6 STEPS TO ENSURE YOUR FILES ARE READY FOR GICLEE PRINTING
1. CREATE YOUR FILE AT THE REQUIRED PRINT SIZE
One of the most common mistakes we see when we receive a file to be printed is that it is supplied at the wrong size. When building your masterpiece, ensure you build it to the exact size of how it will be printed including a border if you wish for the artwork to have a border. For example if your final trim size is 210x297mm, then ensure your document is set up at 210x297mm. To find out the size of your artwork in photoshop go to Image – Image Size and there you will be able to see the dimensions and resolution of your file.
2. ADD BLEED
The term bleed is used for all images that are printed to the edge of the page. Any photo, image or graphic that goes right up to the edge of the page must be built to extend the edge of the page by at least 3mm. Otherwise you will extend the risk of having a white border around the edge of your artwork. For example if you have an artwork that will be printed to the edge and trimmed to 210x297mm you will need to supply the artwork 3mm bigger (213x300mm). If you will be printing with a white border ensure that the border is added to your artwork with in your trim size.
3. COLOUR MODES AND SETTINGS
Please supply all files in an RGB mode and either 8 bit or 16 bit. We can not print a 32 bit file. The colour setting will also have a big impact on your print and should be set correctly. SRGB is the standard RGB setting and has the smallest colour space. It is great for when you are viewing images on screen but not particularly great for print. Adobe RGB 1998 has a larger colour gamut then SRGB. Pro Photo RGB colour space was developed by Kodak and offers an especially large gamut designed for use with photographic output in mind. If you are concerned about the colour of your print, it is recommended to request a proof prior to going to print (charge may apply).
4. IMAGE RESOLUTION
Ensure all artworks are at least 300dpi (dots per inch). You may think your images look ok on your computer screen, but when printed the difference in resolution will be very visible. If the resolution is too low your images will appear blurry or pixelated when printed. Bear in mind, if you enlarge an image it will lower its resolution.
Missing fonts can create a problem when your file is being set up for print. There are so many different versions of the same fonts that it would be impossible for us to substitute any font that may be missing. If you are supplying files in their original format, please make sure the fonts are also supplied or that all text is converted to outline.
6. SAVING YOUR ARTWORK
When you are ready to save your artwork for print you will need to ensure it is saved in the correct format. In photoshop you will need to go to Save As and here is where you can determine the format. There are two types of files we prefer TIFF or high res JPEG
TIFF is primarily used in press and can also compress image data but is a lossless compression
TIFF format also supports transparency.
If you opened and saved the same TIFF file, you’ll end up with exactly the same image as source. Nothing would change in terms of image data. This means it can make for a very large file.
JPEG is used to store images on smaller disk space and is primarily an RGB format. JPEG compression changes image data while converting it so the best way to control that is to save as a high res file.
If you saved and opened the same image several times, you’d end up with an unusable image, because for each save, the compression would generate additional changes.