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design and print infoSupplying your own artwork to print

Should you wish to supply your own artwork to us, here is a selection of the most frequent questions we are asked, along with the answers. If you have any further questions regarding your digital files, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Q: Can we supply files in CMYK and RGB?

A: All files supplied must be based in the CMYK colour mode. RGB is not acceptable for litho printing, as this format was created to represent colours on screen only. Printed inks are different altogether.

In the case of some packages an RGB image may result in a black and white image being printed.

It is important that you work in CMYK from the outset when creating artwork and defining colours. If you create your artwork and then convert to CMYK at a later stage, then your colours (especially black) may be negatively affected.

Q: What resolution quality is required for good print quality?

A: Images need to have a resolution of between 300 and 350dpi. If artwork is generated at a lower resolution, then the quality of the final printed job will be affected.

Artwork must be generated at a resolution of 350dpi from the outset, as it cannot be magically enhanced at a later stage. Please note that it is not possible to use images from the internet for litho printing, as they have been optimized for computer screens in order to keep the file size down.

Q Are bleeds required on supplied artwork?

A: Yes. All artwork supplied to us for print must have at least 3mm bleed on all trimmed edges. If supplied artwork isn’t supplied with ‘bleeds’, then you may incur extra charges to modify your artwork.

Q: How should we supply artwork for jobs which require multiple pages?

A: Artwork for multi-page jobs, such as bookwork, leaflets etc need to be supplied at the finished size with the appropriate bleeds where necessary. Do not create A3 spreads if the finished job is A4, use A4 facing pages. If your job is saddle-stitched or thread-sewn, use “facing pages” in your page layout options, but if it is perfect-bound it is advisable to supply artwork in single pages with bleed on all sides. This allows for binding requirements. When supplying PDFs, it is important to ensure that each file is accurately labeled and numbered.

Q: What types of files should we provide to you?

A: When using images in certain software, such as QuarkXpress or Adobe Photoshop, we require the original image files to be provided along with the document file. Without these we will not be able to print your document. As a general rule, TIFF files should be used for all photographs while EPS files should be used for logos or drawings. JPEG is normally fine but if used keep the quality to maximum. High resolution print ready PDF files are also acceptable, see guidelines below. Please contact us if you are unsure about the compatibility of your own files.

Q: How do I create a print quality PDF file?

A: The pass4press brochure which can be downloaded here, contains best practice guidelines for creating industry-standard PDF files for printing.

Q: Do we get a colour proof before the job goes ahead?

A: Yes, we can certainly provide you with a colour proof before the job is printed, but this will not be 100% accurate. Certain colours have slightly different characteristics and it is impossible to guarantee accuracy in shades of colours. One option you have, is to examine the job while it’s actually on the presses. Please note that if any changes to files are required at this stage, there is likely to be additional charges.

Q: Which software is compatible with your own systems?

A: The following software is ideal: QuarkXpress, PageMaker, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and FreeHand.

We also can convert and use certain PC Formats, but please contact us before sending any PC or unusual file formats to us for print.

At The Max, we use the Agfa Apogee X PDF Workflow System. This means we can create PDF's, impose, colour manage, trap, proof and make digital films and plates from a single file.


Useful Resources

Delano Online Proofing - Quick Start Guide

Delano Online Proofing - Information Brochure

pass4press Brochure - Guide to supplying print ready artwork

Printing Industry Jargon Buster

Web Design & Internet Jargon Buster


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Chessingham Park Industrial Estate, Common Road, Dunnington, York YO19 5SE T:01904 487777 F: 01904 489702