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Design Requirements for Gelato

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.


In this article:


File requirements

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 on all sides (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 markscolour bars, registration etc. for our platform takes care of this automatically
  • For files with more than 4 pages, please export it as separate pages, not spread
  • Multiple single-page files should be exported as separate files 
  • For documents with perfect binding, the cover should include a spine
  • 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
  • Files should not contain any kind of password-protection

Although these requirements may sound overwhelming, Gelato has created different ways to simplify the file design process for you and automate the application of many of these requirements. We recommend using our free Gelato Print Plugin for Adobe to create files directly from your Adobe Creative Cloud programs or to export your existing files using our Gelato Standard PDF Export Preset.


Bleed, trim line 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.

Trim line
This is the final size of your printed files after the 'bleed' has been cut off.

Safe area
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!



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