Many of our customers ask us how to print from Canva and what print settings they should be using - here's everything you need to know. ...
How to prepare your design files for print with Panda Press
Even experienced designers know how important it is to check all documents thoroughly before sending artwork to print. Spotting spelling mistakes, poor image resolution or incorrect colour profiles being used will save you a lot of money on reprints. Use our checklist below.
Check what size your artwork should be. For example, check the dimensions for A5 if you are designing an A5 flyer, or the dimensions for a business card (which is 85mm x 55mm in the UK). See industry-standard print sizes here.
Always add a margin or ruler marks to your artwork to ensure no text or logos are outside of the safe area. We’d recommend at least 6mm from the trimmed edge.
These are the marks that we will use to cut your print project to the correct size. Usually, there will be an option in your software to add crop marks when exporting your artwork as a PDF.
If you want your artwork to cover the whole print area, you would need to include a bleed (3mm with Panda Press), otherwise there might be some uneven white cardstock left after trimming. Anything with large blocks of colour or a coloured background will require bleed, so it’s important to check those elements reach up to the bleed line, which is 3mm past the edge of the page. If the software you are using does not allow you to add bleed, you’d need to incorporate the additional bleed into the dimensions of the file size. So, for example, an A4 document of 210x297mm would become 216x303mm to accommodate the extra 6mm (3mm all round) bleed.
When designing for print, all artwork must be in CMYK, which stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key (black). Digital artwork is in RGB (Red, Green, Blue), and should not be used for print.We can convert a document made with RGB colours to CMYK, but please be advised that with CMYK, colours such as neons might appear dull and vibrant colours might appear more muted. If you convert the document yourself you should get a good idea of what the CMYK version will look like, but it’s always best to ask the printer to make the conversion for better accuracy.
If you are printing artwork with a lot of black in the design, such as yellow text on a black background, you might want to consider using a rich black formula. This is next level stuff but basically printers will often require a specific CMYK formula to create a black which is, well, rich. To get a very deep black with Panda Press, our formula is C60 M40 Y40 K100.
Ensure the quality of the artwork is set to 300dpi (dots per inch) for print. Digital artwork might automatically be set at 96dpi, which might not be high enough quality depending on how large the item is that you are having printed.
It’s also important to check that images are downloaded and used at a high resolution, so as not to adversely affect the overall quality of the artwork. Please also check the licensing on any stock images used, as they must be suitable for commercial use, and some licensing options limit against the number of things printed with that image.
We recommend using a minimum line weight of 0.25pt to ensure thin lines remain visible.
Just a reminder to check all QR codes when sending them to print. Please also be advised that usually the longer the URL, the more complicated the QR code will be, which can make it harder for people to scan.
We’ve been in the printing industry a long time and we’ve seen a lot of file formats! We can print from any format your artwork is in, but if we need to recreate it, there will be an additional charge. Ideally, artwork should be a high resolution, print ready PDF with 3mm bleed, crop marks, and CMYK colour profile.
The minimum font size should be no smaller than 8pt, and we recommend using 100% black for text smaller than 12pt. Text should also be embedded within the document.