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Prepress artwork

Before you print book, catalog, magazine, booklet with offset printing, you need to know the prepress artwork specific request. Here is the artwork request. 


Printing artwork software

We use PDF format artwork to print. The PDF format artworks are converted from different software artwork. We suggest you use InDesign software to design the artwork. AI format artwork is also okay for printing. It depends on the printing products. For the book, catalog and magazine with more text, using InDesign to do artwork is better. For instance, education book, cookbook, academic magazine, catalog with more production information and so on. The children book with all images, PhotoShop software is good. 

The other software, for instance, Word, PowerPoint etc, after converting the artwork to PDF format, some fonts or photos would be changed.

We are an offset printer, we request all photos and fonts should be embeded into the PDF format artwork. Otherwise, it can’t be used. 

We request a whole file for inner pages of a book. For less page count books or catalog, separate files are okay. But for more pages, uploading each page with different printing file name doesn’t work well. 

Bleed, margin and crop marks


The artwork should include a 3mm bleed on all four edges of the pages for binding and cutting. 3mm bleed will be cut after binding. So the bleed space should extend the background color and photo edge. Please don’t put any important part on bleed space. Especially the person’s face or body part. 

This image explains what’s the bleed space and how you extend 3mm bleed. 


According to our experience, we give the following margin suggestions. 

Perfect binding book margin:

The margin should be no narrower than 8mm if the book size is smaller than A4. For A4 size book or larger size book, the margin is no less than 12mm.

Wire-o and spiral bound book and the catalog with hole drilled margin:

The margin to the bound side should be no narrower than 12mm. The margin to the cutting side is at least 8mm. 

For catalogs with holes drilled, the margin to the drilled side should be 11mm plus the hole diameter.

Crop marks

Crop marks should remain at least 3mm away from the finished framework for binding purposes. Please remember, the crop marks can’t be on the inside of design. 

Printing file for cover

Cover printing file is a little different with interior printing file. Especially for the book or catalog with spine.

Saddle stitch book cover

The saddle stitch book cover printing file, the back cover and front cover should connect together. Or you upload front cover and back cover separately. We will connect for you.

Perfect binding book cover

The perfect binding book cover should plus spine thickness between back cover and front cover. Before you design the cover, please tell us the interior specification. We can calculate the spine thickness for you. Or you may check our paper sample manual to get your book spine thickness. Or you may ask us to provide a free cover template. You may follow our template to design your artwork. 

Hardcover book cover

Hardcover book cover is a little complex. Besides front cover, back cover and spine thickness, you need to add groove space and the space for wrapping board on top, bottom and cutting edge. The groove is 8mm space. The space for wrapping board on each side is 20mm. You design the space for wrapping board on each side is similar as bleed. The 20mm space for wrapping board is also a kind of bleed. 

If you a new for design the hardcover book cover, please contact us. Our designer will do a cover template for you. This service is free. 

Dust jacket cover

Dust jacket cover include back cover, spine, front cover and two flaps. Regular flap width is 90mm – 150mm. It depends on your book size and your design. 

We also can provide free dust jacket cover template for you. 

Presentation folder cover

Regular presentation folder is 9X12″ or 230 X 305mm. We have the regular presentation folder templates. It includes one pocket folder template and two pockets folder template. Please contact us to get. 

Color mode, resolution and embed fonts

Color mode

The first, for offset printing, we request the photo color mode is CMYK. If the photos are RGB, after converting to CMYK, the color will be changed a little. 

The second, if you don’t print the products with Pantone color, no need to do Pantone color in the printing file. If any, we will convert them to CMYK directly for printing.


The resolution of the artwork should be as close to 300dpi as possible and no less than 150dpi.

Embed fonts

For the words in the artwork, you should either convert them to outline or embed the fonts in the file. If you don’t embed fonts, you need to upload all original files and photos and fonts to us. In this case, the artwork is large. But it also does work. 

Printing file for back process 

The first, for cover surface and back process like foil stamping, embossing, debossing and spot UV, the corresponding parts on the page should be highlighted with a Pantone color in the artwork. At meanwhile, please mark the back process in the artwork. 
The second, special shape on the printing products, please doing the die-cutting artwork in the printing file. For example, paper bags and boxes, you need to include the cutting lines in the file and clarify the gluing sizes. If you don’t know how to do die-cutting artwork, please contact us. We can provide a free template for you. 

Design printing file tips

To produce high quality printing products, we give some printing file tips on design the artwork. 

1, In case of large-area black color in the background of the pages. Please design the black color with Cyan 40%, Magenta 40%, Yellow 0% and Black 100%.

2, For texts, black lines, monochromatic black color is required. That means they are 100% black. 

3, The black texts, black lines and color areas whose K value is 100%, overprinting is needed but white overprinting should not appear in your file. 

4, Avoid using four colors for narrow lines in the artwork. Try to use a single color instead.