For Gelato to offer consistent quality, we have identified a group of print machine settings which we are rolling out to all our print partners - we call it the "Gelato standard". On a regular basis, our print partners calibrate their machines with these Gelato settings. Furthermore, for our platform to make the smallest amount of colour transformations and secure your files are printed as intended, we require that you follow the guidelines below.
Before deciding on a new design, you can check all the formats that we currently offer on our Products and prices page.
- Files should be exported as PDF/X-4 using CMYK-only, output intent set to GRACoL 2006
- Fonts should be embedded or converted to outlines. For the best print output, we recommend using a minimum of 7 point font.
- We require a 4 mm bleed area to be provided (8 mm on the binding side for Wire-O bound products) - more on this below
- We require a minimum 4 mm safety area for the text and graphics to prevent cutting errors (8 mm on the binding side for Wire-O bound products) - more on this below
- Do not add crop marks, colour bars, etc. for our platform takes care of this automatically
- For files with more than 4 pages, please export it as separate pages, not spread
- Images should have a resolution of at least 300 dpi
- Black and Grey tones: We recommend using solid colours (one channel colour, e.g. C0 M0 Y0 K70)
- We recommend flattening all transparencies in the print ready file
- Rich black: Preferred mixture 60 60 60 100 – total 280 for large elements and texts
Although these requirements may sound overwhelming, Gelato has created different ways to simplify the file design process for you and automate many of these requirements:
1. Gelato Print Plugin for Adobe
We recommend creating the files using our Gelato Print plugin for Adobe, which you can download for free here. When using templates in the plugin document size and bleed area in the workspace will be set automatically, so you ensure the file is prepared in accordance with our guidelines.
The main benefits of using the plugin are:
You can design directly in the formats we offer, without worries about bleed or document dimensions. The Adobe extension provides blank templates with the bleed area included which allow designers to easily create their artwork in the correct dimensions.
You can upload both editable templates and print-ready files directly to the Gelato account without saving as PDF.
Files uploaded with the plugin can later be changed directly from Adobe programs and the updates are mirrored on the Gelato platform.
- Any file uploaded or exported from the print plugin, will apply the Gelato PDF preflight settings ("Gelato standard").
2. Gelato Standard PDF Export Preset
We generally recommend creating the files using our Gelato Print Plugin for Adobe. However, there are a few cases in which you might not be able to use the plugin, e.g. if you are using an unsupported version of the Adobe suite, or if as a designer you don't have access to a Gelato account.
In these cases, you can use the Gelato Standard PDF Export Preset for your Adobe suite, to export your files as PDF and manually upload them to your Gelato account via the Upload Files button.
Please go here in order to download and install the preset on your computer.
The preset will fix:
- Export to PDF/X-4
- Output intent set to GRACoL 2006
- All printer’s marks (Crop, Bleed, no Color bar)
- Embeds fonts
- Generate single page preview PDF
- Create a High-res Print Ready PDF
The preset does not fix:
- Bleed if was not added to the document
- Safe text area if it was not added to the document
- RGB Photos/Images/Graphics
- Low-Res images (below 300 dpi)
Bleed, trim and safe text area
This is the portion of your design that will be trimmed off when files are cut to the final size. Its purpose is to make sure your design or image reaches right to the very edge of the cards, leaving no unsightly white edges. If you're designing your file before you upload, you'll need to make your artwork 'Full Bleed' size to account for this.
This is the final size of your printed files after the 'bleed' has been cut off.
This is an area inside the 'Trim'. Being smaller than your final design, the safe area is kept well away from blades and cutting machines, and so this is where you should place your most important information or sections of your design. Anything outside of this area runs a risk of being cut off!