File Preparation

These notes explain the ideal way to prepare a file to ensure you get the best results from our Fine Art Printing Service. We understand that there are a variety of technical skills out there, and we don't want to discourage you so if you need help just ask.

In a Nutshell

Detailed Instructions

The file types we accept

Files we don’t generally accept for fine art printing

Vector based formats or non cross platform formats.

This applies to Adobe Illustrator Ai, or Corel Draw CDR.  This is essentially to protect your hip pocket.  We have found that what people thought were invisible elements in their vector based imaging environment have become visible when the file was rasterised for printing.  Converting to a TIFF file is very easy to do and allows you to see these issues before spending your money.

Correct Sizing

White Borders

Make sure you include any white borders in your sizing.


You want the image area of your print to be 20” X 30” but you will be framing the piece and want a 5” border all the way around.
Therefore the correct size for your print is 30” x 40”

In Photoshop you can increase the total ‘canvas size’ to 30” x 40” (in order to add a white border). To do this select Image > Canvas Size from the menu. Make sure that the Canvas Extension Colour is set to white otherwise you will end up with a coloured border!  There should be a similar process in all good image editing software.

Printable Area

Make sure that your image area does not exceed the printable area of the paper.

44 inch and 24 inch rolls

We can print right to the edge of the paper (full bleed) if necessary but recommend you leave a 3mm margin either side. The papers we use are so heavy that they can skew (rotate) a tinny amount when loading. Over the length of a large print this can add up to a couple of millimeters.  If you leave the recommended margin you will be able to easily trim your print back to square without cropping your image.  

A3 and A4 sheets

We can't print to the very edge of sheets. The printable areas are as follows:
A4       269mm x 204mm  (10.5" x 8.0")
A3       392mm x 291mm  (15.4" x 11.4")
A3+      455mm x 323mm  (17.9" x 12.7")
If you supply files for sheet printing that are too large for the above printable areas we will scale down the image to fit. If you need full bleed prints at A3 or A4 sizes it can be achieved by printing on a roll.  E.g.Two A3 prints fit nicely side by side on a 24 X 20 inch print. You may notice a slight skew or offset if you print close to the edges of the sheet. This will not be visible when the prints are mounted or trimmed.

Canvas Prints

We recommend you add a white border of 2 inches (5cm) all around your image to allow for the wrap.  However, you can have the image continue onto the wrap if you wish.


We will accept any pixel resolution however….the ideal resolution is 360 pixels per inch (PPI).  300ppi is 99% as good.

With larger prints you can get away with a far lower resolution since the viewing distance is greater.  Also some images are just not that detailed so again you can use a much lower resolution. For photographic work try to stay above 180ppi. If your image is below 180ppi it is worth careful 'up-scaling' to get it to 180ppi, but do not go beyond this.  It is better to let our system take care of the rest. Learn how to Scale and Image

Bit depth

Either 16 bit or 8 bit RGB files are fine. 16 & 8 bit refer to bits per channel. Sometimes referred to as 48 or 24 bit total bit depth.

RGB files not CMYK

Please do not supply CMYK images.

Flatten Layers

If you work with layers in your image editing program, make sure you flatten all layers before saving your print file.

Colour Space

This is the area that confuses people the most, but it is important to make sure you are working in a colour space. No colour space means you are not managing the colours in your file.

If your file came from a digital camera, the chances are it is already in a colour space such as sRGB or Adobe 1998. Your image editing software should tell you the colour space or that your file is untagged, meaning it has no colour space assigned.

The information bar at the bottom of a Photoshop document window can be set to show the colour space of the document. Just click on the small black arrow and select Document Profile.
Photoshop Colour Space Info

If you supply us with a non colour managed file we will assume it is in the sRGB colour space.

Do not convert your images to our profile. There is no need to do this as our workflow is completely colour managed and we take care of this for you (in a more sophisticated manner) at printing time.

Black & White Images

If your images are true Black & White (no toning of any sort) please prefix the file name with ‘BW_’.  This ensures that we use our special Black and White printing process for optimal results.

Multiple Image Layouts

Since roll printing is cheaper than sheet printing per square inch, you may want to lay out multiple images into a larger single file.  Make sure you add crop marks or outlines on each image and include enough space for cutting. Unfortunately we do not have the time to do the layout and cutting for you.

Make a ZIP File

Please place all your files into one zip file together with a word or text document containing any special instructions. 

Please name the ZIP file in this format:


ZIP files Tutorial

Complete the Online Ordering Process and send in your files

The order form will instruct you on how to send your files in.

*To keep us running efficiently we reserve the right not to print incorrectly prepared work or to charge for correcting it on your behalf.  We would of course contact you before incurring costs.