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Design Applications

Adobe InDesign Adobe InDesign is mainly used by professional graphic designers to design material for print from scratch. It is the most comprehensive application, but requires design knowledge. Adobe Illustrator Adobe Illustrator is more often used to create vector based logos and graphics, however is often also used by graphic designers and illustrators to create artwork for printing. Adobe Photoshop Adobe Photoshop is mostly designed to manipulate images. It can be used to create documents for print, however we do not recommend this as the best option. Adobe Express Adobe Express is an all-in-one design, photo, and video tool to make content creation easy. Quickly and easily make stunning social content, videos, logos, ... https://www.adobe.com/uk/express/


When designing for print, the artboard is the area that your design fills. When desiging in Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator or online your artboard should be set to the actual dimensions of your item. When designing in Adobe Photoshop we suggest making the artboard bigger than the actual size of your item to manually create bleed. We explain how to set up the artboard in each of the above applications throughout this guide.


Bleed is the area outside the artboard. When designing for print or digital printing any artwork elements such as background colours that go all the way to the edge of a page need to extend over the artboard into the bleed area. This is so that when we trim the print you do not end up with a white line up the edge of your prints. Artwork needs to extend into the bleed by at least 10mm. Purple Line: Safe Zone Blue Line: Trim Line Red Line: Bleed Area

Text safe area

Important information such as text and logos shouldn’t go beyond this area. We advise leaving a gap of at least 5mm from the edge of the page and the text safe area on small items such as business cards and around 10mm on bigger items such as posters. If text is too close to the edge of the page it looks wrong once trimmed and runs the risk of being trimmed off, unless this is part of the design.

Vector and Bitmap Graphics

Vector Graphics are infinitely scalable, which means no matter how large they are printed they will always look crisp. As a general rule vector elements should be used wherever possible for items such as logos, text, illustrations, graphical elements, shapes and lines. Bitmap Graphics are made up of pixels. Common bitmap file types are .jpg, .bmp, .tiff, .png and .gif. When a bitmap image is scaled larger than its native dimensions it will become pixelated (blocky) when printed. Bitmap images should primarily be used for such elements as photographs, 3D renders and some textural elements. When using bitmap elements in your artwork, try to use the highest resolution possible (300dpi or higher is preferred). Bitmap images downloaded from the internet are often low resolution and heavily compressed meaning they aren't always ideal for printing. If you enlarge the internet image to the size needed in the print, then view it at 100% you will be able to see if the resolution is good enough for printing.

File Formats

PDF (.pdf) Illustrator any version (.ai) Photoshop any version (.psd) illustrator or Photoshop EPS any version (.eps) InDesign any version (.indd) If supplying Photoshop files, do not flatten artwork. We require all layers to be included to allow for manipulation of files where necessary. Also include fonts used or rasterise any text. If supplying Illustrator or Illustrator EPS files, we require all fonts to be outlined otherwise the font file must be supplied. If images are not embedded, ensure they are also supplied. If supplying InDesign files, we require all images and fonts to be packaged with the InDesign file. Alternatively, you can export/print a PDF with crops and bleed and supply it instead. We do not modify or adjust JPG or TIFF files. Any files supplied in these formats will be printed exactly as supplied. Provide the highest quality JPEGs possible with minimal or no compression.