Incorrect artwork can slow down your print order or result in a finished item which doesn't look the way you expected. We want you to be entirely satisfied with your printed work when you receive it - Read the following guidelines before starting your design/layout.

Alternatively DESIGN ASYLUM can create the design for you. example: Business Card design & layout ONLY £15




It is important that you design your artwork with the correct dimensions. Artwork must include a 3mm bleed on each edge of the document. If your printed design contains graphics, images or colors that go right to the edge of the page, include a bleed.

'Bleed' is a term for images or graphics that extend beyond the edge of the paper that gets trimmed off. In other words, these graphic elements 'bleed off the page'.

Make sure important text and images sit within 5mm of the finished size. We call this the 'Safe Area'. There is a 1-2mm tolerance when the bleed is trimmed to finished size. The design may look or read incorrectly if some important details are close to the edge or even worse trimmed off.

image showing artwork bleed and safe area

Below is a table of correct sizes for some of the more common artwork types.

Standard UK business card 85mm x 55mm 91mm x 61mm
A6 (postcard) 148m x 105mm 154m x 111mm
A5 (flyer/leaflet) 210mm x 148mm 216mm x 154mm
A4 (large leaflet, letterhead) 297mm x 210mm 303mm x 216mm
A3 (poster) 420mm x 297mm 426mm x 303mm


Your document is printed using a four colour process (CMYK - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) so it is important you save your documents in a CMYK colourspace. When you begin setting up your document select CMYK, if you have been working in RGB don't forget to convert your colours to CMYK when saving before sending to the artwork to us.


If you are creating your artwork in software like Adobe Photoshop we require an absolute minimum of 300dpi, but would prefer 600dpi, the later size will dramatically increase the file size of your document, but it will result in the printed images being sharper and more detailed.

To ensure a crisp print on items such as text we strongly recommend creating all artwork in a desktop publishing software like Adobe Illustrator / In-Design, Quark Express or even Microsoft Word, these applications output text as 'Postscript' data which means the text information will print crystal clear.


To get the best results we highly recommend saving your artwork in PDF format. The advantage of a PDF is text can be preserved as text layers, not pixels. This will result in a much higher quality finish than flattened text which you may find in JPEG. You can create PDFs from Photoshop, but please check that text layers have been preserved and fonts are embed.

When exporting as PDF make sure that the setting for set for 'Press Quality' or the highest setting available.

When exporting as JPEG make sure that the setting for set for 'Maximum' or the highest setting available.

If you are designing your artwork in Microsoft Word we recommend using 'PrimoPDF' plugin for export your design as a PDF, it's a FREE download and works well. You can download it here:

Don't see what you need on this page? Complete our simple form and ask for help or call us on (020) 8838 3555.