File Guidelines

Setting up your files for digital and large format print

Please pay particular attention to the following guidelines. We specialize in fast turnaround high quality digital print and can only achieve this if your files are set up correctly. Anything that is not correct or to our specifications can always be sorted out, but may take extra time meaning that any deadlines agreed would be missed and you may incur extra costs.

Please also see Large Format and Poster Print FAQ’s and Digital Print FAQ’s.

If you are not sure how to prepare your artwork to comply with our guidelines, please contact us for artwork preparation suggestions, this will ensure that you get the best quality and not miss your deadlines.

Order Acknowledgement – Online orders will be acknowledged by email immediately. For other orders once we have received your order we will email you a written order acknowledgement. This will show; your job number, the details of your order as we understand it, estimated proof and production timescales plus the final costs and your payment requirements – you can pay online if you do not have a credit account with us – see price and payment terms. Please check all order acknowledgements carefully, changes at a later date may incur extra costs!

Proofs – We always recommend a color accurate proof (at cost shown, or included free with some orders unless stated otherwise) if you wish to be certain of color and content. Proof production will take at least one or two full working days plus postage/collection time and your approval time. NB If due to a short deadline a proof is not possible, then you agree to accept any prints we produce unchecked and we accept no responsibility for any content or color accuracy variations to what you may have expected.

Artwork –

Adobe Acrobat PDF format files

are our preferred choice for fast turnaround work – this is also the best method for Pagemaker, Microsoft Word or Publisher files (see below). However it is imperative that you create PDF’s as ‘press optimised’ with bleed, cropmarks and fonts embedded and follow our imported photos guidelines, as faults in PDF’s cannot be easily ‘fixed’ later in production if you get it wrong.

Quark Xpress or Adobe InDesign files
are accepted if ‘collected for output’ / ‘packaged’ so all the related files and fonts are included. Pages must be set up to the correct size with bleed.

Freehand, Illustrator and Coreldraw files
are acceptable ONLY if saved in .EPS format. Bleed and cropmarks must be included. You will be charged our minimum artwork charge of £12.50+VAT plus standard hourly rates thereafter if we have to re-save native format files.

Photoshop or similar files should be supplied as 300dpi (400dpi if they contain text) CMYK .TIF files with LZW off. Highest quality JPG is acceptable if sending via our upload service. Bleed and cropmarks must be included. Do not send PSD files unless agreed otherwise. You will be charged our minimum artwork charge of £12.50+VAT plus standard hourly rates thereafter if we have to re-save PSD format files.

Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint need to be converted to PDF format.

Page Setup –
All files supplied must be on the correct size page for the print process required – This is quarter of the final size for large format poster prints and final/actual size ie 100% for digital printing. You will be charged our minimum artwork charge of £12.50+VAT plus
standard hourly rates thereafter if we have to re-size your files.

Unless previously advised DO NOT impose your files in any way, this applies especially to business cards. Digital print workflows operate in totally different ways to normal litho print, so we always setup and impose your documents within the price quoted. Business cards should be setup as single pages at 85 x 54mm to qualify for our fixed price packages.

When creating PDF files please note that books or booklets that have over 4 pages must not be supplied as ‘spreads’ always create a PDF containing individual pages. This does not affect your original Quark or Indesign file which may have been set up as spreads.

Documents comprising more than one page must always be supplied in one
file with no blank pages – for instance front and back of cards and flyers, covers and inners of books. All your pages must be
together in one file.

If your artwork requires ‘bleed’ (ie if it extends off the edge of your page) you must allow at least 3mm. We also recommend that any text is kept at least 3mm away from the edge of the page.

Finally, if your document is to be wire ‘o’ bound make sure ‘bleed’ is allowed on all four edges and you have allowed a ‘binding margin’.

Photos –
Photographic images should be supplied as 300dpi (400dpi if they contain text) CMYK .TIF files with LZW off, and placed into your document at 100%. Any images with clipping paths should be saved as EPS – NB avoid Quark clipping paths as they can cause unpredictable results.
.JPG files are accepted only when transferring files via the internet.
There will be a charge for re-saving PSD files.

Digital Camera Images –
Unless your images conform to our ‘photos’ standards above ie they can be placed in a quarter size document at 300dpi then they will not be good enough quality for large format prints. Never enlarge image resolutions beyond their original size – you cannot put in what was not there in the first place.

If in any doubt please request a ‘color proof’

Imported Graphics –
Should be in .EPS format with fonts converted to paths or curves. DO NOT import .AI and .PSD files into InDesign/Quark, as although it is possible it can produce unpredictable results which we will have to charge you for.
NEVER copy and paste graphics from other programs especially Powerpoint, Excel, Word or Clipart. Please note that Word art is a low resolution format and almost never prints well.

Exhibition Stands –
for exhibition stand designs that cover more than one panel (eg Popup stands) set Quark Xpress / InDesign documents up as ‘spreads’ eg 5 x pages for 3×3 and 6 x pages for 3×4, do not supply as one ‘big’ page. This is unless you can only supply a .TIF or .EPS as these are the exceptions and must be provided as one ‘big’ page WITH cropmarks drawn on clearly for each panel and bleed all round. Avoid characters and fine graphics which cross panel gaps as we cannot guarantee that these will always line up accurately. If text does cross panel gaps try and use tracking and kerning so that the gap runs inbetween two characters and not through a character.

Digital Print Limitations –
Due to the print processes used in digital technology we recommend you avoid using flat tints of 10% or less, as these can sometimes print with a marbled or mottled effect. Also as with traditional litho printing try to limit large expanses of any flat color: – textured areas or Photoshop effects will always print much better. In fact we suggest being as adventurous as possible for the most dramatic results. Graduations must always have a suitable range such as 10% to 100% not 10% to 25%. Avoid Quark Xpress blends as they are known to cause ‘banding’ – instead create blends in Photoshop and save as CMYK TIF. For a ‘Rich’ black use 50%C 100%K.

color and color Matching –
Make sure all colors in your document are specified as CMYK for digital small format and poster prints (only fine art Giclee prints can be in RGB). If you have used RGB or spot colors in your design process you must convert them to CMYK. This includes imported .EPS graphics from Illustrator and Freehand and duotone photos. Please remember that Pantone colors cannot be accurately reproduced in CMYK, so if it is important that you try and match a Pantone color then request a color Proof. Also if in doubt refer to a Pantone Solid to Process color swatch)

It is impossible to guarantee that the colors of large format prints will match previously printed work due to changes in materials and processes. If your requirements include future updates of single panels within a set, we suggest you create a design which does not rely on a panel to panel color match eg use a contrasting color. If in any doubt always order a color accurate proof first to check.

Fonts –
Only use legitimate PostScript fonts (never TrueType or Opentype unless absolutely unavoidable), include both printer and screen fonts on your disk. If you must use TrueType then if possible convert them to paths/curves to avoid any potential problems.

Do not use bold, italic or other type options from the menu bar, use the correct bold or italic fonts. If you have used any ligatures in InDesign please make sure you advise us. These do not always print as expected and some cases do not print at all – an outline box will be printed instead. If this happens and you ahve not advised us you will be charged for removing it, re-processing and another proof.

Amendments –

Any amendments requested will be charged at our standard hourly rates unless agreed otherwise in writing. If after ordering a proof you wish to send a replacement amended file you will be charged a ‘reprocessing’ fee of based on our standard hourly rates with a minimum charge of £12.50+VAT. You will be charged standard proof prices if another proof is requested.

Prices and Payment Terms –
As we are primarily a trade supplier our prices Do Not Include VAT. This will be added where applicable during checkout or confirmed in our order acknowledgement for offline orders. We have a minimum charge of £12.50 for any artwork or amendments to files. All work must be paid for on checkout, collection or prior to delivery unless a credit account has already been applied for and opened. Our online ordering system accepts all major credit cards or Paypal. Account customers can also order online and simply select ‘invoice’ at checkout. For anything not available to order via our website, on receipt of your written or emailed quote request or order you will been given a quote number or job number, payment can then be made online via the link on our website:

We reserve the right to amend any of these prices at any time in line with costs of raw materials. All goods and services remain the property of BFL until paid for in full.

Accepting Deliver by Carrier – Your purchase will be checked before packing and will leave us in good condition. It will then be fully insured whilst in transit to you. However it is a condition of the insurance contract, and therefore your responsibility to ensure that you, or anyone receiving goods on your behalf, check all goods delivered by carrier before signing for and accepting them. If ANY damage is found, you MUST sign and mark the carriers delivery note as ‘damaged’ and report to us within 24hrs of delivery.

If the delivery note has been signed for as ‘accepted in good condition’, or in any other way then you will be in breach of this contract and by effectively invalidating the insurance you will have waived all right to claim for any repair or replacement.

This is particularly important for large format panels, especially those mounted on boards and stretched canvases. These are produced typically as custom ‘one offs’ and because of their size and the fact that they can be difficult to handle can be susceptible to damage in transit. The slightest mark or scratch may mean that the panels are not 100% and are possibly then not acceptable. All such deliveries will be clearly labelled with the above terms and in many cases we may insist that you sign a delivery terms sheet to ensure you understand this.

Delivery Times –
Although we will make every effort to meet advised delivery times, we will not be liable for any loss to the Customer contingent on any such delivery not being met. Especially in cases where third parties eg. carriers are involved. Neither will any such failure to meet a delivery date constitute a breach of contract on our part.

Claims –
Advice of damage, delay, partial loss or non delivery of goods in transit must be notified in writing to us within three days of delivery. Any claims regarding faults or incorrect output must be made in writing to us within seven days of delivery and the work in question must be returned to us for examination. We shall not be liable in respect of any claim unless the above requirements have been complied with.

Paper Sizes and Finishing

Digital Print – Maximum sheet size SRA3 450mm x 320mm

Digital Print substrates – 90gsm to 350gsm silk, gloss and uncoated, 100 to 120gsm Conqueror CX22, Raflatac Score back self adhesive, Various sizes of precut labels

Large format Print – Maximum image size in one piece: 1600mm x 15 metres approx. depending on substrate Larger images are possible by tiling.

Large format substrates: Photo base 190gsm standard, self adhesive vinyl, coated artists canvas, art paper, self adhesive vinyl, blueback paper, weather resistant fabric, reinforced PVC banner, windmesh banner.

NB We always recommend laminating prints if frequent handling or durability is required. If you require water resistance, extra durability or weather resistant prints we offer printing using low-solvent based inks and a range of lamination and encapsulation options.We can also mount onto various boards and substrates.

Accepted Media –
We can accept files saved onto: CD, DVD, USB flash drive and various flash memory cards. You can upload any files during or after checkout or you can transfer files via our standalone Upload Page.

When sending work not using our checkout but via our upload service always ZIP all your files in a folder with your name or company as the folder name. Enter your job requirements in the message box and include your Name, Address and Telephone number. Please also add any BFL quote number or job number you have been given to avoid any delays, as we cannot book in or process any work until we have received written instructions.

Pricing and Quotes –
Due to the huge variety of stocks available and the unique flexibility of large format print it would be impractical for us to list everything. Instead we have added as many ‘standard’ prices as we can to our website (as well as a selection in our printed pricelist – available free on request), we also publish special offer prices in our newsletters and mailshots on occasion. So if there is a quantity or size you require that is not listed please contact us as we would be happy to quote individually for your requirements.

Please always confirm the quote number you are given when sending in any orders, this will save a lot of time and potential confusion. If your requirements have changed between getting an initial quote from us and sending your job in, then please request a re-quote.We will have to re-cost it anyway and would much prefer that you know the cost of your order before the job is started, to avoid any misunderstandings later.

Full Terms and Conditions

Please see our Terms and Conditions for full details.

By placing an order you are deemed to have accepted and agree with our terms and conditions.