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Designing for Digital Print


All images used in print should be supplied at 300dpi. DPI stands for ink dots per inch. All images in your artwork should be at 300dpi and placed at 100% size. Lower resolution images or pics that need to be enlarged in artwork will appear blurry in print. For example, if an image will be 50mm x 50mm on your printed job, it should also be this size on your artwork at 300dpi.

A lower resolution image that looks fine on your computer screen will appear pixelated in print. (Pixelation is where the tiny squares or dots that make up an image, are visible when it’s printed). And please remember; simply increasing the DPI of an image in Photoshop will not improve its quality.

Design for digital print

Borders and artwork

There will always be a small amount of movement when a job is printed or finished, so unless your artwork is bleeding off the page, keep it at least 5mm from the edge (otherwise known as the safe area). It’s best to keep any borders away from the page edge as well, as they may look slightly uneven after trimming.

Using fonts at small sizes

For small format work of A3 and under, we recommend you use a minimum font size of 7pt. For larger format you should go no lower than 11pt. It’s hard to keep small text in register and if you do need to print very small text, we recommend you use 100% black ink only.


Always check your overprint settings before supplying your artwork. It's not always easy for us to spot overprinting errors, especially in larger, multi-page files. Overprint has to be correct on all print ready PDFs, so use the overprint preview facility in Acrobat to check your settings before you order. 


Supply your artwork with 3mm bleed added all round.  Make sure to select the bleed when creating the print ready PDF.

Trade Print Ireland

What is the safe zone or quiet area?

We have a 3mm safe zone, or quiet area, as marked on the picture below.  This is the area inside of the trim edge in which no important information should be placed. Depending on the finishing processes selected, this area is considered a high risk area that may be needed when cutting books or binding.

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