Artwork guidelines - Piggotts Flags and Branding

Artwork guidelines

Setting Up Your Artwork Canvas

For customers not familiar with creating artwork for large-format print, we have created this guide to make sure your designs can be processed and printed as quickly and accurately as possible.

Canvas Size

When creating your design canvas, the most important thing to remember is that your artwork should be setup at an equal proportion to the print you are ordering. If your order is for a banner with a 3:1 proportion, your artwork should perfectly match this.

It’s often best to use a smaller scale, such as half-scale or quarter-scale as this can reduce filesize. If your design exceeds 5m in either direction, please use a smaller scale.

Adobe software and PDFs have an in-built limit of 5080mm for either width or height. However, some software (such as CorelDRAW), allow the creation of canvases beyond this size. Unfortunately, this will cause issues at our end, and this should be avoided.

For instance, a 5m × 1m design could be created like so:

Scale Artwork Canvas Size
100% (Full) Scale 5000mm × 1000mm
50% (Half) Scale 2500mm × 500mm
25% (Quarter) Scale 1250mm × 250mm
10% Scale 500mm × 100mm

To calculate the canvas width and height you’ll need for a smaller scale, simply take your full-size measurement (eg. 5000mm) and multiply it by your desired scale. We’ve included these below:

Scale Fraction
50% (Half) Scale 0.5
25% (Quarter) Scale 0.25
10% Scale 0.1

So, for a quarter-scale design:

5000 × 0.25 = 1250


All standard banner and print artworks should be supplied with at least 5mm bleed (when scaled to full-size). This ensures your printed design can be hemmed or trimmed with no white edges showing.

For 740gsm Double-Sided PVC banners, artworks must be supplied with at least 10mm bleed.

For Bespoke Flags, Display Polyester, Backlit Polyester and Stretch Fabric, artworks must be supplied with at least 30mm bleed.

Please make sure that any supplied bleed area is not overlapped by:

  • Crop marks
  • Bleed marks
  • Colour bars
  • Registration marks
  • Any other marks

These marks are often added with default PDF export settings – please disable them before exporting.

If any marks are positioned within your bleed, we cannot guarantee that they won’t be visible on the finished item, due to movement when printing or finishing.

Crop Marks

Crop marks are not required as standard, but they may be useful for customers that provide artworks within a larger artboard/canvas/page, where we would need the marks to use as a positional reference.

If your artboard/canvas/page is setup correctly to the size and proportion of the ordered item, crop marks are not necessary.

If you are providing crop marks in your artwork, please make sure these are kept outside of any bleed areas, especially on fabric and double-sided graphics. This allows us to make full use of the bleed, if necessary in the case of movement when printing or finishing.

If crop marks are positioned within your bleed, we cannot guarantee that they won’t be visible on the finished item, due to movement when printing or finishing.

Keylines and Trim Lines

Please avoid supplying keylines or trim lines in your artwork, espeically if your graphic is to be trimmed to size.

If keylines are provided in your artwork, we cannot guarantee that they won’t be visible on the finished item, due to movement when printing or finishing.

The only exception to this is when ordering a shape-cut item.

Colour Mode

All artworks should be created in CMYK colour mode. Artworks sent to us in RGB mode will be converted to CMYK by our pre-press system, and will nearly always render unsatisfactory results.

For Roller Banners

The easiest way to create your Roller Banner artwork is to use our pre-made templates, which are available for you to download. These are setup at the correct proportion, and also include guides to ensure your design fits perfectly in the unit.

However, if you need to create your Roller Banner canvas yourself, please make sure to get the width and height correct as these come in a variety of sizes.

Roller Banners also require an additional section at the bottom of your graphic, which will be rolled into and hidden within the unit mechanism. This area is very important and can vary in size, depending on the model of unit you will be using. For our units, the height of this area is 150mm, so typically the height of the graphic will be 2150mm. This 150mm section should be kept free from any important content (text, logos) and only used for background images and colours.


Setting Up Your Artwork

Hems & Eyelets

We recommend allowing an inner-margin of 60mm within your design. This perimeter area around the edge of your design will leave space for the weld of the hem and any eyelets. This area should be kept free from any important content (text, logos) and only used for background images and colours.

Please note, this is 60mm inside of the ordered size, not 60mm bleed and not added to the ordered size.

Our standard distribution for eyelets is one in each corner with one per metre (no greater) in between. If you would like eyelets with custom distribution or positioning, please let us know. This can be provided at no extra cost.

If you would like to use our eyelet mark to indicate where you would like eyelets placed, please use the Illustrator files below. The center of the mark should be 34mm from the edge of the design canvas.

Eyelet Mark AI EPS
10% Scale
20% Scale
25% Scale
50% Scale
100% Scale

If you would like to use your own marks to indicate eyelet positions, please use a light-coloured circle with a border to contrast the background (if necessary). This circle should be 8mm in diameter (when scaled to full-size), and again, the center of the mark should be 34mm from the edge of the design canvas.

Trimmed to Size

Please ensure the design uses the correct proportion, is supplied with the required 5mm bleed and contains crop marks.

Pole Pockets

The most common confusion with pole pockets arises when some customers expect the pockets to be added to the overall size of the banner. Instead, we produce pockets inclusive of the overall size.

This method requires an internal ‘pocket allowance area’, which varies in size depending on the diameter of pole that will be used. This pocket allowance area should be used on any edge where a pocket will be present.

In the same way as hems, we recommend this area is kept free of any important content (text, logos) and only used for background images and colours.

Below are the values for some popular pole diameters:

Pole Diameter Pocket Allowance Area
(when scaled to full-size)
25mm 92.5mm
30mm 105mm
35mm 117.5mm
40mm 130mm
45mm 142.5mm
50mm 155mm
55mm 167.5mm
60mm (Scaffolding) 180mm
65mm 192.5mm
70mm 205mm

If you need to calculate the pocket allowance area for a pocket of another diameter, please use this formula:

Pole Diameter × 2.5 + 30mm

This formula (and the values above) include a little extra for ‘wiggle room’, as well as an additional 30mm which will be used by the weld.


For all double-sided prints, please supply your artwork with at least 10mm bleed (when scaled to full size). This allows for small amounts of movement in the printing process without any white edges showing on the finished item.

Please make sure that your crop mark offset is high enough that your crop marks do not overlap your bleed. This also allows for movement in the printing process and will ensure your crop marks are not visible when your graphics are finished.

We also recommend keeping any important content well within the finished size to also allow for this movement without any clipping.

Shape & Contour Cut

Artwork to be shape-cut should contain a clearly visible path that we can use. Any text in your design should be outlined and any images should be embedded in the file.

Each cut path shape/object must:

  • Be vector (one continuous path)
  • Be a stroke
  • Be overlaid on top of your design (not in a separate file/page/canvas)
  • Be a contrasting colour to your design

A £30 charge applies to each shape cut required. If you would like us to create the cut path for you, a £80 charge applies for each shape cut required. For any paths we create for you, we will provide a proof before printing.

We process the path solely for our cutting machines – the path is not printed and so isn’t visible when reproduced.

Please note, cuts containing a high level of intricacy may lose accuracy on thicker materials such as our Foamex board.

Drilled Holes

If you have any particular requirements for drilled holes (e.g. hole diameter, distance from edges, quantity, positions), please let us know when ordering.

If not specified, we typically provide customers with a drilled hole in each corner at 5mm in size, 15mm from the edges.

Please note, when providing a measurement for the distance to the edge, we ask for a distance-to-edge amount, rather than a distance-to-centre amount.

If you are providing exact hole placements as part of your artwork, all fonts must be outlined. Please make sure the holes are easily visible. If more than one design are sharing the same drilled holes, please provide the drilled holes as a separate page/file.

Please note, the minimum drilled hole diameter size we can provide is 3mm.


Pantone Colours

If you wish to use any Pantone colours, these must be included as embedded colours in your artwork and we request that you inform us which colours you have used.

Please be aware to not name custom spot colours after Pantone colours, as this will result in undesired output. An example would be a spot colour with values of C0/M0/Y0/K0 renamed to “PANTONE Black”.


Please beware of setting any text or objects to overprint. As we do not proof-check artworks before printing, overprinted objects can cause serious issues and may only be noticed by you when you receive the finished item.

Rich Black

To achieve the richest, deepest black possible in your design, we recommend using Pantone Process Black Coated. If you are unable to use Pantone colours, we recommend using CMYK values of 50%C, 50%M, 50%Y, 100%K. If 100%K alone is used, the richness of the black may not be satisfactory.

Outlining Text

While artworks saved as PDF will often not cause any font issues, we request that you outline any text before sending your file(s) to us. This is usually necessary when using fonts with restrictive embedding licenses or if your design software does not natively export to PDF.

Saving & Exporting Your Artwork

File Formats

We strongly prefer artworks to be supplied in PDF format, though we also accept EPS, AI, TIFF and JPG/JPEG.

Bleed & Crop Marks

When exporting your print-ready file, make sure you include your previously added bleed as well as crop marks. These will ensure the cut position of your design is correct.

Design Separation

Each design should be either a separate file (preferred), or a separate page within a PDF.

File Naming

Each design/file should be named to include the width and height of the design, as well as a brief description, such as:

3m x 1m – Ice Cream Shop.pdf

If you have an order that contains multiple designs at the same size, please also include the quantity required of each design in the filename:

3m x 1m – Ice Cream Shop x 5.pdf

3m x 1m – Burger Van x 2.pdf

Export Resolution

Generally speaking, artworks and images should be exported at the highest resolution available to you.

Importantly, if artworks are designed at a scale less than 100% (e.g. 10%, 25%, 50%), be extremely careful with any image downsampling options. Since we will enlarge the provided artwork up to full size, this will have the effect of reducing PPI/DPI (Pixels Per Inch/Dots Per Inch) of any supplied rasterised imagery.

An example would be an artwork designed at 25% scale, which is then exported with a downsampling option to 300 PPI. When provided to us, we ‘blow up’ the file by 400%, thus resulting in a PPI of 75.

For this reason, we recommend disabling image downsampling, or capping it to an appropriate amount (dependant on your artwork scale and use case). Exceptions to this may be when the resultant file is excessively large in filesize and high resolution is not a concern, for example, a banner that will only be viewed from a distance.

Check It

One you have exported your print-ready file, we strongly advise opening and checking it yourself before sending it to us. We do not provide proofs, so any hidden issues in the supplied artwork will likely not be picked up by us.

By checking the file, you’ll be able to quickly recognise any errors and rectify them before uploading the file to us. Please note, if we receive artwork containing any issues or problems, this can delay your dispatch date.

Piggotts Flags & Branding, Unit 3, Taber Place, Crittall Rd, Witham Essex CM8 3YP
Reg Office: The Maltings, Chelmsford Road, Norton Heath, Ingatestone, Essex CM4 0LQ
Reg Number: 10582644 VAT number: GB 260 4258 22
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