Monday, 29 May 2017

How to check artwork for print

Pixelated images, unreadable text, weird colours, horrid white lines around part of the edge?! Sounds like the artwork you sent to print wasn't print-ready! Luckily it's super easy to check - here's how...

First off, you're going to need software that can open artwork as bitmaps NOT vectors - photoshop will do the trick, as will most of the 'free alternatives'...

When you've got your software sorted, open your artwork up (in CMYK, if it gives you the choice), and zoom to 100%... This will show you the file on screen as close to print as possible.

Resolution...
Your artwork resolution will usually need to be at least 300dpi for print (in practice, we rarely see artwork higher than this, and we flag anything less). If you print lower resolution file you'll get pixelation of the elements (images, text etc).

Bleed...
Check your artwork has bleed; most printers need 3mm bleed on all sides. This means your artwork's height and width measurements should be 6mm larger than the final printed size. So for instance, A5 (210mm x 148mm) artwork should be set up as 216x154mm. The purpose of bleed is to ensure whatever is printed on your artwork is present at the point of cutting - if, for instance, you had an image which finished at the edge of the actual printed size, you'd likely get an unsightly white line if the cutter didn't slice bang on the trim line.

Quiet zone / Gutter...
It's a good idea to leave a 'quiet zone / gutter' of between 5 and 10mm. Keep important elements such as text out of this area to avoid it looking like it's about to fall off the edge of the page.

Colour space...
Ensure your artwork is set up for the correct colour space - usually CMYK for print. If you send RGB artwork to print, it'll be automatically converted to CMYK which may result in muted colours, faded images or unusual colours where a CMYK alternative of an RGB colour isn't available.

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Find out more at http://www.total-printing.co.uk

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