In order for your artwork to print as you see it, there are some specifications you need to be aware of, otherwise it may turn out completely different to what you intended.
• Is it a PDF File?
Setting up files for printing
Have you allowed enough Margin on your page so your text wont crop off when printed?
A lot of people make the mistake of placing their text close to the edge of their artwork; this is a no no! After your artwork is printed, the paper gets guillotined to size, and if your text is close to the edge, it may be cut off.
Always allow at least 5mm margin around your whole document to prevent this issue.
Have you included Bleed in your artwork?
Bleed refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of where your artwork will be guillotined. If no bleed is included, your artwork will have a white border around it when printed.
If you want your printing to have colour go right to the edge, it is necessary to include bleed. You should include at least 3mm bleed all around but this will vary depending on your printing company.
Does your artwork include Crop Marks?
Crop Marks refer to lines printed in the corners of your artwork to show the printer where to guillotine the paper. If crop marks are not included, your printer will not know where to cut.
Have you supplied your file as a high res print-ready PDF?
Most printers require a high res PDF file to print from. PDF refers to a file format for capturing and sending electronic documents. They are easily readable by most computers.
The PDF should include your artwork supplied in CMYK with enough margin, crop marks and bleed.
Is it CMYK?
CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. These are the standard printing colours used on a printer. On the other-hand, RGB (Red, Green, Blue) are the main colours used for web. A lot of the colours you create in RGB will not turn out the same when printed.
It is always best to create your document from the start in CMYK colour to ensure that you have a better idea of how your colours are going to print.
Have you used 'Rich Black' instead of 'Solid Black'?
The term 'Rich Black' refers to a breakdown of CMYK colour to create black, eg C=60, M=50, Y=50, K=100. Rich black appears darker than solid black as you are using a mixture of colours, where as solid black only uses 100% black ink.
If your design has large blocks of black colour, I suggest using a rich black to prevent it appearing brown when printed.