Ready to send us artwork for print? Follow this simple guide to help make sure the process is as smooth as possible as we launch new improvements on Monday, July 29.

Please review our updated Graphic Artwork Guidelines when creating your art files.

Our Instant Proof & Print process was implemented last September to ensure the quickest delivery possible for everyday items like portables and outdoor displays. We expedited the approval process so that all orders of banners, outdoor flags and signage, fabric backwalls, table covers and accessories of quantities less than three would be sent automatically to print. Learn more about it here.

And to ensure a smooth delivery process, we’ve implemented a few changes to continue serving you better. Check out our new pre-flight and artwork process below.

What happens if artwork fails pre-flight?

Artwork may fail the pre-flight check for a number of reasons e.g. artwork on incorrect graphic template, incorrect colour mode was used, font not outlined, damaged file etc. If your artwork fails, you will receive an email indicating pre-flight failure. To help resolve the issue, the table below lists common errors with a description and what is needed to correct it.

You have the option of queueing the artwork into our live correction schedule and we will take care of the errors for you for a nominal fee, if it is possible on our end. However as we do not have the working files, the error may take longer to recitify- the quickest fix is to resolve the errors in the native file and re-submit for pre-flight test.

Reason for Failure Description of Failure Solution
01. Artwork has not been placed in the Ultima Displays template. All artwork should be created on our graphic templates. The templates have been designed to be easy to use and also communicate with our rip software and printers. Creating artwork within these templates makes the pre-flight and artwork process easier. Artwork should be created on our graphic templates. Do not delete any layers from the template as these will be automatically identified and removed by our software. If you do not have the correct template, please refer to the relevant hardware product page on our website and download a PDF from the graphic spec tab.
02. Document is damaged and needs repair on open. The artwork file may have been damaged when saving, exporting, packaging or emailing the document. The artwork file will need to be re-supplied with no damage or corruption.
03. Document uses security of this type. The artwork file may have been password protected or locked for editing in any way. The artwork file will need to be re-supplied as an editable file.
04. RGB colour is used. RGB colours are ideal for on-screen viewing but are typically undesirable in a print production workflow. Convert all RGB colours to CMYK.
05. Calibrated RGB colour is used. Calibrated RGB colours contain information on how each viewing device compensates its standard setting for a faithfully reproduced colour. Convert all RGB colours to CMYK.
06. Spot colour definition is ambiguous. Two spot colours can be ambiguously defined when they have the same name and different CMYK values, or different names and the same CMYK value. Only solid coated pantones should be acknowledged as spot colours in the file.
07. Font is not outlined. Embedding fonts in an artwork file means that every character of the chosen font is copied and stored in the PDF document. Outlining the characters of fonts will convert them to shapes instead of editable text. Any fonts that are used within the artwork file should be outlined to avoid being replaced with a substitute font.
08. Images are not embedded. Graphics supplied do not have images embedded in print file. THey are linking to a file that has not been provided. The art will not print correctly. Ensure that all placed or linked images in the graphic file are embedded into the file. No links will be processed to print.
09. Black text does not overprint. Black text should be set up to print on top of any coloured backgrounds, which is a process known as overprinting. If black is printed onto a white material or background, this can make the text look washed out or faded, also known as knock out printing. Overprint should be disabled at all times. Layer hierarchy should be followed. Appropriate colours applied to all elements.
10. White graphics do not knock out. If the artwork file contains white text, it is important that colours behind the text are not printed. If these underlying colours were to be printed under the text, this is likely to result in undesirable effects. Set white text to 100%, turn off overprint, and arrange layers correctly.
11. White line art does not knock out. If the artwork file contains white line art, it is important that colours behind the objects are not printed. If these underlying colours were to be printed under the objects, this is likely to result in undesirable effects. Set white text to 100%, turn off overprint, and arrange layers correctly.
12. Resolution of any colour or grayscale image is below 200ppi. The resolution of images in a PDF document is expressed in PPI or “pixels per inch”, and determines the amount of information they contain. The number of pixels per inch in a digital image determines its quality. Less pixels per inch result in larger pixels and a poorer image. Replace any low resolution images for ones that are 200ppi or higher and re-supply artwork. Link the image to the artwork file if necessary to avoid larger file sizes.
13. Image has alternates defined. Alternate images are used to store both a viewing-resolution and a printing-resolution version of an image, resulting in two types of images in an artwork file. Remove the alternate images, preserving only the ones that have the highest resolution, regardless of the printing setting and re-supply artwork.
14. Document contains elements which cannot be removed. PDFs that contained flattened guidelines, crop marks, slugs and other elements cannot be edited by our team. Remove any crop marks, slugs, or registration artifacts from the artwork file.
14. Document contains annotation of type: Text Note, Markup (e.g free text, line) Hyperlink, Restrict to Annotation inside media box, Movie, sound and 3D, TrapNet Printer Marks, File Attachment, Screen, Watermark, Custom. Annotations are comments added to the artwork file after it has been created. They can cause problems because they may appear in the printed output. Do not include anything that is not intended for final print or else it WILL print. Remove any elements of the selected type from the artwork file.


For any questions, please email Kevin, our Graphics Manager at