Artwork & Template

Artwork

Artwork approval - Whilst every care is taken in the preparation of final artwork, it is essential that the artwork be checked thoroughly by you or someone within your organisation. Xpress Print Group shall not be held responsible for any errors, issues or concerns not identified by the person providing final authorisation.

Templates

Below you will find the templates for our standard products. If you cant find the template you are looking for or you need a more specific template for your job please call or email and a member of our team will help you out. Artwork needs to be supplied to us to our specfications.

Clicking download will download the specified template.

  Duplication Replication
CD onbody pdf_icon
PDF
Download
pdf_icon
PDF
Download
DVD onbody pdf_icon
PDF
Download
pdf_icon
PDF
Download
CD / DVD onbody (SIlver Base) pdf_icon
PDF
Download
2 Page CD Booklet (Single Page Spread) pdf_icon
PDF
Download
2 Page DVD Booklet (Single Page Spread) pdf_icon
PDF
Download
4 Page CD Booklet (2 Page Spread)
(Also use for any stitched booklets; 8 page, 12 page, etc.)
pdf_icon
PDF
Download
4 Page DVD Booklet (2 Page Spread)
(Also use for any stitched booklets; 8 page, 12 page, etc.)
pdf_icon
PDF
Download
6 CD Page Booklet (Rollfold) pdf_icon
PDF(Outer)
Download
pdf_icon
PDF(Inner)
Download
8 CD Page Booklet (Rollfold) N/A pdf_icon
PDF(Outer)
Download
N/A pdf_icon
PDF(Inner)
Download
CD Backinlay pdf_icon
PDF(Outer)
Download
pdf_icon
PDF(Inner)
Download
DVD Case Inlay pdf_icon
PDF
Download
Slimline DVD Case Inlay pdf_icon
PDF
Download
Cardwallet pdf_icon
PDF
Download
Double Cardwallet, 1 pocket (Lancing Pack) pdf_icon
PDF
Download
pdf_icon
PDF
Download
Double Cardwallet, 2 pockets (Lancing Pack) pdf_icon
PDF
Download
pdf_icon
PDF
Download
4 Panel CD Digipak pdf_icon
PDF
Download
4 Panel CD Digipak + Tunnel Pocket pdf_icon
PDF
Download
6 Panel CD Digipak (Right panel tray) pdf_icon
PDF
Download
6 Panel CD Digipak (Centre tray) pdf_icon
PDF
Download
6 Panel CD Digipak + Tunnel Pocket (Right panel tray) pdf_icon
PDF
Download
6 Panel CD Digipak + Tunnel Pocket (Centre tray) pdf_icon
PDF
Download
4 Panel Double CD Digipak pdf_icon
PDF
Download
4 Panel DVD Digipak pdf_icon
PDF
Download
CD Studpak pdf_icon
PDF
Download
pdf_icon
PDF
Download
Polo Pack pdf_icon
PDF
Download
N/A
CD Jewel Case Slipcase pdf_icon
PDF
Download
DVD Case Slipcase pdf_icon
PDF
Download

Artwork Specifications

Basic Artwork Checklist.

  • CMYK colour mode.
  • Minimum 300 dpi.
  • To correct template dimensions.
  • 3mm bleed around all artwork.
  • Leave off center hole.
  • No text or logos within 3mm of any crop marks. (No text area)
  • All transparencies flattened.
  • Can be supplied as PDF, TIF or JPEG.
  • Maximum 320% and ink coverage.
  • Fonts Embedded or outlined.
  • Minimum font size of 6pt.
  • All barcodes need to be 100% black.

Dark artwork. Please bear in mind when setting up/designing your artwork that the print will be slightly darker than what you see on the screen which is illuminated. To avoid any loss of detail in dark areas of your artwork, we advise you to make those areas of the artwork lighter than you need. Read more

CMYK blue. Please bare in mind when setting up/designing your artwork that the print will be slightly darker than what you see on the screen which is illuminated. To avoid any loss of detail in dark areas of your artwork, we advise you to make those areas of the artwork lighter than you need. Read more

Templates / Spec Sheets

For your convenience, we have placed on our website a number of spec sheets and templates for you to overlay your artwork. Be aware that the templates are at 100% and should not be altered in size in anyway. If you open these PDFs up in an image editing software package such as Photoshop, keep the size at 100% and at 300dpi (see resolution below). On these, you will also notice some thick light blue guide lines. These are just to let you know where the edge limit and type area is. Your artwork is to be placed over the top of these.

The spec sheets, however, JUST GIVE YOU THE SIZES. DO NOT PUT YOUR ARTWORK ON THESE. Instead, take note of the sizes on them, and create your artwork from scratch. Be careful to notice the difference between the trim sizes and the bleed sizes (see below).

Crop Marks

Crop marks are the thin vertical and horizontal lines you see on the templates in the four corners. These are to show where the paper is cut once your paper part of the job has been printed. Basically, all paper parts are printed on a piece of paper much larger then the finished article. And then cut down to the correct size. This ensures that if your design has 'bleed' (see below), it will look correct when finished!

Bleed

What's bleed?!? Well, have you ever printed something at home and the colour or text never actually goes right to the edge of the paper? This is because your printer doesn't print 'edge to edge'. So, to get round this, we print something in the middle of the page and then cut it down! We know where to cut it because of the crop marks (see above). Hey presto, your finished piece now looks like it prints 'off' the edge! The colour or graphic that prints past the crop marks, the bit we're throwing away, is the bleed. Look at diagram B below and you'll see what we mean.

If you want your paper part to look like its printed straight to the edge of the page, you'll have to include bleed, it's the only way to do it. But how much bleed should you include? Ideally 3mm of extra colour or graphic past the crop mark should be enough. Yep, in theory, if the printer were to cut the artwork exactly down the printed line, you wouldn't need to add any bleed. But, you know as well as I do that if you run more then one piece of paper through a printer, its more then likely to move ever so slightly. And when we're printing lots, one after another, there can be a fair bit of movement between the sheets! So, by adding 3mm on all of the edges, ANY slight variation will not show once its cut down. It's impossible to cut each one individually, so all sheets are stacked up and cut in one go with a big guillotine.

Colour separations - CMYK / Pantones

OK, technical time, this is where it can be a little tricky. First of all, every colour in the spectrum can be printed in CMYK. It stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. A different shade variation of each of these four colours, mixed together will produce any colour, to a degree. The colours aren't actually mixed, rather than printed one colour after another on top of each other. And that creates the illusion that are mixed together. Have you ever looked REALLY close at a colour picture in a magazine and noticed lots and lots of funny shaped dots? Yep, thats the dots of the different colours! A specific colour, however, has a Pantone reference. This can be either printed as its spot (pantone) colour, or as a mixture of CMYK. For instance, if the face of your CD had a black background with red writing, you could say this is a two colour job, black and a pantone red. Easy! If it was a colour picture or a photograph for example, this would be printed using CMYK separations, a five colour job, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black and a white base. Again, easy! But what if we had a photo with Red writing on top of it? Would it be six colour job? CMYK and the Pantone Red? NO! because the red can be made up out of the CMYK set, keeping it to five colours! So, briefly, if you have the odd specific colour, you must supply the artwork as spot colours with its reference. If its all different colours, the artwork must be supplied as CMYK. "But whats RGB" I hear you say? Yes, you may have heard of this term as well. RGB (or Red, Green and Blue) can also be used to make up any colour. However, this is how a television screen or monitor makes up the colour, NOT how a printer does. How a colour looks on screen may not necessarily be how it comes out on paper! With a screen you have light behind it, you don't have that on paper do you! This is why we have specific pantone references, so you know what your getting!

  • RGB Colour: This is color based upon light. Your computer monitor and television use RGB. The name "RGB" stands for Red, Green, Blue, which are the 3 primaries (with green replacing yellow). By combining these 3 colors, any other color can be produced. Remember, this color method is only used with light sources; it does not apply to printing.
     
  • CMYK Colour: This is the color method based upon pigments. "CMYK" stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (its what the K stands for). Using these 4 colors, most other colors can be achieved. Unfortunately, CMYK cannot reproduce the same amount of colors as RGB can, which is why yellow-greens sometimes look a bit muddy when printed. This is the method used by printers the world over, and is also a clever way of mixing paints.
     
  • Pantone (PMS) Colour: This is yet another printing color method. PMS stands for "Pantone Matching System," and is a large list of specially mixed colors made by the Pantone Corporation. Instead of using CMYK to create colors, the pigments are created individually for purity. For example, if I wanted to use a Red-Violet color, I'd pick PMS 233M. The color would be made exclusively for my project and would always print exactly how I want. The only drawback to using PMS colors is that they're only useful for projects with few colors. We only offer Pantones on the Replicated disc print up to 5 colours.(Please contact us for any other requirements.)

Ink coverage

The ink coverage is basically how mach ink is put on the paper to create your artwork. There is a limit unfortunately. Imagine our CMYK plates (Diagram C below). 100% black isn't actually a nice black colour. If you 'underpinned' it with some of the other plates, i.e. 70% Cyan, 55% Magenta, 55% Yellow, once these are all printed on top of each other, you would get a much richer looking black colour. So why not have 100% of each? As we say, there is a limit. If you had 100% of each of the inks, that would give you an ink coverage of 400% believe it or not! The max that can be printed ideally is 320%. We cannot accept any artwork above this amount unfortunately. This also goes for the other way, we need a minimum of 5% for each colour as well.

DPI / resolution

DPI stands for Dots Per Inch, this is the resolution that we print and that your artwork must be supplied in. As we said earlier, if you look closely at a picture in a magazine, you can see its made up of tiny dots. If you wanted to count how many across in an inch it is, that's what DPI it has been printed at. Usually, for a nice crisp looking picture, we would print it at 300dpi, that's the industry standard. i.e. the picture is made up of 300 dots per inch across. Can you image what it would look like at 72 dots across? Yep, RUBBISH! Which is why we don't do it. If your artwork is supplied at 300dpi, it will look fantastic. Anything lower, again, we can't accept, for your benefit.

File types

As you probably know, there are hundreds of programmes out there on the net that you can use to produce your artwork in. We use all the industry leading programmes here, and yes, they can be expensive and we don't expect you to use them to be compatible. But, you will be able to save or export your artwork into a format that we, or anyone, can read. We prefer the following:

  • JPEG
  • TIFF
  • PDF
     

JPEG - this type of file can compress a high resolution image right down in size making it much easier to email to us. If you choose to send us this type of file, you must ensure that it is done to 100% size (see downloadable spec sheets or templates), with the required amount of bleed and in CMYK colour mode.

TIFF - this file type also compresses down nicely, but can sometime keep your fonts. To make sure we don't have any issues with this, and so you know that what you send to us will be exactly what gets printed, your TIFF files must be flattened. And, like the JPEG, you must ensure that it is done to 100% size (see downloadable spec sheets or templates), with the required amount of bleed and in CMYK colour mode.

PDF - this preferred file type can be a little more tricky to produce, but will produce better results. Before creating your PDF, you must be certain that all images incorporated into the design are of high resolution and CMYK. ALL FONTS MUST BE EMBEDDED.
 

Dark Artwork

Editing software - Use colour managed editing software, such as Photoshop or the much cheaper (but still very good) Photoshop Elements. If you can't find anything about colour management settings in your image editor, then there is a serious possibility it doesn't manage colour correctly - this is not a good thing.

Calibrate your monitor - Your room lighting level for working at a screen makes a difference as to how you perceive brightness and contrast levels. It affects colour a bit too, but that's a bit beyond what we're looking at here.

Ideally your monitor at it's brightest (white), should be the brightest white you can see when looking towards the screen. i.e. no bright desk lamp next to the screen where you can see the bulb.

The key to the dark print problem is usually that people have their monitors set too bright. When the monitor is bright, the dark areas are brighter too, this gives the subjective effect of 'opening up the shadows'. As with most things connected with vision, it's not quite as simple as this, but it'll do for the moment.

The usual approach is to recommend a particular value for the brightness (or luminance) of your monitor. This is even more important with modern LCD screens, since they are inherently much brighter than our old CRT monitors.

The luminance value depends on your ambient light levels to some extent, and some profiling solutions will suggest monitor settings for a screen brightness based on these ambient light levels.

Barcodes

Most people today have seen bar codes because they are printed on nearly every item we buy. These are either UPC or EAN linear bar codes. However, there are over 300 other different types of bar codes.

Most linear bar codes are nothing more than "license plates" that identify an item. The numbers and/or letters stored in the bar code are unique identifiers that, when read, can be used by a computer to look up additional information about the item. The price and description of the item is generally not stored in the bar code. The data is read from the bar code, sent to a computer, and the computer looks up the price and description of the item from the computer's database.

We can add barcodes to your artwork for a fee, but you will first need to supply a barcode number. If you do not have a barcode number you can obtain one from GS1

Why so Blue? or not.

One of the most common problems I see are solid RGB colors like bright blue converted into CMYK and turning purple. The device doing the converting, whether it’s Photoshop, Illustrator or even Publisher, is trying to come up with a solution for a color that doesn’t exist so it comes up with something it thinks is close.

Choose colors for your logo or other design elements that fall easily within the CMYK color space. If you need to employ a designer, be sure to ask how much experience he or she has with designing for print compared to the web. Taking the time to educate yourself just a little bit about color will return your investment in peace of mind and great looking print.

Please, please, please setup and supply your artwork in CMYK to avoid any issues with mismatched colours in RGB to CMYK colour conversion.

Duplication Thermal Print process

One of the most common problems I see are solid RGB colors like bright blue converted into CMYK and turning purple. The device doing the converting, whether it’s Photoshop, Illustrator or even Publisher, is trying to come up with a solution for a color that doesn’t exist so it comes up with something it thinks is close.

Choose colors for your logo or other design elements that fall easily within the CMYK color space. If you need to employ a designer, be sure to ask how much experience he or she has with designing for print compared to the web. Taking the time to educate yourself just a little bit about color will return your investment in peace of mind and great looking print.

Please, please, please setup and supply your artwork in CMYK to avoid any issues with mismatched colours in RGB to CMYK colour conversion.