A Guide to Supplying Files for Print

When supplying files for print, please ensure that files that you supply to us are correctly setup PDFs. Please follow our separate instructions for creating your PDFs.


  • 4 colour – images need to be CMYK not RGB
  • 2 colour – images to be in the appropriate spot printing colours, if special colours are used.
  • Single colour – images to be in gray scale format.
  • When supplying files for print, your PDFs need to be delivered in its final printing colours, i.e. with everything in CMYK (and spot colours when appropriate) not in RGB.


  • Colour or grayscale images – 300dpi – 350 dpi (or as close to as possible)
  • Line illustrations, barcode and bitmap – 1200dpi
  • Images that are supplied at lower resolutions, may not give the required quality.

Bleed and margins

  • 3mm bleed – when colour runs to the edge of a page a minimum of 3mm bleed is required.
  • Page numbers & running heads – position text at least 6mm from the edge of the page.
  • Crop marks and centre cross marks should be at least 3mm outside of trim edge


  • All fonts must be embedded in your PDFs

Black Type

  • Set all black type up to overprint so that it does not knockout when it runs over colour.
  • When printing special effects or with non-standard inks (metallic, etc) – please check with Imago.

White type

  • Co-edition titles: do not set white type to 0%C, 0%M, 0%Y, 0%K, or to white. Set up as 1%K.
  • Non-co-edition titles: where white type can reverse out of colour or black, it is ok to
    use paper (in InDesign), or to use 1% black.

Colour type

  • Text in colour should be set to knockout when overprinting on image or tint

Total ink limits (TIC/TAC)

  • Maximum 320% for coated papers and 300% for uncoated papers. (This assumes only small areas reach the maximum. For heavy image coverage, please use lower % to avoid see-through or potential printing issues. Using a profile
    with GCR and with lower max % will help here.)
  • 4c solid blacks – we suggest – 100%K, 60%C. However, if you require a richer black, we may request 100K 40C 40M 40Y or 100K 60C 60M 60Y. We will be able to advise on receipt of your files.

PDFs should be supplied as follows

Co-edition printing

  • CMYK composite PDF – with no text in it
  • Plus a text only PDF for each different language – ie a text black PDF – UK/US/FR etc.
  • Do not combine the text and image to a single PDF for multi-edition titles.

Please pay attention with text flow when multi-languages are involved to avoid text running into image areas.

Single language printing (where no co-editions will follow)

  • CMYK composite PDF together with the text. Composite PDFs are always preferred
  • Text black PDFs – work with layers in InDesign and generate composite Text Black only PDFs. Separate Text PDFs are acceptable, but not as good.
  • Duotone printing – composite PDFs required.

Single or double-page spread PDFs

  • Single pages – all standard books
  • Spreads – only board books and some concertina-bound pop books – please check with us at Imago.

Colour Profiles

  • No colour profiles should be included or attached to your PDFs
  • Please ensure that in converting your images to CMYK you use a profile that complies with the international standard, such as Fogra 51 or 52.
  • If you are not sure what profile to use please consult us.

We understand that setting up files for print can be difficult to get right and can vary from printer to printer. We have provided these instructions as a guide, however, we may require slightly different file parameters based on your product, print requirements and the printer we use.

Please do get in touch using the form below to discuss your printing requirements and if you need any assistance with your files.