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Artwork Tips

Artwork Tips


Have you ever had an artwork question and either didn't know where to find the answer or were a little embarrassed to ask? If so, you've come to the right place.

As the name of this page suggests, this is a compilation of information, answers and tips for common artwork questions and queries.

Accepted File Formats

Artwork Sizes;

Bleed

Image Resolution

RGB, CMYK and PMS Spot Colours

Explanation of blacks

Fonts and line thickness

Saddle stitching

Perfect Binding

Wire Binding

Folding Information

Invoice / Quote Carbonless Book & Pads

Envelope Sizes and Printing

Plastic Loyalty Cards

Presentation Folders


Accepted File Formats


What type of files do you accept?

We always prefer press ready PDF files, however we do accept other file types as long as the artwork is correctly prepared for commercial printing. We accept the following file types:

  • Illustrator files (.ai)
  • Photoshop files (.psd)
  • InDesign files with all links and fonts embedded (.idml)
  • EPS files
  • Word Documents (.doc, .docx)
  • Publisher files (.pub)
  • Image file formats (.bmp, .tiff, .jpeg, .png, etc...)

What file sizes do you accept?

The maximum file size that we accept is 500 megabytes. However, it is quite rare to receive such large files as most correctly prepared artwork is much smaller than this.

Do you have guideline templates?

Yes we certainly do. Please click here to view our extensive range of guideline templates. When using the templates please ensure you read the read me file first.

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Artwork Sizes


What artwork sizes do you offer?

Please find a list of the size specifications we offer (in millimeters) below:


Items: Finished Size (mm) With 3mm External Bleed
     
A6 105x148 111x154
DL 99x210 105X216 (5mm bleed 109X220)
A5 148.5x210 154.5x216 (5mm bleed 158.5x220)
A4 210x297 216x303 (5mm bleed 220x307)
A3 297x420 303x426
A2 420x594 426x600
A1 595x840 601x846
A0 595x840 601x846
     
Bus Cards Square Corners 55x90 61x96
Bus Cards Round Corners 54x85 60x91
     
4pp DL Folded 198x210 216x204
6pp A4 Folded 297x630 303x636
     
Small Bookmarks 50x200 56x206
Large Bookmarks 55x250 61x256
     
Small Stickers 86x54 92x60
Small Stickers 90x55 96x61
Small Stickers 74x105 80x111
Small Stickers 89x113 95x119
Small Stickers 89x230 95x236
Medium Stickers 105x148 111x154
Medium Stickers 113x183 119x189
Medium Stickers 99x210 105x216
Large Stickers 148x210 154x216
Large Stickers 210x297 216x303
       
Small Stik-It Posting Notes 72x47 78x53
Small Stik-It Posting Notes 72x72 78x78
Medium Stik-It Posting Notes 72x97 78x103
Medium Stik-It Posting Notes 72x125 78x131
Large Stik-It Posting Notes 148x97 154x103
       
Mini Fridge Magnets 47x47 53x53
Medium Fridge Magnets 53x86 59x92
Medium Fridge Magnets 53x175 59x181
Medium Fridge Magnets 86x108 92x114
Medium Fridge Magnets 105x148 111x154
Large Fridge Magnets 86x164 92x170
Large Fridge Magnets 99x210 105x216
Large Fridge Magnets 108x175 114x181
Large Fridge Magnets 175x219 181x225
Large Fridge Magnets 198x210 204x216
       
Small Mouse Mats 205x145 211x151
Medium Mouse Mats 225x150 231x156
Large Mouse Mats 235x190 241x196
     
DL Envelopes 110x220 Bleed not possible
DLX Envelopes 120x235 Bleed not possible
C5 Envelopes 162x229 Bleed not possible
C4 Envelopes 229x324 Bleed not possible
B4 Envelopes 250x353 Bleed not possible
     
A4 Carbonless Books (Tear off size)    
    Portrait Bound at the LHS 204x310  Bleed not possible
    Portrait Bound at the Head 215x299 Bleed not possible
     
A4 Carbonless Pads 210x297 Bleed not possible
     
A5 Carbonless Books (Tear off size)    
    Portrait Bound at the LHS 137x215  Bleed not possible
    Portrait Bound at the Head 150x204 Bleed not possible
     
A5 Carbonless Pads 148x210 Bleed not possible
     
DL Carbonless Books (Tear off size) 204x99 Bleed not possible
DL Carbonless Pads 210x99 Bleed not possible
     
A6 Carbonless Books (Tear off size)    
    Portrait Bound at the LHS 87x155  Bleed not possible
    Portrait Bound at the Head 137x105 Bleed not possible
     
A6 Carbonless Pads 105x148 Bleed not possible
     

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Bleed


Do I need to include bleed with my artwork?

For borderless printing files must have a minimum of 3mm internal and external bleed. For magazines, booklets, plastic loyalty cards and presentation folders, 5mm internal and external bleed is required.

Please click here to download our guideline templates (please ensure you read the instructions file first.) For comprehensive instructions on how to create correct bleed using our templates, please view our helpful video tutorials by clicking here.

How much internal bleed do you require?

We require 3mm of internal as well as external bleed on all files (5mm on all magazines/booklets, plastic loyalty cards and presentation folders).

This means all text/important graphics must be kept a minimum of 3mm (5mm) from the trim edge of your artwork.

How much external bleed do you require?

We require 3mm of external bleed on all files (magazines/booklets, plastic loyalty cards and presentation folders).

External bleed is the area extending past the trim line, it allows for a small amount of movement that may occur when your order is being cut to size.

For further information, please refer to the following diagram with correct 3mm of internal and external bleed (please click to enlarge).


Diagram explaining how to correctly  setup bleed

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Image Resolution


A common printing mistake is to set image resolution too low or too high.

An image with a resolution that is too low will result in inferior image quality, a resolution that is too high will increase overall file size without actually increasing the print quality.  

We advise all images in your artwork are always set to 300dpi when placed at 100% scale. 

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RGB, CMYK and PMS Spot Colours


What is the difference between RGB and CMYK?

RGB (stands for Red, Green, and Blue) is the colour the language of computer monitors, domestic scanners and domestic printers. CMYK (Stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) is the colour language of commercial printing equipment and presses.

Cyan, Magenta and Yellow are “subtractive colours” - Combine cyan, magenta and yellow on paper, and you get what perceives to be black. In practice, printing inks contain impurities that prevent them from absorbing light perfectly. They do a pretty good job with light colours, but when you add them all together, they produce a murky brown rather than black. In order to get strong rich dark colours, black (K) ink is added in increasing proportions, as the colour gets darker and darker thus commercial printing is done in CMYK.

We only print in CMYK and only prefer artwork supplied in CMYK. If you upload files that are not CMYK (e.g. RGB or spot / pantone colours) they will be converted to CMYK by our automated pre-press processes.  This conversion can slightly change colours as they may appear different from what is seen on screen.  CMYK Colour Online will not accept responsibility for the outcome of such files.

Diagram showing the difference between RGB and CMYK colours

What is PMS?

PMS stands for Pantone Matching System. PMS colours are standardized colours listed in the Pantone Colour Matching System. Each Pantone colour has a specific code which different printers and manufacturers can refer to in order to ensure colour consistency.  Please note, we only offer printing using PMS colours for our envelopes and carbonless books.

What is the maximum ink coverage I can use in my artwork?

The maximum ink coverage is 300% for coated stocks and 260% for uncoated stocks. If you add up the cyan, magenta, yellow and black percentages, the total sum should be less than 300% (or 260%)

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Explanation of blacks


What type of black do you recommend I use in my artwork?

We recommend all fine black text/lines are set to: C=0%, M=0%, Y=0%, K=100%. All such text/lines should also be set to overprint.

Diagram showing how to set one hundred percent black

For a full rich black we recommend you use the combination of: C=40%, M=0%, Y=0%, K=100%. Rich black should only be used for areas 30mm square or larger, excluding text. These areas should not be set to overprint.

Diagram showing how to setup rich blacks

Photoshop Default Black

Please do not use Photoshop Default Black in your artwork (C=75%, M=68%, Y=67%, K=90%).  It is fine for web sites/screen presentations; however it is not appropriate for commercial printing.

Diagram showing Photoshop Black

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Fonts and line thickness


What is the minimum line thickness I should use in my artwork?

All lines in your artwork should be at least 0.3pt and all text should be at least 8pt using a non narrow, non ultra light and non thin font.

What thickness should my borders be?

Please ensure all borders are a minimum of 5mm wide. Due to automated cutting systems there can be a +/- 2mm trimming variance, if borders are too narrow this can result in uneven borders after trimming.

How should the fonts in my artwork be set up?

Please ensure all fonts in your artwork are outlined (converted to curves). If this is not possible please ensure all fonts are fully embedded in your artwork. 

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Saddle stitching


Photo showing a saddle stitched book

Saddle stitching is a form of binding in which all pages are bound in the center of the booklet from the outside in using wire staples. Saddle stitching is ideally suited to booklets or magazines in the 8 to 48 page range.

When ordering saddle stitched magazines/booklets, it is very important that your artwork is setup correctly. To assist in preparing your artwork correctly, please view our detailed explanations, information and images by clicking here. For guideline templates please click here. Before using our templates, please ensure you always read the “read me” file first.

At CMYK Colour Online we offer an extensive range of saddle stitched magazines/booklets. To view our range, please click here.

We print magazines/booklets in A4, A5 and DL sizes in both landscape and portrait orientation.  We also offer a large range of self cover and hard cover options. 

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Perfect Binding


Photo showing a perfect bound book


Perfect binding is a form of booklet making in which all pages are glued along the spine using special adhesive. All of our books are created using super strong PUR adhesive.   PUR adhesive offers a distinct performance advantage in comparison to regular glues.  Perfect binding is ideally suited to large books (from 48 pages to over 300 pages).

When supplying artwork for perfect bound books it is very important that the artwork is created correctly.  To assist you in doing this we have created thorough instructions, helpful information and diagrams. See links below:

How to supply artwork for perfect bound books

What is PUR adhesive?

We strongly recommend that all customers read and view our artwork instructions before supplying artwork for perfect bound books. If you are not experienced in preparing this type of artwork for commercial printing, we recommend that you consult with a graphic designer.

We print perfect bound books in A4 and A5 sizes.  These sizes are available in a combination of different hard cover and text pages options.  To view our range, please click here.    

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Wire Binding


Wire Binding Page Header

Wire Binding is a form of binding in which all pages are punched and bound using wire coils.  At CMYK Colour Online we offer an extensive range of wire bound books printed in full colour and black and white.

When ordering wire bound books, it is important to ensure that your artwork is setup correctly.  To assist you in doing this, please use the links below to navigate to our wire binding / artwork resources:

Colour or Black and White

Cover Types & Finishes

Tab Printing

Helpful Artwork Information

Wire Colour

Book Specifications and Sizes

We print wire bound books in A4 and A5 sizes.  These sizes are available printed in both full colour and black and white with a combination of different cover options.  To view our range, please click here.  

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Folding Information


At CMYK Colour Online we offer a variety folding options. Prices and delivery estimates can be found by clicking here.

When creating artwork for folded brochures, it is very important to set the panel orientations and panel widths correctly. To assist you in this, we have created detailed explanations, diagrams and templates for all of our folded brochures.  These can be found by following he links provided below:


A5 Cards Scored in half (4pp A6)

Diagram of A5 Cards Scored in half

Double DL Brochures Folded to DL

Diagram of Double DL Brochures Folded to DL

296 x 148mm Cards Scored in half (4pp 148mm Square)

Diagram of 296 x 148mm Cards Scored in half

A4 Brochures Roll Folded to DL

Diagram of A4 Brochures Roll Folded to DL

A4 Brochures Z-Folded to DL

Diagram of A4 Brochures Z-Folded to DL

A4 Brochures Folded in half to A5

Diagram of A4 Brochures Folded in half to A5

393 x 210mm (8pp DL) Roll Folded Brochures

Diagram of 393 x 210mm (8pp DL) Roll Folded Brochures

396 x 210mm (8pp DL) Z-Folded Brochures

Diagram of 396 x 210mm (8pp DL) Z-Folded Brochures

A3 Brochures Folded in half to A4

Diagram of A3 Brochures Folded in half to A4

A3 Folded Brochures (4pp A4), crash folded (roll fold) to DL

Diagram of A3 Folded Brochures, crash folded to DL

630 x 297mm Brochures Roll Folded to A4

Diagram of 630 x 297mm Brochures Roll Folded to A4

630 x 297mm Brochures Z-Folded to A4

Diagram of 630 x 297mm Brochures Z-Folded to A4

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Invoice / Quote Carbonless Books & Pads


Image of Carbonless Books and Pads

At CMYK Colour Online we provide extensive options for carbonless (NCR) printing.  We print carbonless books and pads in duplicate, triplicate and quadruplicate.  Prices and delivery estimates can be found by clicking here and navigating to the items you require.

When ordering carbonless books or pads, it is important that all artwork has been set correctly.  To assist in preparing your artwork correctly, please click here to view detailed explanations, information and images for carbonless printing. 

For guideline templates please click here. Before using our templates, please ensure you always read the “read me” file first.

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Envelope Sizes and Printing

Illustration displaying DL envelopes

At CMYK Colour Online we provide extensive options for printing envelopes.  Envelopes are available in a variety of sizes and may be printed in one colour, two colours or full colour (CMYK). Prices and delivery estimates can be found by clicking here and navigating to the items you require.

When ordering envelopes it is important that all artwork has been set correctly.  To assist in preparing your artwork correctly, please click here to view detailed explanations, information and diagrams for envelope printing. 

For guideline templates please click here. Before using our templates, please ensure you always read the “read me” file first.

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Plastic Loyalty Cards

Photo showing loyalty cards

Plastic Loyalty Cards are a great way to encourage repeat customers to your business!  Our plastic loyalty cards are printed on 0.75mm high quality PVC plastic with rounded corners.  Cards are printed double sided and can include any of the following additional features:

  • Magnetic strip (without encoding) Lo-Co
  • Signature Panel
  • Scratch Panel
  • Embossed Numbers
  • Barcodes

When ordering plastic loyalty cards it is important that all artwork has been set correctly.  To assist in preparing your artwork correctly, please click here to view detailed explanations, information and diagrams.

For guideline templates please click here. Before using our templates, please ensure you always read the “read me” file first.

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Presentation Folders

Illustration of a presentation folder

At CMYK Colour Online we offer a wide variety of presentation folders.  Prices and delivery estimates can be found by clicking here and navigating to the items you require.

  • All presentation folders are interlocking (not glued) and are supplied unassembled (flat)
  • All folders contain landscape business card slits which can hold one business card
  • Presentation folders can be printed single sided or double sided on 310gsm or 400gsm artboard
  • Folders can be ordered with our without laminate (gloss or matt)
  • Folders can contain one or two flaps, with or without a 4mm gusset

When ordering presentation folders, it is very important that the artwork is set correctly. Our guideline templates must be used to create ALL presentation folder artwork. Guideline templates can be found by clicking here and selecting the style/option you require.  Before using our templates, please make sure you read the “read me” file first.

To further assist in preparing your artwork, please click here to view detailed explanations, information and diagrams.

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We Accept: