Artwork Guidelines

Artwork Guidelines

RGB vs CMYK vs PMS Pantone spot colors...What's the difference?

Watch this short video and learn which color mode is right for you.

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, Artwork Guidelines

What is "bleed"? - Bleed is the section of the artwork that will be cut off when the final printed product is trimmed to the final size. The purpose of which is to continue a background color, image or design all the way to the edge of the card. On our templates, the red lines indicate the bleed section. Please make sure all backgrounds are extended all the way to this line. Bleed size is typically 1/8 of an inch (or 0.125) outside of the final trim size.

Optimal File Specifications

  • Bleeds: all files must have a 1/8″ bleed on each side
  • Safe Area: keep all critical text and artwork inside the trim
  • Colors: supply your files in CMYK color mode if you are printing 4-color process
  • Colors: supply your files with correct Pantone (U or C) colors selected in file.
  • Resolution: 300 dpi
  • Fonts: fonts must be converted to curves/outlines
  • Transparencies: flatten all transparencies
  • File Types: Preferred: PDF, EPS | Also accepted: TIFF or JPEG
  • ICC Profile: Japan Coated 2001

How to Prepare Files for Finishes

If your project includes foil stamping, spot UV, embossing, or die cutting you will need to provide a mask file (per finish) alongside your design files.

Create a black and white pdf file where all black areas have a color value of

K = 100%  (C=0 M=0 Y=0 K=100)

Black areas represent where you want the finish to be located and white means no finish will be applied.

If your project contains more than one finish, you must provide separate mask files for each finish.

, Artwork Guidelines

Frequently Asked Questions - Artwork


When you are looking for a font size for your printing job, there are a lot of factors that you need to consider to get … Read more

Exporting A Print Ready Pdf File From Illustrator Or Indesign.

During the exportation of your printed files, you have to ensure that your files are print-ready. Cross-check all the contents to know they are within … Read more

What is a mask file?

How to Setup Mask Files If your project includes foil stamping, spot UV, embossing, or die-cutting you will need to provide a mask file (per … Read more

What is spot uv? Why do I want it? How is it made?

As you may have heard, UV coating refers to applying a clear liquid coat over printed designs. This is treated under ultraviolet light, drying it … Read more

How do I setup my artwork for foil stamping and embossing?

You need to create two mask files for design projects that need foil stamping and embossing. One has to be a mask file for foil … Read more

How do I setup my artwork for embossing?

To set up your design projects for embossing, you must create a mask file using programs such as Adobe InDesign and Illustrator. Here’s what you … Read more

What the heck is a layered die cut and how is it setup?

Die cutting refers to the art of cutting custom or pre-defined shapes out of card or flyer paper. Multi-layer die cutting replicates this process using … Read more

How do I setup artwork for a die cut product?

Find a good vector design program such as Adobe InDesign or Illustrator to create a mask file for your die cut projects. Here’s how you … Read more

What are the DOs & Don’ts when designing foil stamped products?

Those who plan on creating their own artwork for foiling need to remember some rules to ensure the success of their project. When you’re designing … Read more

Does it matter if my file is 8 bits per channel or 16 bits per channel?

Yes, the preferred color depth for all files is 8 bits per channel.

Helpful Information

1. Color Mode

The full-color printing process requires artwork to be saved in four-color CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black)mode. That's because printing presses use 4 plates (one plate for each color) to achieve the final combination of that compose the artwork image.

However, the total black and white artwork or images must be in GRAYSCALE color mode in order to get that full, rich black in the final output. Files in RGB (Red, Green, Blue), as well as Pantone colors, will automatically be converted into CMYK.

2. Fonts

As much as possible, please outline your fonts(in illustrator and inDesign). This is to avoid any font issues when your job is printed. If you are submitting Quark Xpress or InDesign files, please include a font folder containing all the typefaces used in your layout. Please do not use a font size smaller than 8 points. Typically, very small or very thin fonts may not be readable especially when printed against dark or busy backgrounds.

3. Proof Reading

Before submitting your artwork, please check and review all copy/text for typos or misspellings. A PDF will be available for viewing after artwork submissions to provide the opportunity to check everything before your jobs go into print. Once the job is approved, we cannot be responsible for any misprint or errors in the finished print.

4. Resolution

To ensure the best output quality, the minimum resolution for artwork is 300 dpi(dots per inch). Make sure your link files or images (especially in illustrator, QuarkXpress, and InDesign)are in this resolution or higher. Images need to be created at 300dpi or higher to ensure there will not be a substantial drop in quality-typically resulting in blurry images with jagged edges. If you are scanning pictures, please make sure the settings are for a photograph and that the resolution is also 300 dpi or higher.

5. File Size

For files larger than 10MB, we recommended that you compress your file using software programs like WinZip (for Windows) or Stufflt (for Mac). You can also send your artworks by signing up for a free account on We Transfer.

6. Upload Time

Uploading file may take a while depending on the speed of your connection and the size of your artwork. Uploading a 4MB file could take about 5 minutes on a DSL connection. If you are having issues with our uploader, you can always email your files to or use a file sending service like We Transfer.


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