File Setup

  • What are bleed and crop marks?

    Crop marks and bleed are vital components of a print ready file - below we explain what they are and how to use them.

    Below is an example of a poster setup with bleed and crop marks.

    Example of crop marks on an image, the trim line is a dotted line around the image placed 3mm from the edge. The area between the edge and the crop line is called the bleed. It is important not to have content too close to the crop line

    When your printed item is sent to our printers they are setup on bigger sheets than the finished size, this means we can fit multiple items on one sheet of paper. We do this due to printers being unable to print to the edge of the paper.


    Below you can find a list of online resources to help you setup your bleed and crop marks in supported programs:


    Adobe InDesign

    Adobe Illustrator

    Microsoft Publisher

    If your program is not listed above it may not support bleed or crop mark setup.

  • What file format should I supply?

    High-resolution Adobe Acrobat PDF files are our preferred file format. PDF's have all fonts and graphics saved into the one file and the size is compressed which means a smaller and easier to handle file.

    I used Microsoft Word/Powerpoint/Publisher though - surely you have that software?

    We do have access to the Microsoft Office Suite but any files supplied in those formats will change between different versions and operating systems. This can cause unexpected changes and shifts in content - we suggest using the computer that created the file saving it as a PDF.

    If you are unsure how to save to a PDF, we have some helpful links below:

    Microsoft Word

    Microsoft Publisher

    Microsoft Powerpoint

    Do you accept native files from Adobe InDesign?

    We do accept files from Adobe InDesign - but they need to be packaged first. If the file is not packaged all of the images and fonts used will be lost. Please ensure an .idml file is included to allow older versions of Adobe InDesign to open the file.

    Packaging in Adobe InDesign

  • I have used borders close to the edge - will this be ok?

    We don't recommend using thin borders or carefully centred content which hugs the edge of the safe area. Due to cutting variance thin borders or carefully centred graphics can end up being uneven. We recommend using a wide border or removing it altogether.

  • Why can't I use images I downloaded from the web?

    Images that are uploaded to the web in 72dpi are compressed in size to allow them to load quickly and due to the lower requirements of screens to show a sharp image. When printing we need 300dpi images to give the best result.

    Enlarging a 72dpi image to 300dpi or stretching the image will not increase the quality - you will need to find the original photo or select a new one that is more acceptable.

    So I should save my file in the largest size possible right?

    We discourage saving your files as large as possible, not only does it slow down production but it can cause errors on our machines that mean the file cannot be printed. 300dpi is the standard size of images for print, but it you are worried about quality please contact one of our friendly staff.

    An example of a poor quality image that is very pixelated at 72dpi An example of a good quality sharp image at 300dpi

Not sure what any of this means? Need help?
One of our friendly Graphic Pre-Press staff will be able to assist you!