ink dots per inch, 300 dots per inch is the 'required standard' for printed material. Images that are less than 300 dpi when used can result in a lesser quality print.  We are often asked can I use it anyway? yes, but be aware the quality of web images, mobile phone images are not 300 dpi as standard.

If you are unsure about any aspect of your project design please call us first.

All print ready PDFs need to contain the following:

  • The file is supplied as four-colour process CMYK and not RGB
  • The document’s page size is the finished trim size.
  • Fonts are embedded or converted to outlines so no fonts are needed.
  • All image resolutions are 300 dpi at 100% of the final image size.
  • Images are embedded in the file not linked.
  • Files are supplied with 3mm bleed as standard.
  • Any trim, score or fold marks are indicated and outside the print area.
  • Artwork is at least 5mm from the edge of the page; this is regarded as a safe or quiet area.
  • Black text is 100% black and not a mix of CMYK.
  • White text is not set to overprint.

What is offset printing?

Offset Printing : Ink is spread on a metal plate with etched images, then transferred on to a surface such as a rubber blanket, and finally applied to paper by pressing it against the blanket. Offset printing can be used to produce large volumes of high-quality documents, such as advertisements or brochures.

What is digital printing:

Digital Printing: An image is applied directly from a digital file rather than using plates.

File types to get to know:

EPS Stands for Encapsulated PostScript. Graphic files tend to be saved as an EPS, in order to be placed into a DTP application such as illustrator or photoshop.

GIF Graphical Interchange Format. Pioneered by CompuServe as a device to compress and distribute graphics over the Internet.

JPEG : Joint Photographic Experts Group, sometimes JPG. A common format for image files online.

PNG: Portable Network Graphic, a transparent image used mostly for logos