Artwork Guidelines

Please note print pricing is applicable only to “Press Ready” files, prepared as outlined below, or as may be alternately specified for certain product lines.  Any job submitted which requires artwork, or does not meet the required specifications may be subject for re-quotation.

If providing your own artwork, here is a quick checklist and below this more detailed information, to ensure please ensure it meets the following specifications:

  • Size: Your artwork should be supplied 1-up on the correct size artboard with 3mm bleeds (and trim marks if possible) in a high resolution editable pdf.
  • Your artwork contains correctly set internal and external bleeds.
  • All fonts are outlined (converted to curves) or embedded.
  • Your artwork is set using CMYK colours.
  • Light colours and Watermarks: Minimum 10 % coverage. We recommend using a CMYK colour swatch book when defining light colours. This will ensure a more consistent outcome across different print products. Colours appear brighter and more vibrant on screen than they do in print, and light colours may appear on screen but not in print. To ensure light colours and watermarks are visible there should be a minimum coverage of 10% and depending on your design and other finishing like laminating may need to be greater (for example CMYK 10/0/0/0 will show more in print than CMYK 3/2/3/2. If you are trying to achieve a light pastel colour, screen colour will not be representative. We recommend using a CMYK colour swatch book for light colours. This will ensure a more consistent outcome across different print products. 
  • Ink coverage minimum 10% and does not exceed 300% (260% for uncoated stocks).
  • Your artwork does not contain any instances of white set to overprint.
  • 100K Blacks print well on our presses. If you want to use a rich black we suggest Black 100%, Cyan 50%, Magenta 40%, Yellow 40%.
  • Text: Black and grey text is a percentage of black only.  
  • Keep an absolute minimum of 0.4pt stroke width for our digital printing processes but preferably larger.
  • Images should be CMYK at 300dpi for the intended final size of the image
  • Due to possible shift in printing and trimming processes to lessen the possibility of visually uneven borders, we recommend against borders in your design and any borders must be inset 5mm from the trim edge. It is our policy not to print items with double sided borders as it will not produce visually appealing results.  
  • All links are embedded and all transparencies are flattened.
  • Books Art: Internal pages supplied as single pages not spreads, ensuring correct Internal margins for the binding style. I.e. if it is a 44 page book or booklet, you will supply a 44 page pdf and the pages will be imposed by us.  
  • Folded Brochures: Supplied at the flat size. i.e.  A 6PP DL brochure page size would be 295 x 210mm, and this would be supplied as a 2 page pdf (outside spread and inside spread). 

Please read below for more detailed information. 

Multiple Page PDFs

Each Press Ready file should be supplied in PDF format. The following examples are supplied for clarification.
  • Single sided flyer would be presented as a single page PDF
  • Double sided brochure or business card would be presented as a 2 page PDF ( page 1 being the front and page 2 being the back)
  • A 16 page self cover booklet or catalogue would be presented as a 16 page PDF (Page 1 being the outside of the front cover, Page 16 being the outside of the back cover).
  • A booklet with the cover in a different stock to the pages would be presented in 2 files. A four page PDF for the cover (Page 1 is the outside of the front cover, page 2 the inside of the front cover etc.), and a multi page pdf for the internal pages.
  • Perfect bound books have a different set of requirements, click here if setting up a perfect bound book.

Same Day Printing will also accept artwork from the following applications, however additional fees will be applicable for conversion, and all fonts and assets must be provided with your file.

  • Illustrator
  • InDesign
  • Photoshop

We recommend all artwork to be designed in dedicated design software like the Adobe suite, and supplied as an editable PDF.

Non Press Ready Files and or Artwork

Please note that artwork supplied as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher files or similar desktop publication programs are not considered press ready files suitable for commercial printing.

We do not recommend designing commercial print files with Microsoft programs.

While files created with these programs may print as expected, there may also be file issues that we cannot see or predict and we are not liable or accountable for any print challenges that may result from artwork created and supplied in a not commercial press ready format.

Amongst other anomalies that may occur, occasionally text or images do shift and or drop out from files created in Microsoft programs, even if they look correct when saved as a PDF on screen.

If artwork and or files are created and or supplied in any one of these formats we will contact you to see if you would like to have your artwork recreated, however please note that additional fees will be applicable for conversion and or to create press ready files.

Bleed - Artwork Guidelines

Please ensure bleed is allowed where required. 3mm for standard flat sheet print items and 5mm for large format. Some items, including books & promo items and others, may have custom requirements – please ask for clarification where needed.

Borders - Artwork Guidelines

Due to the nature of print, there is an inevitable possibility of movement. As there can be up to +/- 2mm movement in any print and cut process (+/-1mm for vinyl products) we need to highlight the possibility that borders will look uneven on the final product.

This may not be the case or may be minimal, however, it is possible, so we highlight it during the design phase so you are aware before print.

If you choose to retain borders in the design we strongly recommend them to be inset at least 5mm so movement is less noticeable. But note that with 5mm inset borders, should there be +/- 2mm movement during production, this would result in a 3mm border one side and 7mm border the other side of the print.

Please note that we reserve the right to request changes of your borders where we believe we can't achieve your intended result or cancel any orders if we are not able to reach you.

NOTE: Same Day printing does not print items with borders on both sides of the print. Cards with borders on both sides as the result will be uneven borders on one or both sides and the unevenness may be different on each side.

Process Colours

Unless we have quoted specifically for PMS colours, ensure colours are CMYK. PMS and RGB colours are automatically converted and will generally produce undesirable results.

Only use PMS colours if they are intended to be printed as such. This service is available at additional cost.

Colour Matching

This is not offered as part of our standard service.

The majority of orders are either produced through digital printing processes and or ganged together in our digital printing and offset printing processes to provide more cost effective printing solutions and also achieve “economies of scale”. As part of this process your files will be printed using an industry standard colour profile and density setting through a CMYK process which may still produce a variation in colour throughout a run and between print runs, due to a number of technical reasons which include and are not limited to manufacturers equipment tolerances / allowance in Delta E, atmospheric conditions throughout the year and varying stock properties through manufacturing processes.

Please Note: If you have any colour critical requirements, these should be discussed with us prior to placing any orders as there are alternative solutions but we will not be held accountable for any colour variance if you do not bring this to our attention and we have agreed to in writing that we will achieve a certain colour output.

While we aim to be as accurate and consistent as possible investing in equipment,  software and processes to try and achieve this, through our current printing processes we do not guarantee any colour matching and some colours may vary greater than others due to CMYK colour gamuts.  

Document Size

Your document size must be the page size plus bleed. Same Day Printing standard page sizes excluding bleed are:
  • BC 90mm x 55mm
  • DL 99mm x 210mm
  • A6 105mm x 148mm
  • A5 148.5mm x 210mm
  • A4 210mm x 297mm
  • A3 297mm x 420mm
  • A2 420mm x 594mm
  • A1 594mm x 840mm
  • A0 840mm x 1189mm

If your artwork varies from Same Day Printing’s standard print size for an item, sizing must be specified in the file name (width x height).  I.e. Business Cards for a company named Macs that are 90mm x 45mm may have a filename Macs_BC_90x45.pdf.

Non-standard sized items will incur an additional $20 fee for set up and non-standard trimming.

Centred artwork

Ensure your artwork is provided 1-up and centred on each page of the PDF. If your artwork is off-centre, it will imposition and trim incorrectly. Be sure not to include file information and colour bars at the bottom of the page, as this will usually put your file off centre.


Images should be CMYK at 300dpi for the intended final size of the image.

Please note that increasing the dpi in Photoshop does not increase the resolution of an image.

Ink Coverage

Please be aware of the “Total Ink Cover” you intend using in your design. Light colours (under 10% coverage) may not show. The heavier the cover the longer it will take to produce your job as this will affect trimming, folding and packing by potential scuffing.

Any value under 10% may not print whatsoever, and we generally recommend no more than 300% coverage out of a possible 400%. (i.e. CMYK @ 100% each) for coated stocks and not more than 260% of uncoated stock. 


To ensure a pleasing result we recommend not placing critical objects closer than 5mm from any trim line. Non-critical images and colour may be placed to bleed beyond the trim line. Standard envelopes require a 10mm internal margin (white border).

Rich Black

Ensure a nice rich black use the following values Black 100%, Cyan 50%, Magenta 40%, Yellow 40%.

Text (Fonts)

If possible, convert text to outlines, curves or paths, otherwise ensure they are embedded. Do not use rich black for text. Use 100% black only.

You should aim to keep an absolute minimum of 0.5pt stroke width for our digital printing processes but preferrably larger.

To learn more about fonts - please visit Smallest-font-size-i-should-use?

Trimming and shift

A 2mm variance is allowable for trimming. This is the purpose of bleeds and internal margins. Ensure a pleasing result we recommend not placing critical objects closer than 5mm from any trim line. 

Non-critical images and colour may be placed to bleed beyond the trim line.

To learn more about shift - please visit What-does-shift-mean?


All your foiling artwork is in PDF vector format and fonts are outlined. If you can – please place foiling elements on a separate layer from artwork.

Our design tips and things to account for when foiling. 

To ensure the best quality outcome for your printed and foiled product, it's very important to understand the balance between form, function and the design limitations of working with foil. 

  • For our digital foiling process we do need to apply a velvet laminate.  Soft touch velvet will soften the image and or colours which will appear more muted than originally printed. It really depends on the quality and type of image and the colours. Sometimes this can be considered a benefit when you want to give more depth to your materials.
  • Only 250gsm plus stocks with a soft touch velvet laminate is used for our foiling process.
  • Elements in your design for foil must be created as vector art, rather than png, jpeg or bitmap.
  • Minimum thickness for foil elements is 0.4mm.
  • Minimum thickness for foil elements is 0.25pt*
  • The foil process is subject to movement (what is shift) up to 2mm.
  • Gap between foil and text/ elements not to be foiled over must be more than 2mm
  • Strong alignment (registration / FIT)  between foil and any other cmyk design elements is not recommended as there can be some shift in registration the printing and foiling processes. 
  • Generally a minimum of 6pt font size (Bold) is okay font size for foiling.
  • It can’t be used as shading or gradient, only as 100% values.
  • Solid areas: we don’t recommend foiling of completely solid areas (100% coverage) that are more than 150mm x 150mm.
  • Due to the way digital foil process is applied, areas of foil need to be output at a resolution of 2000dpi rather than the standard requirement of high resolution of 300dpi. If it is less it can result in jagged or uneven foil application.
  • Due to the custom nature of short run printing and foiling, while everyone one of our jobs goes through a QC process, we do not individually check every printed piece produced in a run and while there is some industry tolerances that we can not guarantee every piece is perfect as there may be on occasion some artifacts or foiled areas that may not be 100% perfect, we generally put extra in just in case. 

If you have any questions or concern about your artwork, please be sure to ask us before committing to your order. ]

Once you have committed to your order and supplied print ready artwork while our pre-press process may identify some challenges outside of the normal pre-press checks with your artwork this is not  guaranteed and unless otherwise requested and paid for as a service things we do not check in our prepress process includes but is not limited to:

  •  Font stroke, spacing and size
  • Spelling, Grammar and or any copy (no proof reading services are including or provided in our pre-press process)
  • Any numbers including phone numbers are correct
  • Social media address and or icons are correct
  • Image quality apart from confirming it is 300dpi (no photo editing is included )

When you are supplying press ready artwork we are not accountable for any design errors and or not taking into account design requirements when designing for print. 

Design proposal  - Artwork Guidelines

A design proposal will be provided to you in writing and upon your acceptance a pdf proof will be created and sent to you for your approval prior to us proceeding to printing.

We will not proceed to print until we have written confirmation from yourself to proceed.

Once you have confirmed in writing to proceed you acknowledge that you have carefully checked that everything is correct and that we can not be held accountable for any errors if there are any and any adjustments and or reprints will be at your cost. 

For our team to recreate, all logo’s, fonts if not native or in our library and any other design elements or assets  that you require must be provided in soft copy format with your file and that you are confirming that you have the legal rights to reproduce anything you supply.

As part of our service we do not check any copyright, trademarked and or licencing requirements for anything you supply to us to use, the onerous is on you to perform this. We are no way liable or accountable for anything that you provide to us and purport to have permission to use.  

Please click here for additional Terms and Conditions.

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