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Design & Artwork

Everything you need to know about supplying artwork files correctly


Artwork Supplied

You supply the artwork set up as we require (please read all of the information on this Design page to make sure all of your artwork files are set up correctly)

Buy Artwork

You purchase the artwork, in the 'Order Online' section of the site, you will be asked to provide a short brief of your requirements which we will try to follow as closely as possible. Once the artwork has been created we will supply you a PDF proof at which point you will be given the opportunity to make minor amendments at no additional cost. If however you require a completely new design at this stage a new design fee will be applicable therefore please be as detailed with your brief as possible to avoid any additional costs later on.

'Clean Up'

The 'Clean Up' charge is optional, this option means that we will check your supplied artwork is set up correctly in CMYK with bleed and crop marks. Please note: If after making the changes you wish us to check the file again this will incur an extra £5 charge, alternatively we can go directly to print however this is at your own risk.

***NOTE*** We hold all artwork files for future use, so if you require a reprint of an existing job with NO CHANGES, please click the "Supply Own Artwork" tab when checking out then you will not be charged again, however you must please let us know that it's a reprint.

File formats accepted

Press ready PDF - with fonts embedded Quark XPress - supply fonts and images Illustrator - fonts converted to outlines Photoshop - layers flattened, at least 300 dpi, JPEG or Tiff Indesign - fonts converted to outlines

Different formats

If you wish to submit artwork created using a program not listed above we should be able to accommodate you but please call us to discuss this first

Supplying files

When supplying files e.g. Quark XPress, please ensure all elements, document, images and fonts are in one folder and please compress using Stuffit or similar to .sit or zip files before sending.

Supplying PDF artwork

We prefer all artwork to be supplied as high-resolution PDF format where possible. PDF's are rapidly becoming the standard file format for transmitting files for printing, but it is important to prepare your PDF file in the correct way to avoid any mistakes.

Correctly supplying PDF files

When creating a PDF in Acrobat Distiller, there are job options which must be set for commercial printing. These include default resolution, compression settings and font embedding. Please ensure you choose high resolution. Compression settings for colour and greyscale should be downsampled to 300dpi with 'auto compression' set on high. Bitmapped (monochrome: i.e. line art) images should be set at 1200dpi. Font embedding should be set to 'embed all fonts'.


Make sure there is 3mm bleed on all sides of the supplied file (i.e. for A4 usually 210mm x 297mm, save as 216mm x 303mm). Crop marks may be included. If it is not saved in this format, we will not be able to use it as artwork and if there are any changes to the job, you may have to amend and re-supply the artwork.

CMYK not RGB please!

Please ensure that all embedded images are CMYK files. RGB images may look good on your screen but final output to print is always in CMYK. You should be aware that files converted from RGB to CMYK will not look the same printed as they appear on your screen!

CMYK split







Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK) inks are printed separately.

CMYK Combined


The 4 inks are printed in layers of dots that combine to create an illusion of many colours.

Microsoft Office files

If you are creating a PDF from a MS Publisher or Word file, care must be taken to ensure spot colours are created correctly in your original documents. Do not set to RGB colours.

Supplying EPS files

Any other file formats not listed above must be saved as an eps or jpeg. If there are any changes to the job, you may have to amend and re-submit the artwork as we will be unable to change it. Ensure all files have bleed and crop marks and please confirm the final size of the artwork and supply a hard copy for reference.

Without bleed

Printing without bleed

With full bleed

Printing with full bleed

Bleed and crop marks

All artwork must have 3mm bleed if you require the image to bleed off the edge of the paper. Crop marks should be included if artwork does not fill a whole page area (i.e. no bleed). They should be 5mm long, 3mm outside of the page area and coloured in the colour 'registration' to ensure they appear on each colour separation. Please ensure that artwork is supplied at the correct finished size required.


Please do not supply imposed pages or 'printers pairs' because our workflow includes imposition software to impose correctly for our printing processes.


Include all fonts you have used in the file. Whilst we have an extensive font collection, there is no guarantee the version you have used matches ours. This can create problems with line lengths and spacing of the type. Forest Litho assumes all fonts supplied are licensed and takes no responsibility for embedded fonts.

Lineart and images

Scanned colour and greyscale images should be 300dpi at the final size in the document submitted for output. Images should be submitted as TIFF's, JPEG's or EPS. Lineart (bitmapped) should be 600-1200dpi at the final size in the document submitted for output.


Screen tints may range from 1% to 99%. Please note: less than 5% or more than 90% is unlikely to be visible to the naked eye.

Sending artwork by email

Please address it to ( with any relevant information regarding the job. Maximum file size preferred by email is 20MB, files larger than this should be sent on disk.

You may upload files of up to 5MB in size during the order process.

Sending artwork on disk

CD ROM, DVD, and USB memory sticks can be sent to: Forest Litho Printers Ltd, 4 Prime Buildings, Daux Road, Billingshurst, West Sussex, RH14 9SJ.

Please include a hard copy of your artwork for reference with any useful instructions. Please quote the order reference number and include a contact name, email address and telephone number in case of a query. Don't forget to keep a copy of your file, in case we need you to undertake changes or corrections.

High Resolution Proofs

If you supply your own artwork we will run straight from the files you send us

If you require the 'Artwork Checking Service' we will inform you of alterations you will need to make before we can print

If you require the 'Full Design Service' we will send you a pdf proof for approval

You can also pay for a high resolution digital proof at an extra cost if required.