Print Services Artwork Guidelines
Setting up your files for large format printing
Please pay particular attention to the following artwork guidelines. We specialise in a fast turnaround high-quality digital printing service and can only achieve this if your files are set up correctly. Anything that is not standard or completely correct can always be sorted out but will take extra time, meaning that any deadline we initially agreed to would be missed. If you are unclear on any of these points or have any other queries then please contact us for further details.
Please note we do not charge for advice when setting up files, and it may save you time and extra costs later.
Preferred file formats
We can also accept other files and formats, but please ring and check first if timescales are critical as they always take longer.
If you are not sure about the settings required for pdf’s do not risk it on a ‘rush’ job. We would be happy to provide press test proofs at a small extra cost to check your setups first
Document Sizes, Imposition and Bleed
For exhibition stand designs that cover more than one panel (e.g. Popup stands) set Quark Xpress document up as ‘spreads’, do not supply as one ‘big’ page. Unless you can only supply a TIF or EPS which are the exceptions and must be provided as one ‘big’ page with crop marks drawn on clearly and bleed all round. Avoid text and graphics which cross panel joins as we cannot guarantee that these will always line up accurately.
You may incur extra costs and delays if we have to remove incorrect imposition or do extra work before we can print your files.
Imported Photos and graphic files
Always create a true path in Photoshop and save it as a clipping path (with a flatness of about 3) before exporting as .EPS. Remember to limit the amount of points in your ‘path’ as too many will also cause problems. Whilst we can accept .JPG files we prefer not to, unless vital for reducing file sizes when transferring via the internet. This is because they can result in lower quality results (as they are compressed) and increase print processing times, which may affect your deadlines.
Logos and vector based graphics (Illustrator, Freehand, and CorelDraw) should always be saved in .EPS format, preferably as editable versions, and always with a preview when it is an option. Unless absolutely unavoidable we do not advise creating multi-page documents in these programs as extra work is required to impose them for print.
Also never embed large photographic images within them as the file sizes and subsequent processing times will be excessive.
Never enlarge photos more than a few percent, and if you have to reduce more than 30%, resize in Photoshop to save time and disk space. Files that are excessively large will affect your deadline and may incur extra costs for ‘processing time’
Digital Camera Images
If in any doubt please request a ‘colour proof’- see below for details.
Colour and Colour Matching
Please remember that Pantone colours cannot be accurately reproduced in CMYK, so if it is important that you match a Pantone colour then request a Colour Proof – see below.
Colour Proofs (test prints)
If you are at all uncertain about colour or image quality it is the only accurate way of being certain of what the final print will look like.
Fonts are the single biggest cause of problems and delays when printing out files, text that ‘reflows’ is almost always Truetype!
- It is impossible to guarantee that the colours of large format prints will match previously printed work due to changes in materials and processes. If your requirements will include future updates of single panels within a set, we suggest you create a design which does not rely on a panel to panel colour match e.g. use a contrasting colour.
- Always use the best quality originals and best quality scanning facilities for large format work, and carefully check your scans for dust and scratches as they will be magnified many times on the final print.
- To avoid ‘banding’ we suggest graduations must always have a suitable range such as 10% to 100% not 10% to 25%.
- Quark Xpress linear blends and InDesign transparency effects are known to be unpredictable so always request a proof print to make sure these print as you intended them to. Best results are obtained from professionally scanned transparencies or very high-resolution digital camera images.
Paper Sizes and Finishing
Substrates: Photo base 240gsm standard, TR51 tear resistant, self-adhesive vinyl, coated artists canvas, art paper, outdoor self-adhesive vinyl, blueback paper, weather resistant fabric, reinforced PVC banner, repositionable window film, wind-mesh banner.
NB, We always recommend laminating prints if frequent handling or durability is required as the inks we use are water based and can be damaged if they come into contact with moisture. If you require water resistance, extra durability or weather resistant prints we offer printing using UV and eco-solvent based inks and a range of lamination and encapsulation options. We can also mount onto various boards and substrates.
Pricing and Quotes
Please always confirm the quote number you are given when sending in any orders, this will save a lot of time and potential confusion. If your requirements have changed between getting an initial quote from us and sending your job in, then please request a re-quote. We will have to re-cost it anyway and would much prefer that you know the cost of your order before the job is started, to avoid any misunderstandings later.
Always send an official order and clear written instructions along with your own final proof (this can be inkjet or laser but NOT a PDF) of your file for us to check against. Remember in the absence of a proof we can only print what we assume to be the correct version. Please label any disks or CD’s with your name and address so that they can be returned you.
Creative Solutions – Leighton Buzzard relevant terms of sale are:
a) during production, the Customer requests amendments, additions or deletions. Charges to Customer would be based on time and materials at current rates.
b) changes are made to jobs where the style, type or layout has been left to our judgement. Charges to the customer would be based on time and materials at current rates.