Setting up print files correctly

Here is a quick guide about setting up your files for the printing process.

From trim marks to file formats, everything you need to know should be here.

PLEASE NOTE: Incorrect artwork that has to be manually corrected by our operators will incur additional charges and slow the turnaround time.  

Creating print ready files:

Trim, Internal Bleed, External Bleed

The trim area is the final size of your print job (always include trim marks).

When creating your artwork, ensure your artboard is set up as the trim size of your design.

Use the document set up to define trim and bleed, never do it manually on page.

Internal bleed: .25 inches
Keep all important information away from this area

External bleed: .25 inches

Your job is printed on a large sheet and then trimmed to size. External bleed is the area extending past your trim area, which allows for a small amount of movement that may occur when your work is being cut to size.

All files must be supplied as PDF

Printed one side: Supply a one-page PDF.

Printed front & back: Supply a two-page PDF.

The first page of your PDF will be the front page and the second the back page.

Multiple kinds: Supply a single PDF with all kinds included. Eg: Kind 1 – front, back, Kind 2 – front, back and so on.

Book jobs:

Self cover, page order: Outside Front Cover – Inside Front Cover – Pages – Inside Back Cover – Outside Back Cover

Book plus cover: Supply 2 separate files. One being the Outside Front Cover – Inside Front Cover – Inside Back Cover – Outside Back Cover and then other the internal pages.

Supply in CMYK mode

Convert all of your RGB or Pantone spot images to CMYK

This will give you more control over the final appearance of your print job. Our automatic conversion may produce results you’re not satisfied with.

Special finish for one side only

All special finishes for single pages should be saved as your first page.

If your job contains a special finishing requirement (ie, lamination) for just ONE side then please provide that as the front page of your print ready PDF. 


Your artwork should be 300dpi at full size.

Resolution is the number of pixels within an image. The higher the resolution, the better the picture, however if your resolution is too high it is not utilised and makes your files too large.

Either test print or view your design at 100% to decide if you’re happy with the image quality. If you enlarge an image you lower its resolution and conversely, if you reduce an image you increase its resolution.

Ink coverage

Coated stocks: 300% maximum ink

Uncoated stocks: 260% maximum ink

The colours that you use should contain less than the total maximum % when you add together Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.

Rich black: 30% Cyan, 20% Magenta, 20% Yellow, 100% Black

Rich blue black: 40% Cyan, 0% Magenta, 0% Yellow, 100% Black

This is for areas 30mm square or larger and shouldn’t be used on text.

Fonts: Always embed or outline your fonts

Embedding or outlining the fonts you use in your files means we can print them even if we don’t have those fonts installed on our computers. This ensures they will look exactly the way you want them to.


To avoid banding when printing a gradient. All gradients should be created in Photoshop and saved as an .eps file and placed into the working document (either inDesign or Illustrator). Create the gradient in PhotoShop, apply “Noise” (Filter > Noise > Add Noise), then to smooth the noise apply a Gaussian Blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur….) and then save as.

Naming your file

Keep it short, sweet and descriptive.
For example, “ACME Incorporated” would name a business card file ACME_BC.pdf.

Setting up transparencies

Due to the nature of how transparencies can behave when being ripped, we recommend any file containing a transparency be flattened. Transparencies have been known to be an issue when ripping within the industry, therefore best practice states that files, that have been flattened, should output in the desired manner.

To support transparencies success our rip is continuously updated to ensure it is performing at optimal levels.


If you need help, you can have your file revised for a fee (PDF and jpg only)

Design service can be added at check out $75 with 2 revisions additional revisions are $15 per revisions for books and booklets you will be charged per page $55 per side.