Specifications Check List

  • File format: PDF (hi-res with fonts embedded)
  • Resolution: equivalent to 100dpi at final size
  • Bleed: equivalent to 3mm at final size
  • Crop marks: on all four corners
  • Fonts: embedded or converted to outline
  • Colour: CMYK - convert pantones to CMYK
  • Rich Black: use 20 0 0 100 (cmyk)

Detailed Specs for creating artwork

File formats

PDF is preferred (using press optimised settings, with fonts embedded and colours converted to CMYK). You can zip your pdf artwork for a faster upload but it's not necessary.

We can accept EPS, Illustrator files and TIFFs providing all other requirements are met.

Artwork % final size

Artwork can be prepared at a percentage of the final size - 25% or 20% are good proportions. All other requirements still apply.

It is not a good idea to produce artwork at less than 20% of final size if it contains bitmap (raster) images. Artwork with fonts and vector images only can be set at any % of final size.


CMYK format only. RGB colours anywhere in the artwork will not print as you think they will and often look dull.

Pantone colours should be converted to CMYK if possible. Our RIP does a good job converting most pantones to CMYK but if colour matching is vital use CMYK values in your artwork, or provide the pantone number and/or sample. Some pantones (eg metallics, flourescents) can never be matched - check your pantones against a reference book for CMYK compatability.

Rich black for large areas of black and large type should be 20 0 0 100 (cmyk). Thin black lines and small type should be set to regular 100% K

Resolution / images

100 dpi at final size. Web images look ok at 25% of final size but give poor results. High quality originals give better results - from a hi-res scanner or professional camera.

Turn off compression such as LZW or JPG as these reduce quality. If you have a very large image scale it down to 100dpi equivalent at final size.

Use EPS (vector) logos as they reproduce sharper and cleaner than JPGs or TIFFs of logos.

3mm bleed on all edges at final size regardless of what is on the edge.


  • Use industry level software (Quark, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign).
  • Create PDF using Distiller - not from plugins.
  • Work at full-size, half-size or quarter-size.
  • Less is more for large format graphics.

The list of no-nos

  • Preparing artwork using Word, Publisher, Powerpoint, or other non-DTP software.
  • Using JPG images from the internet.
  • No bleed / no trim marks.
  • Using copyrighted artwork.