How to use artwork guidelines

Some technical knowledge is required to use the templates and to save your work in the best print format. If you are a savvy designer, have a solid understanding of the Adobe design suite, or other design applications, we’re here to get the job done with you.

Below you'll find useful tips:

Check list before you upload a file.

If you follow the check list below you will be well on your way to upload the best possible print file.

  1. Did you account for bleed?
    Fill the bleed area with background colour or an image. This will prevent an unexpected white line around the edges of the printed item.

  2. Have you kept all important logos and text inside the safe area?
    If it is too close to the edge, there is a risk it will be cut off when your item is printed.

  3. Is the resolution of your non-vector images/photographs 300 dpi?
    300 dpi gives you a sharp detailed image, anything below 300 dpi may give you blurry, bit-mapped image.

  4. Are all colours CMYK and there is no use of spot colours?
    Colours are made up of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black inks. If Pantone, spot, or RGB colours are used, please convert them to CMYK before you save your file.

  5. Is black text 100% black and there is no use of Rich Black text?
    Black text coloured with only 100% K, prints clean and sharp. Text made of Rich Black (a combination of CMYK) can print unclearly. This is especially true for thin small fonts.

  6. Have the fonts been converted to outlines?
    If possible, graphics and text should be vector-based. Adobe applications like InDesign and Illustrator have a feature to convert your text to outlines. It is best to avoid a JPEG format as it can result in blurry edges.

  7. Is your artwork on the “Your Design” layer and did you delete the “Artwork Guide” layer?
    Our templates for download are built in layers. There is a layer for “Your Design” and a combination of layers (Artwork Guide) with dimensions and tips for you to follow.

  8. Did you save your file as an ‘Adobe PDF/X-1a:2001’?
    You can find this option in Illustrator, InDesign, and recent versions of Photoshop. 



PDF Preset
Save a copy of your design file as PDFx1a 2001 for the best print accuracy.

Use CMYK colours only
Do not use spot colours, please convert your colours to CMYK.

Download our artwork guidelines
Create your designs on the “Your Design” layer and delete the “Artwork Guide” layer before you save a pdf copy. Any images saved on the “Artwork Guide” layer will not print!

Font sizes
All text must be no less than 7 pt.

Reverse Fonts 
Reverse fonts should be legible, avoid script fonts and thin serif fonts. There is a risk the type may be illegible for very thin, light weight fonts when printed. This may look good on screen but will not print well.

No Rich Black text
Use 100% K for black fonts and avoid Rich Black. This will give the fonts a clean crisp look. It is best to convert your fonts to outlines before saving the upload file.

Script font sizes
Script fonts must be no less than 8 pt.

No crop and/or printer marks
Upload artwork with no crop marks or printer marks.

0.1875" Margin/Safe Area
Keep all your text and logos inside this area so it doesn’t get cut off.

Line weight
All lines should be no less than 0.5pt.

Include a 0.125" bleed
Expand your background image in this area so you don’t get an unplanned white border.

All photos and non vector images (i.e., JPEGS) must be at least 300 dpi.