Design file specifications
Whether you are new to design or have years of experience, spare a few moments to read through our specifications to ensure that your uploaded design file is nothing short of perfect.
If you want to create files using your own software, reading the requirements will help you to produce your design in the best possible way, so the final printed result will be exactly what you have in mind. Our way of working may differ from other printers, which is why it's important to get it right first time – saving you time and hassle.
Reading these specifications carefully will eliminate problems both at pre-press and printing stages. We provide specifications for the most-used design programmes, as well as tailor-made templates you can download to create your design.
If you have any problems at all, don’t hesitate to call our experienced team free on 0800 358 3501.
Quality, industry-standard printers use the colours Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black for the best colour results. Using the CMYK colour spectrum we're able to print almost any shade of colour.
However, the colours that appear within images on your computer monitor use RGB mode. This can cause problems as the final printed CMYK colours might not match your original design colours. This is why you must convert all RGB to CMYK colour mode for a perfect result every time. Tip: always make sure your design software is set to CMYK colour mode from the outset.
This image represents the colour spectrum visible to the naked eye. You can see the difference between RGB and CMYK colour ranges. This illustrates why certain colours become less vivid or change in tone when converted to CMYK. Some colours are simply impossible to create in CMYK mode.
NOTE: we use the colour profile: ISOCoated_V2_300_ECI
Files must be created with the following requirements in mind:
- Resolution of 300dpi.
- Colours in CMYK mode.
- 2mm extra bleed on all sides.
- Final file should be one layer only (flattened) with fonts converted to outlines.
- Please don't use transparencies or drop-shadows in InDesign. If you want to use this feature, design them first in Photoshop and then import a flattened .TIFF file into your InDesign file. We cannot accept files with InDesign transparencies or drop-shadows as they always cause conflicts with pre-press conversion programmes.
- PLEASE NOTE: WE CANNOT ACCEPT RAW INDESIGN FILES FROM WINDOWS as they cause conflicts with fonts. However, you can submit Windows InDesign files as PDFs, as long as all text has been converted to outlines/curves. Read section below on creating PDFs to see how.
Submitting your design
When you design is ready, collect it together for output in one folder. To do this, click on File–> Preflight. If Preflight approves your file, then go to File -> Package. InDesign will collect the necessary files needed to print your design. Make sure you name the folder to reflect your order number or name on your order form so we can identify your files.
|PDF is the best file format that you can use to submit your designs created from InDesign, Quark (even PC format) or Illustrator, especially when the Illustrator file contains a large number of images.
Please adhere to the following specifications:- Resolution of 300 dpi
- Colours in CMYK mode
- 2mm bleed on all sides
Submitting a PDF file from InDesign/Illustrator
If you know your design is ready for printing, first convert fonts to outlines, File –> Export, save as type Adobe PDF, then select Press from the PDF styles. Set the Compatibility to Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3) and please ensure that Page Information is not checked if you select trim marks in the Marks & Bleeds section; this can cause problems with fonts.
Submitting a PDF file from QuarkIf you know your design in Quark is ready for printing, you can easily turn it into a PDF. Go to File –> Save Page As –> EPS. Save the file with a bleed of 2mm on all sides, then save page 2 (the reverse side of your artwork) in the same way.
Download our PDF settings for Distiller (see below-SheetCmyk_1v1.joboptions) and drop onto Distiller version 6 or higher, or put them in your extensions of version 4 or 5. Open page 1 and 2 on your Distiller and you will have two perfect PDFs ready to print.
Creating a PDF with Acrobat Distiller
You can create a PDF from any EPS file using Acrobat distiller.
- Download our Distiller settings below SheetCmyk_1v1.joboptions.
- Open your Acrobat Distiller program (version 4 or higher).
- Drag and drop the SheetCmyk_1v1.joboptions file onto your Distiller icon.
- You will see an Options window open - change nothing and click OK.
- SheetCmyk_1v1 will now be one of your Default Settings in the drop-down list in Distiller.
- Distiller does not automatically select the SheetCmyk_1v1 style, so you must manually do this
from the list.
- Now you can drop your EPS files onto your Distiller icon and create print-ready PDFs.
Always check the end result of your PDF. There are two ways to find out how your PDF will output:
- Open your PDF in Photoshop and check how all text and images look, ensuring that nothing has fallen out of your design and whether there is a 2mm bleed on all sides.
- Open your PDF in Acrobat Professional and select Advanced –> Overprint Preview. Check that all elements are still within the design and you have sufficient bleed.
Dowlnload our PDF Settings here
Files must be created with the follwing requirements in mind:
- Resolution of 300dpi
- Colours in CMYK mode
Files must be submitted with the following requirements in mind:
All fonts and images must be supplied using Flightcheck or Collect for Output.
For programmes not outlined on this page, please create the files with the following requirements in mind: