Sending artwork to print? What things should you be checking.

16 November 2020
Read time: 3 mins

Written by:
Elisha Gorton.

Just look around you as you begin to read this... there's likely several items in sight that have involved a print process somewhere along its production journey. Many people claim that the rise of the digital design era has erased the need for the print industry to all but nothing. However - this isn't necessarily the case.

Printing and production is still very much a "thing". Think of how often you come into contact with printed items like books, greetings cards, shop signage, food packaging, clothes labels, brochures - the list is endless. And they've all been through a graphic design process, before going on to be printed and produced.

Let's rewind and go back to the start of that print journey. Sending artwork to printers so they can work their magic is a nerve wracking process and one not to be taken lightly. However we have a few points, that if remembered, will make the process a lot smoother.

Things to consider before you hit send:

Check those colours.

Definitely a key factor when it comes to designing your work. A company may have specific set of brand colours that they use and to get this wrong, could be a costly mistake. So make sure those are accurate throughout the artwork. Printing companies use a CMYK colour breakdown to print, so make sure your document is set to match. Artwork supplied in RGB format will be automatically converted at the printers, possibly causing your artwork to no longer look how you imagined it. Also remember - the use of a 'Pantone' or 'Spot' colour makes the print job bespoke, therefore likely more expensive.

Consider bleed and text safe areas.

If artwork extends to the edge of what it's being printed on, then extra bleed is needed. This means it will be printed slightly larger and trimmed back to the correct size, catering for any paper movement during the printing process. The recommendation is usually 3mm, but your printer will confirm. Your artwork should also have a 'safe area' for key content, usually of at least 5mm from the edge. This then gives clear contingency when trimming occurs.

Save artwork files as a PDF.

A PDF will make sure all your fonts and images are embedded at a smaller file size without compromising on quality. You can also add your crop and bleed marks, making things as easy as possible for the printer. A no brainer, right?!

Read everything. Then check again. Oh - and check once more.

Probably the most underrated stage of the entire process but arguably, one of the most important ones. Proof reading is crucial to spot any missed mistakes and rectify them before sending the artwork to print. We always recommend asking a fresh set of eyes to help with this, as endlessly staring at a piece of work can lead us to believing everything is correct, when it may not be.

In summary.

If you remember the points above, you should have no problem when it comes setting up your artwork and sending to print. Enjoy your fantastic final printed item.

Need some help?

We can help you through every step of the journey whether it's your branding & logo design, graphic design or even website design. We've got you covered!


Written by:
Elisha Gorton.

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