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ARTWORK SPECIFICATIONS for SHORTRUN boardstock sleeves and Digipaks

(DUPLICATED 100 – 300 quantity CD DVD orders)



Other manufacturers may have sizing specifications and artwork requirements that do not match ours. Due to this we require that your design files conform to our specifications and requirements as noted herein. Failure to do so may delay the start date of your order and its completion date.
• Artwork files must be supplied in final form (ready to print without revisions).
• Artwork files must be supplied on our SHORTRUN TEMPLATES– templates from other manufacturers may not meet our sizing specifications.


To avoid compatibility issues caused by different computer platforms, software and font types, we require that:

• Your artwork files are to have all text converted to outlines/paths.
• Your Sleeve and Digipak layouts are to be supplied in high-resolution PDF format, disc labels as Jpeg or Tiff.
We recommend the use of Adobe design programs - FREE 30 day trials can be downloaded from


Failure to understand the difference between CMYK and RGB can lead to disappointing print results. If you are not experienced in designing for commercial grade printing please make note of the following:
Computer monitors, digital cameras, scanners and many computer-printers use the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) color mode to display images. The RGB colors are combined together in varying amounts to provide a much larger range of colors for viewing purposes.
Commercial full-color printing companies use the CMYK printing process and inks. Most of the colors displayed by your RGB computer monitor (and printer) can be duplicated in the CMYK printing process... but not all. This can cause variations between the colors you view on your screen (in RGB) and what will actually print (in CMYK). Additionally, it is important to note that the images displayed on your RGB computer monitor are displayed through the generation of light, thus, very vibrant colors can be created. Images printed onto the paper and plastics used in manufacturing your order are viewed by the human eye through the reflection of light off the product's surface. The result is that vibrant RGB colors printed onto paper or plastic in the CMYK process appear less vibrant (duller) than the images you view on your computer monitor.
Be aware that the color display on your computer monitor is not likely to be 'true'. Calibrating your monitor for design in CMYK provides a better representation of the true print colors on the screen so that there is less variation between the colors you see on the screen compared to what is printed. Though color calibration improves the accuracy of the color display, the monitor is still not going to be 100% accurate. Additionally, many consumer-level computer printers work in the RGB color mode so there may be a variation in the way some colors are represented on your paper print compared to what will actually print in CMYK.


1. Your design page properties must be set to 300dpi (dots per inch).
2. Your design page must be set to the CMYK color mode (not RGB).
3. All bitmaps should be 300dpi and supplied in either CMYK or Grayscale as applicable.
4. Processing/saving your bitmap images as .TIF files will produce better results than .JPG or .GIF.
5. Acceptable tonal range for gradients/screens is between 15% and 85% - tones outside that range may not print.
6. Always allow at least 1/8” (3mm) of bleed past the finished edges of the design.
7. Don’t crowd the finished edge of your design with text and imagery unless it actually bleeds off the edge of the design. We recommend leaving a minimum gap of 1/4" (6mm) space.
8. Delete all images, text and/or layers that are not required in the design.
9. Name your files so they can be easily identified (eg: joe’s_sleeve.pdf).


10. Minimum recommended type size for positive print: 5 points
11. Minimum recommended type size for reversed print: 6 points
12. IF USING PHOTOSHOP: Because text tends to be pixelated when included in bitmap images, we highly recommend that Photoshop be used to process images but not for typesetting. For best results it is preferable to export images from Photoshop as .TIFF files and then typeset in a program such as Illustrator or InDesign.


--- Leave the design template in the design for our visual reference but ensure it is on its own layer. Never flatten the
design template into the artwork.
--- Convert all text to outlines/paths. If using Photoshop please rasterize all text layers.
--- Save/export your designs as high-resolution .PDF files.
--- If you are designing using linked images please supply those images in a separate folder.
--- Place all of your relevant design files/folders into one folder.
--- Use ‘Stuffit’ or ‘Winzip‘ to compress your design folder and name it “sleeve_my_project_name.pdf”
--- Upload your design file to our website (up to 20mb), send via or provide on Physical Portable Media.


--- Your supplied artwork files are expected to be ready-to-print without changes or modifications being required.
• Design files are reviewed and electronic proofs (PDF format) of boardstock sleeves are provided.*
• Proofs are for confirmation of the physical layout only – not for color accuracy.
• Written approval is required.
*One proofset is included in your price. Additional proofsets are $35.00. Our hourly design/prepress rate is $85.00.

IMPORTANT: View your PDF proofs with Adobe Acrobat and ensure the “Overprint Preview” function is turned on.


This method is perfect for high-resolution text, color artwork and photographic elements (examples). Default surface is white for accurate color reproduction. Setup your artwork in the Shortrun Full-Color label template.


--- Save/export your design as a high-resolution JPEG or TIFF file.
--- Use ‘Stuffit’ or ‘Winzip‘ to compress your design file and name it “disc_label_my_project_name”.
--- Upload your design file to our website (up to 20mb),  or use a file transfer service such as Wetransfer.
IMPORTANT: Make sure not to flatten your template keylines into your disc label artwork. Your submitted tiff file should look like a donut: provide just the artwork elements you want to print on the disc surface.  Avoid solid black or dark solid full-coverage designs - see examples of the sort of art that prints well with our Shortrun Inkjet system.
Get Shortrun Disc Label Template