Top tips for supplying perfect, print-ready artwork.

Published by Northside • 15th October 2018

If you’re unfamiliar with supplying artwork for print the process can seem like a minefield. Even experienced designers can overlook something small before they supply artwork for print and that small mistake can be costly. At Northside Graphics we know how easy it is to miss a tiny but important detail, especially when you’ve been looking at a job for days or even weeks. That’s why we’re here to help. Below we explain how to avoid the most commons artwork errors.


Always add bleed and crop marks

Crop or cut marks show where the printed page will be trimmed. If you have images or graphics going right to the edge of your page you need to add an additional 3mm to your artwork past the crop marks. There will often be tiny movements of paper on the press during the printing process and if your graphic stops at the cut line you may see a fine white line at the edge of the finished page. Adding 3mm bleed ensures this won’t be a problem.

Templates for your artwork
Forgetting to add bleed or safe areas for text are common mistakes when supplying artwork. On our website, we have supplied downloadable artwork templates. The templates are fully marked up with guides for bleed, safe areas, crop marks and any other details you might need. We have created this wide range of templates to help you set up your print ready artwork however, we’re always on the other end of a phone if you ever require further help or advice. You can check out the print templates for all our products here.


Check image mode and resolution

Any images used must be 300dpi at the size they appear in the finished job. Go below that resolution and they might appear pixelated or blurred even if they look fine on screen. Also, make sure they’re saved in CMYK mode. Raw camera image files and stock photography usually come in RGB colour mode. We’ll always convert them to CMYK before print but then some colours may appear differently to how they looked on your screen, so convert them before you supply your artwork. Then you can see them as they’ll appear in print and adjust the colour if necessary.


Always embed your fonts

When you save your artwork for print always ensure you’ve embedded and outlined all fonts. If you don’t they may not print exactly as you see them on your screen. Outlining and embedding fonts converts them to graphics meaning they’re guaranteed to appear the same in print as they do on screen.


Proof check – then check again

Word blindness is a common phenomenon when looking at a document for any period of time. Even if you read the text carefully the brain can easily overlook a typo or grammatical error. You really can’t proofread a job too much before you send to print and you’d be surprised how often a mistake you’ve missed on screen jumps out immediately on the printed version. Print out your job and check a hard copy rather than just read it on screen. It’s also wise to let someone else read it too. A fresh set of eyes can often pick up something you’ve missed.


Northside Graphics is Northern Ireland’s biggest and oldest digital printer. We’ve been in the industry for 30 years and our experience enables us to help our customers when it comes to supplying perfect artwork that’s ready for print. Our templates page is clearly marked on our website so you can easily find and download the template you need. There are artwork templates for everything in our extensive product range, making it easy for you to upload your artwork safe in the knowledge it’s fully ready for print. For advice or a quote for your print just call 029 9022 2111 and chat to our Belfast-based print team today.