How to prepare artwork for print

It is important that your artwork is set up correctly, so we have compiled this helpful guide

A helpful guide of things to remember when you prepare artwork for print bought to you by your local Bristol Printer.

Files can be supplied by the following means:


– Memory sticks/Flash drives

– email (file size limitations exist)

– WeTransfer, Hightail, Dropbox etc. (file transfer links)

We can set up your own folder on our FTP server, where once provided with a user name and password, files can be uploaded. This is a secure way for you to supply the artwork you have prepared for print.


Jobs can be supplied as:

-‘Open’ files (Indesign & Quark) with linked images/eps, plus the required fonts for that job.

– High resolution pdfs. These need to be in a ‘print-ready’ format to ensure they process through our workflow. We can provide a ‘job-options’ file that is used in Indesign or Quark that carries the Acrobat settings we use. This ensures the pdfs process through our workflow correctly. Email and we will send it through.


Basic requirements when you prepare artwork files for print whether ‘open’ files or pdfs:

– Document to be final finished trim size plus 3mm bleed all round.

– Pdfs should be in single page format and not spreads unless it is a folder with pocket or a folded down map style sheet which needs to be to its overall flat size when opened out.

Large areas of black solid to be specified using 40% cyan under 100% black. If job is going to be printed digitally, only 100% black is needed. For other large areas of colour a Total Ink Coverage of 300% is required (can go to 330% in certain circumstances).

– All trap settings to be left at standard setting as our workflow will trap colours as per our press characteristics. In Indesign switch off automatic black overprint feature in General Preferences.

– Any cutter guides, foil areas etc to be on a separate layer within the file and coloured as a spot colour. Cutter guides should be set to overprint. This allows is to turn the colour on and off within our workflow for proofing and printing purposes.

– Keep CMYK profiles to the Fogra 39 standard or Working CMYK settings.

– Do not leave any stray / unwanted colours in the open files or final pdfs. If any transparency effects have been used, especially with using spot colours, do not flatten transparency when making the pdf.

Linked files used in Indesign / Quark images should be CMYK @300dpi, bitmaps 1200dpi and logos ideally Illustrator eps/ai.

– Provide fonts used for the particular job and if using any quirky / non standard ones from the Creative Cloud Typekit convert to outlines within the Indesign file.

– If supplying ‘open’ files use the Package feature in Indesign or Collect for Output in Quark. This gathers all relevant images, eps’ and fonts into one neat folder. Simply zip compress and send as a single file.


If you have any questions about how to prepare artwork for print please call Lester in prepress on 0117 9728900 or email