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Design Instructions: Printing on Paper and Cardboard

Before You Begin: The production assets you supply to us are deemed to be in final form. This means you have checked them thoroughly and confirm they are ready-to-manufacture without the need for modifications.

Design Software:

We strongly recommend you use either Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Indesign for general layout and typesetting, and Adobe Photoshop for processing your photos/images. Free fully functioning 30 day trials of these programs can be downloaded from

Design Templates:

You designs must be supplied on the appropriate design templates. We can not accept the templates from other manufacturers or ‘home made’ templates.

Basic Design Rules:

Important: When using solid black in your design for backgrounds, text or graphics, please do not exceed the following CMYK colour
   values: C:25 M:25 Y:5 K:100.

The template should be the top layer in your Layer Menu so you can always see it for visual reference while you are designing.
Colour mode for page properties, colour values and images: CMYK
Resolution for page properties and images: 300 dpi (or ppi)
Always allow 1/8” (3mm) of bleed past the finished edges of your design (see Image #1 below).
Don't crowd the finished edges or fold lines with text - using a margin of no less 1/4" (6mm) is generally recommended.
The ink density for the colours (other than solid black as noted above) in your design should not exceed 300%. You can determine the ink
   density for any colour by adding up the individual CMYK values of the colour. For example: The total ink density of C:100 M:98 Y:19 K:16
   equals 233%.
When using transparencies, gradients, drop-shadows or anything less than 100% solid colour, the tonal range must be between 15% and 85%
Flatten/rasterize any transparencies, gradients and drop-shadows you create in your design.
Artwork files for stapled booklets must be supplied in printer spread format.


Minimum recommended type size for dark coloured lettering on a light coloured background: 5 points
Minimum recommended type size for light coloured lettering on a dark coloured background: 6 points
For best print results avoid using fonts with thin/fine strokes for small text (especially when using light text on a dark background).
If using Photoshop: Small text and line-art created in Photoshop tends to look fuzzy when printed so we recommend you do not use
   Photoshop for typesetting or creating line-art. For best results, process your photos/images in Photoshop and then import them into Adobe
   Illustrator or Indesign where you can assemble them within the design template and add your typsesetting.

Image #1: In the design template shown below, the solid red lines represent the trim line
for the finished product, but you must extend (aka: bleed) your design past the red
line by at least 1/8" which is represented by the template's dotted
blue lines.


When Your Disc Design Is Completed

STEP 1  Embed Your Photos/Images

In Illustrator and Indesign go to your Menu Bar, select 'Window' and then select 'Links' to open the Link Menu on your screen. Click on an image in your design, click on the Menu button in your Link Menu and then click on 'Embed Image'. Repeat as required for other photos/images in your design. In Photoshop you rasterize the layer in your Layer Menu.

STEP 2  Covert Text To Outlines

To avoid font substitution errors please convert all of your text into 'outlines'. In the image shown below the word "Text" on the left has not been outlined, and the word "Text" on the right has been outlined.

Illustrator and Indesign: Select all text, go to your Menu Bar, select 'Type' and then select 'Create Outlines'.

Photoshop: Rasterize each individual font layer in your Layer Menu.

STEP 3  Turn Off The Template Layer

When you have finished your design please turn off the "Template" layer in your Layer Menu. After doing so, only the thin black "Crop Marks" should be visible. In the image shown below the Template layer has been turned off but the crop marks remain clearly visible. This is how we want it.

STEP 4  Saving Your Design

You must save your design as a high resolution PDF. Please name each individual artwork file with your order number and the product number. For example:  32543_cs1000.pdf

In your Menu Bar select "File", then "Save As" and then select the PDF file format. A dialogue box will then appear (see example shown below) and in the "Adobe PDF Preset" field you select the "High Quality Print" option. Then click "Save PDF".

STEP 5  Artwork instructions for your CD or DVD discs are located here.


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