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What are the design requirements for PDF uploads?

Important: This article is applicable only if you are trying to upload PDF print-ready files. You can also upload your design to Gelato as an image using our online design editor.

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 color transformations and secure your files are printed as intended, we require that you follow the guidelines below.


File requirements

  • Files should be exported as PDF/X-4 which supports both sRGB & CMYK objects, with output intent set to GRACoL 2006.
    • For posters and non-paper products, it is recommended to use sRGB images to ensure the most vibrant output is achieved.
    • For small format digital printing such as brochures and business stationery, we recommend using CMYK image files.
  • 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 3 mm bleed area to be provided on all sides. The safe area should start at least 3 mm (12 mm only on the binding side for Wire-O bound products) from the trim line to ensure that text and graphics are not cut off, more on this below
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  • Single fold and multipage files should be exported as separate pages, not spread
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  • Multiple single-page files should be exported as separate files (e.g. if you need to print 10 different flyers, these will need to be 10 separate files)
  • For multipage 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 colors (one channel color, e.g. C0 M0 Y0 K70)
  • We recommend flattening all layers. If you want to use a layered file, please make sure to delete unwanted or hidden layers
  • 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
  • Do not add crop markscolor bars, registration, etc. for our platform takes care of this automatically



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 it, 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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