It is very important to build your print art file to the right specs. Double, even triple check the specs before hand. There’s nothing worse than spending a ton of time working on files that aren’t going to meet the printer’s requirements and that eventually have to be revised.
Printers usually give you three (3) main specs to be aware of: live area, trim line (aka die line or cut path), and bleed. This can be confusing at first, so we’ll breakdown the “live area” in this article.
- The live area (or safe area) is the area on the graphic that most printers would like you to keep the vital art and lettering inside of. This is usually to make sure that it doesn’t get cropped off.
To meet our minimum requirements for screen printing and most digital printing jobs, any vital art and text need to be at least 1/8″ from the die line. Any graphic or text less than 1/8″ from die line is in the “live area”.
Which means anything in the live area is in danger in getting cut. This is due to our minimum tolerances of die cutting. If you’re okay with that then you can leave graphics in the live areas, but if you absolutely don’t want them to be cut, you’ll have to move them at least 1/8″ from the die line.
Email me here if you have any questions about pre-press or preparing art files for print.