How To Set Up Artwork

You've got a logo, you know what item you want so you go ahead to make your purchase - excited to have your branding in your hands very soon!

Then you stop, dead in your tracks when scrolling down the page you see "Upload Artwork:"...
"Upload artwork? But what if it isn't right!? What do I do?"

Sound familiar? Don't fret! This is just the page you need to read!

Setting up your artwork ready to upload is actually easier than it sounds, and if you are still not sure you've done it correctly we print & produce all of our items in house so we can double check the graphics you upload to make sure they are suitable for printing.
Generally, if there is a problem we will try to nut it out first by recreating the logo in a higher resolution or adding a bleed. If we are unable to do this then we will contact you to ask for a better graphic.


Big Bad World of Artwork Bleeds



Note the bleed, trim and artwork areas.
All of your important information such as text or graphics should be tucked inside the artwork area.
The background should extend 2mm out to form the bleed.


What is a bleed?
The first thing to consider when setting up your artwork is the bleed.
This is an extra area of background design that is usually about 2mm wider than your actual artwork which allows for any discrepencies when we send your order to production.
Because there can be a 1-2mm discrepency when our machines cut your order, if there is no bleed you may be left with white edges on some parts of your item or worse - your text could be cut off!

Here's a graphic showing examples of artwork set up problems that we most encounter:
  
Here you can see the text is too close to the edge, leaving no room for the bleed.

If your text, images or other important information is too close to the trim of your background it can get cut off as we demonstrate above. Think of the bleed as your protective barrier, keeping your branding from being held at the mercy of our machines!
So when you are creating your artwork, be sure to leave an extra 'edge' of the background for the bleed and ensure your text is tucked well inside the trim, so it doesn't end up right on the edge where we will cut.
 
Setting up artwork on our contour cut products, is just as easy!
Here's how we do it:

Here you can see there isn't a bleed available, so a white edge is seen on the final product.

Again, the bleed plays an important part. You've managed to keep your text inside the trim line, but you've forgotten the blasted bleed and your unique shaped stickers, contour cut business cards or die cut hair clip cards just don't look right with the white edges.
Making sure to keep 1-2 mm extra background bleed area on your design will fix this right up, and your business will thank you for it!


Resolution Revolution!

So now you have your artwork fitted with some shiny new bleeds and you have everything tucked in safely behind the ANCAP 5 Star rated artwork lines. Good for you, apprentice designer! But do read on...

Artwork resolution plays an integral part in producing a crisp, clean, eyecatching product. If you don't have a high enough resolution, your  product will be blurry and unreadable. For instance, have you ever gone up to a Coke-Cola truck and looked up cloase at the branding? It's all blurry and fuzzed up right? That's because it is stretched out to fit. If you send through a graphic too small for our product and we stretch it to fit - you'll end up with an up close Coke-Cola truck, and that's just not appealing!
           
        Oooh Aahh Pretty!             U.G.L.Y This ain't go no alibi!

The first graphic is set to 300dpi or a 4.5cm x 4.5cm sizing. The this-that-shall-not-be-named-graphic is half the resolution, but blown up to fit our 4.5cm sticker. The result - TRAINWRECK!
A minimum of 300dpi is recommended at the very least for printing. If your graphics program doesn't have an option for the dpi, you should always make your graphics to the size need for the item (plus the bleed) to ensure it is of the highest quality. For example, if you are buying one of our 8x11cm hair clip cards, design your artwork (including the bleed) to be 8.2x11.2cm.
Rest assured, we wouldn't print anything like the above. We wouldn't want to ship it, and you wouldn't want to receive it!

To run through a checklist for designing your artwork follow B-TAR:

Bleed
Trim
Artwork
Res

(It's not catchy in the least, so just be happy I'm a printer/designer, and not a singer/songwriter!)

Don't forget, if you have any queries or questions about setting up your artwork just email us! Your question added to our list, might just answer another budding business owner/designers question!



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