ARTWORK GUIDELINES

At Blue Gecko, we have certain artwork guidelines we follow to maintain the quality of our work. We serve clients in Bristol, Somerset and the surrounding areas.
Get in touch with us for more details.

Guidelines to be Followed

  • File format: Print ready PDF(s)
  • Supplied with minimum 3mm bleed and crop-marks
  • Where cutters or white ink processes are required please supply as separate PDFs with each element on a separate page.
  • We advise providing artwork at 300dpi.
  • Ensure images aren’t pixelated.
  • Fonts outlined.
  • Please use CMYK colour space.
  • Please confirm artwork scale of 25%, 50% or 100%.
  • File names correspond to the job reference.
  • Artwork sized and produced accurately.
  • Pantones can be used.
  • They will be converted to CMYK values in the RIP. We do not guarantee a colour match to Pantone colours. We can produce colour charts to get closer colour matches but this will incur extra cost and time.

    Artwork services

    We are able to offer artworking services, creative design and pre-production set up. General artworking services are normally used to get your artwork to the pre-production specifications, but we can also take a project from initial ideas all the way through to final product. Artwork costings will vary depending on the project, so please ask beforehand.

    To maximise efficiency and accuracy, we use automated pre-production work-flow systems, therefore it is important that artwork is supplied pre-checked to the required specification. Failure to do this may cause delays in the process and incur additional set up charges. Below is additional information to further explain each requirement.

    Points to Remember:

    Twin Files for Printing White: Prints that require white ink in part of the graphic (clear and coloured substrates), need to be supplied with a solid magenta twin file. This is so the RIP software can create a white base layer from a file with registered pixels. Doing this from artwork with white in will leave a blank space, as there are no registered pixels in white. The print file and twin magenta must align. The easiest way to create this is to select all of the original illustrator file, turn it all magenta and then unite all in pathfinder, then saving as a single PDF. The same file setup would apply to prints that require a specific cutting path. A magenta cutting path should be supplied as a separate PDF. Layered Adobe Illustrator files are also a suitable file format for this application of printing and/or cutting, each element would be on its own layer.
    Economical Sheet Usage: A common sheet size we use is 2440mm x 1220mm. To achieve a full bleed print we will need to cut the sheet after printing, this leaves us with a maximum print size of 1200 x 2400mm. We can aim for a full sheet print but discrepancies in sheet sizes may result in a white/unprinted edge.
    Bleed and Crop Marks: We require bleed and crop marks on all supplied artwork unless stated beforehand, files supplied without bleed will be slightly increased in the print and cut down the the required size.
    File Format: Artwork should be supplied in PDF format.
    Image resolution: We advise providing artwork as vectors where possible and any images at 300dpi. It is your responsibility to ensure your images are not pixelated. We recommend you check this by viewing your graphics on screen at 1:1 scale. The rule of thumb is, if you see pixelation on your screen then you’ll see it on your printed graphic. However, it’s worth considering viewing distance when working with larger graphics and a lower resolution image may still be fit for purpose. Files supplied at 50% or 25% are preferred as they are more manageable, this needs to be confirmed in the file name.

    Please note: when exporting from Illustrator ensure you use the [Illustrator Default] setting (not High Quality Print). For InDesign files, save as PDF Pre-set [High Quality Print]. We cannot be liable for reprints if artwork is supplied incorrectly.

    Image and File Type Cheat Sheet

    Web

    72 dpi Images intended for the web only need to have a resolution of 72 dpi (dots per inch), which is the maximum resolutions of monitors

    Print

    300 dpi Images intended for print need to have a resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch), as the printing process allows for much greater detail

    Vector Raster

    Web uses

    Vector:
    SOURCE files
    for logos, charts, icons, or any hard-edged graphics

    Raster:
    OUTPUT files
    for most web graphics displayed on the screen

    Print uses

    Vector:
    SOURCE files
    to be sent to the printer

    Raster:
    HI-RES files
    can be printed at 300dpi

    Files types

    Vector:
    .ai .eps .pdf .svg

    Raster:
    .jpg . gif .png .tif

    When I’m Sending Images to a Designer…

    Don’t put images in a Word doc – It is difficult to extract them and results in lower quality.
    Always send a larger image than needed – Raster images can be sized down without a loss in quality, but when an image is stretched to larger than its original size, a significant loss in quality occurs.

    Send logos as vector files – Logos usually need to be separated from the background, resized, or otherwise manipulated. Vector images offer the most versatility for these purposes.

    More About File Types

    .ai Adobe Illustrator – Default file type of Illustrator, a popular vector-based program
    .eps Encapsulated PostScript – Vector file which can be opened outside of Illustrator
    .pdf Portable Document Format – Self-contained document which preserves vector images as well as fonts or graphics needed to display correctly
    .svg Scalable Vector Graphics XML -based vector image format supported by modern web browsers
    .jpg Joint Photographic Experts Group – Sometimes displayed as jpeg – this raster image format is best for displaying photographic images on web browsers
    .gif Graphics Interchange Format – Raster image format best for simple images made up of solid colors with no gradients
    .png Portable Network Graphics – Raster image format best for displaying simple images, supports transparency
    .tif Tagged Image File Format – Raster image format best for high-resolution photos

    Remember…

    Although image editing programs can do wonders, it is always best to start off with the highest quality image possible. You will save time and end up with the most desirable result.