Artwork Guidelines

We have prepared the following checklist to assist you with files you are submitting prior to ordering which is considered final. Improperly prepared files will be printed at your own risk.

For every order we receive, we presume you have read our checklist and guidelines and understand and agree that we do our utmost to print your files as best we can, without further notice to you.

If you need further instructions, see File Guidelines for assistance.

Minimum resolution of any graphic file is 300 DPI and maximum resolution is 350/375 DPI.

►Remove all crop and registration marks, and anything not meant to be printed.

►Rich black is C30 M20 Y20 K100. If you don’t know what rich black is, you can ignore this guideline, but if you are a designer or prepare files for clients, please ensure you use this rich black combination.

► Do not confuse rich black backgrounds with regular black text.
Use only C0 M0 Y0 K100 for solid black text.  Black type needs to be trapped for best results.

►Type is legible and crisp at 100% view when using 300 DPI or more.

►Fonts MUST BE converted to outlines, not just embedded.

►Page layout is correct. 
Click here to see an example of file setup

►Margins are set (see below for recommendations for both inside and outside margin space).

► Borders / Horizontal Rules (Lines and Hairlines) /Inside Margins: ** DO NOT USE WHITE or BLACK as a bleed if the background is NOT white or black!


If you insist on using borders (bad idea), we recommend that it not be smaller than 1/4″; 1/8″ for trimming and 1/8″ on the inside visible area (recommended for all products). Borders will almost always trim off balance due to the nature of trimming. For example, on a 4x6 postcard, 1/16″ off balance is barely noticeable, but quite noticeable on a 3.5 x 2 business card. Use small borders, lines and/or inside margins less than 1/8″ at your own risk!

Why shouldn’t I use borders in my business cards? Paper shifts on a guillotine and we have to cut the cards in a stack, not one-at-a-time, and due to the shifting of a stack of cards, there will be a percentage of your order that will have uneven borders.

This is not a unique issue to our company, but something that happens to every printing company in a very fast-paced environment. You can certainly use borders if you insist, but you do so at your own risk.

We reserve the right to remove any tiny lines or borders from your artwork if they are too close to the trim edge without notification.

►Artwork matches the specified dimensions; if you order 4x6 postcards and your files do not match, without notification, we will attempt to size your files to the size you ordered, which may or may not be proportionate.

►DO NOT LINK IMAGES in Illustrator or InDesign – Embed them.

►Colours in CMYK mode (US Sheetfed Coated v. 2 is our recommended profile).

►Screen values should be between 133 lpi and 175 lpi.

►Scan all transparencies and line art at 100% of print size unless data size is prohibitive.  DO NOT scan materials that have already been printed unless you’ll be satisfied with poor results.

►Flatten all layers

Bleeds (Ink Goes to Edges)

A 1/8″ bleed must be added to pictures and designs bleeding to the edge, so that there is no white space or border showing around the artwork. For example, business cards trim to 3.5 x 2 and if there is a bleed, your files (both sides) need to be 3.75 x 2.25. It is also important to keep text at least a 1/4″ away from the document edge or the trim line to prevent accidental cropping. ** DO NOT USE WHITE or BLACK as a bleed if the background is NOT white or black!

IMPORTANT: Bleeds cannot be white or black unless the background is white or black. If you try to fit an image directly on the trim line and presume it will be trimmed that way, you will be disappointed with the results, i.e. we cannot trim cards one at a time and because paper shifts on a guillotine, you will have uneven borders.

Colour Specifications

Print previews are not a safe and sure measuring tool for colour accuracy. Colours will be affected by monitor calibration, screen resolution and lighting, just to name a few. Many Pantones shift when converted to CMYK process; in particular bright blues tend to convert to purple.

Please make sure all colours are in CMYK mode for colour accuracy and a better quality output.

Business Cards Toronto Canada
GFX is the Original Business Card Printer Online Since 1993.

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