All posts in “art”

Ready For Print

Top 5 ‘Must Do’s’ To Make Sure Your Artwork Is Ready For Print

Need to get something ready for print?

There are key elements the must be double checked and confirm.

No one wants mistakes and especially when these mistakes can lead to costly reprints.

If you’re not a graphic designer this may not be obvious. But fear not MPH is here to help here with our 5 top tips to help make sure your artwork are ready for print.

1. Min 3mm Bleed

This means that beyond the page of an A4 for example (210 x 297mm) you will need to add an additional 3mm bleed around all the trim edges (left, right, top and bottom – total area covered 216 x 303mm). This is the tolerance for the paper to move slightly when printing and being cropped to ensure you have no ugly white edges with no colour or image.


Sounds obvious, but I’m sure you’ve all seen spellers in printed documents. Always spell check everything before submitting using the ‘Check Spelling’ tool in the software you’re using at the very least. Ideally the document should be proof read by at least 2 or 3 team members and signed off for approval.

3. CYMK (Not RGB)

We deal a lot with artwork provided to us by teams across the globe to adjust for the UK market.  It never cesses to surprise me how many times RGB images slip through. The major issue with having RGB colour images rather the CMYK is when is comes to the printing. The image of course will still print, but what you will find is the image will lose the depth of the image, meaning blacks will look more grey than black and colours will appear washed out. This happens because images are printing using 4 colours Cyan, Magenta Yellow & Black, hence CMYK. If you provide an image to a printer in CMYK the image is broken down into 4 defined plates, first the Cyan is printed followed by the other individual colours. Combined, the 4 colours look exactly like the original digital image. When you send an RGB image the breakdown isn’t defined and many RGB colours cannot be matched in CMYK so you get a quite different look from the image you will see onscreen.

4. DPI 300

All images should be supplied at no lower than 300 dpi (dots per inch). This will ensure the images are printed in the best resolution for nice sharp images. If you supply images lower than this you may find you images looking soft and blurry.

5. Text and Spacing

As with the bleed there’s a tolerance for printers to print closer to the edge (page trim) or crop the image too much than desired. To avoid any important text being lost or getting uncomfortably close to a pages edge a good margin of white space needs to be left. This can vary depending on how much content there is on a page to the size and format of the workable area. I generally go by a minimum of 4mm (normally small disclaimer text), up to about 15 or 20mm for regular A4, A5 documents.


5 Great Photoshop Tips

Here are some great tips to enhance your designs, photos or graphic work and make using Photoshop quicker and easier


1. Adjusting colours using Levels

There are a number of methods to adjust the colour, contrast & brightness of images, but this is our most used to tool. Whether you’re in CMYK or RGB you can adjust, enhance or reduce the amount of one particular colour in an image.

Go to [Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Levels].

Additional tip: Make sure when you apply a Level you use this as a layer mask, which will allow you to turn on and off the adjustment layer and also mask areas that do not need adjusting. You can also tick the box that applies only to one layer rather than the entire set of layers.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 14.01.05


2. Sharpen blurryy images using Unsharpen Mask

It’s always a bit annoying when a client only has an image that’s too low resolution and shouldn’t really be used in a document especially print. Often these images look like blurring and will a soft lens you see in dodgy films (so I’ve been told!) Unsharpened Mask is a Filter that can assist in resolving the issue. It allows you to sharpen the lines, contrast, brightness and levels in one neat feature. When adjusting the image you can tick the ‘Preview’ option to see before and after to get the best results.

Go to [Filter – Sharpen – Unsharp Mask].


Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 14.04.10


3. Edit a layers using Masks

So many times, I see designers editing and deleting elements on layers without using Masks, which can cause issues later in design if you wish to bring back parts that have been deleted previously. When editing a layer always add a Mask to the layer by following these instructions. Alt-click on the Layer Mask icon ([o]), it will add a full mask that hides everything on the layer, but don’t panic. To bring it back simply fill the mask white or select the Paint Bush, Gradient etc. and pick the colour white to reveal the elements you want to show.

Photoshop mask


4. Picture editing using the Clone Tool

The Clone Tool is very powerful, you can clone any part of your image into a brush. Alt-click on a section you want to clone and then just paint in the area you wanted to clone too. This tools using the surround area of the brush to clone the area within. It’s perfect for removing unwanted blemishes on faces, logos etc.



5. Quick way to zoom in and out using Bird’s Eye View

Sometimes when zoomed in close you want to jump around to other parts of the design at the same magnification. To do this simply Hold H, click and drag on the image, it instantly zoom out to full screen then move the rectangle on screen to jump back to another area when you release the click.


Other Essential Photoshop shortcuts:
  • F Cycle through workspace backgrounds
  • X Change your foreground and background colours
  • D Reset foreground and background colours to black and white
  • Cmd (MAC) / Ctrl (PC) – Shift – Alt – E will merge a copy of all Layers
  • ] and [ Change your brush tip size
  • Cmd (MAC) / Ctrl (PC) – J Duplicate a layer or selection
  • Space Bar Hold Space and drag to navigate around the image
  • TAB ->| Hides or shows all panels and tools
  • Cmd (MAC) / Ctrl (PC)  – T  Transform a layer
  • Cmd (MAC) / Ctrl (PC) – E  Merge selected layer down,