There are several things you need to bear in mind when creating artwork. So we've put together some tips that will help you produce the perfect artwork file. We explain the aspects of colour, size, format, line thickness, margins and the right resolution for your image files. Now there's nothing stopping you from producing perfect artwork files!
- Prepare your files using CMYK as the colour mode, not RGB.
- When saving your files, select one of the following colour profiles:
PS0 Coated v3 - FOGRA51 for printing on coated paper
PS0 Uncoated v3 - FOGRA52 for printing on uncoated paper
- Avoid using 4c for black text; instead, set the font colour to 100% K.
- When using special colours (Pantone or HKS), enter the desired values in the colour channel.
- Instructions for special colours: To avoid mottled or patchy colours, areas with another process colour (CMYK) overlaying a special colour should be created using knockout rather than overprinting. Likewise, special colours over a CMYK colour should be knocked out.
- If you order a greyscale item, the file needs to be created in greyscale.
- We recommend creating grey areas in shades of black to ensure a perfect print result.
|Files in original size
- Create your files in their final trim size.
- If possible your files will be automatically scaled to fit the order format (without bleed). Please note that scaling a smaller format to a larger one can lead to a decrease in resolution quality. For example, scaling an A6 flyer to an A4 flyer can affect the quality of your final product. The lack of bleed on the outer edges can likewise lead to white edges around your product.
|The right trim allowances/bleed
- To allow leeway for cutting differences in production, always add trim allowance to the size ordered:
- Standard trim allowance: 2 mm
- Envelopes: 1 mm
- Ad technology products, packaging, presentation folders, fan clappers and monthly calendars: 3 mm
- Textile stretcher frames: 15 mm.
- Do not use borders to frame the whole page. They can be partially cut, due to the mechanical cutting tolerance and can effect the appearance of the final product.
- Keep all contents at least 3 mm away from the edge of the finished size.
- Contents in spiral bound calendars or brochures should be kept at least 20 mm away from the binding edge.
- For folders, please leave a safety margin of at least 5 mm from the fold.
- Make sure colours, background pictures and layouts extend into the bleed area so as to avoid leaving white lines as a result of cutting tolerances.
- For artwork without a trim allowance or after scaling, we reserve the right to create a trim using a mirror. The missing millimetres are mirrored from the inner edge to the outside.
|Page numbers for brochures
- For templates with multiple pages, create the individual pages in sequential order, starting with page 1 (front page) through to the last page (back page).
- Check that all superfluous pages have been deleted.
|Images and graphic resolutions
- Pictures, images and graphics: 250 dpi
- Greyscales and colour images: 250 dpi
- Line artwork (e.g. texts in a small font size and drawings): 1.200 dpi
- Ad posters, advertising technology with text: 150 dpi
- Advertising technology products: 72 dpi
- Lines should be at least 0.125 pt.
- Lines that are too thin are automatically increased to a printable weight. (Exception: lines set to precisely 0 pt. We cannot guarantee that the weight of these lines will be automatically inreased.)
- Do not use borders to frame the whole page. They can be partialy cut, due to the machanical cutting tolerance and can effect the appearance of the final product.
- Always save your files in print-ready, uneditable formats, preferably PDF (PDF/X-4 or PDF 1.6), JPG, TIFF, EPS.
- Avoid using multiple layers (Optional Content) in your PDF files. Retain native transparencies to avoid colour space conversion.
|Embedded fonts or paths
- Convert fonts to paths or embed them to avoid typeface discrepancies. Use fonts that don't have any licence restrictions and make sure the font coding in the PDF file is correct.
- Make sure there is sufficient contrast between background and font colours.
Our checklist that can be ticked one by one
Download our checklist and follow the instructions step by step. So you can be confident you have not forgotten anything.
Would you like to know more precisely?
Our detailed artwork guide explains simply and clearly what has to be considered when creating a print-ready artwork file.
Download artwork guide
Download the right print template for your desired print product as well as the data sheet containing special product requirements.