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The following information is a guide for clients setting up printing artwork themselves, or for graphic designers setting up artwork on their client's behalf.



If you have any questions about aspects of your artwork that you are setting up that you are not answered in this section of our site, please contact us. If artwork is supplied to us that is not print-ready, as per our terms and conditions fees will apply. Our current hourly rate for artwork fixes to make files print ready is $100 (inc GST).


Please check the following link for articles relating to artwork and print issues that Paradigm has come across during the course of business that may be of benefit to you:

Paradigm Print Media BLOG >>


Paradigm has relationships with a variety of printers at the leading edge of Environmentally friendly printing. Whether it's using soya-based inks, chemical free print plate making, or good prices on 100% recycled stocks in Gloss Coated, Matt Coated and Uncoated varieties.

Adobe Acrobat Reader

The best possible format for artwork to be sent to us is as a PRINT READY PDF File.



Please Note that the trimmed size of your document should correspond to the trimmed size we will advise you of, on our customised print quotation. Therefore if a business card is described as 86mm x 54mm, or 90mm x 55mm, this is the TRIMMED size that is required. Bleed must be added to this. For example if the trimmed size of the business card we quote on is 90mm x 55mm and you are supplying the file with 3mm of bleed. You need to add 3mm of bleed to each trimmed edge of the card, this makes the final size of the artwork 96mm x 61mm


Please make sure to supply at least 2-3mm of bleed on all files supplied to us. In the context of thick saddle-stitched magazines (for example a 32pp A4 Magazine where creep has to be accounted for), a minimum of 5mm of bleed is required. We also require that your PDF artwork has TRIM MARKS to designate the trimmed edge, this helps the pre-press departments of the various printers we work with to impose your file as accurately as possible.

300 DPI.

Any bitmap image in your artwork whether it is Greyscale or CMYK needs to be at least 300 DPI (Dots per Square Inch). If your files are any lower than this resolution the image will pixelise in the printing process. It is better to BLOW UP the image in Photoshop to 300 DPI than to print a low resolution image. By blowing up the file, it can become somewhat blurry, but this is definately better than the pixelised result, if you do not have access to original, raw, large resolution images.


If you are supplying your artwork as a PRINT READY PDF, you do not need to convert your fonts to outlines as we will be able to impose your artwork using the self-contained PDF file that you send us. If you wish to, you can outline the fonts, but this is not essential.


As per our terms and conditions, PDF or Hardcopy proofs are not provided for Ganged Up Offset, Digital or Screen Printing. This means you need to make sure your PDF artwork has been proofed before you email, FTP or upload your file to us via an online large file transfer site. We will always provide you with a PDF proof for Offset Print Jobs that are not Ganged Up (both CMYK & PMS). For an extra charge depending on the size and nature of a job, we can provide you with a Hardcopy Proof, this can add 2-3 days to the printing turnaround schedule of stand alone offset print jobs. Please be aware that even though we provide you with a PDF proof, all of our stand alone offset print jobs are matched to a Hardcopy Full Colour proof for CMYK Full Colour jobs, and to standardised Pantone Coated and Uncoated Swatches for PMS Spot Colour jobs. We will faithfully reproduce your CMYK or PMS artwork as it is supplied to us within the parameters of acceptable offset printing tolerances.


If you are supplying PMS Spot Colour artwork to us, make sure that the colour is set to the appropriate C (Coated) or U (Uncoated) code in the software you have used to set up your artwork. For example if you are printing PMS 485 (Red) onto a Coated stock, the code in your artwork needs to be PMS 485 C. This will ensure that the printer will be matching your job to the way PMS 485 looks when printed on a Coated Stock.


Below is a list of some well known Australian Paper Merchants (in Alphabetical Order) you can contact for samples of stock. They will be able to answer any more detailed questions you have about paper stocks for your upcoming Paradigm print project.

BJ Ball, KW Doggett, Spicers


There is often some confusion when describing paper stocks for print quotations. Please note that paper stocks that are described as MATT within the printing industry actually refer to MATT COATED stocks, as opposed to the Laser Bond stock you would find in your Laser Printer. This Laser stock is actually an UNCOATED Stock.

To elaborate, in the world of paper there are basically two types of stock, COATED and UNCOATED. A double sided coated stock has a layer of clay on both sides of the paper. Depending on the level of buffing applied to the clay it can be a MATT Coated (a duller appearance) or a GLOSS coated (more shiny, like a glossy magazine) stock. UNCOATED stocks do not have this clay coating, and a classic example of this type of stock is the already mentioned standard Laser Bond found in any in-house digital printer. There are different levels of quality in uncoated stock. The higher grades are generally defined by their level of SMOOTHNESS. The more COARSE the feel of an uncoated stock, generally the cheaper it will be.

Within the Category of MATT Coated stocks, there are 3 types of names generally used to describe subtley different levels of MATT COATING, these are 1) Satin, 2) Silk and 3) Matt. You can also have stocks that are Coated on 1 side, and Uncoated on the other. For example a postcard stock where you want to have good reproduction of colour on one side (coated), but be able to write easily on the other with a pen (uncoated).

In general COATED stocks are better for photographic images, as the ink when applied to this type of paper sits on top of the paper and there is limited dot gain (the effect of ink hitting the paper and spreading out, bring to mind putting a Niko pen on a piece of A4 Bond paper, with the ink spreading out). Dot gain is increased on uncoated stock, where the ink tends to absorb more into the paper and the result is a duller appearing image.

In terms of cost, COATED stocks tend to be cheaper because there is less actual wood pulp (the expensive component in the paper product) than in an UNCOATED stock (a percentage of the paper is taken up by the clay coating). COATED Stocks are also generally thinner in real terms when compared to an UNCOATED Stock, because the Clay Coating seals the wood pulp in tighter. Uncoated stocks have a more fibrous content and therefore EXPAND more than their Coated counterparts. If a client wanted to change a 150gsm Coated Folded Flyer to an Uncoated stock, Paradigm would recommend they use a 115-128gsm Uncoated Stock to have the equivalent thickness.


PPM have exceeded our expectations both in customer service and quality.
Glen A. Gerreyn
Publisher, Oxygen Factory