Support Centre / Artwork Guidelines

PDF ‘print-ready’ files:
PDF is our preferred file format and is the industry standard for offset and digital printing. However, not all PDF files are ‘print-ready’ or suitable for printing. The following information describes methods and settings used when creating PDF files in Adobe Indesign.

Upon receiving your ‘print-ready’ PDF, we will flight check and send you a final certified PDF proof for approval via the printdirect portal along with any comments relating to the file.

You can select the following default PDF settings when saving files in Adobe Indesign. Insert image…

Our prepress specialists are always available during business hours to assist and answer any prepress or artwork queries you may have. Phone 1300 362 281 or contact us

PDF for multiple pages:
For bound work such as booklets, magazines, brochures we recommend single page view and to include the cover and text within one PDF. In some cases cover files can be supplied separately in either single page view or as a spread.

For basic 2 sided flat work ie: business cards, flyers etc., we recommend supplying a separate 2 page PDF (front and back) for each name/kind.

For perfect bound books we recommend supplying the cover file separately and you may use the following table as a guide for setting spine width. Insert image/table

Setting internal margin, bleed and trim marks:
Internal margin is the space between the final trim size of your printed job and any important text, page number, graphic element etc. Recommended internal margin: 3mm (5mm on booklets)

Bleed is the printed image beyond the final trim size and is necessary in printing to compensate for some minor movement during the trimming and finishing processes. Recommended external bleed: 3mm (5mm on booklets)

Trim marks indicate the final size of your print job and should always be included. Bleed marks and other marks are generally not necessary and best avoided.

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Colour management:
If you are intending on printing in CMYK, it is recommended you convert all text, graphic elements, RGB images etc to CMYK prior to creating your ‘print-ready’ PDF. Conversion to CMYK occurs automatically within our workflow however for consistency it is best practice to do this in the working file prior.

Pantone colours:
Pantone colours should be consistently set to U (Uncoated) or C (Coated) within any one file.
Note: Not all pantone colours are available and additional fees may apply for certain Pantone colour requests. We will notify you of any additional fees prior to commencing your order.

Ink values and saturation (offset printing):
In offset printing the total percentage of ink should contain no more than 280% saturation.
For optimal solid blacks, we recommend the following values:
Rich black:  30% (C) Cyan, 20% (M) Magenta, 20% (Y) Yellow, 100% (K) Black
Cool black:  30% (C) Cyan, 100% (K) Black

For fonts and body text we recommend simple colours and to avoid the use of 4 colour blacks and greys. In most cases 4 colour blacks will convert to 100% (K) Black automatically.

Always embed or outline your fonts. Embedding or outlining fonts ensures they will look exactly as intended.

Resolution (dpi):
The minimum resolution of all images should be set at 300dpi at 100%. Images at resolution greater than 600dpi will not necessarily improve final print quality and should be avoided to keep final file sizes manageable.

For best results and to minimise banding create gradients in Adobe Photoshop and apply noise to the channels that hold colour (1% Gaussian blur is usually sufficient). Then save as .eps and place into your working file.

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