Pre-Press Printing Advice

Clear Text (Safe) Area

It’s a sensible idea to design your documents a safe distance away from the edge of the page to avoid text being chopped off during finishing. We recommend a distance of at least 3mm from the edge on all jobs and 5mm on perfect bound documents. This rule also applies to page numbers.


Embed all fonts within the Pdf document by checking the embed fonts check box when producing your job. Otherwise if you are suppling the native file to us (i.e. Indesign™, Word™ etc.) please also supply the fonts that you have used.


Images should be at least 300dpi and CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black). All line art images to be 1200dpi placed at 100%. Avoid using multitone images, instead convert them to CMYK, unless you’re doing spot colour work.

Page Size & Printer Marks

Please supply your artwork at actual size, apart from when producing large format material like banners and pop-up display stands, they can be supplied at quarter size. If your document is designed to print right to the edge of the page, please supply adequate bleed of 3mm or more and include crop marks to show trimmed size. Pages should also be supplied in running order and not in spread format or printers pairs. The only exception is front and back covers for books with a spine.


If you are creating artwork for 4 colour (CMYK) printing then please make sure all colours used within the document (including linked graphics like illustrator files) are all in this colour space. Please do not supply RGB colours as they will appear very flat and dull looking. If you are preparing artwork for spot colour work (i.e. Pantone colours) please make sure your document only contains one version of the Pantones you wish to use. Please avoiding having duplicate Pantones like Pantone 233C with Pantone 233CVC as they will produce two separate plates.

Maintaining Legible Type & Strokes

One typical mistake in design is the use of type or strokes/hairlines that do not print well and thus wind up being illegible. To avoid this mistake, shy away from type sizes smaller than 6 pts and lines (rules) thinner than 0.4pt. Type smaller than 6 pts becomes difficult to read anyway, and finer details may be difficult to hold on the press without breaking up or filling in. Typical body copy should run between 9 and 12 pts in size for maximum readability. Be careful when using “reversed out” copy (ie: text that is a light colour running across a darker area). Because the darker area tends to bleed into the lighter text area on the press, it is recommended that you use at least 6 pt type, and sans serif fonts, in these instances.

Paper size

This is a list of the most common paper sizes we stock and run on our machinery

A Sizes

A0  841 x 1189 mm
A1  594 x 841 mm
A2  420 x 594 mm
A3  297 x 420 mm
A4  210 x 297 mm
A5  148 x 210 mm
A6  105 x 148 mm
A7  74 x 105 mm
A8  52 x 74 mm
A9  37 x 52 mm
A10  26 x 37 mm

SRA Sizes

SRA0   900 x 1280 mm
SRA1   640 x 900 mm
SRA2   450 x 640 mm
SRA3   320 x 450 mm

RA Sizes

RA0   860 x 1220 mm
RA1   610 x 860 mm
RA2   430 x 610 mm

B Sizes

B0   1000 x 1414 mm
B1   707 x 1000 mm
B2   500 x 707 mm
B3   353 x 500 mm
B4   250 x 353 mm
B5   176 x 250 mm

Envelope Sizes

DL   110 x 220 mm
C6   162 x 114 mm
C5   229 x 162 mm
C4   324 x 229 mm
C3   457 x 324 mm


Below is a list of common print terminology used and an explanation

4 col
Abbreviated term, means printed in four colours – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and black.

The part of the image that extends beyond the edge of the page. Images which spread beyond the edge of the page are described as ‘bled off’. If you have designed your printed items to include elements which bleed off, then we require 3mm of bleed.

Body copy
Printed matter forming the main part, usually text.

Depending on size, allows for more inserts to be included.

Colour correction
The adjustment of the colour values of an image. Performed to correct poor scans or photograph, or to match to an ideal target.

Condensed type
A font which appears elongated or narrowed in appearance.

In a saddle stitched booklet, the paper will cause the pages towards the centre of the book to push out or creep further out that the outer pages. The amount of creep depends upon the thickness of the paper stock and the number of pages in the book. If no allowance is made for this creep, then text and images near the outer margin of the inner pages may be cut off when the booklet is trimmed.

Crop marks
Lines placed outside the page area to indicate where to crop (cut) the page.

Double page spread (DPS)
Describes two pages viewed next to each other.

To print both sides of the page

Encapsulation (Matte or Gloss finish)
The application of a very thin film over the sheet to create a protective coating, but unlike lamination, the film is thicker and extends past the edge of the sheet leaving a plastic edge around the final product. Used mainly on menus or out-door applications where water penetration needs to be prevented.

Four Colour Process
The reproduction of full colour images by using cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

GSM/grams per square meter
A unit of measurement, used to indicate the substance of a paper stock based upon it weight, regardless upon the sheet size.

The arrangement of pages in a set sequence with appropriate margins for folding and trimming at the binding stage, performed prior to printing.

Imposed Proof
A proof of the imposed pages prior to the final print run.

The term describing an area of back-ground colour that has been overlaid, or “knocked-out” by a foreground object, and therefore does not print.

Lamination (Matte or Gloss finish)
The application of a very thin film over the sheet to create a protective coating.

The space between lines of type.

Marked up proof
A proof that has been marked with any necessary corrections prior to re-proofing.

To cover or block out part of an underlying image.

Will only be able to hold a few inserts.

Pantone® colours
Pantone® is a brand of spot colours most commonly used in print. Spot colours allow you to achieve exactly the colour you require when it is not achievable in four colour process.

The degree of precision – the quality, definition, clarity – with which an image is represented, displayed or reproduced, by a monitor or output device such as a printer.

Run on
Sheets printed in addition to the specified quantity.

Encapsulated PostScript, a type of vector based graphic file.