Crop Marks & Bleed

What are crop marks, bleeds and quiet zones?

Crop marks are to indicate where your job is to be trimmed to, and the bleed is what is trimmed off your print. This is needed when images or colours run to the very edge of a page. Without the bleed there is a chance your colours will stop 0.5-1mm from the edge of the sheet, showing the white of the paper when trimmed. Don’t forget the basic quiet zone rule, which is an area usually 5mm around the edge of the artwork that should not contain text. 







15 helpful facts when supplying artwork for print

Designing for print

  • Always decide on the print specification before the design process. This ensures your designer can follow the recommended allowances to achieve the highest quality print.

  • Get organised! Set a timeline back from the delivery date so everyone is aware.

  • Avoid costly mistakes, be thorough when proof-reading your files. Top tip read your content backwards, your more likely to spot errors as the text won’t flow.

  • Less is more, trust the designer.

  • Know your sizes, A7 A6 A5 A4 A3 A2 A1 A0 are commonly used.

  • Test your marketing material with short run digital.

  • Ask the printer if you changed your spec, how could you save money.

  • Keep text out of the quiet zone (5mm from the edge of a page).

  • Limit ink volume on coated to 300% and 220% on uncoated (% is the total value in the CMYK colour).

  • Convert your images to CMYK apart from large format.

  • Complex designs using transparencies, layers, spot colours, and mixtures of RGB/CMYK are best supplied as JPEGs in 300DPI.

  • Export PDF’s using the preset PDF/X-1a:2001.

  • The most commonly used profile is Fogra39.

  • When printing on uncoated/recycled material, your colours will lose about 30% vibrancy and look slightly more grainy. Adjust your files accordingly.

  • Large format files can be supplied @ 10%, 25% or 50% of the size. The min resolution is 100dpi for very large items. If supplying artwork for wallpaper, we would recommend the min would be 10% size @ 1000dpi.


Remember, at DPI, our aim is to produce the best print possible that truly stands out from your competitors. We have built our reputation on our personal service and high-quality results. Talk to us about your budget and the purpose of the printed item you require, so we can ensure your business benefits by selecting the correct product.

We are here if you are in any doubt or have any questions, please contact us and we will be delighted to help you.  Alternatively, email your artwork through and tell us in the email what you are unsure about and we will check it and advise you. 
We have the knowledge, experience and expertise and are happy to help

Colour variation on different materials.

Why does my print look different on some materials?


Digital comes in 2 forms of ink, Indigo which is liquid and dry toner. Dry toner ink sits on the top of a sheet and will be consistent to all materials. Indigo uses special materials that are coated this also helps keep the colours consistent. 

Lithographic uses oil based inks which absorb into the materials the less coated the more absorbing the material creating a duller result. An uncoated material takes longer for the ink to dry so the volume of ink is limited on this to 220% whereas silk or gloss is 300%. As the volume of ink is less, the colour on an uncoated material will appear much lighter and slightly dull. 

There will always be a variation in colour from machine to machine. We colour match our print to limit this as much as possible and advise when the differences are too wide apart. Alterations to artwork would be recccomended to hide this. 

CMYK, RGB and Pantone colours.

Whats the difference between CMYK, RGB and Pantone colours?

CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black - the inks our presses mix together to make colours for your print job along with Pantone. CMYK colours tend to be duller compared to RGB. As an example, if you require a clean fresh light blue, the closest in CMYK may seem dirty compared to a Pantone or RGB alternative.

RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue - the primary colours of light that are mixed together to make the millions of colours used for your computer screen and web. The colours are more vibrant than the CMYK process we use for print.

When designing for print there are a few boundaries and settings you need to apply, as each production method gives a slightly different result, but don't worry we take care of this for you.

If you have a strong clean colour for your brand, then the designer will recommend a Pantone colour to ensure you don’t lose that vibrancy