How to Prepare Work for Print

30/05/2012  | by: Shaun Cleary

Preparing your work for print is not as simple as just emailing an image or logo to your print company, there are a number of things that can be done to optimise it before printing.

One of the best ways to ensure that you're image is at its very best is to use a professional graphic designer. Of course, you can do it yourself with a design program such as Adobe InDesign, but it getting it to a high level is often time consuming and nigh impossible without some prior knowledge or experience.

Using the right tools is significantly important and makes all the difference to the end product, so don't use anything by Microsoft in the process as they're just not cut out for it.

Knowing what to look for can significantly improve the chances of your image being suitable to print and you receiving a high end product.


Image Size


The image size you decide on determines the size of the image you will need. Using an incorrect size makes for stretched images, or ones with large white borders. Before you send a printer company your items make sure to check the design is the correct size for the medium you are printing to. This can be done in Photoshop by selecting 'Image' and then clicking on 'Image Size' on the drop down menu.


Document Bleed


When printing, there needs to be a certain area for bleeding, or error at the side of the image. This area is a small area of white uncovered paper around the border of the document.   Printers will ask for this bleed, which is cut off during the process - this is usually 3mm in size and means 6mm up and 6mm across extra to the size of the image in total. Make sure there is nothing important in this area as it may end up cut off. Discount Banner printing only require 3mm on stickers.



dots per inch

Commercial printers work by spraying dots onto an area. The more of these dots or pixels that cover a certain area the higher the quality and density - this makes for a higher quality image. The industry standard for these pixels is 300 dots per inch, or 300dpi. This of course means that your image must be 300dpi for printing. Be aware that screen resolution is 72dpi as standard. Make sure that it's set to 300dpi before you start as this can cause trouble when converting for printing at the end. Checking is easy in Photoshop. Go to 'image' and 'image size' and look to 'resolution'. This should be 300dpi, if not change it to it before you start. Be certain that 'Resample Image' is ticked before you change the resolution.


Colour Space

Choosing whether to print in RGB or CMYK can be confusing. Essentially as screens only display in red, green and black - RGB is for onscreen work. CMYK is used for printing. This can lead to drastic differences in colour. Always be sure to send off prints in CMYK as otherwise you may get a nasty shock.

We have a full article covering this subject CMYK VS RGB


Document Format

The document format is the computer format you send your sign across in. Choose between PDF and JPEG, Printers generally prefer the former, though either is fine. Choose the one which has the highest quality as a rule.

Ensuring the image is 'flat' before use is a necessity. This is essential in ensuring the image looks its best. Got to 'Layer' and on the drop down menu choose' Flatten image' and save your document for printing.

Here at Discount Banner Printing we can accommodate designers and end users as we have both an upload artwork option and a standard design option, if you are not clear if your artwork is suitable to use choose the standard design option and we can help with any artwork changes needed.


Find Us On Facebook