Litho & Digital Print


If you’re about to use our ‘FileLink’ service to send us print-ready artwork files, this guide will help ensure you set everything up correctly and also touches on some handy hints and tips.


The preferred output format is PDF incorporating 3mm bleed, preferably using the ‘Press Quality’ preset.

We can accept native formats such as:

  • Adobe CC (including InDesign and Illustrator etc.)
  • Quark XPress

If using InDesign or Quark, make sure you ‘Package’ or ‘Collect for output’ respectively, to include the images and fonts. Missing images will otherwise print at very low resolution.


The accepted resolution for print is 300ppi.

Image resolution is probably the most confusing of all. If an image has a high dpi (ppi) content, it may not necessarily mean that the image quality is good. Images that are 72dpi may be resized to 300dpi in Photoshop; however this will not improve the quality of the image.

Resolution however is a useful guide as to the printability of an image, basically the more dots that are available potentially the sharper the image will be in the printed process. Recommended resolutions are:

  • 300dpi/ppi for grayscale and colour images
  • 600-1200dpi/ppi for line art images

Creating images in excess of these values will not necessarily improve the quality of the printed product, but will considerably increase the size of the PDF created. This will then impact on time spent delivering these files in to Cedar via FTP.

If you are in any doubt about the suitability of your image, check the PDF at a size of between 150-200% in Adobe Acrobat. If you are happy with the quality of the image on screen then you may proceed to submission to press.

Please note: Images captured from the internet are generally unsuitable for print due to the lower resolution required to display on screen. We cannot guarantee the quality of artwork created in programmes such as Word and PowerPoint, as they are not desktop publishing programmes.


RGB – Please convert to CMYK
LAB/ICC Colour – Please convert to CMYK
Index Colour – Please convert to CMYK

CMYK Printing
If you are producing a job out of 4-colours (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) then all colours in your document including images MUST be converted to CMYK.

CMYK and Pantone Printing
If you require both CMYK and Pantone colours to be printed then ensure that all non-required pantones in your colour palette are converted to CMYK. This will ensure that when the files are processed for printing only the required number of pantone plates will be produced.

Pantone and Transparencies
Care should be taken when using transparent layers over pantone colour spaces. Correct layering procedures within the application should be followed. Generally it is better to ensure that the text based elements are on a separate layer to the graphic elements. This ensures that any undesirable results from flattening vector and bitmap layers will be avoided. It is also essential to ensure that any colours underlying transparencies are correctly converted to CMYK before making the PDF if the product is to be printed in 4 colour.


Between 3mm-5mm of bleed is required if you want images to be printed to the very edge of the page.
Please include crop marks.

Adding Bleed in InDesign

­Embedding Fonts

Please embed the fonts in the output file. You can embed a ‘subset’ of the font or the entire font. If you are unable to embed it due to licensing issues, then convert the text to outlines.

There is a huge variety of fonts available to designers in order to satisfy their layout needs. Holding libraries that contain all these fonts and any variants of a typeface would be an impossible task, and the cost of maintaining such a library would be enormous. The answer is for the designer to embed the fonts within the PDF created from their artwork. This is a legitimate action if the designer has purchased the font in the first place.

Fonts are required to be embedded within a supplied PDF in order to maintain the typographical accuracy of the designer’s artwork. If a font is not embedded then this could lead to illegible or missing characters or words. Our preflight will flag a missing font as an error and will not allow it to pass through the system without intervention. This safety net gives the customer the ability to correct and resupply the file.

­Embedding Font in InDesign

General Recommendations

In order to avoid any issues when processing files follow these simple recommendations:

  • Always set your PDF engine to error when a font cannot be embedded.
  • Always embed all fonts.
  • Always embed complete fonts, do not subset fonts. This ensures that all font encodings are added to the PDF and if any post PDF editing is required the font is available.

How Do I Embed

Applications such as InDesign and Quark will automatically embed fonts when using PDFX1a_200x settings. It is a requirement of the PDFX1 protocol to have fonts embedded. If using applications such as Publisher to prepare PDFs ensure that the export options in the PDF setting is set to “include all fonts”.


Another common problem with text is setting white objects to overprint. Because the white of the type is made up from the underlying paper colour and not a printed ink, this overprint white text will result in missing type or objects. Our soft proof systems will highlight this problem, but the designer can readily see this in their PDF by setting their Acrobat preferences to “show overprint”. This will replicate what will be seen on the printed sheet.


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