Dot your I’s and Cross your T’s!
Once everything is ticked off on the checklist you can upload your artwork and we can proceed with your order.
This guide will assist you in creating your print-ready artwork.
Don’t forget about our free artwork templates available for download.
Have fun creating your artwork!
The SwiftPrint Team
- Is your document laid out in CMYK?
- If you have ordered one colour printing (black & white), is your artwork provided as greyscale?
- Is the file laid out in open end size, with the additional 3 mm bleed allowance?
- Is the content, that should not be cut off, placed far enough from the edge?
- Are the lines thick enough, minimum of 0.75pt? Are there any hidden or thin lines in the artwork that could become visible through automatic scaling?
- Have you checked spelling and legibility (font size, contrast)?
- Have auxiliary layers and lines been deleted?
- Are the fonts embedded, expanded or converted into shapes?
- Is the image resolution suffient (at least 250 dpi or 1 200 dpi for line art)?
- Have you saved your artwork out in the correct file format? PDF (PDF/X1a or PDF/X3), JPG, TIFF or EPS.
- Does the side number of the document match the side number given in the order? (Ensure that all superfluous sides have been deleted and all sides are clearly marked.)
All artworks require 3mm of bleed. Bleed refers to the area around your product that all background images and any content that should reach the edge of the page should extend to. This is to avoid unwanted white gaps which may occur during the cropping of the artwork.
We also require a 10mm margin from the edge of the page, that all content that should not get cut off should be positioned. Always lay out your documents in the open end size, including the all-around 3mm bleed. The area between the trim line and the bleed line will not be visible in your finished printed product.
Use our free artwork templates to assist you in the creation of your artwork which are available for download off of our website.
OPEN END SIZE – When you completely open your product, you see what is considered as open end size.
FINISHED SIZE – The finished size is the size of the product that you would see after processing, such as folding, and the product is in hand. It is also the size that you would choose during the ordering process.
Multiple Side Products
When creating multiple sided products, such as folded leaflets, make sure that you create the layout in the open end size (don’t forget the bleed). If you are unsure of which side should go where on the page, we recommend downloading the free artwork template for your product which is available on our website. When saving out your PDF file it is preferred that you transfer them into a multi page PDF, which
will make things easier in the artwork upload process.
* When creating PDF files, there are several presettings to select from. We recommend taking note of the information supplied in this guide regarding the saving of artwork
Pixelation is never pretty! We recommend using at least 250dpi for greyscale and colour images or graphics (in the original size) to ensure an optimal print result.
Line art (e.g. actual lines or symbols or text with small point size) should be laid out with a resolution of 1200dpi to avoid a ‘saw tooth’ effect. This effect occurs because line art in comparison to other images with fluid transitions, shows high contrast and hard colour edges. The higher the resolution, the greater the amount of data. To reduce the amount of data we recommend that you crop your images down to the size or area that you would like to use.
* Remember to always lay out your graphics with the right size and resolution for the best results. Scaling up or increasing the resolution at a later stage may result in poorer image quality.
Colour Mode & Layout
Artwork for print must be in CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key, which is black), not RGB (Red, Green and Blue). We do not accept spot colours and will automatically convert any artworks containing spot colours to their CMYK equivalent.
* Please note that any artworks that are submitted to us in RGB will be converted automatically to the CMYK equivalent. It is however recommended that you ensure that your artwork is submitted in the correct format.
* The simplest explanation of the difference between RGB and CMYK is that one describes how colors are displayed on a computer screen (RGB), and the other describes how colors are represented on inked paper (CMYK).
All content, type and images etc. should not be placed too close to the edge of the page as they may be cut off. We require a 3mm margin on all artworks. See page 3 “Bleed Difference”.
We do not recommend using fonts smaller than 5pt, customers will be notified via email if the artwork check finds they have supplied an artwork with small fonts.
The general reading font size for print is 10pt, with 8pt being used as body copy size in magazines. Keep in mind that the larger your product, the larger the optimal font size will be. For example 6pt is a reasonable font size on a business card but would be essentially unreadable on a poster or larger format flyer. Fonts must be embedded, expanded or converted into shapes to avoid problems with size and typefaces used. These problems may occur if the printer does not have the font you used available.
* There are standard fonts that can be found on most computers. There are also fonts that are used for a particular programme or that you have downloaded that are not installed on every computer. Therefore they cannot be displayed and will automatically be converted to a standard font. To avoid this all fonts must be embedded, expanded or converted into shapes.
Orthography & Composition
We do not control your document in terms of content and artwork, and can only assume the artwork supplied is correct. Therefore in multi-side documents, or documents with folds, please make sure that the alignment and sequence of the sides are clearly recognizable.
This is especially important for layouts where the front and back, or A and B sides are to be printed. Please create the back side analogue to the front side (see figure on the left).
* Please don’t forget that we offer free artwork templates available for download from our website. Our templates are layed out and ready for you to create your artwork in and are available in various formats.
It’s too fine, if it’s hairline. We do not recommend using hairlines as they are too thin to be printed properly. All lines should be at least 0.25mm or 0.75pt thick.
We do not recommend using frames that act as a border for your whole artwork (end size). These may be cut off or not appear equal on each sideof the artwork due to the customary cutting allowance on all artworks.
* Lines that are of insufficient thickness shall automatically be thickened by our artwork checking programme. Please ensure that no lines of 0pt are hiding in your document as they may visible in the final product as a result of automatic thickening.
Saving Print-Ready Files
Please only use PDF or JPG formats to save your print data. Ensure that you have not used any special or space charachters in the document’s name.
Files in PDF format are both for you and us the most secure way to produce a high-quality printed product, because this format has been especially developed for the exchange of data between two professional prepress organizations.
When creating a PDF file directly from the layout programme, please use the PDF/XStandard (PDF/X3-Standard or PDF/X1a-Standard). We recommend picking the additional setting “compatibility 1.3” when saving your artwork files. Like that you can prevent problems with layers or transparencies that may arise during further work on your files in our work flow. This especially pertains to programmes that do not support PDF/X- Standards for PDF creation.
In menu item “file“ you can save or export the file for saving JPG or PDF files. Depending on the programme further windows will open with which colour mode, quality and resolution can be set (colour mode: CMYK, resolution: 250 dpi, quality: maximum). Please save multi-side documents in one PDF or name each side with its corresponding side number (e.g. Leaflet_ Side_1).
Standard Artwork Check
Our standard artwork check is complementary with every artwork to ensure that it is printready.
In the artwork check we will look at the following:
- Is the artwork saved in the correct format (PDF or JPG)?
- Do the number of sides supplied correspond with the product ordered?
- Is the document the correct size (has bleed and margins been provided)?
- Automatic conversion into CMYK for full colour prints and Greyscale for one colour (black & white) prints.
- Have all fonts been embedded, expanded or converted into shapes?
Our customer service will contact you immediately by email if your artwork present any of the problems mentioned above.
Our customer service will contact you should be a larger scaling be necessary. Furthermore, we will not check if the side sequence of your artwork is correct.
Please note that conversions of size and colour mode will be processed automatically with a scaling of 3.5mm.
Our customer service will contact you should a larger scaling be necessary. Furthermore, we will not check if the side sequence of your artwork is correct.
* We will scale your artwork automatically to the correct size (without bleed) if the provided size is incorrect (only if possible). Please note that adjustments to the size, especially when scaling up the artwork (with a maximum of 5mm) can cause a decrease in the resolution and furthermore no bleed will be added.
* Please note that the automatic conversion of RGB or Spot Colours into CMYK colour modes may cause colour di erences.