If you have created your own artwork please read these notes carefully this may save you time, money and possible delays, this information applies whether you submit your artwork to us or any other online print service.

If your artwork comes from a designer then they will already have produced a print ready file and these notes will not apply to you.

What we include

Included in the price of your order is the cost of initial conversion (if required) and layout costs, also the price of the first proof if requested. The conversion cost is when we convert your order from a different format other than PDF into a print ready PDF file, for files already converted to PDF we also include the pre-flight cost which checks your file for major defects such as missing fonts and low resolution graphics.

If your file fails pre-flight we will contact you and ask you to correct the defect, or if the defect is not too serious we may continue to the proof stage if you do not have the facility to correct the problem and we have agreed this with you first, this happens mostly with low resolution images and graphics submitted by third parties as in magazine adverts etc.

Unless you are absolutely sure your file is print ready you should choose at least the soft proof option when placing an order, if we notice a defect or what we think might be a defect we will also send a soft proof for approval before proceeding to print.

Avoiding delays with your order

We can only print with print ready files and if a file is not print ready it cannot enter the print schedule until it is print ready, if you are using an express service it is especially necessary to supply print ready files because this may mean the difference in receiving your order on time or not.

PDF Print Ready (file requirements)

1.       All fonts should be embedded fully or as subset fonts, if fonts are not embedded they should be converted to Paths, Curves, Vectors or lines, whatever name you use, anything but fonts.

2.       All graphics, logo’s adverts etc. in colour or black and white should be at 300dpi or above, as a rule of thumb the higher the better up to 1200dpi

3.       If you have RGB or spot colours in your work then please leave them as they are in the file, it is unnecessary to convert them to CMYK this is better done by us at the pre-press stage.

4.       Any transparencies, layers and overlays should be flattened before submission.

5.       If you have converted your PDF into raster format then these should at least be 600dpi or higher up to 1200dpi.

If you do not know what the above requirements mean then you should allow extra time for your order to avoid disappointment.

How to supply your pages

If your order consists of multiple pages such as a magazine or a book then the correct way to supply pages is in single pages in a multipage file for magazines and the inside pages of books, if you are supplying a book cover you can send this as a spread or in three parts back cover, spine and front cover. In all cases pages should be in consecutive (1,2,3,4...) order whether numbered or not.

Things not to do

1.       Do not send every page of a magazine or book in single files, especially not using our email system as a means to do so.

2.       Do not create spreads or place more than one page on a sheet, if you have centre spreads or maps, graphics which are to bridge two pages then please discuss this with us first before submission.

3.       Do not impose any artwork on a page a single copy is all that is required

If for any reason you cannot comply with the above then please discuss this with us first, we will try to guide you through the process or we can accept the order but an extra charge may be applied which will depend on the extra work involved, however a single double spread or similar issue will not usually be charged for. Our general policy is not to charge extra unless your order will cause an inordinate amount of work and even then we try to keep the cost to a bare minimum.

Printing to the edge or leaving a white border

If your pages have white borders then this is the easy way to print your magazines and books, all you need to do is leave a 6mm white border on each page for magazines and leaflets, however if you are printing books it is best to keep text at least 15mm to 20mm from the edge of the pages.

Printing to the edge of the page requires much more than a 6mm border, you have two things to consider; bleed and safety margin.

Essentially bleed extends beyond the visible area of the page by an industry standard 3mm, the size of the page does not matter A7 to A3 it’s all the same, the bleed has to extend beyond the cut sheet size by 3mm. So let us consider an A4 sheet with bleed for an example, the standard A4 sheet is 297 x 210 but to allow for bleed we print on larger sheets and then cut them down to A4 size. So you could supply your A4 size pages with bleed on A3 size sheets, as long as the images or background extends beyond the A4 cut size by 3mm it makes no difference what size the sheet is. However it is important to realise that your images will be trimmed off at the size of the A4 finished size and your images must extend to 3mm or above to allow us to make the trim without leaving any white edges.

Safety margin can almost be described as the opposite of bleed, instead of exceeding the trimmed edge by 3mm this margin is based on 5mm inside the edge of the page, this margin is for the protection of your text and any other elements you don’t wish to be trimmed, this border should enclose all text and any headers and footers so that when your document is trimmed to A4 then nothing is closer to the edge than this 5mm border.

Digital covers

When specifying the weight of covers for Stitch, Fold and Trim Booklets or Perfect Bound Books, if your cover weight exceeds 200gsm and your image runs through a folded or creased section it will be liable to cracking. To combat image cracking on materials in excess of 200gsm we advise lamination of the material, if you are unsure then please ask one of our pre-sales staff for advice or obtain a hard copy proof before placing your main print order.

Avoiding extra charges when placing print orders.

Your files should be submitted to us ‘Print Ready’ which means they have been checked for any authors spelling or punctuation errors before submission, the best way to do this is to have several people read through the entire document and correct any errors found before submission.

By the time we reach the proofing stage we have already spent considerable time and effort converting your file into a printable PDF document, the proof is a final check to make sure we have built your file correctly and that the layout is as you intended and nothing has changed during the build process. If anything has gone wrong at our end during this building process we will correct it and send a new proof free of charge.

However if you wait until the proofing stage to correct spelling or punctuation errors then a charge will be made as follows.

1.       Replacing a single page in your document £1.00 subject to a minimum charge of £10.00

2.       Replacing your whole document £25.00

Why do we charge a fee? Changing a file or replacing a page is not as simple as it sounds. We have to pre-flight and rebuild the new pages, then rebuild the printable document, build a new digital proof, eradicate all the backup files from the web server, print server and off-site storage facility and then we have to create and store the new backups etc.

It’s a great deal of work just to replace a few pages.