Frequently Asked Questions

HOW WE HELP

7 Stages of a Project – where are you at?


Bringing any idea or item to production, whether physical or digital, is a process. Each stage requires an investment of time and expertise to create a professional outcome.

At Big Bold Branding, we are happy to work with business owners direct, agencies, resellers, freelancers, and the CEO-suite: Chief Executive Officers, Chief Marketing Officers and Chief Operating Officers, and be involved at any stage of a project from concept, design, production, project management, implementation and roll out and ongoing management.

In essence there are seven basic stages to a project:-

  1. Ideas: brainstorming, strategy, research and developing the project idea.
  2. Content: this may include copywriting, image research selection or acquisition, photography or photo editing, designing logos, illustrations and brand elements, designing layouts and placement criteria and specifications;
  3. Brief: Bringing together the above elements into an approved written brief that clearly describes and provides the content and placement – often called a ‘design concept’;
  4. Artworks: Creation of the project files (digital or physical) from the approved brief and/or pre-press artwork to production specifications and proofing;
  5. Production: campaign setup, final files for digital works, and/or print production;
  6. Implementation: promotion rollout – campaign, print, signage, installation;
  7. Review, Audits and Coaching.

Review where you are at with your project and let us know how we can help.

Please contact us for a quote.




What does ‘from Content supplied’ mean in a Quote from BBB?


When we prepare a quote based on ‘from content supplied’, that means we are quoting on the basis that step 1, 2 and 3 shown in the FAQ ‘7 Stages of a Project – Where Are You At’ have been completed by you or your team and we are working from a clear and concise approved brief, as well as and production quality content, and that files are supplied in one bundle at one time, ready to work from step 4 – preparing the artwork and/or pre-press files for production.

This means, we have not factored in time for creating ideas, doing research, writing your copy, reviewing your content, selecting content, advising on options available, creating variations, editing the content provided, creating multiple versions, fixing files, providing training, multiple emails, nor project management. When a board, partners or a committee are involved, this would require an agreement before the project comes to BBB and we work on a clearly defined brief, necessitating only one proof.

If this turns out not to be the case, or the items you have or were expecting to have are not to industry standard, and we will adjust the pricing as required.

Of course, we are happy to work with you in any of the steps needed, but if the quote is based on ‘from content supplied’ you will of course understand that this would require an adjustment of time commitment needed from us and in fairness an adjustment of the pricing.

Contact us if you would like assistance with creating content for your project. We would love to provide a quote.




What does ‘Print Ready Artwork supplied’ mean in a Quote from BBB?


When we prepare a quote based on ‘print ready’ artwork being supplied, that means we are quoting on an industry commercial basis, expecting that you will have, or have access to, the industry expertise to supply production-quality, high resolution, print ready files to Big Bold Branding’s unique print specifications for the type of printing needed, ready to insert into our printing workflow software without amendment or error, and these are supplied in one file bundle at one time, with a logical order and instructions for printing.

When a quote is on a ‘print ready’ basis, this means we have not factored in time for any pre-press work, file checking, fixing files, providing training to you in how to prepare print ready files, finding suitable programs for you to use, writing copy, multiple emails, nor project management. Where a job starts to involve more than receiving files and orders for printing, we are happy to assist to bring a project to conclusion, but do reserve the right to charge for the extra works required past receiving and processing the order.

If this turns out not to be the case, or the items you have or were expecting to have are print ready, and we will adjust the pricing as required.

Of course, we are happy to work with you in any of the steps needed, but if the quote is based on ‘print ready artwork supplied’ you will of course understand that this would require an adjustment of time commitment needed from us and in fairness an adjustment of the pricing.

Contact us if you would like assistance with creating print ready artwork for your project. We would love to provide a quote.

Click here for print ready file specificiations
Click here for tips to make your file print ready

Click here to contact us




Ensure you are sending only the files relevant to the job?


We sometimes receive a whole lot of additional files that are unrelated to the job in hand. This can make it difficult and time consuming to find exactly what it is we are to work with or the meaning of the other files. Where you are sending links to files through platforms like Google Drive or Dropbox, please set up one folder that only has the files relevant to the job at hand. Please do not send us a link to a general file where we are expected to search through and find which files are needed.

Where jobs are prepared that are not to industry standard and cause problems, we also reserve the right to pull the job and requote for the extra works required past receiving and processing.




Automatic Processing of Your Print Files


If you supply your own file we will print it! Client supplied files are automatically processed. We do not individually check all supplied files, but use automated processes. Supplied RGB and Pantone files are automatically converted to CMYK using fixed values.

The quality of the print job is always the same – high quality. The printing will be fabulous – that’s our part. But the finish, look and impact is determined by who prepares the artwork and will come down to your creativity, skill and how and what you build your file with (ie what images you include). If you do not have the correct software or technical ability to upload correctly prepared PDF files for offset or wide format printing, then the quality of the job will directly reflect the quality of the file submitted.

If you are not 100% sure on how to set up the file, or to create the exact colours you want (or what the print specifications mean or directions for extras set out in the FAQs), we highly recommended using our ‘engage a designer’ service.

All supplied artwork remains the responsibility of the customer. Big Bold Branding will not accept responsibility for out-of-specs artworks or errors on your end. For our design team to do corrections on your file, design charges will apply. In the end, you choose – design your own, or engage a designer.

Click here for print ready file specifications
Click here for tips to make your file print ready

Click here to contact us




Quick Check My File Option


If you would like us to review your file prior to printing, please request a ‘Check My File’ service. We do not review your file in detail in this instance. We are quickly checking the layout to ensure there is no obvious problem and may tweak it slightly if needed and where possible (for example, moving a name sitting in the non-safe zone or bleed zone and might be trimmed off accidentally). We do not do any quality improvements or create the file to the correct template size. There is a fee for this service at a minimum of $30 per file or side plus gst. When this service is requested, we will provide an additional quote confirming the price to you if it is higher than the minimum fee stated here. Click here for print ready file specificiations Click here for tips to make your file print ready. Click here to contact us




Make My File Print Ready Option


We also provide an option when uploading your file to ‘Make My File Print Ready”. With this service, we offer to check over your file and do minor tweaks to the artwork including setting up the file for the correct template, safe zones and bleed zones. We do not do any quality improvements to your artwork. If major work is needed, it will be referred back to you with advice. This option is not the alternative to submit a poor quality file and ask us to improve it. For that, you would need to engage a designer. There is a fee for this service at a minimum of $50 per file or side plus gst. When this service is requested, we will provide an additional quote confirming the price to you if it is higher than the minimum fee stated here.

Click here for print ready file specificiations
Click here for tips to make your file print ready.

Click here to contact us




Engage a Designer


We know printing. We’ve been doing this for over 40+ years and have qualified graphic designers on our team. You only get one chance to make a great first impression, so if something is crucial to your success, look at the option of engaging a qualified designer. In our view, it is not expensive, but an essential investment, as simply, we’re fast and good (did we say we’ve been doing this for 40+ years), and you reap the benefit of this experience and guidance offered.

Click here for print ready file specifications
Click here for tips to make your file print ready.

Click here to contact us




Project Management


We know branding, design, printing, implementation, rollout and management. If you would like to engage us to help bring a project to fruition from concept through to installation, let us know. We would be happy to provide you with a quote and be involved at any stage.

Click here to contact us




Education and Training


We know branding, design, printing, implementation, rollout and management. If you would like industry, education and/or training specific to your needs, let us know. We would be happy to provide you with a quote.

Click here to contact us




Is my logo my artwork, or a print ready file?


You've paid someone to do your logo. Awesome!
But no, it is not your artwork. Nor is it a print ready file.
At the very least, five things are needed in a print ready file:
1. your logo (using correct colour and file format for the specific job);
2. a page layout to the size of the job with the logo in the right position;
3. bleed;
4. trim;
5. PDF created to industry standards. Depending on the quality of your logo, and the item you are ordering, your logo may need colour management, refining, and possibly redrawing. It will always need a 'print-ready-file' to be created. Click here for print ready file specifications
Click here for tips to make your file print ready. Click here to contact us




What is the difference between a 'Brief', and a 'Print Ready File'?


Correct file preparation is an important part of the process that will result in you getting a top quality job, having your job run smoothly, and having your job delivered on time.
Print Ready Files for offset printing, wide format printing, screen printing, embroidery, etc. all vary and require technical skill for the best result. See FAQ's on ‘Print Ready File Specifications’, and also the FAQ on ‘7 Stages of a Project – Where Are You At?’ You may be able to create something in Word and even create a PDF, but if a file is not prepared to these specifications, it is really a 'brief' only, and should be treated as a first and very welcome step to instruct a designer. If you choose to miss this step and to upload that as a print-ready-file, we will print it, but the result is only as good as the preparation. The printing will be fabulous – that’s our part. But the finish, look and impact is determined by who prepared the artwork and how it was prepared. So that rests with you. If the job is crucial to your success, then get a qualified graphic designer to do it for you. The investment is absolutely worth it in our opinion. Allow the time for this process. Quality, inspiration and time pressures do not usually go together. Click here for print ready file specifications
Click here for tips to make your file print ready. Click here to contact us




Is there an advantage to BBB doing the design?


Yes. With over 40+ years experience, we know the industry inside out – physical to digital, business cards to buildings, window decals to websites, and so much more.

When we design your logo, branding and design elements – we do it so it can be replicated easily across all of these platforms, which use different inks, colours, machinery and processes. This means you don’t pay for a logo and then keep ‘re-paying’ different suppliers to adjust it to their needs. Often this is built into their quote, and you are not aware that you keep paying and paying.

Good design is a good investment. Bad design is much dearer - it can lose you business and keep on costing you into the future.

Our motto is: do it once, do it right!

Anyone can come up with a design concept these days. But a quality logo and design that is built right – not just looks right - that takes technical skill and qualifications. We know bleeds, frames, cut lines, key lines, layups, impositions, pms, rgb, cmyk, hex, no. up for best value, embossing, business cards to buildings, and so much more. And we know the nitty gritty of each job to get the best value and the best outcome.

Bottom line... we'll make you look amazing! Click here for print ready file specifications
Click here for tips to make your file print ready. Click here to contact us




You're doing my artwork, how do I give you my files?


If you need us to prepare your artwork for you, you need to provide to us a clear brief including the four items below:-

  1. The wording including headings, paragraphs, calls to action and any offer content if included;
  2. The intended layout;
  3. The images or photographs;
  4. Your logo or brand elements.

We will follow your brief to create your design professionally, and if the item is being printed, get the file in ‘print ready’ format.

  1. With your words, please supply these ready to insert in a clear and logical format and these can be provided either in the body of an email or a Word document. We will copy and paste this information into your artwork;
  2. Please set out in clear instructions where items are to be placed, particularly if there is a front and back of an item being produced;
  3. With your images, please supply high resolution images that you have permission to use;
  4. With your logo or brand elements, please supply production quality source files, eg: editable high resolution PDF or EPS file format. If you are unable to supply this format don't panic! Please supply your artwork in your own format and we will convert it for you for a nominal charge.
All quotes in preparing artwork are based on you providing the content as described above. We are simply preparing professional print-ready artwork or professional digital artwork files for the platform requested. In these instances, prices quoted include one proof and any changes incur additional fees. In addition to agency work, brand audits, design, implementation and management, we also offer the following services under our ‘production’ services: ‘Quick Check My File’, ‘ Make My File Print Ready’, ‘Engage a Designer’, ‘Project Management’, ‘Education & Training Services’. Please contact us for a quote. Don't supply any unnecessary files Ensure you are loading or sending only the files relevant to the job. We sometimes receive a whole lot of additional files that are unrelated to the job in hand. This can make it difficult and time consuming to find exactly what it is we are to work with or the meaning of the other files. Google Drive, Dropbox and other platforms Ensure you are sending only the files relevant to the job. We sometimes receive a whole lot of additional files that are unrelated to the job in hand. This can make it difficult and time consuming to find exactly what it is we are to work with or the meaning of the other files. Where you are sending links to files through platforms like Google Drive or Dropbox, please set up one folder that only has the files relevant to the job at hand. Please do not send us a link to a general file where we are expected to search through and find which files are needed. Free platform for transferring large files If you have a very large file to send and no access to platforms mentioned above, simply use a free online platform that you feel comfortable with (a lot of our clients use the www.wetransfer.com site, which is a free online platform).





GENERAL FAQ

I have a quick question - how do I speak to someone?



We are generally pre-booked for appointments, on site, or in brainstorming or production sessions. Yes, we could put on a receptionist, but that only puts up prices for you. The quickest way to get in touch is to email us at hello@bigboldbranding.com.au with your contact details and we will respond as soon as possible.




Where are your standard terms and conditions


The current standard terms and conditions can be found at:
https://www.bigboldbranding.com.au/terms-conditions




How do I book a branding consultation?


Whether it is branding audit, brand consultant, logo rebuild, or a file check you need. Simply go to our online calendar page or follow the link below:
https://calendly.com/suemazur_bigboldbranding




How do I book a quote?


You have three options:-
1. Complete our contact form; 2. Email the details to your account manager or hello@bigboldbranding.com.au;
3. Call 1300 233 001.




How do I book a re-order?


You have three options:-
1. Complete our contact form; 2. Email the details to your account manager or hello@bigboldbranding.com.au;
3. Call 1300 233 001.




What printing method do you use?


We use four types: wide format printing, dye sublimated fabric printing, offset printing and latest to the market digital printers, which provides the highest quality of print material for both text and images.




What decorating methods do you use?


Besides what we print on paper and with our wide format printers, we use three types of decorating: embroidery, screenprinting (up to five colours) and the latest development full colour digital print transfers.




How long does print production take?


That depends on the job. Print production times vary from 1 to 7 working days for standard paper print jobs. Standard business cards will be dispatched within 3-4 working days. As anything with quality, luxury, special items, or special finishing (such as die cutting or binding) takes longer. Promotional products, fabric printing, workwear and uniforms typically take longer and are generally specified in the description of the product. Prices online are based on a normal work flow and gang printing (putting common jobs together and running these in bulk). Quality takes time, so don’t leave it to the last minute. We want it right for you after all!

If you have a particular deadline let us know and we will try our best! If you require an urgent job that is individually printed (not gang printed) then a premium price will apply. And remember, if we tell you something we mean it.




Can I match an existing printed job?


Sorry we can’t help! Part of the reason we can keep our prices low is that every job is printed to a regular standard. That means that your order may not look exactly the same as what you’ve had printed before. They are gang printed (bundled together with jobs of a similar type for efficiency and economy). It will most likely look better.

For signage in particular we will most likely look better. The Australian sun and environment over time fades signage. The pigments that make red are most affected. This means you ideally would factor in refreshing your signage over a 3-5-7 year period depending on where it is located to keep your premises or vehicle vibrant and sending out the right message.




What are standard paper sizes in Australia?


In Australia, printing sizes normally follow the international A sizes. If you buy a ream of paper for your printer, it’s generally an A4 size (297 x 210mm). Of course we can print much, much bigger!

Below are the standard finished Paper Sizes. (Remember, when printing on them, we need bleed as specified in the template for each job).

A0 : 1189mm x 840mm
A1: 840mm x 594mm
A2: 594mm x 420mm
A3: 420mm x 297mm
A4: 297mm x 210mm
A5: 210mm x 148mm
A6: 148mm x 105mm

A7: 105mm x 74mm
DL: 210mm x 99mm
DDL: 210mm x 198mm




Do you price match?


We have done our best to keep your job local and being printed by a wholly owned Australian company employing Australians. We do not have hidden costs and hit you with download fees, pre-check fees, pre-flight fees, and excessive freight charges. We do not use toxic chemicals in our production, and we do not support nor use child labour as can be the case in cheap overseas purchases.

Our Fairness Principles and Vision: Our pricing is fair to you, fair to us, fair to the environment, and follows a social code of conduct.

We want your business, but we also want to be in business in the future and to create a world as we see it – fair to all. There is always someone offering a ridiculous price – a loss leader (something they are losing money on with the intention to move you into highly profitable jobs next). There is always someone not quoting properly and they fail in business after a short while. There is always a business that hasn't paid their suppliers grabbing money from customers before they go bust.

If we base our business catering to this type of client excited by this, one who loves the kill, happy to spend their unpaid time chasing, looking and searching, enjoys beating down a price, is happy moving their brand and products all over the place with a wide variety of quality and results and it doesn't matter, or they simply can't tell - it isn't a good fit for us. It also isn't sustainable as a business model. We specialise in making you look amazing. Affordably. Consistently. Reliably. We do that by offering a one-stop-shop with free and quality systems to enable you to do that effortlessly - and that saves you time and money! We want clients that are fair, match our fairness principles and will work with us to create a sustainable and fair future for us all. To use an old cliche - it must be a 'win-win' situation, otherwise someone is the loser. We don't want it to be us. We don't want it to be you. We want to be in a relationship with you, your kids, your family, your friends, and your associates for a long time. Please ensure the price you submit to us from a competitor is the final price you are being charged. Often online companies will have low initial costs, then slug you for hidden fees and charges. Due to these hidden costs, your free business cards end up costing you more than our premium business cards per unit. Just send your details and the written final quote you have received, and if it follows fair principles, we will try our absolute best.




How do I pay?


We offer direct debit or Stripe so you can use your creditcard. Your credit card details are not retained in our system.




What if something goes wrong?


Let us know straight away. Send us an email so we have a record in writing to hello@bigboldbranding.com.au and make sure you get a written response. If there is a manufacturing error we will reprint immediately. All claims must be made within 30 days of delivery to be valid.




What if something goes right?


Let us know straight away. We would love a testimonial and a rating on Facebook and Google Plus. We really appreciate positive feedback!




Can BBB do better?


We live on the principle that “there is always a better way”. It drives and motivates us. If you have any feedback that may be relevant to better serving you, a product you would like to see offered, or something else of value we could do for you, we would love to hear from you. Send us an email to hello@bigboldbranding.com.au.





PRINT READY FILE SPECIFICATIONS

Print File Specifications 1: Offset Printing, Digital Transfer Printing


  1. File sizes need to be exact – as specified in the template (trimmed size + bleed size):Do not put a white border or trim marks on files. For example, do not create a business card on an A4 page. Make the page/file size the same size as specified in the template. If the job including bleed is 94mm x 59mm, your page/file size needs to be exactly this;

  2. Do not include crop marks – follow the print zone, safe zone and bleed requirements and specifications for each job;

  3. Only contain colours, images and photographs in CMYK– no RGB, PMS, Pantone, RGB, LAB colours;

  4. Where using black, in particular blocks or large areas, set this to rich black, C40, M40, Y40, K100;

  5. Create a high resolution, editable PDF to upload;

  6. When creating your PDF file, have all colour profiles and links embedded;

  7. Have all fonts converted to curves or outlines;

  8. Resolution for your content minimum dpi with no compression:

  • Contain images that are dpi at 100% sizing;
  • Rasterised text or logos should be 1200 dpi;
  • Screen values should be between 133 lpi and 150 lpi;
  • Photographs at least dpi for small jobs and 600-1200dpi for larger jobs.
9. Remove all layers from templates before uploading the file;




Print File Specifications 2: Wide Format Printing, Fabric Dye-Sublimation


  1. Files need to be correctly sized to the job specifications. Depending on the job requirements, cut-contour lines, bleed, keyline outlines or step and repeat layout may be required. Please check before submitting artwork.

  2. Export your file into an editable, high resolution PDF (Portable Document File) or EPS (Encapsulated Post Script). These file formats are universal file formats, which help to ensure compatibility with our systems. Other file formats we can accept are high resolution from vector files: JPEG, TIFF, AI, PSD, CDR. Where there is pixilation, low resolution, import incompatibilities or additional set-up required, then set-up fees may apply. We do not accept the following file formats: Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and Powerpoint) & Works (WPS), Microsoft Publisher, GIF, BMP, PNG, SVG, PICT, MIX & PCX, Visio.

  3. File sizes need to be exact to the application needed. A separate document showing the layup of the artwork against the carousel-item it is to be applied to (ie a car wrap) is required. Mockups are not suitable for artwork. A specific site or vehicle measure is required by who prepares the artwork, which is then completed to suit both the application and the media width for printing.

  4. Electronic artwork supplied using incorrect file formats or construction methods will be returned to the customer for correction.

  5. Only contain colours, images and photographs in CMYK– no RGB, PMS, Pantone, RGB, LAB colours. For photos, submit the high resolution unmodified images to us (ideally in RAW format);

  6. Where using black, in particular blocks or large areas, set this to rich black, C40, M40, Y40, K100;

  7. Create a high resolution, editable PDF to upload;

  8. When creating your PDF file, have all colour profiles and links embedded;

  9. Have all fonts converted to curves or outlines;

  10. Resolution for your content minimum dpi with no compression:

  • Logos must be fully editable vector graphics;
  • Contain images that are dpi at 100% sizing;
  • Rasterised text or logos should be 1200 dpi;
  • Screen values should be between 133 lpi and 150 lpi;
  • Photographs at least dpi for small jobs and 600-1200dpi for larger jobs.

11. Remove all layers from templates before uploading the file;

12. All files must be named clearly ie YOURNAME_AFRAME_DATE02032018.pdf

13. These files tend to be very large files, use our “Large File Upload” on the site, and email us to let you know.




Print File Specifications 3:  Screenprinting, Laser Engraving or Pad Printed Jobs


File sizes need to be exact – as specified in the template or maximum print area to the imprint area allocated to that particular product;

  1. Confirm and include the placement position in the file;

  2. Colour up artwork to the pantone colours to be printed – no CMYK, RGB, RGB, LAB colours. Artwork created to CMYK will not be colour matched;

  3. Gradients and percentages of colour cannot be screenprinted, engraved or pad printed. Where a logo has percentages of colour, a solid pantone colour must be assigned to each percentage. Edit artwork to a flat image to suit. Logos for engraving to be supplied as solid black (this will be the ‘engrave’).

  4. All artwork for screenprinting, engraving or pad printing must be fully editable vector graphics (.ai or .eps files). JPEG or other file formats are not suitable.

  5. Create a high resolution, editable PDF to upload;

  6. Have all fonts converted to curves or outlines;

  7. Resolution for your content minimum dpi with no compression:

  • Contain images that are dpi at 100% sizing;

  • Rasterised text or logos should be 1200 dpi;

8. Remove all layers from templates before uploading the file;

9. All fonts must be embedded or outlined;

10. All files must be named clearly ie YOURNAME_WATERBOTTLE_DATE02032018.pdf




Print File Specifications 4: Embroidery


While some jobs may need special graphics, following artwork specifications satisfies most of embroidery jobs we do for our clients.

Digitising is the most important part for creating high quality Custom Embroidery. Embroidery digitizing or coding, originally referred to as "punching", is the art of creating embroidery "stitches" from text or printed graphic art. Digitising creates instructions allowing a logo to be stitched on an embroidery machine. To prepare your artwork:-

  1. File sizes need to be exact – as specified in the template or maximum print area to the imprint area allocated to that particular product;

  2. Confirm and include the placement position in the file;

  3. Colour up artwork to be easily converted to a stitch colour;

  4. Gradients and percentages of colour cannot be embroidered. Where a logo has percentages of colour, a solid colour must be assigned to each percentage. Edit artwork to a flat image to suit.

  5. All artwork for embroidery can include high resolution jpeg files.

  6. Create a high resolution, editable PDF to upload;

  7. Have all fonts converted to curves or outlines;

  8. Resolution for your content minimum dpi with no compression:

  • Contain images that are dpi at 100% sizing;

  • Rasterised text or logos should be 350 dpi;

  • Screen values should be between 133 lpi and 150 lpi;

9. Remove all layers from templates before uploading the file;

10. All files must be named clearly ie YOURNAME_AFRAME_DATE02032018.pdf




Do I need an additional PDF Proof when ordering special finishes?


Yes.

When ordering any order with Extra Finishes, we require an additional 3 Page PDF Proof.

  • Page 1 should be artwork or key line for the Extra Finish (eg. Keyline for a die cut or perforation, or as a solid black design indicating the area for Foil or Emboss).

  • Page 2 will be the Front side of the order, plus an overlay of the artwork for the Additional Extra Finish indicating how you wish it to be applied.

  • Page 3 will be the Reverse side of the order, plus an overlay of the artwork for the Additional Extra Finish indicating how you wish it to be applied.




How to setup a front and back or multi page artwork?


Please ensure you supply your artwork to us with front and back combined into a single PDF file. Ie: Standard 2 Sided Business Card, Page 1 represents the front of the card; Page 2 represents the back of the card. For multiple versions (ie ordering different names – these require a separate PDF for each version, ie: not supplied all in one PDF or ganged on one page).

If you are preparing a multi page artwork, ensure you get in touch with us for specifications prior to building your files.




What do I do if I want spot UV (gloss or matt cello) setup?


Please note: Gloss and Matt Cello on 1 side will always be applied to Page 1 of your PDF document. For the section to be cello printed, create a spot colour called “SPOT UV” in 100% Black and ensure it is on a separate layer (top) on page 1 of your document. When you output your PDF choose “pre-press” option and native colour output so we can identify the Spot UV colour.




What to do if I want a Diecutting Form Setup?


We recommend using a dieline from our extensive range of templates. If you require a custom diecut, please contact us directly. If you choose to create your own die, it is best practice to create your dieline, mock it up and test it before laying out your artwork. Then repeat that process prior to placing the order and the artwork is complete.

This is especially important with packaging and presentation folders, as elements such as gussets to allow for inserted material, closure folds and tabs also require careful and accurate engineering to serve their purpose.

Please note: The reverse mirrors the front so check that your Diecut is placed in the correct location (flipped) on the reverse. Ensure your artwork is centred on each page so Diecut line up exactly when flipped.

How to setup and supply your files

  1. Open your artwork in your design application.

  2. Create a new layer for the Diecut artwork.

  3. Place one of our Diecut templates, or create your own unique Die shape on the new Diecut layer.

  4. Ensure the Keyline is no more than 1pt, unbroken keyline and is set to 100% Magenta.

  5. Export the Diecut Proof – by exporting as a single PDF including all layers, with all trim marks.

  6. Export the Diecut layer – by turning off all layers except the new Diecut layer, then export as a single PDF with all trim marks.

  7. Proceed to export the final CMYK file by turning off the Diecut layer, then export all CMYK layers with trim marks.




What do I do if I want Foiling or Embossing Setup?


Foiling and or Embossing can provide a premium result when highlighting a logo, image, bold type, or applied as an overprinted PATTERN over solids for a more unique and creative result.

When supplying final artwork which requires Foiling and or Embossing, artwork for the Foiling and or Embossing must be supplied as an extra PDF file which contains all the Foiling or Embossing elements set as solid black.

Please note: If combining both Foiling and Embossing on the one order, we require one PDF for the Foiling artwork, and a second PDF for Embossing artwork.

It is important to make sure that this Foiling and or Embossing exported PDF file is identical in all respects (size, orientation, crop, position of images and text etc.) to your original CMYK artwork.

Please note: The reverse mirrors the front so check that your Emboss is placed in the correct location (flipped) on the reverse. Ensure your artwork is centred on each page so Emboss line up exactly when flipped.

How to setup and supply your files

  1. Open your artwork in your design application.

  2. Create a new layer for the Foil or Emboss artwork.

  3. Select the elements you wish to enhance with Foil or Emboss and duplicate them to the new Foil or Emboss layer.

  4. Fill the elements with 100%K (Black). All elements should be set to 100% Opacity.

  5. IMPORTANT – Select all graphics on the Foil or Emboss layer and set them to “Overprint Fill” in the Attributes palette (Window/Output Attributes).

  6. Select “Overprint Preview” from the ‘View’ menu to CHECK your work fits correctly.

  7. Export the Foil or Emboss Proof – by exporting as a single PDF including all layers, with all trim marks.

  8. Export the Foil or Emboss layer – by turning off all layers except the new Foil or Emboss layer, then export as a single PDF with all trim marks.

Proceed to export the final CMYK file by turning off the Foil or Emboss layer, then export all CMYK layers with trim marks.




What to do if I want Scoring and Perforation Setup?


When your artwork is laid out, create a new layer called “Score” or “Perforation". Choose a bright colour that is not featured in your artwork (100% Magenta works well), then draw dashed lines on “Score” or “Perforation" layer where you intend the Score or Perforations to be placed.

Please note: The reverse mirrors the front so check that your perforations are in the correct location (flipped) on the reverse. Ensure your artwork is centred on each page so perforations line up exactly when flipped.

How to setup and supply your files

  1. Open your artwork in your design application.

  2. Create a new layer for the “Score” or “Perforation" artwork.

  3. Draw dashed lines on “Score” or “Perforation" layer where you intend the Score or Perforations to be placed.

  4. Ensure the Keyline is no more than 1pt, Dashed keyline and is set to 100% Magenta.

  5. Export the “Score” or “Perforation" Proof - by exporting as a single PDF including all layers, with all trim marks.

  6. Export the “Score” or “Perforation" layer – by turning off all layers except the new “Score” or “Perforation" layer, then export as a single PDF with all trim marks.

Proceed to export the final CMYK file by turning off the “Score” or “Perforation" layer, then export all CMYK layers with trim marks.




What to do if I want Shaped Cut Outs or Cut Contour Settings?


Please note: For a cut out to be completed, create a spot colour called “CutContour” in 100% Magenta. Create a keyline using this colour to the shape you want cut out ensuring there is 2mm bleed. Make the keyline a .5mm clean line with no breaks. The colour of this keyline is now called CutContour and our cutters will follow this line. It is ok, you can see it on your artwork, but it is not printed.

Place this CutContour line on a separate layer (top) on your document. When you output your PDF and choose “pre-press” option and native colour output, the cutters can identify the CutContour colour. We print by barcode to exact match print and cut, so your keylines need to be in their exact position.





TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR FILE ‘PRINT READY'

Use the right Software


There's plenty of things you need to check in preparing your artwork, some of them are listed below. We have prepared the following guide to assist you with your electronic file preparation and submission. If you have a specific problem that is not covered in this guide, or have other questions, please feel free to contact us. Improperly prepared files can cause delays in manufacturing.

Use the right software – it matters. Almost as much as your creative ability! To make it easy you will need software that's made to create print files. Sounds obvious, but it is frequently ignored. Just remember that Microsoft Word is called that because it's good with "Words". It's not so good with pictures and logos, otherwise it would be called Microsoft Picture. Same goes with web editing software, it's not great at making things for printing.

The best results come from specific graphic arts software that has font, image, colour and page layout management systems built into them. The popular page layout software packages currently available are Adobe InDesign, Adobe PageMaker (now discontinued), QuarkXPress and CorelDraw (all available for the Mac and the PC), and Microsoft Publisher with CMYK settings (only available for the PC). Drawing and photo manipulation packages such as Corel Photopaint, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe PhotoShop, and Macromedia Freehand can be used, but work created in those packages should be placed into page layout software.

We do not recommend word processing or presentation software such as Microsoft Word or Powerpoint. They are great for office stuff, but are really low quality and your end result will reflect this. We highly recommend you do not use web editing, or online software – they simply are not great at making things for printing. Files created in Canva for example are not suitable, being too low in resolution and based on RGB colours.

The look and impact of the job that you receive will directly reflect the quality of the artwork. Poor quality artwork will give you poor quality look. You have two options though (1) have us design it for you; or (2) have us recreate or convert the files for you.

For offset and wide format printing, make sure all your images are CMYK and convert all RGB images/colours, convert all fonts to curves and supply the following files:

  1. Print production quality PDF – editable;
  2. Print production quality PDF – flattened;
  3. Job fonts.




Caution on Proprietary Platforms (ie Canva)


We do not accept Canva or similar online platform files for printing, as in our experience the files from these platforms have inherent problems in them that do not replicate as intended outside of their own use. Canva’s terms and conditions allow you the right to use files for digital purposes (ie social media) and online sharing (ie digital files) whilst they retain the copyright for what they have provided to you to use. Check our Canva’s terms and conditions for yourself so you understand the copyright providions, and their intent in allowing you to use that platform and files created there. Further, most online editors work in RGB and GIMP work in RGB by default. Check your software settings and capabilities before starting.




CMYK, RGB (heck, what does that even mean????) Here’s the short version.


RGB and CMYK are known as ‘colour spaces’ or 'colour gamuts', and these 'colour spaces' create the colours you see on all printed matter and on your computer screen right now.

• RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue; and RGB is the ‘colour space’ used by computer monitors and digital cameras. Often known as a positive primary colour. If you mix these three colours on a monitor you will get white.

• CMYK stands for (C)yan, (M)agenta, (Y)ellow and Blac(k). or KEY. A correct and more technical term but nowadays, mostly referred to as black. Almost all conventional and digital printing presses use CMYK. Often also called a negative primary colour.

Everything created with an online editor, Microsoft Office software, like Word, Powerpoint, Photo/Draw, Excel, Adobe Photoshop “LE” and Adobe PhotDeluxe work in RGB and GIMP also work in RGB. Check your software settings and capabilities before starting.




What difference does RGB or CMYK make to my job?


There is a major difference in the colours. RGB and CMYK have different colour ‘gamuts’. A colour gamut is the range of colours that a colour space can reproduce. RGB has a wider colour gamut than CMYK. That is, RGB is capable of reproducing more colours than CMYK. RGB tends to be able to reproduce colours at the extremes of red, green and blue that CMYK is incapable of reproducing. In other words, bright reds, greens, oranges and blues will not be quite so bright when converted to CMYK.

What seems bright and rich on your monitor may print out a lot "duller". You will, for instance, see this in particular when converting a deep cobalt blue to CMYK. Orange or other "bright" colours will also have this problem. Most monitors are sold these days with the brightness close to 100%. The saturation will more often than not will also be ramped up to give excessive richness to images. People are attracted to rich, bright, almost overstaturated colours.

Monitor manufacturers don't want their monitor to appear dull next to a competitor in a shop, so you normally get a monitor that will not show you the "truth" of what you are seeing. Ever stood in a store looking at television screens and noticing the difference between manufacturers?

If your photos come back from the printer and you have adjusted them on your computer and they appear dark, then often the culprit is your monitor.

A qualified graphic designer used to specifications for offset and wide format printing and using a calibrated colour monitor works in CMYK. However if you are doing your own artwork, it may be that some of the images and background tints you work with whilst preparing your job will use the RGB colour space. At some stage you will need to them converted to CMYK. We recommend this is done before sending the files to us, and it is far better if you do the conversion. You will see the result for yourself, and have the opportunity to make adjustments or experiment with colours to provide the best result.

The raster image processors (RIPs) that all presses use to prepare files for printing have built-in RGB to CMYK conversion ‘algorithms’. This is an essential and unavoidable part of the process , and we don’t have a great deal of control over the automated process. Once sent for printing, it is simply too late and you will get what you get based on the artwork submitted.

Since offset printing and wide format printing uses CMYK there will be a difference. You are preparing files for a printing press or a wide format printer in general, so ensure you submit only CMYK images, otherwise.... you may be disappointed... and sorry, but it will be your part of the job that has let you down.




What colours are used if you are not printing – digital files, websites and online publishing?


Where we are creating digital files for you for social media or online publishing, we will create these in RGB and welcome uploads of images for these formats in RGB.

For websites.... we use the HEX codes, which specifies colours using hexadecimal values. The code itself is a hex triplet, which represents three separate values that specify the levels of the component colours. The code starts with a pound sign (#) and is followed by six hex values or three hex value pairs (for example, #AFD645). The code is generally associated with HTML and websites, viewed on a screen, and as such the hex value pairs refer to the RGB colour space. In the case of RGB, the first value pair refers to red, the second to green and the third to blue, with decimal values ranging from 0 to 255, or in hexadecimal 0 to FF (#RRGGBB). RGB is an additive colour space, meaning that when all three colours are put together the result is white (white light). For example, the colour hex code for white is #FFFFFF or in decimal 255, 255, 255; and at the opposite end is black #000000. Yellow is made up of red and green, so its hex code is #FFFF00. The codes can also be represented in a three-digit code to represent double values in CSS. For example, #FFFFFF can be abbreviated as #FFF and #00AA55 as #0A5. This is defined in the CSS specifications, so it only works under the "< style >" tag when used within HTML. The notation reduces the palette to 4096 colours (12 bits) as opposed to 16,777,216 colors (24 bits) for the six-digit coding.




Use High Resolution Images


You can't make a silk purse out of sow's ear is an old cliche for a reason. We cannot add resolution. Poor low quality images cannot be "enhanced" by converting to PDF.

A very common problem is the supply of images (ie logos or photographs etc). Often they are supplied at very low resolutions such as screen images 72dpi (used for computer screens, and therefore the internet). But have you tried to print it out on your printer? Press printed products require images to be supplied at 300dpi or as close thereto as you can get. (300 rows each of 300 dots, or 90,000 dots in a square inch.) As a rule of thumb stear clear of any images from web sites unless you can obtain a high resolution copy of the image. If you can’t obtain the image... then you need to question if you have are breaching copyright laws in using the image. And when we use the expression '300dpi', we mean 300dpi at the final output size. If you have a 300dpi image that is, say 100x150mm, and blow it up to A4, you have reduced the effective resolution back to 75dpi, and achieved nothing. Keep that in mind if you are wanting printing on a wide format basis (vehicles, signs and buildings). Start with a good quality high resolution image. < style >" tag when used within HTML. The notation reduces the palette to 4096 colours (12 bits) as opposed to 16,777,216 colors (24 bits) for the six-digit coding.




Image Resolutions


  • All images and pictures should be dpi.

  • Rasterized text or logos should be 1200 dpi.

  • Screen values should be between 133 lpi and 150 lpi.The minimum image size is dpi in resolution is just the starting point. If you are creating artwork to cover a building it will need to be at least 1200dpi. Start with high resolution logo or image and you'll go far (and a professional photographer is always worth the cost if you can afford it). Helpful Hint: if you are using Photoshop, change your resolution to at least 600dpi before you flatten it. It will make the fonts clearer. < style >" tag when used within HTML. The notation reduces the palette to 4096 colours (12 bits) as opposed to 16,777,216 colors (24 bits) for the six-digit coding.




Caution Low Resolution Images


Images you take off someone websites will usually be 72 dpi - or about one fifth of what they should be – and they may be subject to copyright. Also be careful in resizing your image. You might start with a you-beaut image at 300dpi, but if you stretch it to fit your page it won't end at 300dpi. < style >" tag when used within HTML. The notation reduces the palette to 4096 colours (12 bits) as opposed to 16,777,216 colors (24 bits) for the six-digit coding.




Borders


Try to avoid them. The same reason you need bleed (see below) is why we don't recommend borders. It's unavoidable for the guillotining to vary by just a fraction of a millimetre or so. If your border is only 2mm from the edge it will end up looking pretty ordinary. If you really, really want a border, make sure it's at least 4mm in from the edge of your printed page. The notation reduces the palette to 4096 colours (12 bits) as opposed to 16,777,216 colors (24 bits) for the six-digit coding.




Colour Alert


Pick "Blue" in RGB (ie in Word or Powerpoint) and it will print purple. If you can measure the CMYK values of your blue make sure it doesn't have any more than 65% magenta, and as much Cyan as you can squeeze in. "Blue" in RGB will almost always convert to 100% magenta and 100% cyan - and this will always become purple (hence why we don’t want you to use RGB colours).

An RGB Yellow does a similar thing. It will look great on screen but usually does not print as the vibrant yellow you expected. The notation reduces the palette to 4096 colours (12 bits) as opposed to 16,777,216 colors (24 bits) for the six-digit coding.




The use of Black


Not all blacks are composed equal. Please avoid 4 colour blacks when using for text or line work and use 100% K (black) only. This will ensure that you do not get any small dots of any other colours on the edges of your text making it appear less crisp. If you are looking for a deeper shade of black in a solid fill object use “rich black”, 40% cyan, 40% magenta, 40% yellow and 100% black. The extra cyan helps deepen the black without too much inkcoverage to affect the drying or having scuffing problems. Please try to avoid using Rich Black on small / thin / or reversed out type and Key lines.

IMPORTANT : Do avoid the use of RGB black and then converting to CMYK or leaving the RGB black in your file. RGB black is often made up with colour around the 70-80%Cyan, 65-75% Magenta, 65-75% Yellow and 85-95% black. This leads to a muddy black as you are saturating the printed product with around 325% ink. The yellow and magenta mixing to create a muddy brown black, not to mention that the high ink coverage will have an effect on adjacent thin fonts and also be prone to scuffing or marking.

This normally occurs when you use a raster program such as Adobe Photoshop, Elements, Microsoft Paint etc, as opposed to a vector program such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe In-Design and Corel. So in order to reduce the over-saturation and muddy brown effect, start in the CMYK colour space and use no more ink coverage that the rich blacks stated above. If you are using an RGB picture or effect that is in RGB and is very dark or black, you will have to lighten it up considerably and double check the effects by printing out the CMYK print ready PDF on a digital cmyk printer, not an inkjet printer. < style >" tag when used within HTML. The notation reduces the palette to 4096 colours (12 bits) as opposed to 16,777,216 colors (24 bits) for the six-digit coding.




Then Add Bleed


Bleed is where the printed image on a page extends beyond the edge of the printed area. During the printing and trimming process, it is common for each sheet of paper to vary or move ever so slightly. The use of bleed on artwork, ensures that even where this variance occurs it will not be noticeable, as the printed piece will always be trimmed somewhere on the coloured printed image. If bleed is absent, it’s possible to find unsightly white lines bordering your printed carousel-item where there should be colour extending to the edge. These white strips will appear worse if on more than one edge. A lack of an allowance for bleed on supplied artwork is one of the most common problems faced by printers yet it’s one of the most important pieces of information that should be included.

Our templates allow for a bleed on your job, and are set up to show and include the bleed area.

Whether or not you have bleed, you still need to prepare your artwork to the template size including this allowance. For example, if you are ordering a business card with a finished size of 90mm x 55mm, our templates require a further 2mm bleed area all around, and you will prepare your artwork and PDF file to 94mm x 59mm. If you don’t have any bleeds, easy peasy, but you still need to prepare your artwork to this size. < style >" tag when used within HTML. The notation reduces the palette to 4096 colours (12 bits) as opposed to 16,777,216 colors (24 bits) for the six-digit coding.




Check your spelling and punctuation


Don't forget to check your spelling, punctuation and grammar. Run your spell checker! Make sure your spell check is preferably set to Australian English and not US English. It is also a good idea to have someone else look at your work. Another set of eyes often sees something you've been looking at and missing. Often the longer you have been working on a project, the less likely you are to spot the obvious. Ever played with one of those puzzles that have letters missing out of words but you can still read it quickly? Pay particular attention to headlines when checking, as they eye can interpret their intention rather than their spelling. < style >" tag when used within HTML. The notation reduces the palette to 4096 colours (12 bits) as opposed to 16,777,216 colors (24 bits) for the six-digit coding.




Avoid common grammatical and usage errors


Avoid some of the more common mistakes, and make your work read more professionally. Here are some examples. When referring to a decade, don't use an apostrophe as in 90's, use 90s. Don't use ampersands ('&') in text, use the word 'and'. This avoids putting a 7 there instead. Don't Make Excessive Use Of Capitals If It Is Unnecessary — keep them to a minimum.Programs often have both a spell check and a grammar check. Check out the settings behind your program to see if you can turn them this function on. < style >" tag when used within HTML. The notation reduces the palette to 4096 colours (12 bits) as opposed to 16,777,216 colors (24 bits) for the six-digit coding.




Print out your job and check, check and check again


It's easy to miss mistakes in your document when you have only ever seen it displayed on the screen. It is an important part of proofing your job to print the document out and look at it. Check for spelling errors, spacing problems, inconsistencies, and design problems. Try to get someone else to check for typo mistakes. If you want a folded or multiple page document check your proof to make sure it lines up correctly.Remember the colours on your home printer (and your screen) will differ from what we print using digital, offset and wide format printers. < style >" tag when used within HTML. The notation reduces the palette to 4096 colours (12 bits) as opposed to 16,777,216 colors (24 bits) for the six-digit coding.




Make a PDF


We prefer you submit a high resolution CMYK PDF file of your artwork. A PDF locks the fonts in and your images won’t move.First – make sure you are using a production quality PDF (that builds files, embeds fonts and colour profiles suitable for the print industry);Second - make sure your artwork is to the template size and includes bleed where stated. Follow the instructions above the specifications for creating a print-ready file. Remember, poor low quality images cannot be "enhanced" by converting to PDF.Third – don’t forget to double check the PDF - that is what we will print, so don't rely on the original file you created, double check the PDF you are about to send us. Sometimes, just sometimes, a PDF does not capture everything you think it will (there are many reasons), so check the final PDF file before uploading. < style >" tag when used within HTML. The notation reduces the palette to 4096 colours (12 bits) as opposed to 16,777,216 colors (24 bits) for the six-digit coding.




Caution on Using PDF makers


A word of caution. There are many PDF makers available built into software, or available online. If you are using Word and creating a PDF – this is suitable for creating a document for easy transmission/sending to someone else. PDF means “portable document format”. It means if the person you are sending it to does not have the software you created the file in, they will still be able to read the file. PDF makers have a wide range of quality levels in the ‘output’ that they create (ie the final PDF file being created).

Further, if you create a file in Word (or similar non graphic art programs), use a PDF maker to create the PDF – it is still very poor quality quality. We cannot add resolution or quality to your file. If you have an image in your Word document you grabbed off the internet that is 15kb and RGB based, it is still very poor quality even when you create a PDF file. The creation of the PDF is not the solution. The creation of a quality artwork suitable for the offset printing or wide format printing is the solution.

It is not just PDF that is needed, as you can see the quality can vary widely. It is a PDF of a high quality artwork based on the principles set out here.

If you wish to get us to quick-check your files or to make your file print ready, please select these options at the ordering process.

Then wait for your printed job to come back to you. Don't panic, everything will be alright. < style >" tag when used within HTML. The notation reduces the palette to 4096 colours (12 bits) as opposed to 16,777,216 colors (24 bits) for the six-digit coding.




Don't supply any unnecessary files


Ensure you are loading or sending only the files relevant to the job. We sometimes receive a whole lot of additional files that are unrelated to the job in hand. This can make it difficult and time consuming to find exactly what it is we are to work with or the meaning of the other files. < style >" tag when used within HTML. The notation reduces the palette to 4096 colours (12 bits) as opposed to 16,777,216 colors (24 bits) for the six-digit coding.




Further information


Please refer to the FAQ'S for further information and additional specifications if you are wanting 'extras' on your job like embossing, UV spot printing-matt/gloss cello printing, die-cutting or shape cutting (cut-contour) settings. < style >" tag when used within HTML. The notation reduces the palette to 4096 colours (12 bits) as opposed to 16,777,216 colors (24 bits) for the six-digit coding.