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Original, Stand out, Bespoke packaging Designs | Hertfordshire


  • Profile / Cutter Guide
    • Artwork should always be prepared to, and contain, a cutter profile set in non-printing ink and included as a separate layer within the PDF file. We can supply your approved profile digitally on request via email. If you use your own profile, please ensure that it is fully dimensioned and unscaled.
  • Trapping and Dot Gain Compensation
    • Please do not apply any trapping or dot gain compensation (DGC) to artwork supplied to us. We will trap the artwork, as required, at the reproduction stage and will apply the appropriate amount of dot gain compensation necessary to suit the individual press used in the printing process.
  • Images
    • All continuous tone or greyscale images must be high resolution at a minimum of 300 dpi. Images above this resolution will be downsampled. Please make sure all images are supplied as CMYK or special colours. RGB images are not suitable for litho print and should not be supplied.

      Line-art or bitmap images should be at least 3600 dpi.

      Images should be compressed using ZIP or CCITT compression.
  • Additional Items
    • Unless otherwise requested we will use a screen of 150 lines per inch and use a round dot with the following screen angles:

      Cyan 75° – Magenta 15° – Yellow 0° – Black 45°

      For identification purposes we request that our house mark, specification reference and type number be included on a portion of the profile that is not visible when the carton is made up, preferably a dust flap. Please inform us if you do not wish us to apply these when you submit your artwork.
  • Fonts and Text
    • All fonts used MUST be embedded within the file. OpenType fonts must not be used. It is preferable to embed the entire font rather than a subset of the font into the file. Embedding the whole font will allow us to make changes to your text at a later stage, if required.

      Minimum point sizes are: 4 pt (one colour text); 8 pt (multiple colour text).
      Point sizes should be increased by 1 when reversing out text and serif fonts should be avoided.
      Black text less than 12pt should be set to overprint.
      Text smaller than these point sizes may start to fill in making it difficult to read.

      The file must not contain white text set to overprint.
  • Barcodes
    • If you are supplying a barcode, please ensure the barcode is generated following the guidelines published by GS1uk ( These guidelines will provide you with information regarding the suitability of barcode colours and background colour combinations.

      On all barcodes a bar width reduction of 25 microns is required to compensate for pressure addition to the bars in the litho printing process. Please ensure that the correct print free area is incorporated around the barcode.

      If there is insufficient space for a full height barcode, the bars can be truncated (i.e. cut off from the top) by up to 10mm or 37.5%.

      The barcode should be generated at the required final size. Barcodes should never be reduced or enlarged after generation and should never be scanned from another source.

      If you do not have the facility to produce your own barcodes, our Prepress Studio can generate most types of code in-house and insert them in the final design for you. If you require this service, please supply the following information with your artwork:

    • Type of barcode:
      e.g. EAN-13, UPC-A, Pharma code etc.
    • Code number:
      Full code including check digit
    • Size of code:
      Range bet ween 120% – 80% scale in 5% increments
    • Position:
      This should be indicated on a proof or within the digital file
    • Light margin indicator:
      Yes or No
    • Colour:
      Please specify barcode colour and background colour required
  • Line Art
    • Minimum line weights are 0.15 point when printed in one solid colour or 0.3 point when printed using one screened colour or where the line art is composed of multiple colours.

      Ideally, text and other graphic details should be kept 2mm clear of any profile line.
  • Screens & Vignettes
    • Screens should be kept between 5% and 95%. Any screen above 95% is likely to become a solid and a screen of less than 5% is likely to be too small to print. Vignettes should be between a minimum of 1% and a maximum of 99% (not white to solid).
  • Maximum Ink Coverage
    • To give the best print results for litho, it is recommended to keep the maximum ink coverage to no more than 340%. If you have any areas within your design which exceed 340% coverage, UCR (Under Colour Removal) should be applied to reduce the ink coverage to an acceptable level.
  • Bleed and Ink / Coating-free Areas
    • Any part of the artwork touching a profile edge should be extended by 2mm outside the edge. This is referred to as “bleed”. Bleed should also be extended by 3mm on to the glue seam. All ink and varnish free areas required by us will be shown on our cutter profile. If you are using your own profile please ensure that the rest of the glue seam and any other areas that are to be glued (either by us or in the final filling process) are ink and varnish free. If also required, please make sure that any ‘best before’ or other areas used for coding purposes are also kept ink and varnish free.
  • Spot Colours
    • All spot colours should be referenced with an appropriate Pantone (PMS) colour and should have a ‘C’ suffix. We will use the appropriate ink reference during printing, but please be aware that the final result will only represent a good commercial match due to variation caused by the substrate used for the production of your order and any varnish or coating applied. Special or “house” colours should be accompanied by an appropriate sample from which a drawdown from our ink manufacture will be produced for your approval. Please remove all unused colours.

Supplying Digital Artwork

File Format

Artwork must be supplied in PDF format. Files supplied must comply with the ISO PDF/X-1a:2001 standard as defined by ISO 15930-1 with the exceptions listed below:

To minimize file size, the data (streams) in a PDF file should be compressed where possible.

We advise you to use direct PDF export from within the native application. If direct export is not an option within your workflow, we can provide a Distiller JobOptions file on request. The PDF must not be created with the Adobe PDFWriter product. The PDF file should not contain more than one page.


All artwork files may be compressed using WinZip prior to submission in order to further reduce their size.

Files up to 50MB in size can be emailed to Alternatively, or for larger files, please use one of the many free web based utilities such as:

and send us the link so that we can download the file. Please ensure that you maintain a copy for your own records.

  • PDF Version:
    The version should be 1.5 or greater
  • Transparency:
    The use of transparency is allowed
  • Page Boxes
    These rules can be ignored
  • Alternate colour space of spot colours
    These should not be used
  • Multichannel
    The use of the NChannel colour space is allowed
  • PDF/X Version key
    These rules can be ignored
  • >Annotations
    These are permitted provided they are not set to print and are positioned outside the bleed, trim and art box.


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