Before thinking about printing, it is essential to have the right design. It is important that the design looks professional so we have put together a basic guide to help design print ready artwork.
The most popular program that designers use is Adobe Photoshop, but it is possible to create designs using more familiar programs such as Microsoft Publisher, Word or Powerpoint which will then be converted into a PDF print ready file. Regardless of the program you are using the concepts for designing print ready artwork remain the same.
Any design must be done in relation to the size of which the final print with be, so this is the first thing to decide.
Anything that is designed to an incorrect size will mean that the artwork will need to be scaled, shrunk or stretched to achieve the desired size which will certainly have a negative impact on the final product.
The resolution will determine the quality of the final print, so the higher the resolution the sharper the final piece will be. Using images or text that are low resolution and pixelated will result in a distorted print, so for the best results we recommend designing in at least 300 DPI (pixels per inch).
A point to note is that images that are taken from the internet are usually low resolution, a tip to check this is to zoom into the image and see if it becomes pixelated which is a clear indicator of low resolution.
Any print ready artwork should have a 3mm bleed around the edges, which will ensure that there is no white border around the edge when cutting the final product.
We also reccommend a 'quiet border' which is a minimum of 3mm from the edge of your design to any text or images to ensure that no part of the design is trimmed off.
If your final product features any folds, you should indicate this in the artwork by using dotted lines to indicate the folds.