Xpressdocs Artwork Guidelines

Artwork Guidelines

Template Component Definitions

Bleed (Red Area)

  1. Bleed is a printing term that refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of the size before trimming. It is very difficult to print exactly to the edge of a sheet of paper/card so, to achieve this, it is necessary to print a slightly larger area than is needed and then trim to the required finished size.

Trim (Yellow Line)

  1. Trim is the final size of a printed piece after excess edges have been cut off. Crop marks indicating where to cut are printed at the edges of the paper that are then trimmed after printing. Please do not include crop or trim marks in your document, we will add them in for you when the document is printed.

Safe Zone (White Area)

  1. Due to minor variations in cutting and trimming tolerance, the safe zone describes an area inside of the trim line where you can be sure important text and graphics will not be trimmed off. Be sure you keep all essential text and images within this space as anything outside this area could be trimmed off.

Post Office Space (Black Area)

  1. Do not put any type of image or text in this space. This space is for Post Office use only.

Blue Triangle

  1. Denotes orientation information for each specific template

Tips to Follow While Preparing Your Design

  1. Be sure to include “bleed” in your design, filling this area with any background colors or images. Ensure all important parts of your design are kept within the safe area. Bleed is required. Even if your design does not bleed of the edge of the page, the bleed should still be present to insure expected output.
  1. Designs that include graphics and text should be submitted as Vector-Based Pdfs when possible. To keep your text in vector format, we recommend applications like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign and more recent versions of Adobe Photoshop. Please note, saving text in JPEG format could result in ‘fuzzy’ edges.
  1. When your design features a mix of photography and text, make sure your placed photographs are 300 dpi or greater, and if possible, that your final design is saved as a PDF.
  1. PDFs should be pre-flighted using the ‘Adobe PDF/X-1a’ preset. This option can be found in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe InDesign and more recent versions of Adobe Photoshop.

Steps to Prepare Software Files

InDesign

  1. The file should be properly packaged with all file images & fonts. InDesign can do this automatically in the “Package” feature under the “File” drop-down menu. Please be sure the Copy Fonts & Copy Linked Graphics option boxes are checked in the packaging process.
  2. Please provide a PDF version of the design for our visual comparison in the event a file or font in the InDesign file is damaged or missing.

Illustrator

  1. All images used in the design should be embedded & not linked into the design. If the images are linked, also provide a folder with those images.
  2. If the design uses non-standard fonts, please include.
  3. Provide a PDF version of the design for our visual comparison in the event a file or font in the Illustrator file is damaged or missing. This way we can ensure an accurate transfer into our system.

Photoshop

  1. If any element of the design is to be variable, please DO NOT flatten the image. Keep the document in a Photoshop layered format.
  2. If the design uses non-standard fonts, please include.
  3. Please provide a PDF version of the design.

Typography / Text / Line Art

Key points to remember when using text/line art in your designs:

  1. Make sure your text is at least 8pt – very small text may look nice on screen but does not print well.
  2. When using/designing lines in a solid or dark color, make sure they are no thinner than 0.5pt. If you’re using a lighter color, we recommend 1pt minimum.
  3. All fonts should be embedded or outlined.

Checklist

  • Image Size
    Files should be setup at the actual finish size plus bleed.
  • Trim Size
    The product dimensions after it has been printed and cut.
  • Bleed Size
    Bleed size is the amount of artwork that falls outside of the printing bounding box.
  • Safe Area
    The area inside of the trim line where you can be sure important text and graphics will not be trimmed off.
  • No Crop Marks
    Do not include crop, trim or printer’s marks.
  • Resolution
    300 DPI PDFs at full size.
  • Outline All Fonts
    Convert font types to outlines or embed them in the PDF.
  • Embed Images
    Embed all images in the file.
  • Flatten Transparencies
    Flatten all transparencies.
  • Convert Spot Colors
    Convert spot colors to process and remove overprints.
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