Artwork Guidelines

We have prepared this guide to assist you with the preparation of electronic artwork suited for printing purposes. As always we are here to help. We have included an in depth FAQ section that deals with printing terms such as bleed, colour separation, Microsoft Programs, how to create  print ready PDF files and much more. Still stuck give us a call.


Please note that artwork that is not prepared correctly can cause delays in production, and may be subject to additional charges.



Confirmation of ownership and suitability

By Uploading Artwork you confirm that you are the rightful owner of the artwork and have permission to use the artwork in its entirety. You confirm that you have the right to use all images, fonts, vectors, formatting, layout and all other elements that constitute the complete design. In addition you also warrant that all content complies with South African law and contains no hate speech, pornographic, paedophilic, illegal, racist or other inappropriate material. Salty Print reserves the right to decline any job with a full refund.
Please refer to our terms and conditions for a full explanation of these points.

 Quick Checklist

  • Spell Check your document
  • Make sure all fonts are included.
  • Is the type legible and crisp.
  • Make sure the page layout is correct.
  • Check your margins are set correctly and no critical elements are in the quiet space.
  • All artwork matches the specified dimensions.
  • Colours are in CMYK mode, or pantone colours (we can also accept RGB for digital work)
  • Artwork includes bleed.

Copying and Pasting Images from the Internet

Do not copy images from the internet unless they come from specific sites that offer high resolution images. Internet images are purposely low resolution and are not suitable for quality printing.
Undesirable Formats
Microsoft Programs, including Publisher or your favourite office suite is not designed with commercial printing in mind. In our experience these files often lose their formatting and any fonts you used that are not on our computers are automatically changed without notice. Also different versions of these programs, including patches and updates display differently on different computers, which results in a job that is not what you desired. With this in mind please consult our guide to producing a print ready PDF on our FAQ page.
Whilst we have a full range of up-to-date software and can open the majority of the files produced by these programs, we will not be responsible for the output that results from printing artwork generated by these programs. If you have to submit artwork for printing using these programs, please contact us first.

Bleeds, Tick Marks and Quiet Space.

Our printers are similar to the printers you use on a daily basis, they cannot print to the edge of the page. They leave a white boarder around the edge of the page. This means if you have a design that you want to extend to the edge of the page, the design should be extended 3mm beyond each side of the artwork on all sides, this is called bleed. We will print the artwork on a bigger sheet than the final size you require and cut the artwork to the correct size.
Thin black lines called tick marks are placed around the artwork to indicate where the document should be cut i.e. the final size. Please note that anything that occurs outside of the tick marks will be cut off and discarded.
It is also very important that no critical element of the design, like page numbers, headings and text come within 5mm of the edge of the artwork. The reason for this is that artwork can shift slightly during production, and if these elements are too close to the edge of the artwork you risk them being cut into or cut off. This space is referred to as quiet space.
Colour is a very subjective topic, and is affected by a large number of factors. Colours on a file are affected by monitor calibration, screen resolution, lighting, paper, colour space and many more factors.
For a much more in depth look at colour please see our FAQ section as well as our blog pages. For the purposes of this document colour has been split into two sections Litho Printing and Digital printing, as colour effects each of these processes differently.
If you do not know how your artwork will be printed please give us a shout. as a rough guide all work will be produced digitally with he exception of specific pantone and metallic colours.

Digital printing

  • With digital printing we are able to print both RGB Colour space as well as CMYK.
  • Print previews are not a reliable measurement of colour.
  • Some pantone colours are radically affected when they are converted into CMYK/RGB for digital printing.
  • Metallic colours cannot reliably be reproduced by the digital process. If you want a metallic colour please contact us

Litho Printing

  • Only CMYK or specific pantone colours can be reproduced by the litho printing process.
  • Print previews are not a reliable measurement of colour.
  • Some pantone colours are radically affected when they are converted into CMYK for printing.
  • Please make sure that your colour mode is set to CMYK or specific spot colours, any colours that are sent outside these colours will be changed (Clipped) to CMYK which may result in a change of colour.
  • Unless your intention is for a rich black effect please make sure that black text is only in black not in CMYK black. NB if you print back text as rich black some blurring can occur.
  • For one, two or three colour jobs printed in Pantone spot colours, make sure your colours are specified as spot colour and they are separated correctly.
  • There is a percentage of colour variation in litho printing. Please see our article Colour variation and litho printing.

Digital Proofs

We provide PDF files as electronic proofs. These digital proofs intend to show you the layout and design elements of your job, electronic proofs are not a guarantee of colour accuracy and registration. If colour accuracy or registration is a critical component please request a hard copy proof. Please note where we have to undertake specific colour matching there will be an additional charge. If you do not specifically request a hard copy proof your order will be printed as is and Salty Print will not be liable for colour, formatting, or registration variation from the PDF proof visualized either on a computer screen or printed out on your printer.
Please send single page PDF’s as imposition is handled by our workflow.
Image Quality
Please make sure that all images have a minimum resolution of 300dpi.
Rasterized text or logos should be 1200 dpi.
Screen values should be between 133 lpi and 150 lpi.