It is great to have a digital copy of your artwork that you plan to print copies of very soon. With that being said art printing is a science in itself. For those who are not so familiar with the technical details in this regard, we share some expert advice in this article, and explain in simple terms how you can get the most out of printing your artwork. But first, let’s have a look at some important tips for getting your artwork print-ready.
How to make your artwork print-ready
Here are some general guidelines that you can follow in order to ensure your artwork is fully print ready before you order prints for it.
Choose a print-ready file format
File formats like JPG and PNG can’t be considered print-ready and are generally not recommended especially if you want to create a high-quality print. It’s better to go with file formats associated with software like Photoshop, InDesign, or Illustrator, with PDF file type being the universally supported file format.
Save the print data file in the CMYK colour mode
Most printers do not recognise the RGB colour space that’s commonly used in general image editing software. This is why it’s important to save the final data file in the CMYK colour space. You can find this setting in your professional editing software.
Leave extra margin as the bleed area
Considering that your artwork will be printed along with other designs and put together on a printed sheet, it’s recommended to leave a bleed area of around 3 mm to ensure a flawless trim in the end.
Provide a high-resolution file for the print
Needless to say, the higher the image resolution, the sharper will be the final output. Image resolution between 100 DPI and 300 DPI is considered optimal for artwork printing.
Get The Most Out Of Printing Your Artwork
Choose the right type of paper
Here are some common paper types you can choose from depending on your purpose, design and budget.
- Silk – it’s a coated paper that comes with a slight sheen and a satin finish. It’s an ideal choice for any print job that contains text with pictures.
- Gloss – it’s a coated paper that’s shiny and ideal for printing photographs.
- Uncoated – this one has a soft finish but doesn’t come with a coating like gloss or silk paper. It has a decent look and feel, which makes it a good choice for postcards on stationary.
- Natural – it’s an uncoated paper that has a natural off-white colour to it, which makes it a great choice for any print project that needs to give off a rustic or vintage look.
- Recycled – this type of paper is an ideal choice if you are serious about eco-friendliness and want to use only 100% recycled paper for giving a natural look to your print project.
Choose the paper weight
If you’re on a tight budget or want to use lightweight paper, this is the ideal paper weight. Most magazines and letterheads are printed on this kind of paper.
This is a thicker and stronger kind of paper that’s a good choice for brochures and magazines.
If you want to print something that’s really thick and has a more premium feel to it, go for this weight range. It’s best for printing certificates, high-end flyers and leaflets, magazine and book covers, or anything that requires lamination.
Choose the right kind of finishing
Finishes provide that final touch to your print project. When you avail art printing services, there’s a wide range of finishes you can choose from, including but not limited to:
Lamination – it’s ideal when you want to add a plastic coating to give the final product a durable finish.
Matt lamination – this one is a commonly used classy finish that goes well with silk/satin paper, which is the best combination if you’re ever in doubt about which paper type and finish to choose for your print project. It’s resistant to scuffs and scratches, and is ideally used for posters, flyers, and business cards.
Gloss lamination – As the name suggests, gloss lamination offers a glossy finish. It makes the finished product look shinier and helps further enhance the colour brightness, which is why it’s typically used for printing glossy magazines and brochures.
Soft-touch lamination – This one is incredibly soft to the touch and an ideal option for products like business cards, which require a premium matt matte finish with a moleskin leather-like feel.
UV varnish – It’s a decent alternative to lamination but offers less protection. Choose from UV Gloss or UV MattMatte to give the desired finish to your print.
Spot UV – Ideal for highlighting a specific area of your artwork with a high gloss finish, which makes it a good choice for luxury brochures and premium business cards.