Pre-press is the processes and procedures that are taken before printing phase. Pre-press includes our designers reviewing and making adjustments to artwork to make them print ready and then sending proofs off to the client to be approved before printing. There are two main types of proofing, digital proofs, and hard copy proofs.

Digital Proofs

Digital proofs are electronic copies of the artwork that have been processed ready to be sent to the printer. They are usually in form of a PDF and are emailed off to the clients for final inspection and approval before printing.

Hardcopy Proofs

Hardcopy proofs are physical proofs that resemble the final printed product. They can be used to test the quality of the paper and the printing method, especially in cases where there are unique inks and paper stocks that may not work well together. Usually a digital proof is sent off to be approved before a hardcopy proof is produced.

Trim, margin and Bleed

Trim Marks and their purpose

You will notice when you receive a proof back from us that your artwork will have little trim marks in each corner. These are special marks that indicate the size that the paper will be cut down to after the artwork has been printed. The trim marks are positioned in the bleed and will not be seen in the final product.

Bleed – why to include it

Bleed is ink that is printed beyond the trim edge of your artwork. Bleed is important for artwork that has any colour, images, or graphics that go ‘off the page’. There is a slight degree of movement when printing with any method and if there is no bleed, when the artwork is trimmed down there may be a small line of white where the artwork stops. By extending the artwork into the bleed you will avoid this small line of white from your final printed products. 

Margins – let your artwork breathe

Margins are the area between the text and the edge of the trim. As a good rule of thumb, you should always have a minimum of 5mm margin on all sizes, even if the artwork is as small as a business card. This way none of the important information on the artwork will be cut off when it is trimmed down to size. Larger artworks (like A4 and bigger) tend to have bigger margins of 10mm and above.

colour bars

Colour bars – Offset Printing

Colour bars are little strips of yellow, cyan, magenta, and black, that are printed in the bleed of the sheet. Offset printers use these colour bars to check the colour quality and consistency. In digital printing we do not need to use colour bars as we are not using printing plates.

Back to the Printing Process and Information Guide

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