Artwork spec

printing specifications

To save time and cost when sending your artwork to creative ideas in print, please follow the specifications below. If you would like any further information or to discuss any aspect of your artwork, please contact our studio team on 0161 406 9300.


Full colour or spot

All files which are supplied to cip for printing should be in Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK), apart from artwork containing spot colours. If you supply files in Red, Green and Blue (RGB) it will be converted to CMYK, but we cannot guarantee colours will print the same.

If you are using spot colours, please include the Pantone numbers in your artwork. The spot colours should be set up as spot and not CMYK. Be aware that some file formats like jpg or tiff, cannot be spot colour separated. tiffs can be used providing they are black and white line art or greyscale images and coloured in the program they are placed in to.


Image resolution

Images should be saved at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. If you are supplying artwork with text placed in it, the prefered resolution is 600dpi. Lower resolution files may appear pixilated and text may be rough around the edges. As most images on the internet are 72 dpi, they are not suitable for lithographic printing.


Bleed area

It is essential that there is a 3mm bleed around your artwork, bleed is printing area that goes beyond the edge of the page after cutting.


Quiet area

Text or logos should be at least 4mm in from the edge of the page.


Emailing fonts

When emailing or uploading fonts, please zip the fonts in a folder first as they are prone to corrupting.


Cutout areas

If your job requires a die to be made for cutting, creasing, scoring or perfing, then the tracing will need to be included with the job. If you are supplying your artwork in Quark, Illustrator or InDesign the tracing can be placed over the top of the artwork within the file as a spot colour named ‘cutter’. If the job is being supplied as a pdf, the tracing will need to be supplied in a separate pdf file.


Using the colour black

Solid black areas can look flat if they are made up of just black. If you would like a more dense or rich black you will need to set the area to 20% cyan, 20% magenta, 20% yellow and 100% black (20c 20m 20y 100k).

Black text should be set in black only and not made up of cyan, magenta, yellow and black (cmyk) and where possible set to overprint.


Imposition/Printers pairs

Please do not supply your files imposed or as “printers pairs”.





We always send you a pdf proof back of your artwork. Please check this thoroughly and ensure that the proof is correct and nothing has corrupted or defaulted. Once you have confirmed that the proof is correct we will then proceed to print.


If you have any problems or need any further information, then please feel free to contact us.


We also offer a very competitive and professional design service, if you would like to discuss your requirements, call us on 0161 406 9300.