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Setting up your artwork


We prefer to print from PDF. Printing documents from office applications can sometimes generate problems. Problems may also arise if you have used any fonts not installed on our computers. To minimise these printing problems we recommend you save your documents as PDF’s. Although PDF’s are not infallible and sometimes raise printing issues, they tend to be the best choice for printing.

Adobe Illustrator Photoshop and InDesign all offer a PDF saving option. In addition, you can create a PDF in any of the Microsoft packages on the University PC’s. Simply select file and select the Save as Adobe PDF option.


GIF and JPEG formats compress the image and actually discard information - due to this reason photographs are best saved in TIFF format.

File size

Please try to flatten your work. Layered Illustrator/PDF documents can take a considerable amount of time to process. To combat this we recommend saving a separate print version of your artwork with any layers flattened/rasterized. Saving your documents at 300dpi at the size you want is generally suitable for printing.

Also try to scale down the file size of any photographs within your work, a Word document or PowerPoint file full of large photographs can again take a considerable amount of time to process. Visit the following link for information on reducing PDF size:

Artwork size

Please always save your artwork at the size it is to be printed. Problems can occur when you enlarge artwork saved at a small size. We can scale artwork down but we cannot scale it up without a loss of resolution (and good resolution is what makes the image lovely, crisp and sharp). If you want an A4/A3 size print, it helps to make the document the exact size! Photograph files from a camera tend not match A4/A3 dimensions. As a result when printed, you will have to crop some off the image to size it correctly.


Due to the nature of print devices, our machines cannot print to the edge of an A4/A3 page. To combat this we print on SRA4/SRA3 paper which is slightly larger than A4/A3 (SRA4 = 225 x 320mm/SRA3 = 320x450mm). We then cut down the paper so the image is the exact size. If you want this service, make it clear before we do any printing. In some cases, it is also worthwhile leaving a bleed on the image so it creates a neater finish at the cropping stage. As a rule of thumb we ask for a 3mm bleed on all the edges, so as an example you will supply your A6 flyer with the dimensions 111 x 154mm and after we have printed and trimmed it it is returned to you at the standard A6 size of 105 x 148mm.


If possible save your artwork in the colour format CMYK as these are the ink colours used to print your artwork. We can convert your artwork to CMYK but this will change the colour of your artwork and it might not print as you expect it to. If you work in CMYK when designing your artwork then this will give you a much better idea as to how the final printed piece will look.