Sending Artwork to a Printing Company? Keep These Tips in Mind

Even if you’ve designed your own inkjet labels or print marketing material and they look great on your computer, things can change very rapidly once you send your artwork to a printing company. That being said, there are several tips to keep in mind before you send that can save you a lot of time, money and frustration.


Although you may have done all of your label or print advertising designs using RGB colour, you should be aware that every printing company will print in CMYK colour. Supplying a printing company with files using RGB will result in a tone shift to CMYK colours. This can mean a change in the colour of several elements. That being said, the best thing to do before sending any materials to a printing company is to convert the document to CMYK colour first.

Spot or Pantone colours can be used, but these will be considered to be special colours. These are usually part of bespoke printing orders, and can be more expensive to complete.

File Formats

Many printing companies will gladly accept the popular .jpg or .jpeg format when sending images. However, many will require customers to send files in .pdf format. This is because the text contained in .pdf files is very sharp, allowing for incredibly readable printing, where .jpgs are often composed of many layers, which can make text look blurry once printed.

Watch Out For Creep

If you are hiring a printing company to produce a brochure with multiple pages, you may encounter the issue of ‘creep’ or ‘push out’ when sending your documents to the printer. This phenomenon occurs when several sheets of paper have been folded at once, forcing those sheets located in the centre to travel further around the spine. This also causes the sheets located on the outside to be shorter. From the printer standpoint, this can make the process very complicated when it’s time for the document to be trimmed.


Many customers wonder whether they have to supply their documents to a printing company with ‘bleed’ already inserted. Bleed occurs when a document is printed at a slightly bigger size than is required, and then trimmed to its original size when printing has finished. Most printing companies will require bleed to be inserted prior to sending your documents.

Using Images from the Internet

When considering the use of images from the internet in your print materials, it’s recommended that you do so with caution. If the image you are considering for use in your documents is too large to view unless you zoom out, it is likely suitable for printing. Simply choosing a web image with 72 dpi (dots per inch) that is exactly the size you need it at its maximum is too low in resolution, and will be pixelated and blurry once printed.

Type of Print Material

Although the material you choose for your printing is – and should be – a personal choice, there are some considerations to keep in mind. First and foremost, the materials you choose will depend on the purpose of the final product. For instance, if you are having a flyer, brochure or leaflet printed, a material that’s been coated with some sort of gloss or silk is best, as these will hold colour well. Also, the vibrancy of colour can be assured when this type of material is used.

Items that will come in contact with pen ink, such as letterhead, should be printed onto material that both uncoated and porous. This will ensure that any pen ink will be absorbed efficiently, preventing smudging.