The Free Festival Artwork Guide

Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Welcome to our comprehensive artwork preparation guide! We understand that navigating the intricacies of print design can be daunting, especially for those new to the field. Fear not! This guide is written to walk you through the essential aspects of preparing your artwork for print, ensuring your artwork is correct first time.
Colour Mode: Understanding the difference between RGB and CMYK is essential for achieving accurate colour representation in print.

RGB (Red, Green, Blue):
RGB is a colour mode used in digital screens like monitors and cameras. It combines red, green, and blue light to create a wide spectrum of colours suitable for electronic displays.

CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black):
CMYK is the standard colour mode for print. It uses four ink colours - cyan, magenta, yellow, and black - to reproduce colours on paper. CMYK is necessary for achieving accurate colour matching between digital designs and printed materials.

Why CMYK is Essential:
Designing in CMYK ensures that the colours in your printed materials closely match what you see on your screen. Since printers use CMYK inks, designing in CMYK from the start helps avoid unexpected colour shifts during printing. Please note, there may still be slight differences due to screen and print variations.

Bleed: Bleed ensures your artwork extends seamlessly to the edges of the final printed piece.

What is Bleed?
Bleed refers to extending design elements beyond the trim edge of your document. It provides a buffer zone that accommodates any slight variations during the trimming process, ensuring your design extends seamlessly to the edges of the final print.

The Importance of Bleed:
Without bleed, you risk encountering unsightly white edges on your printed materials. Bleed guarantees a professional finish, eliminating any possibility of unfinished edges detracting from your design's impact.

How to Apply Bleed:
Ensure all elements, including background colours, images, and graphics, extend at least 3mm beyond the trim edge. This extra margin ensures that your design reaches the edge of the printed page, preventing any white gaps from appearing after trimming.

Safe Area: This protects vital elements in your design.

What is the Safe Area?
The safe area is the designated space within your document where important text and graphics should reside. Placing crucial elements within this area ensures they won't be trimmed off during the finishing process.

Preserving Integrity with Safe Area:
Adhering to safe area guidelines ensures that vital information remains intact, regardless of any minor variations during trimming. Keep all essential elements, such as text, logos, and important graphics, at least 3mm away from the trim edge.

Artwork Size and Scaling: Ensuring your artwork is created to the correct size of the intended print item is crucial for achieving the best result.

Why Artwork Size Matters:
Creating your artwork at the exact dimensions of the final printed piece ensures that all elements are positioned correctly and that the design maintains its intended proportions. Scaling artwork after it has been created can lead to distortion and loss of quality.

The Impact of Scaling on Bleed and Safe Area:
When scaling artwork, the bleed and safe area also scale proportionally. If your artwork is scaled down, the bleed and safe area will be reduced as well, potentially causing important elements to be trimmed off during printing. Similarly, scaling up artwork may result in insufficient bleed and safe area.

How to Ensure Correct Artwork Size:
Always create your artwork at the precise dimensions of the final printed piece, including the required bleed area. This ensures accurate trimming without compromising any essential elements.

File Format: Choosing the right file ensure we can print your item.

Recommended Formats:
We recommend saving your files as PDF or high-resolution JPEGs (300ppi). These formats preserve the quality and integrity of your design, ensuring smooth printing processes.

How to Save Files:
When saving your files, ensure that all fonts are embedded and images are high-resolution (300ppi) to maintain print quality. Additionally, check that your colour mode is set to CMYK for accurate colour reproduction in print.

We cannot print from PNG or Word documents. Please ensure your artwork is submitted in PDF or high-resolution JPEG format to ensure the best results.

Download your FREE templates: Pre-made templates for Photoshop simplify your artwork preparation.

We have prepared a full set of Photoshop artwork templates (A3, A5, A6) for each venue, available to download here:

Artwork Check: Piece of mind for just £5.

If you haven't already purchased an artwork check, you can add one here. It is especially recommended for package orders, at just £2.50 per item. Our studio will give your artwork a thorough check-over to ensure it is fully print-compliant.

Our check covers all the common areas where your artwork may fail, such as size, bleed, safe area, resolution and colour mode.

Your artwork will not print until we have confirmed with you it has passed our pre-press checklist. If we somehow miss any artwork faults and print your items, we will reprint them free of charge.