Preparing for Print
How high-res should my artwork be?
For printing, the minimum resolution we require is 300 dpi but we find that the higher the resolution, the better the results.
You can send us artwork with resolutions of up to 900 dpi for the best results. If you have a photo or illustration that needs to be enlarged, remember to scan it at the highest resolution possible to avoid loss of quality when the image is blown up.
Which file format should I send my artwork in?
We prefer that you send your artwork to us in print-quality PDF or EPS format. If you are unable to save it in either of these formats, a high-resolution JPEG will do. For fine art prints and photos, we prefer that you send your artwork in TIFF format, though PDF is also acceptable. (When in doubt, send us the PDF.)
How do I add cut lines to my stickers?
Should your artwork require a contour cut, simply add the lines where you want the machine to cut your artwork. We’ll turn them into cut lines. Just be sure to send us your file in PDF format with editing capabilities.
How do I create a really rich black?
Instead of using 100% K, which produces a dark grey/charcoal, we recommend the following colour ratio for a really rich black:
C: 75% M: 68% Y: 67% K: 90%
How should I send you my artwork?
Most of the time, it is fine to send your file via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com but if your artwork is larger than 20 MB, please send us your file via a file transfer service such as WeTransfer or Dropbox. Otherwise, you are welcome to bring your artwork to us on your laptop or memory stick.
Bleed or no bleed?
Your artwork only requires a bleed if it goes up to the edge of where it will be trimmed or cut. For example, if you are designing round stickers with a red background, the red background shape should be 2–3 mm larger than the final sticker, to ensure that the red goes all the way to the edge and doesn’t leave an unattractive white line where the sticker is cut.
CMYK or RGB?
CMYK (cyan, yellow, magenta, black) is the standard colour space used for printing, so in order to guarantee colour accuracy, we prefer that you design your artwork in CMYK. The only exception is with fine art prints, in which case we found that using the AdobeRGB colour space provides the best results.
Should I add any printer marks to my artwork?
We generally don’t require you to add any printer marks to your artwork. The only exception is when your artwork has a bleed, in which case you should add crop marks (also called trim marks). Fine art prints do not require crop marks or a bleed, since we print them exactly to size and therefore no extra trimming is required.
Other tips & best practices
- Always convert all your text to outlines before sending us your final artwork. This way, we don’t have to bother you by asking for the font. 🙂
- Flattening your artwork (i.e. merging your layers) before you send it to us makes it a lot easier for us to work with.
- If you’ve used any images (non-vector graphics) in your design, make sure that they are embedded in your Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign file, and not linked.
- Always design your artwork in the colourspace you will be printing in (AdobeRGB for fine art prints and CMYK for everything else), instead of converting it before you print. This will give you more colour accuracy in the final design.
Where do I find good, free fonts?
If you cannot find what you are looking for however, we have a wide range of font families to choose from, including classics like Helvetica, Univers, Futura, Rockwell, Bodoni and many more. We’ll happily edit your design to include the font of your choice.
Where to I find high-quality, free stock photos?
How do I choose the right colours for my design?
The colours you choose for your design depends on what the design is for, what colours your brand uses (if applicable) and how those colours will look together. To create a new colour palette from scratch, we suggest using a colour palette generator such as Coolors or Adobe Color.
If you are unsure about your colour choices before printing, we’re happy to print a proof of your design for you to see what it looks like.
How do I design my own business cards?
To design your own business card, download the file below which includes a template for a 90 x 50 mm business card and instructions.
How do I choose the right fonts?
When in doubt, keep it simple. Use only one or two fonts in a single design and make sure that they are not only legible, but appropriate. Some examples of fonts that we love (and work well) are: Helvetica, Futura, Montserrat, Lato, Bodoni, Rockwell, Roboto and Avenir. Fonts that we frown upon include: Comic Sans, Papyrus, Curlz, Impact and Brush Script.
If you have any doubts about the fonts you have selected, come and speak to us and we’ll be happy to make the necessary adjustments to your design to ensure that it is well designed and appropriate for your brand.
How do I design my own stickers?
Download the template below, which includes some standard sticker sizes, cut lines, as well as instructions.
How do I design my own canvas bucket?
To put your own designs on one of our canvas buckets, download the template below, which includes all of the canvas bucket sizes, as well as instructions. When you’re finished, just save and send us your design in .ai, .eps or PDF format.
Can you help me with my design?
Yes! We’re here for you, whether you need assistance with your design or a brand new design from scratch. Feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where are you based and can you courier my order to me?
Our studio is in Somerset West but if you are not in the area, we are happy to send your order to you via courier. We usually charge a flat rate for small parcels (R80 for the Cape Town area and R100 for anywhere else in South Africa). Extra charges may apply if your order is very bulky. We use MDS Collivery as our courier service.
Do you do custom products and designs?
Absolutely. If you need something that is not listed on our website, get in touch with us and we’ll do our absolute best to assist you.
Do you wholesale any of your products?
Yes we do. If you are a designer or store owner who would like to resell our products (whether it be with our designs or your own design), we offer wholesale pricing. Note that wholesale orders are subject to minimum order quantities. Please get in touch with us if you would like to find out more about wholesale.
Do you accept card payments?
We do have a card machine at our studio but please note that we will not start printing any order until we have received your full upfront payment, or a 50% deposit if your order total is more than R10 000.
Where can I view your prices?
Can I see a printed proof before you print my order?
Yes. In fact, we encourage you to see a printed proof of your design before we do any bulk printing, since we cannot refund you for your order if there has been a mistake or if, for some reason, you are not happy with the result.
Do you do installations?
Unfortunately we only specialise in printing and design and therefore don’t do any installations ourselves.
How long will I wait for my order?
Our lead times depend on the order. Banners, wallpaper and small poster orders, for example, generally have the fastest turnaround times (2–3 business days on average), while larger orders and products that need to be cut and finished (e.g. canvas buckets), take a little bit longer. Contact us if you would like to know how long a specific order will take.