Preparing artwork files for CDs, DVDs and related print materials can be a challenging task when you are unfamiliar with the printing process. With design and approval being conducted strictly in ‘cyber space’, customers can be surprised when the final physical disc and packaging does not look as it appeared on the the computer screen. Here are the most common mistakes we see:
- Wrong template / wrong size
All companies have their own design templates. While some templates may look similar there are likely significant differences in sizing and dimensions. When designing for Ironstone, use the Ironstone templates. Also, if importing a template into your design program, make sure it is imported without being resized.
- RGB rather than CMYK
RGB is for the web and video, CMYK is for print. Colour shifts will occur if your artwork uses images that are in RGB.
- No bleed
In order to have print extend right to the edge, the design file should be set up so the design extends beyond the edge. A 3mm bleed needs to be added to all print artwork.
- Text / graphic elements too close to edge
All print or graphic elements that are not designed to go off the edge, should be set back 3mm from the trim lines. This is to ensure that text or pictures are not accidentally truncated when the print item is cut to size.
- Text too small / not legible
If you are hoping people will be able to read your text, fonts should be no smaller than 5 point (6 point if a reverse). While you can zoom in on the computer screen, you don’t want your customers reaching for a magnifying glass to read your lyrics or instructions.
- Web resolution (72 dpi) not print resolution (300 dpi)
All images need to be 300 dpi. This means that the original image is 300 dpi. Resampling a 72 dpi image to 300 dpi does not add the detail necessary for a good print.
- Wrong format
Files should be supplied as a press ready .pdf with no dielines or other extraneous marks on the artwork. Alternative formats are Adobe Illustrator, or Indesign. We also accept Adobe Photoshop files, but be aware that text will not be as sharp as if supplied as an Illustrator file with fonts.
- Unsupported file formats
CorelDRAW, Adobe Pagemaker, QuarkXPress, Microsoft Word, Publisher, Powerpoint, Excel, GIF, WMF