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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.