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Design Colours

Artwork Guidelines

How to Prepare your Artwork for Printing

How to Supply Print Ready Artwork

Please ensure artwork is supplied in accordance with this guide.  Any artwork that is not in accordance with the following specifications may be subject to an additional charge to make print ready. blp cannot be held responsible for any print errors or late deliveries where artwork has been supplied incorrectly.


Print ready artwork is required as a PDF in accordance with the following specifications:

  • All artwork to be CMYK and high resolution (at least 300 dip - See Print Resolution).
  • Single pages in one document (not spreads or printers pairs), in sequential order, starting with page 1 (front page) through to the last page (back page).
  • Folded leaflets should be set up as two separate spreads (see Folded Leaflets).
  • PDF with 3mm bleed allowance and crop marks to be included (see below).
  • All fonts to be embedded within the document.
  • Artwork must to supplied at correct size.

For guidance on how to create PRINT QUALITY PDF's from your design application, please refer to the application's User Guide.


Adobe InDesign - Save as a 'Package' to include fonts, images and InDesign file.

Adobe Illustrator - Supply as AI or EPS file with embedded images.  Fonts to be embedded or converted to outline.

Adobe Photoshop - Supply at 300 dpi as JPEG, EPS or TIFF file.  Embed links.


If using the transparency functions, generated files transparencies must be flattened before supplying.


Please ensure that no elements of the design are set to overprint unless specifically required.  We cannot always check for this and it is likely to generate unexpected results.


When supplying Cutter, Fold, UV, Foil guides please ensure elements are coloured as a Spot Colour, and named accordingly ir. 'Cutter', 'Fold', etc.  DO NOT USE PROCESS COLOURS FOR GUIDES.


We advise that artwork is generated in the following design programs:

  • Adobe Indesign
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Acrobat

blp cannot accept responsibility for any unwanted results from artwork originally generated in any other package.  This is especially true of 'office' programmes such as Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel or Publisher, regardless of what options are available for final saving.  All artwork must be saved as High Resolution Print Ready PDF files with 3mm bleed and crop marks included.


All artwork must include a 3mm bleed on all sides.  All images or colours that print to the edge of the page should be extended beyond the trim by a minimum of 3mm on each edge.  Do not place any content you wish to appear on your document in the bleed area as it will be trimmed off.  We also advise that text, logos, borders and folios be at least 5mm in from the trim edge of the page.

Including bleed is essential for finishing and guillotining purposes and will eliminate any unprinted gaps on the edge of the document when it is trimmed to size.  To ensure correct printing and finishing, all artwork supplied without the appropriate bleed will, where possible, be trimmed slightly undersize.

Bleed & Text Position


Computer monitors create and view images using a combination of just three colours, Red, Green and Blue (RGB).  Printing presses use four different colours to produce these images - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black ('CMYK' - known as Process Colours).

Unless specified all artwork must be completed and saved as CMYK.  Any artwork that contains images, text and colours in RGB will be converted by our workflow to our standard CMYK profile for printing.  blp cannot take responsibility for any unexpected results if artwork is supplied in non-CMYK colours.  Please note that colours printed on press will vary compared to those viewed on a monitor.

All Pantone Spot Colours must be converted to CMYK, unless your job is specified to include the printing of additional special inks.  Please delete all unused colour swatches from the colour palettes.  Check text is not set up in registration colour.

Colour CMYK & RGB


For the best print quality we recommend that all images (non-vector) within your artwork be supplied at a minimum of 300dpi at the size they are to be printed.  Vector images should have the final output set to 2540.

blp are only able to reproduce artwork at the quality provided - we cannot improve the quality.  Low resolution images may look acceptable on screen but will appear pixelated when printed.

Print Resolution


Maximum ink coverage must be no more that 300%.  Any thin text and/or artwork will not appear crisp if ink coverage is supplied too high.  We recommend not to exceed 280% when using coated paper.


When designing a folded leaflet, make sure your folds are correct, that the text won't be cut off in the crease and that the safe area and bleed are correct.

Set up your artwork as two separate spreads based on the flat size, not the folded size: One for the front and back sections, and one for the inside sections.

The layout of your design will depend on the style of fold chosen. The panels should be in the right order and sized correctly to make sure they are printed in the order they will be viewed when finished.


Perfect bound documents need to be set-up differently to allow for the extra space not visible close to the spine once the document has been bound (the hinge).  The binding safe area will vary depending on the number of pages in the document.  The higher amount of pages the larger the safe area needs to be.  Please keep text and images within the safe area.

Artwork set up for Perfect Bound:

  • Cover: Two separate spreads (one for outside covers and the other for inside covers) with spine included and 3mm bleed allowance around both spreads.
  • Text: Single pages in one document (not spreads or printers pairs) with 3mm bleed allowance around all pages

Please contact us for specific measurements for your publication.

Artwork Specification_v2_Page_5

The recommended manner in which to supply artwork to blp is via a secure upload link which will be forwarded by email on confirmation of your order.

Please carefully review this guide before placing your order.  Unless blp provide you with alternative advice in relation to the specification of your print order (in which case the advice will be confirmed on your Order Acknowledgement) you will be deemed to have considered and accepted these recommendations when placing your order.  blp accepts no liability for unexpected print quality issues resulting from a failure by you to follow the guidance supplied.


Use this check list to ensure you are supplying us with artwork that meets our requirements:

  • Document is in PDF format
  • All fonts are embedded
  • Document is single pages in one document
  • Folded leaflet document is two separate spreads
  • Document contains bleed
  • Document is high resolution
  • Document is CMYK
  • Document is correct size
Please contact us if you have any artwork concerns prior to uploading - Main Switchboard (+44) 0191 215 0333