Supplying Artwork

We ask that all files supplied to Lightning Press
are ready for print production

Below is a quick guide for setting up your files ready for the printing. From trim marks, bleed and file formats, everything you need to know should be here.

However, if you are new to print, then please call us on 03 8768 7505 and we will gladly help you through the process.

To begin with always include trim marks (trim area is the final size of your print job).

Internal Bleed:
We require a minimum 3mm of internal bleed on all files (5mm on all booklets) that means you need to keep all your important information away from this area.

External Bleed:
We require 2.5mm of external bleed on all files (5mm on all booklets) Your job is printed on a larger sheet than its finished size and then trimmed to size. External bleed is the area extending past your trim area and allows for a small amount of movement that may occur when your work is being cut to size.

Creating your File:
LPPM requires all files to be supplied as PDF files. If your job is single sided then you simply supply a one-page pdf. If your job has two pages i.e.: a front and a back then we need a two-page pdf file, the first page of your pdf will be the front page and the second the back page. If you have a job with multiple kinds then you simply supply one two-page pdf for each kind.

Please note that files supplied as: multiple files on a single page, a common back with multiple fronts or vice-versa, separate files, or EPS or JPEG files, will all have to be manually corrected by our Graphic Area. This may incur a nominal charge and may slow the turnaround time.

Naming your File:
Clear file naming will ensure a faster print process. Begin with making your file name descriptive, but keep it simple for example: Homebuild are sending us their business card so they name the file Homebuild_BC.pdf. Please try to include only alphanumeric characters and limit the total length to a maximum of 16 characters.

Supply in CMYK mode:
Ensure your files are CMYK. If your job is CMYK please remember to remove unwanted spot colours or convert them to CMYK and convert all your images from RGB to CMYK before sending them to us.

Rich Black:
The black ink used in offset printing doesn’t produce a really dense or deep black. If large areas are printed using 100% black, they will appear grayish. Professional designers add a percentage of CMYK colors to the black to create what is called rich or deep black. There is many different rich black combinations. the key is to saturate the CMYK black just enough without getting to much ink buildup. 

  • Cyan 60%, Magenta 45%, Yellow 10% and Black 100% (215% Total Coverage) is a good starting point.
  • Do not allow Total Coverages to exceed 220%.

Rich black shouldn’t be used for small objects such as type (unless it is poster size text) or thin lines. This is done to avoid difficult registration issues when printing. In general, use rich black for objects that are at least 7 millimeters thick.

File Resolution:
Resolution is the number of pixels within an image. The higher the resolution, the better the picture, however if you have too high a resolution it will not utilised and makes your files too large. We suggest making your artwork a minimum of 300dpi when it’s at full size.

Resolution has an inverse relationship with size – if you enlarge an image you lower its resolution and conversely, if you reduce an image you increase its resolution. How an image is originally attained will determine its resolution and what size it can be printed at in order to be clear and Sharp.