To place an order or request a quote send your zine
file to zines@exwhyzed.co.uk or call 01206 766647

PLEASE READ THIS PAGE BEFORE SUPPLYING A FILE

Zine File Set Up Guide

You might be more creative than a box of crayons in an LSD factory but we are very aware that designing and preparing a file for print can be a headache inducing experience.

 

Have a read through the following pages for a detailed guide and put away the paracetemol.

 

The coloured links below will quickly take you to the section you need. The first section (in white) is a general guide to file set up. Following that is a section on how to prepare a file specifically for a wire stitched zine (orange) or perfect bound zine (blue).

There are many things to consider that will affect how your work appears when printed and our aim is to make sure you are aware of the pit falls before, not after, the file goes to print so there are no surprises when the printing arrives.

Why supply files correctly?

We appreciate your deadline is tight so supplying correct artwork means your job can go straight on the press and will
be delivered when you need it. Incorrect artwork causes delays while changes are made and if the job is rushed they might not be spotted which can result in printing arriving different to how you expected.

For the purposes of this section we will assume you are using Adobe InDesign because it is the industry standard design for print program.

Adobe Illustrator is an adequate second best but not as user friendly for multi page design.

We don’t recommend using Photoshop for laying out pages because it is brilliant for editing images but any text generated in Photoshop will be pixelated when printed.

1. Create a new file

File > New > Document

 

In the box that opens make sure the page size is the same size as you intend your finished print to be. We're not mind readers - if you set your page at A4 but want A5 leaflets either you or us will have to resize the file. We charge a minimum of £25 for this.

 

Paper sizes can be found here.

 

Before you leave this box, remember to add 3mm for bleed. Simply type '3 mm' into the Top, Bottom, Inside and Outside boxes. Now when your new file opens there will be an additional 3mm around the edge of the page. Your images and background colour should be extended into this area to make the necessary bleed. (More on this later).

2. Make sure the document is in cmyk mode

Window > Colour

 

Check the Colour Menu to confirm or change this.

Click the small arrow in the top right hand corner to change setting.

 

Now all new text and coloured backgrounds created in your page will be assigned a cmyk value.

3. All images should be saved at 300dpi.

Open your images in Photoshop.

 

Image > Image Size > Resolution : Set to "300"

 

Save in Photoshop at 300dpi and at least the physical size they will be when printed to ensure images are crisp and not pixelated or out of focus. SO, if your image will fill an A4 page when it's printed it should really be at least A4 in it's original form.

 

There are plenty of websites providing free high-res images. Try www.sxc.hu for millions of free images.

 

PLEASE NOTE: If your images are less than 300dpi at the size they will be printed at then it is not possible to improve the quality. You should either make the images smaller in your book or use higher quality versions.

4. All images should be in CMYK for printing

Again, you can change this in Photoshop.

 

Image > Mode > CMYK Color

 

Images will be RGB when you saved them onto your computer from your camera or the internet. Open them in Photoshop or any other photo editing program and resave as CMYK.

 

If you are short on time then there is a quick way round this. When you export your file to Pdf go to the 'Output' tab in the Export to PDF box. Choose 'Convert to Destination (Preserve Numbers)' and in the Destination box select 'Document CMYK - Coated FOGRA39'. This will convert your whole file to cmyk!

 

Once images are saved as 300dpi and CMYK you can go ahead and use them in InDesign.

The InDesign Links Menu is a handy and quick way of checking
the set up of any images in your artwork.

 

Window > Links

 

Notice on the Links Menu (right) our images are 300ppi but their Effective ppi is 475 which means they are being used smaller than the physical size of the image so the quality is even better.

 

If you are concerned about how some images or colours in your artwork will print then we can run a hard copy proof for a final check. This will add an extra 2 or 3 days to the turnaround so be sure to leave enough time.

5. When typing any black text always set it as
C0 M0 Y0 K100 on the CMYK slider.

This means only one ink colour goes into printing your text. If you make text out of a four colour black then the press has to align four colours to make the black text rather than just printing black which will be crisp and in focus.

6. However if you want a nice, rich black as a background or colour box then use 30/30/30/100

By adding 30% cyan, magenta and yellow behind your 100% black this will make the black more punchy. Although 0/0/0/100 is great for text is makes the black look flat on larger areas.

7. All files need 3mm bleed on each edge.

‘Bleed’ is the technical term for the area around your
artwork. If you want your images to go right upto the edge of your printed pages then you need to add an extra 3mm on all four edges of your artwork. Without bleed you will be left with an unwanted white border where the image stops.

 

When designing your file, simply extend any images or background colour beyond the page edge (the pink line) by 3mm like the examples here (see right). Easy!

 

 


How to add Bleed when exporting to Pdf.

File > Export > "Enter your chosen file name" > Save

 

An 'Export Adobe Pdf' box will now appear.

 

Choose ‘PDF/X-1a:2001’from the top 'Adobe PDF Present' menu.

 

Scroll down to the 'Marks and Bleeds' menu.

Tick 'Crop Marks’.

Add ‘3mm’ into the four Bleed boxes.

 

Then click ‘Export’ and your file will be saved as a print ready pdf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your exported pdf should look like the example here on the right. The crop marks show where we will trim the print and your image is extended 3mm beyond the marks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THIS ISN'T BLEED!

(see example on the right)


Notice the image stops on the crop marks and doesn’t bleed off
the page edge. (Check you typed ‘3mm’ into each of the bleed boxes when you exported to pdf).

 

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The image below on the left is at 300dpi. The image on the right is only 72dpi.

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There is bleed on the example on the left and no bleed on the right hand example. filesetup filesetup

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To recap, please check the following before sending us your file

1. Make sure your artwork is the same size you would like the zines to be.
2. Check your images are hi res and saved as cmyk rather than rgb.

3. Have you added 3mm bleed on all four edges?

4. Keep important content and page numbers 5mm from the page edge.
5. You need an even number of pages

6. Your file should have the same number of pages as your final zine

Setting up a file for a Wire Stitched Zine

Files for wire stitched zines are set up in correct reading order. The first page is your cover, the last page is your back cover, the pages in between are in correct reading order just exactly as though you were flicking through the finished zine. Simple.

 

They need to be supplied as single pages NOT spreads. Our system will then sort the single pages out into imposed printers pairs so all you need to worry about is getting the pages in the same order that you want people to read them in.

Create a new file

File > New > Document

 

The box that opens contains everything you need to ensure the file is set up correctly.

Our example here on the right is for a 24 page A5 Portrait Zine.

'Number of Pages'

Says it all on the tin - type in the number of pages you have. Remember this has to be a multiple of four to be wire stitched so you'll be going for 8,12,16,20,24,28,32,36 or 40.

 

'Facing Pages'

If you find it easier to design as double page spreads then leave this option ticked. If you are comfortable working in single pages then untick this box. Maybe try both ways before starting to see which you prefer.

 

'Master Text Frame'

Leave unticked

 

'Page Size'

Make sure the page size you specify is the same size as you intend your finished Zines to be. We're not mind readers - if you set your page at A4 but want an A5 Zine then something's gone wrong. There are some presets here to save you time so if you click a drop down menu appears with some popular sizes to save you having to input the actual dimensions in the boxes below.

 

Click here for paper size dimensions.

 

'Orientation'

The left hand icon is portrait and the right hand one is landscape.

 

'Columns'

Best to leave this on '1' although advanced zinesters might like to change this to produce a column layout to work with.

 

'Gutter'

This relates to this distance between your columns. If you only have one column then there is no gutter and you can skip this box.

 

'Margins'

You can set the top, bottom, inside and outside margins to 5mm which will help you avoid placing important information within 5mm of the page edge. The margins are displayed as pink lines on your InDesign page (see image on the right). If you find this confusing when designing then set these to '0' and they'll be left off.

 

'Bleed and Slug'

Adding 3mm in the top, bottom, left and right boxes here will add a border on your InDesign artwork 3mm outside of the blank page edge to show where the bleed needs to extend to. The bleed area has a red border on your InDesign page (see right). For further information on bleed see the Bleed set up section above.

Click 'OK' and your new file will open.

 

Continue following the tips in our File Set Up section and the design considerations in our Wire Stitching Design Tips section before exporting to pdf when finished.

 

FIles will probably be too large for emailing so best to use www.wetransfer.com to send them to us.

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Wire Stitching Recap

1. Supply us a hi res pdf with 3mm bleed on each edge, images in cmyk

2. File should be supplied in correct reading order

3. Artwork should be the same size you want your printed zine to be
4. Pages nearer the centre are trimmed short - keep info away from edges

5. Your total number of pages must be a multiple of 4 (8,12,16,20,24,28 etc)

Setting up a file for a Perfect Bound Zine

Perfect binding gives your Zine a more book-like appearance. We recommend perfect binding for zines of 40 pages or more, or zines that have a width of more than 3mm. (Increasing the weight of your text pages will make the spine thicker. However, we don't recommend choosing thicker than 170gsm for text pages because the pages become too rigid to turn and actually read).

For perfect bound zines we need two files.:

1. A hires pdf file for the cover and inner cover. You will need to add a spine on your cover file. The width of the spine depends on how many pages your book has - it’s simple but the more pages, the thicker the spine needs to be to wrap round them all. Please ask us for the spine size once your spec is confirmed or check the list here to see if your number of pages is shown. Best not to ask before you have finished your artwork because if the number of pages changes the spine will get bigger or smaller.

 

2. A file for the text pages supplied as single pages rather than spreads and in correct reading order.

Preparing your cover artwork

Create a new file

File > New > Document

Our example here on the right is for a cover for an A5 Portrait Zine with 60 inside pages onto 120gsm Uncoated.

'Intent'

Print

 

'Number of Pages'

For our quick, easy method of setting up a cover file choose '2' here.

 

'Facing Pages'

Leave unticked

 

'Primary Text Frame'

Leave unticked

 

'Page Size'

Your page size is the height of your zine (297mm for A4, 210mm for A5, 210mm for a 210mm square zine, 148mm for A6)

 

Click here for paper size dimensions.

 

'Orientation'

We will need a Landscape page.

 

'Columns'

Always choose here - this is the easy way to give your page the front and back covers we need.

 

'Gutter'

This relates to this distance between your columns. We need to add our spine size in here. Ask Ex Why Zed what that needs to be and then input that number here. There are a selection of the most common spine sizes here.

 

'Margins'

You can set the top, bottom, inside and outside margins to 5mm which will help you avoid placing important information within 5mm of the cover's edge. InDesign shows your margins as pink lines on your page. On the image (right) the 3mm bleed is the outer line, then the black page edge and then the pink 5mm margin indicator.

 

'Bleed and Slug'

Adding 3mm in the top, bottom, left and right boxes here will add a red border on your InDesign artwork 3mm outside of the blank page edge to show where the bleed needs to extend to. For further information on bleed see the Bleed set up section above.

Click 'OK' and your new file will open.

You will now see a page identical to the one on the right. Brilliantly you can now see your back cover on the left, your spine through the centre and your front cover on the right. Easy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page two of your new cover file is shown to the right. This is the reverse of the outer cover- your inside cover is on the left, spine through the centre (this will be glued so don't put any information within 8mm of the spine) and inside back cover on the right.

COVER DESIGN TIP

Keep your spine text small so it doesn’t slide off the spine. If your spine is less than 5mm we recommend not putting any text on it to avoid any risk of it sliding round to the front or back cover when your zines are bound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When your artwork is designed and printed it will look like the image to the right. You can see the back cover on the left, spine in the centre and front cover on the right - exactly the same as you designed it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing your text artwork

Create a new file

File > New > Document

Our example here on the right is for an A5 Perfect Bound Zine with 60 inside pages

'Number of Pages'

This is the number of INSIDE pages you have. Page 1 of your text file is the first right hand page of your zine when you open the cover. Remember this has to be a multiple of two (a sheet of paper has a front AND a back) and you need an absolute minimum of 36 inside pages to be thick enough to glue and perfect bind.

 

'Facing Pages'

If you find it easier to design as double page spreads then leave this option ticked. If you are comfortable working in single pages then untick this box. Maybe try both ways before starting to see which you prefer.

 

'Master Text Frame'

Leave unticked

 

'Page Size'

Make sure the page size you specify is the same size as you intend your perfect bound Zines to be printed. Use the presets on the drop down menu if you're going for a regular page size.

 

Click here for paper size dimensions.

 

'Orientation'

The left hand icon is portrait and the right hand one is landscape.

 

'Columns'

If you leave this on '1' you will just be given an artwork page. If you are more comfortable with a column structure then experiment with this option to give your pages a consistent structure.

 

'Gutter'

This relates to this distance between your columns. If you only have one column then there is no gutter and you can skip this box.

 

'Margins'

It can be useful to add a 5mm border round the page edge to prevent you adding content too near the edge.

 

'Bleed and Slug'

Add 3mm in the top, bottom, left and right boxes here to add a border on your InDesign artwork 3mm outside of the blank page edge to show where the bleed needs to extend to. For further information on bleed see the Bleed set up section above.

Click 'OK' and your new file will open.

Your file will be identical to the one here on the right. You now have 60 pages of content to fill - Good luck!

TEXT PAGE DESIGN TIPS

Your cover is glued onto the first and last page of your text block. Therefore any content within 8mm of the spine on the first and last text page will be lost so keep important information (page numbers, headings etc) out of this area.

 

If you have an image that crosses over the spine (a spread) around 3-5mm will be obscured within the spine gutter. You can overcompensate for this by sliding a left hand page’s image a few mm left and a right hand image a few mm right so they appear to match up.

 

IT IS NEVER A GOOD IDEA TO HAVE SMALL TEXT ACROSS A SPREAD because some of it WILL BE LOST in the spine and your sentences won't make sense with missing characters and words.

 

For more design tips and considerations check our perfect binding section here

Spine Sizes

We have listed a few of the common spine sizes here to give you an idea of your zine's thickness. If your number of pages or stock isn't listed then drop us an email at zines@exwhyzed.co.uk and we will be happy to advise on the correct size. You can also see how thick your Zine will be on our Portfolio page (scroll over each image on that page to display the spec).

Text pages onto 120gsm Uncoated

40pp Text = 3.3mm spine

48pp Text = 3.9mm spine

60pp Text = 4.8mm spine

80pp Text = 6.3mm spine

100pp Text = 7.9mm spine

Text pages onto 130gsm Silk

40pp Text = 2.42mm spine

48pp Text = 2.86mm spine

60pp Text = 3.53mm spine

80pp Text = 4.64mm spine

100pp Text = 5.75mm spine

perfect bound zine file set up





perfect bound zine file set up



perfect bound zine file set up

perfect bound zine file set up

perfect bound zine file set up








perfect bound zine file set up
















perfect bound zine file set up

Perfect Binding Recap

1. Export a hi res pdf with 3mm bleed on each edge and images in cmyk
2. Artwork should be supplied at the same size your Zine will be printed

3. Supply one file for front & back cover with spine (Ask us for spine width)

4. Text file starts with 1st right hand inside page then follows in reading order
5. You lose 3-5mm in the spine gutter so keep all important info clear

6. There is a hinge on the 1st & last text pages so any content will be hidden