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Prepress artwork

Before starting your printing procedure with the offset printing technique, you need to be familiarized with the specific requests that prepress artworks involves. Here we have listed some prepress artwork requests, which we have before starting to print books, magazines, catalogs, brochures etc. for you.

Printing artwork software

We make use of artworks in PDF formats to complete our printing process. Your artworks may be present in various software artwork formats, which we then convert into PDF artwork formats. Our recommendation is that you make use of the InDesign software to create your artworks. We can also make do with AI format artworks for printing your order. Your artwork format is highly dependent on the products, which you are printing. For books, catalogs and magazines, which usually have more text, using InDesign is the best choice, for creating your artwork. These may include educational books, cookbooks, academic magazines, catalogs with a lot of production information, etc. For printing products, which have a lot of images, using Photoshop is the best choice. Examples include children books, comic books, etc. You need to keep in mind that if you have used software like Word, PowerPoint, etc. to create your artworks, some images or fonts might be changed, once the file is converted into PDF for printing. Therefore, being an offset printing company, we suggest that all of your artworks are created and embedded in a PDF format. Otherwise, we would not be able to make use of the file, which you send us.

We also request a whole file for the inner pages of a book. For books or catalogs, which have less page count, sending separate files to us is okay. However, for products, which have larger word counts, uploading separate files with different printing file names will not be a convenient setup for us.

Bleed, margin and crop marks

Bleed

The artwork page should have a 3mm bleed on all the four edges, as this will serve the purpose for cutting and binding. As the 3mm bleed will be cut after binding, you need to make sure that the bleed space does not include any important part of the artwork, like a part of the face or any other  body part. Basically, the bleed needs to be an extension of the background color in the artwork’s edge. 

bleed

Take a look at this image to understand what’s a bleed and how should it be extended.

Margin

Perfect Binding Book Margin:

To achieve a perfect margin for a book size smaller than A4, it is recommended that the margin is not narrower than 8mm. On the other hand, for an A4 size book or a book that is larger than A4 size the margin must not be less than 12mm.

Wire and Spiral Bound Book and Hole Drilled Catalog Margin:

For spiral bound books, the margin on the bound side should not be less than 12mm, whereas the margin on the cutting side must not be less than 8mm. When it comes to hole drilled catalogs, the margin on the drilled side should be at least 11mm including the hole diameter.

Crop marks

Crop marks should be at least 3mm far from the finished framework due to binding purposes. Also, you need to make sure that the crop marks are not inside the design.

Printing file for cover

As far as cover printing file is concerned, it will be somewhat different from interior printing file, especially when it comes to book or catalog with spine.

Saddle stitch book cover

When it comes to the printing file for the saddle stitch book cover, it is essential that both the back and front covers are connected together. But in case you are only able to upload the front and back covers separately, we can help you connect them.

Perfect binding book cover

The perfect binding book cover must include a certain spine thickness between the back and front cover. This is why it is important that you let us know about the interior specifications, before designing the final cover. For more information, you can look into our paper sample manual to get a better idea about the spine thickness for your book. As far as calculating the spine thickness is concerned, you can also leave it to us. We can also provide you with a free cover template which can be used to design your artwork.

Hardcover book cover

In comparison to other book covers, hardcover book covers are a bit complicated. As, apart from factors like front cover, back cover and spine thickness, there are also a number of other factors like groove space, wrapping board space on top, bottom and cutting edge that need to be taken care of. So, where the groove space for hardcover book covers need to be 8mm, the space for wrapping board on each side must be 20mm, which is quite similar to bleed. Get in touch to get a new hardcover book cover design, as we also provide free over template for all our clients.

Dust jacket cover

A Dust Jacket cover includes front cover, back over, spine as well as two flaps. Where generally the width of a regular flap is between 90mm-150mm, it will largely depend on your book size and design. We also offer free dust jacket cover templates for you, so that you can choose a over that perfectly suits all your needs.

Presentation folder cover

Generally, a regular presentation folder cover is 9×12” or 230x305mm. For a better idea, you can get in touch with us to choose between regular one pocket folder and two pocket folder templates.

Color mode, resolution and embed fonts

Color mode

First and foremost, the photo color mode for offset printing must be converted to CMYK. You will notice a little difference, after RGB photos are converted to CMYK. Secondly, if you do not need the products in pantone color, you might as well not convert your printing file into pantone color. If there are any pantone color images, we will right away help you convert them into CMYK for printing.

Resolution

Your artwork’s resolution should be as close to 300dpi as possible, and in no way less than 150dpi.

Embed fonts

The words in your artwork must be outlined or embedded into fonts in the printing file. If you do not embed fonts, you are required to upload all the original files, photos and fonts to us.  And although this will lead to expand the artwork, but this will also ensure better functionality for the artwork.

Printing file for back process 

For back processes and cover surfaces, such as foil stamping, embossing, debossing and spot UV, the corresponding parts on the page must be highlighted with a Pantone color in the artwork. Secondly, you also need to do die-cutting in the artwork printing file to add special shape on the printing products for the purpose of fitting into paper bags and boxes. Get in touch with us for more information and a free template on die-cutting artwork.

Design printing file tips

Take a look at these artwork design printing file tips that will help you get high quality end results for your printing products –

  • If your page background contains a large black area, then it is best if you design it with 40% Cyan, 40% Magenta, 0% Yellow and 100% black.
  • Make sure that your text in the artwork printing file is 100% monochromatic black.
  • You will need overprinting for texts, black lines and color areas that have a 100% K value. But, in all cases, white overprinting must be avoided.
  • Always make sure to use a single color for narrow lines in the artwork, instead of using for colors.