Preparing artwork for printing requires careful attention to detail to ensure that the final product is high quality. Making mistakes in your artwork could cause unnecessary stress or delays. Here are some quick guidelines to help you prepare your artwork for printing:
- Check your files Before submitting your artwork for printing, make sure you have checked for any spelling or grammatical errors. You should also ensure that all the images used in your design are high-resolution. Any mistakes found at this stage could delay the turnaround time of your product.
- Bleed refers to the extra bit of the design page that you add to account for trimming. Any images on your artwork should extend past the edge of the page, and essential text should be a few millimeters away from the trim edge. Most printers use a 2mm bleed area on each edge.
- Text Keep essential text away from the edge of the flyer by about 8-10mm for best results.
- Print Resolution Make sure your artwork’s resolution is at least 300 dpi. The higher the resolution, the better the final print quality will be.
- File Formats If you are using uncommon fonts, it is best to supply your artwork as a flattened JPEG or TIFF to avoid font problems during printing. The most commonly accepted program formats are Quark, Illustrator, Photoshop, Corel Draw, Corel Paint, Freehand, InDesign, and Paint Shop Pro. Vector files such as EPS and PDF are becoming more common and ensure a better end product.
- Colors The colors in your artwork may appear slightly different when printed if your monitor is not calibrated. Ensure that your color choices are correct before sending your artwork to print.
- Final Check Before sending your artwork to your printer, have one more check to ensure everything is as expected.
There are two things to consider when designing your flyers:
- Drying Time Due to the quick turnaround time of flyers, they are usually trimmed down shortly after printing. In most cases, printed sheets are given eight hours to dry completely, but this is not always possible. This can cause rich ink to bleed over onto the white side of the flyer, resulting in powdering. In this case, it is best to use borders.
- Borders can give your flyer a classic look, but make sure the borders are a few millimeters in from the trim edge. The way printers produce brochures (up to 32 at a time) and the speed at which they turn them around (from payment to your door) means that the borders may not be an exact trim to the tenth of a millimeter. This is why printers ask for a 2mm bleed. The cutting blade could go either way, and printers cannot be held responsible for imperfect results if the borders are slightly uneven.
In conclusion, preparing artwork for printing requires attention to detail to ensure that the final product is high quality. Follow the above guidelines to avoid delays or sub-standard print quality.