At Printtrio, we offer free artwork set up so all you have to do is just send the design to us. However, we get a lot of inquiries about how to set up artwork for production. We have listed the following simple steps in order to understand the process and prepare your artwork for different designs.

How to set up artwork files for production


Every artwork file has three main aspects to consider: type area (or safe area), trim line, and bleed. Design elements and other important information should stay within the type or safe area. It is usually 3 to 5 mm inside of the trim line. Everything beyond the type or safe area is usually for background colors, extended images or illustrations, and the bleed in general. Since there might be a slim margin when applying the trimming on the trim line, the area from the type or safe area till they bleed is to make sure your design does not get cut off.

Please note that the trim line can be straight cuts or custom-made cuts. Here are some examples to illustrate the difference.

Types of Images

Type Of Image

There are two types of images; Vector-based images and raster images.

Vector images:

Scalable to any size and it is made of shapes and lines. It comes with extensions like AI, EPS, and SVG and usually created and edited using Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw.

Raster images:

This type of image is made up of pixels and usually photographic. Its resolution needs to be at least 300DPI at print size to get the right quality when printed, otherwise, images will link blurry and pixilated. It is usually edited using Adobe Photoshop or CorelPaint.

File Types:

In order to print your artwork, it must come in one of the following extensions (formats): AI, PDF, EPS, SVG, PSD, TIFF, or JPG. Artwork should be in vector or raster format, 300dpi resolution, has the right size intended to be printed in, and in CMYK color mode.

Why CMYK color mode:

There is a difference between RGB and CMYK. RGB are the primary colors that are used in monitors, screens, and cameras, and scanners. They are usually brighter than CMYK and used to define how colors appear on screens and monitors. CMYK are the primary colors of pigment; Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and black, and used to define how colors should look on a printed medium.