Preparing Your Artwork

Custom printed boxes promote your brand and provide a better unboxing experience for your customers. Before you get started with manufacturing, you’ll need to create a design and prepare your artwork for printing. Keep these artwork guidelines in mind so the team at Bolt Boxes can bring your vision to life.

How to Prepare Print-Ready Artwork

We most often use die-cutting to produce custom boxes, which means you’ll need to obtain an approved Bolt Boxes die line to design your artwork. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind as you get started:

  1. Choose the right program for the job. We accept files from Illustrator and InDesign. PDF format is acceptable if you send a layered working file with either supplied or embedded images. We can’t modify bitmapped files, so you should avoid sending images in JPG, BMP or TIFF format.
  2. Be sure to include fonts with your submitted files. You can provide the fonts you’d like us to use or outline them for us. Reversed type smaller than six points may fill in on press.
  3. Provide all links and supporting images. If you use an image in your design, be sure to send or embed it.
  4. Send high-quality graphics. Images created through anchor points work best because we can stretch, bend and resize them without compromising quality. Submitted photos should range from 150 to 300 dots per inch (DPI), and it’s essential to start with a high resolution rather than forcing images to the appropriate DPI. Submitted bitmap line art images must be at 1200 DPI.
  5. Note that some papers and coating will crack. This process, called checking, mainly applies to solid, dark-colored areas that bend around the corners of your design. Checking naturally occurs when the fiber of the paper protrudes. If it’s a concern, let our team know so we can discuss your material options.
  6. Remember that registration can vary throughout the printing run. The die-cutting and lamination processes come with machine limits, which can result in variances of up to 3/32 inches depending on the direction. When setting your artwork, keep in mind that the borders and centered logos or images can shift slightly. We recommend bleeding background colors and graphics 1/4 inch past crease lines or the edge of the box structure.
  7. Avoid flattening files. It’s best to send us the files with the original layers used during the creative process in case any adjustments are necessary.
  8. List all the colors used in your design. You can use Pantone or CMYK colors. If you don’t have any particular colors in mind, our team will be happy to share some swatches for you to browse.

Share Your Print-Ready Artwork With Bolt Boxes

Showcase your creativity and customize your packaging with Bolt Boxes. If you’re looking for some design inspiration, feel free to explore some of our past projects or reach out for more examples. For more information about our artwork guidelines or our custom printing process, contact us online today!