Despite being a crucial aspect of print production, the concept of print-ready artwork remains elusive to many buyers and even some designers accustomed to online content creation. To avoid the risk of file rejection or expensive correction fees from your printer, how can you ensure the creation of confidently print-ready artwork?

Essential Criteria for Print-Ready Artwork
To ensure your artwork is ready for printing, specific fundamental requirements must be met. These include the following:

  • Your artwork must be in PDF format.
  • All images in your artwork must be of high resolution.
  • Your artwork should contain bleed and crop marks.

Let’s examine these requirements in detail, so you know precisely what to do when submitting your artwork for printing.

PDF File Format
Printers ask for PDF files because they preserve the content as it should be seen, regardless of the computer or software used to view it. If you send your artwork in a Word, PowerPoint or any other format, it may not print as intended.

High-Resolution Images
Many people make the mistake of using low-resolution images that have been sourced online, such as those found on websites. These images are not suitable for printing because they lack the necessary resolution. Images for print should be at least 300dpi, while online web images are often only 72dpi.

Bleed & Crop Marks
Bleed, and crop marks are essential features of print-ready artwork. Bleed is the extension of content that goes right to the edge, ensuring that there are no white edges left when the printed sheet is trimmed. Crop marks are the guides in the corners that outline where the sheet needs to be cut. See the image below for an example of bleed and crop marks.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure your artwork is print-ready and of the highest quality. This will save you time, money, and the hassle of having to reprint or correct your files.

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