At Century 23, we want to ensure that professional designers, and those having a go for the first time, provide all the information we need for perfect results. Hence we are proud to present our Direct To Print guide.
Supplying your own design can seem simple at first. The wealth of software available which claims to offer professional design capabilities on a home computer can easily lead one to believe that what they see on screen is exactly what will be printed. However, chances are, even if you have a lot of experience preparing artwork for print, there may be something you’ve forgotten or missed. Its handy to have a list to check against and ensure you’ve dotted every I and crossed every T. And if this is the first time you’ve designed anything, then reading this guide before you start could save a lot of trouble – or even having to start again from scratch.
The list below summarises our basic requirements for print files. If you are confident you can supply your artwork to these specifications, then you are more than welcome to supply files straight to us for printing “as-is”. If you feel you would like more of a helping hand, we offer a rigorous advice and checking service for all full and spot-colour printed paper matter which costs only £10 for a flyer, poster, leaflet, piece of stationery or other 2pp document, and £25 for anything up to a 16pp document. For any other larger or specialist work such as books, magazines or packaging, our print price will generally include a prepress check and advisory service, but our print management team will not generally edit your artwork for you; at this level it is assumed you have the software and know-how to make edits, and prefer to make them yourself – and it is always better that we produce prepress proofs straight from your supplied print-ready artwork without editing.
Direct to Print Requirements
Resolution – all files should be supplied at 300dpi (dots per inch)
Bleed – all files should be supplied with 3mm bleed on each edge, and 3-5mm from the trim edge before important text, features or logos.
Artwork Dimensions – Century 23 work to the standard defined sizes for paper – A4 at 210 x 297mm and exact multiples thereon
PDFs – PDFs cannot be used for batch printed items. A2 posters are printed singly, A3s may be batched together. Therefore, supply flyers, leaflets and A3 posters as JPEGs, EPS files with fonts converted to paths, or TIFs. PDFs may be used for all other files.
File Types – TIFs, JPEGs and EPS files with the fonts converted to paths are ideal for batch printing. PDFs and InDesign or Quark files are acceptable for larger documents.
Layup – files should be supplied singly with bleed on every side. NO registration marks, crop marks or other printers marks should be inserted into your document.
File Supply – you can email (emails must be under 10Mb), FTP (by arrangement – click for details), submit orders via the website or post files to us.
Colour Matching & Colourtype – all full colour files must be CMYK when supplied to us. If you supply RGB files and we convert them and the results are not what you would wish, we cannot be held liable. Batch printed files are subject to limitations imposed by the requirement for consistency across all the batched artwork, and therefore no colourmatching can be guaranteed to supplied proofs, or previously printed jobs. Clients should be aware that their monitors and printers are in all likelihood not calibrated to Century 23’s systems and that we will not be held liable to a presumed colourspace based on home or small business monitor reproduction.
Finishing – for stitching, check the bindery and finishing section if you require a diecut, hole drilling, folding or other finishing, read this section
Batch Printed Work
Century 23 offer several batch printed products – products printed simultaneously using the same specs (full-colour, double-sided, same paper) to save you, the customer, money. This does come with limitations, but these should present no problem as long as it is clearly understood what you are ordering – good value disposable print for high-volume publicity campaigns.
Accordingly we may print at different presses to achieve fast timescales, may upgrade you to a thicker board (though never to a thinner one) or supply in 2 separate deliveries without prior notification. There are no colour implications to batch printing save that you cannot artificially alter colour balance on-press – we operate on a WYSIWYG basis – if you supply us 60% cyan it won’t get increased to 100% cyan on-press as this would adversely affect other jobs.