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There are several things you need to bear in mind when creating artwork. So we've put together some tips that will help you produce the perfect artwork file. We explain the aspects of colour, size, format, line thickness, margins and the right resolution for your image files. Now there's nothing stopping you from producing perfect artwork files!
Document colours
  • Prepare your files using CMYK as the colour mode, not RGB.
  • Avoid using 4c for black text; instead, set the font colour to 100% K.
  • When using special colours (Pantone or HKS), enter the desired values in the colour channel.
  • Instructions for special colours: To avoid mottled or patchy colours, areas with another process colour (CMYK) overlaying a special colour should be created using knockout rather than overprinting. Likewise, special colours over a CMYK colour should be knocked out.
  • If you order a greyscale item, the file needs to be created in greyscale.
  • We recommend creating grey areas in shades of black to ensure a perfect print result.
Files in original size
  • Create your files in their final trim size.
  • If possible your files will be automatically scaled to fit the order format (without bleed). Please note that scaling a smaller format to a larger one can lead to a decrease in resolution quality. For example, scaling an A6 flyer to an A4 flyer can affect the quality of your final product. The lack of bleed on the outer edges can likewise lead to white edges around your product.
The right trim allowances/bleed
  • To allow leeway for cutting differences in production, always add trim allowance to the size ordered:
  • Standard trim allowance: 2 mm
  • Envelopes: 1 mm
  • Ad technology products, packaging, presentation folders, clap banners and monthly calendars: 3 mm
  • Textile stretcher frames: 15 mm.
  • Do not use borders to frame the whole page. They can be partialy cut, due to the machanical cutting tolerance and can effect the appearance of the final product.
Safety margin
  • Keep all contents at least 3 mm away from the edge of the finished size.
  • Contents in spiral bound calendars or brochures should be kept at least 20 mm away from the binding edge.
  • Make sure colours, background pictures and layouts extend into the bleed area so as to avoid leaving white lines as a result of cutting tolerances.
Page numbers
  • For products with multi-page documents, create the individual pages in sequential order, starting with page 1 (front page) through to the last page (back page).
  • Check that all superfluous pages have been deleted.
Images and graphic resolutions
  • Pictures, images and graphics: 250 dpi
  • Greyscales and colour images: 250 dpi
  • Line artwork (e.g. texts in a small font size and drawings): 1.200 dpi
  • Ad posters, advertising technology with text: 150 dpi
  • Advertising technology products: 72 dpi
Line weights
  • Lines should be at least 0.22 pt.
  • Lines that are too thin are automatically increased to a printable weight. (Exception: lines set to precisely 0 pt. We cannot guarantee that the weight of these lines will be automatically inreased.)
  • Do not use borders to frame the whole page. They can be partialy cut, due to the machanical cutting tolerance and can effect the appearance of the final product.
File formats
  • Always save your files in print-ready, uneditable file formats such as PDF (PDF/X1a or PDF 1.3), JPG, TIFF, EPS.
  • Do not use layers; reduce everything to the background layer.
Embedded fonts or paths
  • Convert fonts to paths or embed them in the document to avoid tracking and printing problems.
  • Make sure there is sufficient contrast between background and font colours.

Our checklist that can be ticked one by one

Download our checklist and follow the instructions step by step. So you can be confident you have not forgotten anything.

Download checklist

Would you like to know more precisely?

Our detailed artwork guide explains simply and clearly what has to be considered when creating a print-ready artwork file.


Download artwork guide

Download the right print template for your desired print product as well as the data sheet containing special product requirements.