How best to prepare design and artwork for menu printing
By Kevin Moyse
You have made the decision to design your own takeaway menu ready for menu printing. So now it’s time to start setting up your design file. It is very important that you do this correctly from the beginning. Below are some helpful hints and tips to help you prepare your menu printing artwork. For detailed help and extra guidance please read our design and file guidelines.
When creating a new menu printing document please use the following information:
- First select the correct menu printing page size for your takeaway menu. Select either A4, A3 or A5.
- Choose the page orientation for either landscape or portrait menu printing.
- Select the number of pages for your menu printing file. Single page if designing a one sided menu print or 2 pages if designing a double sided menu print.
- Select the CMYK colour profile for menu printing – VERY IMPORTANT!
- Choose the rendering resolution, for lithographic takeaway menu printing select 300dpi.
- Use the ISO Coated V2 CMYK colour profile for menu printing.
- Select the relative colorimetric display setting for menu printing.
Once you have created your new menu printing document start by setting the following:
- Create a 3mm bleed area all around the outside of your trim area (trim area is the page size ie A4, A3 or A5). This ensures that no unprinted white lines appear around the edge of your printed menu.
- Put your crop marks ready for trimming. These are the lines that indicate where your printed menu will be trimmed.
- Mark in your fold lines, where the folds will be once your menu is printed
- Mark out the 4mm quiet area inside the page and either side of the fold lines, NO important information should be placed in this area. This allows some tolerance for the menu trimming.
- Repeat the above for page two – Note that page two will be the reverse of page one i.e. a Roll fold, from left to right page one will have one panel of 97mm and two of 100mm while page two will have two panels of 100mm and one of 97mm. See template file CheapTakeawayMenus.com_A4_Roll_fold_Template.pdf
- Make sure that all the images used in your menu design are at least 300dpi and are CMYK not RGB.
- When your design is finished make sure that all the text is converted to curves and is not left as text. This can cause many problems if not done.
- When saving your PDF file ready for printing always use the PDFX1a 2001 or PDFA1b 2005 CMYK settings.
If you need help setting up your menu printing file we have a list of templates for you to download, keep and use.
You are now ready to start designing your new takeaway menu. It may help you if you read the following articles ‘What is good menu design?’ and ‘10 Steps to a more profitable menu’. Best of luck designing your new takeaway menu!