The key to success for printed products consists of 6 elements: Text Safe Area, Cut Line, Bleed Area, Colour Mode, Convert to Curves and Tick Marks.
- The TEXT SAFE AREA
Refers to the area that ALL TEXT must be INSIDE, any text outside this area runs the risk of being cut off once the artwork has reached the cutting process. The standard Text Safe Area is a MINIMUM OF 3mm within the Cut Line or edge of the artwork.
- The CUT LINE
This Is where the artwork gets cut. This can also be referred to as the trim line or edge of the artwork. The cut line is in between the Text Safe Area and the 3mm Bleed Area.
- The BLEED AREA
Is the area OUTSIDE of the CUT LINE or trim area and extends a MINIMUM OF 3mm from the edge of the final printed product. The bleed is very important as it eliminates the possibility of having white edges on the artwork. The bleed is the artworks background being stretched 3mm passed each Cut Line.
- The COLOUR MODE
CMYK is colour mode used for professional colour printing. RGB (Red, Green, Blue) is the colour mode most commonly used for Screen graphics. Most online graphic publishers such as Canva generate RGB artwork, therefore they will need to be converted to CMYK to print.
- CONVERT TO CURVES
Refers to the font of an artwork. Converting to curves transforms the font (which is adjustable) into a vector (not adjustable). This is important as the printer might not have the font used in an artwork. This eliminates the font changing and moving on the artwork once received by the printer.
- The TICK MARKS
Also referred to as the Crop Marks are used to show the finishing department where to cut the artwork. Once cut it is referred to as being trimmed to size.
The overall design of your printing requirements hinges on the design itself. To get the highest quality print, make sure you have a 3mm bleed and a 3mm text safe zone that will immediately give you the best chance to have a product that is professional. The remaining elements can be added in after the fact but will be charged for as it is time spent correcting the artwork.