Artwork Guidelines

In order to ensure your files are print-ready, we recommend that you upload them in PDF format. When you generate a print-ready PDF, your computer will use the settings in Adobe Acrobat Distiller or any other PDF generating programs you may use. Please make sure these are set properly before generating your PDF file.

  • If you are uploading PDF files created in Photoshop, please be sure all layers are flattened.
  • If you are uploading PDF files created in Illustrator, please be sure all images are embedded and fonts are outlined.

Check your file to make sure it meets our file creation guidelines. This will help speed up the production of your project and give your printed piece the best results.

  1. Use the CMYK colorspace (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black). These are industry standard printing colors. CMYK colors are different than RGB (Red, Green, Blue), which are used to display colors on your screen.
  2. Use a minimum resolution of 300 dpi for image files.
  3. Artwork should have 1/8″ (0.125″) bleed extending past the trim line. This is to prevent minor cutting variations from leaving unintended results at the trim edge.
  4. Safe Area is the 1/8″ (0.125″) area inside the trim line. Do not put critical information or images within the Safe Area. This is to prevent minor cutting variations from leaving unintended results at the trim edge.
  5. If you want printed borders, they must be placed a minimum of 1/8″ (0.125″) inside the trim line and include bleed. This is to prevent minor cutting variations from leaving unintended results at the trim edge.

Finishing and Coating

Embossing and debossing are the processes of creating either raised or recessed relief images and designs in paper and other materials. An embossed pattern is raised against the background, while a debossed pattern is sunken into the surface of the material

Learn how the different types of embossing dies change the look of the emboss. How they are made and design tips that will make your project stand out.

Click here to see a video on how embossing works.

UV Coating

UV (ultraviolet) coating is a liquid coating applied to a (usually) printed paper sheet that cures (dries and seals) when passed under an ultraviolet light. Although most commonly used to add a glossy finish to a piece, there are many other types of UV coating including matte, satin, soft-touch matte, sand texture, and dry erase. It usually provides more protection than AQ.

UV Flood Coating
Flood coating is used to cover the entire printed sheet and is great for an overall effect with brighter and more vivid colors overall, protection, durability, and a rub resistant finish. Depending on the type of coating, it can also add a smooth and pleasant tactile experience.

UV Spot Coating
For a more dramatic effect to bring attention to certain details like logos, product images or qualities, look to spot UV where only designated areas on the sheet are coated. Using spot UV is also a great way to easily add 3D depth to a flat printed piece. Although flood coating is generally quicker and more inexpensive, either flood or spot UV coating can be a quick, easy, and inexpensive finishing method for your project.

Aqueous Coating (AQ)

Aqueous coating (AQ) is a water-based, flood coating applied to printed paper sheets that cures quickly with a combination of heat and air provided by the coating equipment. Aqueous coating usually provides either a gloss or matte surface that deters dirt and fingerprints.

A key advantage over UV coating is that special aqueous coating formulas can be written on with a #2 pencil or overprinted for mailing purposes. For this reason, it’s especially popular for postcards and other mailers. Another advantage of aqueous coating over UV is that it folds better and resists fingerprints better than UV coating.

When considering aqueous coating, 80# coated text or heavier is recommended to help prevent curling and wrinkling since it is a water-based coating being applied.

Sapphire Primer Coatings for HP Indigo Presses

If you have a print job on stock that is not HP Indigo certified we can still print it! We have the ability to coat stock with sapphire coating which renders stock compatible with HP Indigo presses. It improves ink adhesion and other printing properties. 

In addition to UV and AQ coating, we can also apply coatings for finish effects like pearlescent and metallic, and coatings that are either resistant to scratches or scratch off (lottery ticket style).

Foil Stamping

Foil stamping is a simple, straightforward way to make a design more elegant and expensive-looking (but it’s cost-effective enough that you won’t need to spend an actual fortune to achieve it).

Typically you will see a company’s logo in gold or silver foil against a solid colour background.

Don’t wait any longer to get started on this easy way to improve your product. We can help you decide what the best coating for your project is. Contact us today by clicking here