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bleed and safe zone image
Artwork Guidelines

Bleed, trim and safe zone are terms within the printing industry that relate to the tolerance levels that have to be allowed for. Even the most sophisticated equipment, like ours, has a variance when printed media is cut to size and shape.

The trim is where the guillotine is set to cut the paper, vinyl or other material, the bleed and safe zones are to allow for any variation. The bleed is the outer limit and whatever background colour you use should go past this to avoid any white or other unprinted colour to show. The Safe zone is the inner limit where all important stuff like text, borders or images should keep within so they don’t get trimmed off or look uneven.

The usual tolerance levels are 5mm but our standards are higher and you only need 2mm for the safe zone and 3mm for the bleed with Smash Signs.

Trim, Bleed and safe zones explained to the left.

The trim is where we remove the ‘bleed’ and cut your artwork to its final size.

Colours / Colour Matching

Here at Smash Signs we are able to design stickers from a variety of methods. When specifying a colour, we can accept any of the following:

• CMYK (e.g. C2, M11, Y100, K0) - Preferred
• Hexadecimal (e.g. #ffd900)
• RGB (e.g. 255, 217, 0)
• HSB (e.g. 51°, 100%, 100%)
• Pantone® colours*

* We print in CMYK. If Pantone® colours are used in your design we will use the CMYK Pantone® matching system to print your stickers using CMYK inks. Please note: There are many Pantone® colours that cannot be accurately matched using CMYK colours. If you use a Pantone® colour that cannot be matched it will be converted to the closest CMYK colour available. If printing on a vinyl other than white, the colour or effect of the vinyl may affect the final printed colour.

CMYK & Pantone

In most cases, fonts are not required in the artwork as any text on the sticker will not change. To make things simple, please convert all text to outlines (curves) when sending sticker designs to us by email.

If you do need to include the font, we have a vast library of thousands on our system. You might want to check with us when submitting your order if your design uses a rare or obscure font. If it is not subject to any licensing then why not attach the font with your artwork and we will add it to our collection.

If you supply us with a particular font and point size we can replicate this. However, make sure that when you design your own sticker it is created actual size otherwise point sizes will be meaningless.

Submitting Files

We can accept logos and designs via email in almost any format, but if the sticker has been designed using a vector based program it is always best to prevent rasterising the design. As such, our preferred file formats are listed below:


Other common file formats include:

As previously mentioned, we can open almost anything. In the unlikely event that you send us a file we cannot open, we will contact you about your options.

CMYK & Pantone