FAQ Frequently Asked Questions about colour printing, litho printing and digital printing
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Preparing Artwork

FAQ: Preparing Your Artwork

If your question is not answered here, just call 01457 778788 or use our other methods of getting in touch. Thank you.


We specialise in printing orders from supplied digital artwork. Our acclaimed Pre-Print Checking
system incorporates a number of steps designed to ensure that the finished work we produce not
only meets, but exceeds your expectations.

We like to think of our relationship with you, our customer, as a partnership and, as with any
partnership, a great outcome depends on partners working together. Please check this Artwork Guidance carefully to ensure that your work proceeds swiftly to a successful outcome.

File format

We use the very latest Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format) Rip in our Pre-press department
and our workflow is based on working with files sent to us as PDFs. All work should be presented to us in this format.

Your PDF should be prepared at press quality with artwork centred on pages. Please see below for full details on artwork preparation.

Please ensure that you carefully check your PDF before sending it. Whilst software is usually reliable, there is still a real possibility that something changes in the conversion from native file format to PDF. Since the PDF is the only origination we have to work with all our processes are designed to ensure that the finished print matches the PDF supplied. Our commitment is to ensure that this is the case and we cannot accept responsibility for a problem with finished print when this matches the PDF.

Pre-press checks

We perform detailed pre-press checks on all of our files at no extra cost. These checks include a review of your file by an experienced designer, and a check by our proof-readers.

We also check that:

  • Artwork is central and backing up correctly
  • There is sufficient Bleed and Quiet Area
  • Fonts are embedded
  • All elements of the job are CMYK (RGB and Pantone colours may not print as expected in full colour)
  • The quality of pictures and text is to print standard
  • There is colour consistency and wherever possible that the colours specified will print as viewed on screen

(Please read on for explanations of all of these items).

We also carry out a rigorous proofreading exercise which, whilst not guaranteed to pick up every
error, has proved a ‘lifesaver’ many times in the past, where embarrassing and costly mistakes
have been spotted.

Where potential problems are highlighted we will (with your agreement) correct them if practical, often at no extra charge. Alternatively, we will request a corrected file.

Pre-press check 1: Artwork central and backing up correctly

Diagrem illustrating the correct and incorrect way of laying out a double-sided job for printingIt is important that artwork is positioned centrally on your layout. Our pre-press system works from the centre of the page in aligning jobs for print. At pre-press the correct size aperture for the job to be printed is filled with the image on the page running out from the page centre. If a job is off-centre, or if front and back are placed on a single layout then, potentially, only a portion of the job will appear in the aperture and be printed.

Secondly, jobs should back-up correctly with the orientation of each page being the same. We strongly recommend printing proofs from the PDF you have created to your own printer prior to submission.


Lastly, if the sheet holding the reverse image must be rotated to back-up correctly with the front then the file is not ready to print. Making a physical mock-up (also known as a 'mechanical') will highlight potential errors which are not easy to see on screen. We do not need your mock-up to print from; it is purely an exercise to check that there are no obvious errors due to rotation.


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