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Artista Guidelines

What you need to know! Quick Links.

• Saving as a PDF

• Outlining your Fonts

Creating Bleed and Crop Marks

• Raster Images vs. Vector Graphic


• Black


Saving your Files

We have provided multiple file types for you to send us when saving your artwork. These are listed at each product where file upload options are available. Please look for templates available at each product if designing from your choice of software.


Saving as an Adobe PDF File

PDF (Portable Document Format) is a universal file format designed to present documents consistently across multiple devices and platforms. Make sure to select a high resolution option when saving this file type if option is available. This saving option is generally done using the “Save As” command in programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word, or sometimes as “ Export” in Adobe InDesign.

Outlining Your Fonts

Computing Definition: a font format that makes use of fillable geometric outlines of letters and symbols, allowing fonts to be scaled up or down while still retaining their intended shape. If fonts are outlined then font no longer needs to be provided to the printer.

Saving your file as a pdf will embed your fonts so generally outlining your fonts is not necessary. Although some printers will require you to outline your fonts. This will help with any font discrepancies during some printing processes. If you decide to outline your fonts for printing processes please make sure to save as a separate file and not to save over your existing file as you will no longer be able to edit your fonts once outlined.

You can find the “Create Outlines” option in Adobe Illustrator under the “Type” menu. Many different programs will have this similar option.

Creating Bleeds and Crop Marks

Bleed: The area of paper or substrate that needs to be trimmed off so that your artwork will have a flush edge. Artwork and background colours often extend into the bleed area so that after trimming the bleed ensures that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed document. Any important text or graphics in your design too close to the trimmed edge should be moved closer inwards to avoid from being trimmed off due to some printing movement or inconsitencies (generally minimal). Your bleed is added by extending your own artwork beyond the document size manually. 1/8" to 1/4" of bleed on all sides is required, but no less.

Crop Marks (also called trim marks): Thin lines placed at all corners of an image, page or artwork layout to indicate where the paper needs to be trimmed after printing. Most design programs will offer options to add crop marks to your final print file.

Raster Images vs. Vector Graphics

Raster: Raster graphics or bitmap images are a dot matrix data structure that represents a generally rectangular grid of pixels (points of colour), viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium. They can end in multiple file names, for example, jpeg, png and tiff. The clarity or resolution of a photo, raster graphic or image can be altered using a program (such as photoshop) in image mode settings, an example would be 72dpi (generally for web) and 300dpi (for print). Take note that when enlarging a raster graphic, image or photo, resolution or clarity is always compromised.

Vector: Computer graphics that are defined in terms of points, which are connected by lines and curves to form multiple shapes. Vector graphics have the unique advantage over raster graphics in that the points, lines, and curves may be scaled up or down to any resolution with no loss of detail. Logo design is commonly made in a vector based program such as Illustrator. Vector graphics are commonly found in file types such as, eps, ai, pdf, and svg.


C-Cyan, M-Magenta, Y-Yellow, K-Black: These are the four basic colours used for printing colour images and graphics. Unlike RGB (red, green, blue), which is used for creating images on your computer screen. When you blend or overlap CMYK the colours become darker and make all kinds of different colours. When designing in a program such as Adobe Illustrator please make sure to have your colour mode on CMYK to get the best colour match for full colour printing.

Black in CMYK

When selecting Black please make sure to have the proper values selected. In CMYK Black is the letter “K” at 100% value. Many designers choose to add other colours in the spectrum to warm up the black or get a rich black. Please make sure to check this value when converting from RGB to CMYK if you don’t want your black to look mixed with other colour. See example below from Adobe Illustrator.

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