Avoiding Delays To Your Print

No one wants to experience delays with their print. This guide aims to help you avoid the common issues that put a halt to jobs before they hit the presses.

Thanks to our proven order processing system, thousands of orders are printed each week. On occasion, however, progress on an order has to be put on hold owing to an issue with the supplied artwork. Our order processing team calls these issues ‘Showstoppers’, because there’s no way that production can proceed before they’re resolved. 

In the event that your order has one of these problems, you’ll receive an email identifying the issue and instructing you on how you can remedy the problem.

However, you can avoid delays by getting to know what these common issues are and avoiding them at the outset. Our Proof Checking Guide helps you to look out for issues at the proofing stage and our guides on How to Supply Artwork, and the Online Proofing Tool help you with the process of uploading artwork.

The following rundown of common issues will help you ensure that your artwork is passed for production the first time around.


The artwork file is password protected

If the file that you upload has security measures in place to restrict access, we’ll be unable to open the file and submit it for production.

Always ensure that no permissions or passwords are required to open or view your files before they are uploaded for print.


The artwork file is damaged or corrupted

Files can become damaged or corrupted for a variety of reasons, often while being transferred from one device to another. If damage occurs on its way to us, we’ll let you know via email, but it’s worthwhile ensuring the file is in good shape before uploading it for print.


The number of pages uploaded does not match the order

If the number of pages uploaded is different to the number of pages for the product you’ve ordered, this will cause your order to be put on hold, so it’s important to supply the correct number.

  • If you’ve supplied too many pages, you can use the "DESELECT THIS ARTWORK" buttons to remove the pages that aren’t required and proceed with your order. 
  • If you’ve supplied too few, you can resupply the artwork for the job.


Inconsistent page orientation

If different pages within your artwork have different orientations. Some pages may be portrait (taller than wide), while others may be landscape (wider than tall), resulting in an inconsistent layout throughout the file. Those issues are easy to spot, but look out for minor variations in page dimensions too in order to avoid a delay on your multi-page jobs.


Sub-optimal artwork resolution

Our Resolution Guide explains why resolution is so important and why we recommend a resolution of 300ppi for print jobs. If your artwork appears to be at a lower resolution than we recommend, it will be flagged and you’ll receive an email.

It may be that you’re happy to go ahead with low-resolution artwork in the knowledge that the print will not appear as sharp as we usually expect. In this case, we do need your approval before we proceed.


Artwork uses non-CMYK colours

Different colour gamuts are used in print to those used on computer monitors. The most common issue with non-CMYK artwork is when the artwork comes to us in RGB files, the type that’s used to reproduce images on screen, not in print. Our Colour Guide sets out the differences in these two systems and why we require artwork in CMYK. In a nutshell, you can avoid delays by ensuring your artwork is supplied in CMYK.


Fonts not supplied

If fonts are not supplied, or the text is not supplied as an image, we’re unable to be sure that text that appears in your artwork will be reproduced properly in print That’s because text in a document is created using the fonts installed on the designer’s computer. When the same document is opened on a different computer, it may not have the designer’s original font installed. 

For that reason, we have to halt jobs where fonts are not supplied, potentially delaying your order. Our Fonts Guide tells you how to supply artwork featuring text in a way that ensures your finished print appears how you expect it to, and avoids delays.


Issues with trim

Your print will need to be trimmed to size when it comes of the press. To ensure your finished product looks good and is fit for purpose, your artwork should take this process into account. For example, if your artwork has a full-colour background, artwork should be supplied with colour bleed that goes beyond the cutter guide to avoid white strips at the edges. This issue is discussed in full in our Bleed Guide. 

Similarly, artwork for jobs that feature Spot UV or Foiling require extra care so that these areas are clear of edges, folds and perforations. Our Foil Artwork and Spot UV Artwork guides have more info on this.