Print Guide


We require bleed to allow for the tolerance of our guillotine (the machine used for cutting your job after printing).

  • If your document has colour or images placed up to the edge of the page, a 3mm bleed is required on all cut edges

Professional design programmes, such as Indesign, Illustrator or QuarkXpress allow elements to extend beyond the size of the page.

With other programmes such as with Microsoft Word you can create bleed by setting up pages 6mm bigger than the required sheet size. (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).


document with bleed


document without bleed

Crop Marks & Fold Lines

Crop marks are small indentations which indicate the size of your document. Crop marks allow us to trim your artwork down to size accurately.If you require folding, please indicate by inserting fold lines (use dotted lines).

  • Most professional design programs allow you to add crop marks with a simple tick box selection
  • Trim marks and fold lines are to be set outside the print area.
  • If you are unable to add crop marks as long as we have bleed we will add them.


document with good crop marks


document with bad crop marks

Quiet Border

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 may 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 of at least 5mm away from the edge of the document
  • Margins do not need to be visible. Most professional design programs allow you to add invisible lines to a document to help you control your layout


good print margins


bad print margins

CMYK colour, Spot colour

CMYK is a colour mode and stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. All digital and full colour lithographic printing uses these 4 colours to produce all print. Raw images straight from a camera or from the Internet are RGB (Red, Green and Blue). RGB colour mode is for images that are viewed online ONLY.

  • All images in your artwork must be set to CMYK. RGB images or RGB colours could print dull and flat
  • Please specify if the job is to be printed in CMYK with/or spot colour etc. All spot colours need to be clearly specified.


cmyk print image


rgb print image

Resolution, 300DPI

DPI stands for 'Dots Per Inch'. It is a measurement of image quality or resolution. Camera images or artwork created in Photoshop uses a number of dots (or pixels) to display artwork. A higher DPI equals a crisper and sharper image. To be crisp 'print images' are required to be 300DPI but 'online images' only need to be 72DPI.

  • All artwork intended for print has to be 300DPI. If your linking to images, these images must also be 300DPI
  • You cannot turn a 72DPI image into a 300DPI. The number of dots will increase but will be the same colour as the larger dots & resolution will be the same


300dpi images


72dpi image