Five common mistakes on print ready artwork – and how to avoid them

Five common mistakes on print ready artwork – and how to avoid them

print ready artworkYou’ve been staring at an artwork for days or even weeks. You’ve read then reread the content and checked the layout until you’re sure everything is perfect. Finally, it’s time to send it to print. This is the stage where a simple oversight can be costly and even the most experienced designers occasionally make a mistake, especially when deadlines are tight. To help you avoid the most common errors we’ve put together a list of the five most common print-ready artwork mistakes.

1. Images not in CMYK colour mode

This is a common oversight, especially as raw camera files or downloaded images, are in RGB mode. Often images are dropped in with a view to them possibly being changed or checked later and by the time the artwork is ready for print, it’s easy to forget to check the colour mode. Ensure that your artwork and all images used are in CMYK before your job goes to print. Of course, as your printer, we’ll convert any that are not but converted colours may appear differently in print to how they look on screen.

2. Images not the correct resolution

All images used in print must be 300dpi at the size they appear. Low-resolution images are sometimes used temporarily when working on the layout if the high res versions aren’t immediately available or if they haven’t yet been approved by the client. By the time a job is ready for print, it’s easy to forget you’ve used a low-quality image especially if it looks fine on screen. However, it will look blurred and pixelated in print so always go through every image and check the resolution before sending artwork.

3. Artwork doesn’t have bleed or crop marks

All artwork needs crop marks to show where the page should be trimmed when printed. Any graphics or images that run to the trimmed edge must also include 3mm bleed. Bleed is the area that is cut off the page when it’s trimmed to size. There will always be a slight movement when a job is on the press and if your graphic only runs to the crop marks a fine white line can appear at the edge of the printed page.

4. Fonts are not embedded

If fonts are not embedded or outlined before you send to print your text may not print correctly. All leading design software allows you to embed or outline your fonts so that they become graphics. This means that they won’t appear differently when your job is printed.

5. Artwork doesn’t include a safe area

Even if your artwork doesn’t bleed off the page you should leave a safe area between text or graphics and the trimmed edge. The size of this area will vary depending on the size of your artwork and on the binding method. Always check the print specification before you upload your artwork for print.

We’ll help you supply perfect artwork

Even experienced designers know how easy it can be to overlook something before sending artwork to print, especially when you’ve been concentrating on the design, layout and content. At we know you’re busy running your business and that’s why we created a user-friendly website that includes a checklist you can follow to make sure your uploaded artwork is perfect for print. You can even download artwork templates for all of our products. Simply place your artwork on the template, then upload it any desktop or mobile device. To find out more or get prices and order your job online visit our award-winning website at today.

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Published by DigitalPrinting