If you're new to printing, chances are you won't be familiar with the importance of bleed, quiet zone, colour space or exporting for print purposes... This guide clears all that up - read on for the things you need to know about designing artwork for print purposes.
Professional printers print slightly larger than the finished size to ensures there's artwork at the point the paper is trimmed down to size. This is important because there's always slight movement in the cutting process. If there was no artwork printed where the cut was made, you'd get an unsightly white line.
Quiet zone (sometimes called gutter / margin)
It's important to leave an area around the edge of your artwork free from important elements like text. This is both because artwork looks best when important items aren't too close to the edge (within 3mm and they'll look like they're falling off the edge), but also because there's natural movement in the cutting process which could mean your important bits get trimmed off if they're too close. We recommend leaving at least 2mm... In practice between 5mm and 10mm will look best.
It's super important your artwork is created in CMYK to ensure it looks as vibrant and rich as you want. Read our full guide to colour here. Always remember to save your artwork as CMYK!
Exporting your artwork
When you save your artwork for print, remember to save it in high resolution (at least 300dpi), and choose an appropriate file format - PDF works best for printing, and keeps the file size well optimised.
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