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Printanet Artwork Preparation

Please use the client area to upload any artwork files.

If you'd like to talk to us about your specific printing requirements, or need some help or assistance, we'd love to hear from you. Why not Contact us today?

For advise on creating your PDF file, choose the following link Save as a PDF

These Artwork Guides are intended to help you with the positioning of your artwork according to the specification of each product. Please remember to remove the artwork guide from your artwork before submission.

Standard Size templates
Credit Card 85mm x 55mm     A4 210mm x 297mm   
Double Credit Card 110mm x 85mm     6 Page A4 630mm x 297mm   
Double Credit Card 170mm x 55mm     8 Page A4 840mm x 297mm   
A6 Postcard 148.5mm x 105mm     A3 420mm x 297mm   
1/3 A4 210mm x 99mm     A2 594mm x 420mm    
A5 210mm x148.5mm     A1 840mm x 594mm   

Folded Leaflets.
A4 to 1/3 A4 Roll Fold (Front)     6 Page A4 to A4 Roll fold (Front)   
A4 to 1/3 A4 Roll Fold (Reverse)      6 Page A4 to A4 Roll fold (Reverse)   
A4 to 1/3 A4 'Z' Fold     6 Page A4 to A4 'Z' fold   

Canvas prints.

210mm x 210mm     350mm x 350mm     500mm x 500mm

Printanet specialises in printing orders from Digital Artwork. Our Pre-Print Checking system incorporates a number of steps designed to ensure that the finished work not only meets but exceeds your expectations.

We like to think of our relationship as a partnership and as with any partnership a great outcome depends on partners working together.

Please review the guidance below before preparing your files. This will ensure that the artwork you produce exactly matches our requirements and will help to ensure trouble free production to the benefit of us both.

Sending your files
File Formats
File Pre-Print Check
Artwork central and backing up correctly
Bleed and 'Quiet Border'
Colour Matching
Photographs and Graphics

1. Sending Your Files

Before you send us your designs they must be saved in PDF format. There are different ways of creating PDFs, either from within the native programs or using a PDF Driver which is much like a Printer Driver. Whichever method you use it is important that the PDF settings are correct for Print. We have prepared a special section on PDF creation. The details of a very effective but low cost PDF creator are included. Please go to Preparing your PDF.

Files should be sent to us using the "client area" of our online ordering system. The ultra fast technology behind our upload means that very large files can be sent extremely quickly, although of course the speed is often dictated by the upload capacity of your internet connection. We highly recommend compressing your files before sending them to us as this not only makes the transfer faster but also more reliable.

Please note: We use PC computers to restore Zip files. Some Mac computer names cannot be restored to PC. In naming you Mac files prior to compressing please avoid the characters / : * ? " < > |

Please note: If you send files containing the characters above they will not be restored and this may affect progress or successful completion of your job.

Exceptionally, where ordering online is not possible, we can take ‘manual’ orders and work with ‘hard’ media – CDs, DVDs or USB Memory Sticks.

Please note: We are happy to accept your designs via ‘Hard Media’ such as a CD sent in the post or if they are less than 4Mb via Email. However, to cover the extra cost of administration orders not placed with artwork uploaded through our online ordering system are subject to an additional handling charge of £20.00 + VAT per order. Unfortunately we cannot return hard media.

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2. File   Formats  

We use the very latest Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format) Rip in our Pre-press department and our workflow is based on working with files sent to us as PDFs. All work should be presented to us in this format.

Your PDF should be prepared at press quality with artwork centered on pages. Please refer to Preparing your PDF for guidance.

Please ensure that you carefully check your PDF before sending it. Whilst software is usually reliable there is still a real possibility that something changes in the conversion from native file format to PDF. Since the PDF is now the only origination we have to work with all our processes are designed to ensure that the finished print matches the PDF supplied. We strongly recommend downloading the latest edition of Adobe Acrobat Reader from This is a completely free program designed to let you view PDF files. 

Our commitment is to ensure that our print matches the PDF provided. We cannot accept responsibility for a problem with finished printing if this matches the PDF.

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3. File Pre-Print Check

Our detailed Pre-print Checking is a highly regarded part of the Printanet service. Checking is prescribed on a minority of products and optional (but highly recommended) on the remainder.

When you opt for your file to be Pre-print Checked it will be reviewed by an experienced designer and checked by our proof readers.

We check for:
Artwork being central and backing up correctly
That there is sufficient Bleed and Quiet Border
That fonts are embedded.
That all elements of the job are CMYK (RGB and Pantone colours may not print as expected in Full Colour).
That the quality of photography and graphics is to print standard.
That there is colour matching and wherever possible that the colours specified will print as perceived on screen.

We also carry out a rigorous proof reading exercise which, whilst not guaranteed to pick up every error, has proved a ‘lifesaver’ many times in the past where embarrassing and costly mistakes have been spotted.

Where potential problems are highlighted we will (with your agreement) correct them if practical, often at no extra charge. Alternatively we will request a corrected file.

Please note: If you opt out of Pre-print checking your job will not be checked and will go through our automated pre-press system. It will not be seen by ‘human eyes’ before it is on press by which time it will either be too late, or very expensive, to correct.

The cost of the Pre-print check is £3.95 + VAT (£9.00 + VAT for Books & Booklets)

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4. Artwork central and backing up correctly 

 It is important that artwork is positioned centrally on the layout. Our pre-press system works from the Centre of the page in aligning jobs for print.

At pre-press the correct size aperture for the job to be printed is filled with the image on the page running out from the page Centre. If a job is off centered then potentially only a portion of the job will appear in the aperture and be printed.

It is also important that jobs back up correctly with the orientation of each page being the same. We strongly recommend printing proofs from the PDF you have created to your own printer prior to submission.

If the sheet holding the reverse image must be rotated to back up correctly with the front then the file should be altered! Making a physical mock up will highlight potential errors which are not easy to see on screen.

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5. Bleed and 'Quiet Border'

Understanding the need for Bleed and a Quiet Border is vital if, as partners, we are going to achieve our joint aim of an excellent finished print job. We require Bleed to allow for the tolerance of our guillotines (the machine used for cutting your job after printing). Even with our state of the art equipment there is a margin of error with the operation.

If your image finishes exactly at the edge of your required finished size then these small deviations may produce unsightly white flashes at the edge of your print. By extending your background colour or image beyond the edge of your finished job the effects of the same deviations are not noticeable.

We recommend that elements intended to go to the very edge of your finished job should extend mm beyond the edge.

A Quiet Border is the distance you should allow from the edge of your finished page size for text, diagrams or images not going to bleed. The reason for the border is again the tolerance in cutting. If you have a design where the text runs to the very edge then any cutting deviation will result in some of your text being cut off!!

With a very small Quiet Border even the smallest cutting deviation could result in the finished job looking uneven. We recommend a Quiet Border where there is no text etc. of at least 5mm around the edges of your job.

Professional’ design programs, such as Indesign, Illustrator or Corel Draw allow elements to extend beyond the size of the page. This makes it very easy to bleed backgrounds and pictures beyond the trimmed edge.

With other programs bleeding beyond the boundaries of the page is not possible (Such as with Microsoft Word). However it is still possible to create a page with bleed using these programs! This is achieved by setting up pages which are 6mm bigger than the required sheet size in each dimension. (E.g. for a required finished size of A4 (210mm x 297mm) set up your page to be 216mm x 303mm. Next make your background image extend to the edge of this bigger sheet size. In effect this is then ‘bleeding’ 3mm beyond the edge of the required page on all sides. Ensure that any element which you do not wish to bleed is at least 8mm inside the extended page edges (3mm of bleed plus 5mm of quiet border). When the PDF is created it will be fully compliant with the bleed and quiet border requirements. See Preparing you PDF for details.

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6. Fonts

When creating your PDF it is important to specify that fonts used should be embedded. This is normally a tick box in the PDF export area of the program or an option in an external PDF creator. If fonts are not embedded this can lead to unwanted fonts substitutions and rejected print. Please see Preparing you PDF for details.

7. Colour Matching

Throughout your design the colours used must be CMYK colours. There are a large number of variables which can affect the colour produced during Full Colour Printing. Simply looking at the appearance of colours on a monitor, especially if no Monitor Calibration has been carried out is unlikely to accurately represent printed colour results.

In just the same way an un-calibrated desktop printer, such as a laser or inkjet may well produce very different colours to those produced on a professional printing press.

Rather than leaving colour matching to chance and ‘keeping your fingers crossed’ we strongly recommend that colours are chosen from our Hard Copy Colour Swatch Sheets. We have produced two Sheets (one printed on coated material and the other on uncoated) which each show over 1000 colours together with their CMYK values. The advantage of using these sheets is that they are exactly matched to our presses. When a colour is chosen from the swatch sheets and the CMYK values selected in your design you can be confident that the finished result will closely match your expectations.

Swatch sheets are available for £12.00 + VAT & Carriage for a set printed on Coated and Uncoated stocks. They are an invaluable and accurate way of ensuring predictable colour.

Please note: Where you have a particular colour issue, for example a requirement to match to a specific company colour or a previously printed job, this MUST be brought to our attention at the order stage. Simply specify the colour to be matched to or that the job has been previously printed in the ‘Special Instructions’ section during the online ordering process.

If you have a swatch of the colour required please send us a hard copy. We cannot be held responsible if your printed work does not match your requirements unless those requirements are brought to our attention before we print.

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8. Photographs and Graphics

Photographs should be scanned at the size required in your artwork at 400dpi and saved as CMYK images (the only exception to the CMYK rule is images for Hexachrome Printing which should be sent as RGB because we can then use the full colour gamut in the conversion process).

Please note: It is important that images are originated at this high quality. Re-sampling an image of a lower resolution (say 72dpi from the internet) to 400dpi does not improve its quality or make it suitable for high quality print.

Monitor calibration is a big consideration when scanning and colour balancing. If your monitor is not calibrated the image you see on screen may differ from the image on the final print.

Where designs are built up using a number of layers and transparencies it is important that these are ‘flattened’ before creating the PDF. Un-flattened transparencies are notorious for causing print problems. Flattening your work will ensure that the finished print is as expected without compromising the creative intent.

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