Artwork Questions

What is bleed, and why do I need it?

Bleed is an extension of artwork or colour(s) to minimise unprinted edges appearing when we cut your prints to size. It's represented by a blue line when you upload files to your Artwork tab. 

All print files must include bleed before upload unless a white/unprinted background surrounds your artwork and doesn’t extend to the page edge. Most items require a 3mm bleed, including Flat items and the inner pages and covers on Bound and Paperback items. If you can't add bleed or need assistance, contact our team of print experts, who may be able to add it for you. Visit our Bleed Support Page for more information, and for Canva users, visit this Support Page

Hardcover (Casebound) Bleed requirements: Upload your cover files with a 20mm bleed on all four edges (top, bottom and two outer edges) and all inner pages with a 3mm bleed. Your spine must also include a 20mm bleed at the top and bottom. Hardcover Books require a larger bleed as printed covers wrap around a heavy-duty board and onto the inner front and back covers before being completed with endpapers (double-folded sheets of paper that appear just inside the front and back covers).

What are quiet areas and gutter margins?

Quiet Areas: indicated by the green line in your Artwork tab, this guideline will prevent your content from being cut into or away entirely. 

Gutter Margins: indicated by the pink shaded area in your Artwork tab, these margins highlight the part of the page that may be obscured by the binding. 

The quiet areas and gutter margins are visible on all print files in your Artwork tab and will not appear on your final prints. Visit our Bleed Support Page for more information.

What is the hinge area?

The hinge area is on the front and back cover on both sides of a spine. The indentations give a book increased flexibility, allowing it to open without compromising the spine.

How do I check my order?

You can check your order via your Artwork tab using these methods: 

The Artwork Thumbnails: visible in your Artwork tab. You can check your page sequence, content and the positioning of your files, as well as the quiet areas, bleed marks and gutter boundaries, by clicking on each thumbnail. 

The Preview: this is the best way to ensure your pages and artwork are present and appear in the correct order. Our system will generate a 3D virtual representation in a flipbook or flat-sided format. 

The Downloadable Proof: this is the closest representation of how your files will appear in print. We strongly recommend downloading the proof as it will highlight any hidden issues that may not be apparent in the Thumbnails or Preview. Visit our Proofing Support Page for more information.

What are some key file details I should check?

  • Missing text and strange characters 
  • Ensure all required pages appear in the Preview and the page sequence is correct. Back covers may only appear in the right place once all the text pages are uploaded. 
  • Thoroughly proofread and spellcheck your work before uploading. 
  • Ensure all images have a 300dpi (dots per inch) resolution. 
  • Ensure you've embedded all fonts. 
  • Ensure all content on all pages is within the quiet areas and gutter margins if printing a bound item. 

We do not check for design, content or spelling errors. We'll also assume you have the rights to the content. If you encounter copyright issues, Mixam is not responsible for any legal action that may occur as a result. Visit our Proofing Support Page for more information.

Which fonts can I use?

You can use any font you like and you must embed them into your files. Every design program has a different embedding method. To maintain text colour and clarity, do not rasterise any fonts you download, as your letters will lose their sharpness. Alternatively, you can convert all fonts to Outlines or Shapes, making it a vector/shape, but note that once you have converted a font, you cannot edit it further, so remember to save a copy beforehand. Learn how to embed fonts on Adobe, Affinity and Microsoft, and if you're selling your print work and want to use a free font, you must choose one for commercial use.

Which file types can I upload?

We recommend high-quality PDF files, but you can upload many file types. You can submit them as single or double-page files. Visit our How To Submit Print Files Support Page for more information.

Which binding options are available?

Staple Binding (Saddle Stitch): a popular and affordable method for items like Magazines and projects with low page counts. We slot folded printed sheets inside each other, and at the fold line, we secure them from the outside with metal staples. 

Perfect Binding: uses Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA), an efficient and fast-setting adhesive to the spine to bind inner pages securely. It forms a neat, rectangular spine and is common for items like Booklets. 

Perfect (PUR) Binding: similar to Perfect Binding, PUR Binding uses Polyurethane Reactive (PUR) adhesive, giving prints increased flexibility and durability. This binding option is common for items like Paperback Books. 

Wiro Binding: we punch holes along one side of your covers and inner printed pages before fastening them with a coated metal coil binding. This binding option allows pages to rotate 360 degrees and lie flat when open. 

Hardcover (Case) Binding: used on Books with high page counts to ensure durability. The cover is non-flexible and is supported by a backboard, making it incredibly sturdy. 

Layflat Binding: This binding option allows your artwork to appear seamlessly across double-page spreads, and every page will lie flat when opened. 

Visit our Binding Support Page for more information.

How do I prepare files for colour printing?

Design your files in CMYK and set them to our preferred CMYK profile: GRACoL2006_Coated1v2 (download it here). Full-colour printing, or 4-colour printing, is a process that uses CMYK ink. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black ink are combined to create a full-colour image. 

RGB has three primary colours of light: Red, Green, and Blue. Electronic devices like computers screens combine these three colours to produce all colours on a screen. Screens are backlit and transmit colour, whereas a print reflects it. Therefore, colour can look different on your screen compared to print. 

You can learn how to convert files on our How To Convert RGB to CMYK Support Page. If you cannot alter your files, our system automatically converts the colours in your files to the closest CMYK values on upload. You can also learn more about the differences between the two colour modes on our CMYK vs RGB Support Page.

How do I prepare files for greyscale printing?

Select Greyscale under the Colour Printing section(s) on our Instant Quote Calculator. We recommend supplying your files in Greyscale with a 300 dpi resolution using our preferred colour profile: Dot Gain 15%. Visit our Colour Charts and Values Support Page to achieve specific printed colours and our Standard Black vs Rich Black Support Page to achieve deep, saturated tones.

How do I ensure my images have a high resolution?

Resolution refers to the amount of detail in an image. All print work consists of tiny dots; the more dots per square inch, the sharper the image and the greater the resolution. We recommend printing images at 300dpi, as images with a resolution lower than 100 dpi may appear pixelated. Visit our Image Resolution Support Page for more information, and please ensure your content is legal, copyright-free and dcoincides with our Terms and Conditions.

Can I make changes to a confirmed order?

You can unconfirm confirmed orders to edit your print files. Unconfirming your order means it will not enter production. You can adjust your quantity, print specifications and artwork before reconfirming. 

To edit your files: Unconfirm your order by clicking 'Yes, Un-confirm' at the top of your screen > Edit files > Check page order and PDF Proof > Reconfirm. Each version requires a print expert's approval. 

Note: You cannot make further edits to confirmed orders that have entered production.

Changes to confirmed orders can lead to delays, but we will provide a re-estimated delivery date. Our cut-off time for confirmed orders is 4 pm GMT every workday and 10 am for Priority orders. 

You also cannot change the delivery address or arrange a split delivery on confirmed orders in production. When you receive tracking details, we recommend contacting the courier service directly and making arrangements with them.

Can I print adult content?

Mixam accepts NSFW (Not Safe For Work) content, but we may reject your order if we deem the material hateful, unlawful, threatening or defamatory. We reserve the right to refuse an order at our sole discretion. Some print facilities may also refuse to print your work at their sole discretion, but we’ll always try to print it at another facility if necessary. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Can I print a custom size?

Click 'Custom Size' on our Instant Quote Calculator's Size section to choose your dimensions. Sizing limits will appear to match the printing press plates used in production.

How do I upload a cover spread?

Upload one 300dpi PDF file to your Artwork tab containing a back cover, spine and front cover design. Ensure your design matches the dimensions you selected in your initial quote, and before uploading, label it with a name like cover.pdf so our system can automatically put it in the correct place.Visit our Print File Setup Guide for more information.

How do I add a special finish (i.e. Spot UV, Foiling)?

Spot UV involves applying a thin UV coating to parts of a print and curing it with ultraviolet light, providing a high gloss finish. Foiling involves etching a design on a metal plate and heat-pressing a thin layer of foil to a pre-printed page, causing it to bond and create an opaque metallic effect. Both accentuate key design features like graphics, titles, logos and other details. 

1. On our Instant Quote Calculator: Add Cover (+4 Printed Pages) > Cover Paper Type > Choose Silk or Gloss Paper > Choose Cover Finish > Select Soft-Touch Lamination for Foiling or a UV option > Add to Cart > Continue. 

2. Upload a separate, clearly labelled design file to your Artwork tab indicating the parts of your design you want us to apply the finish. 

3. Visit our Spot UV and Foiling Support Pages and follow the instructions if you're designing in Adobe InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop. You can apply the same techniques to other design programs, but the functions may differ.

How do I upload a spine?

A spine refers to the edge where the outer covers and inner pages are bound, typically featuring artwork, the publication title and the author's name. Upload a single PDF file or design one as part of a cover spread with a 300 dpi resolution. You can find your spine dimensions in your Shopping Cart or Artwork tab. Most items, including Paperbacks, require a 3mm bleed to the top and bottom of your spine. For Hardcover items, add a 5mm hinge area on both sides of the spine and 20mm bleed to the top and bottom. Labelling your files clearly before upload will also ensure they appear in the right place. If you cannot upload spine artwork, add a blank page by clicking the blue three-dot button under the spine thumbnail. If you don't upload a spine file, the spine area will be blank and include no print work. Visit our File Setup Support Page for more information.

How do I set up files for Wiro Binding?

Wiro Binding allows pages to rotate 360 degrees and lie flat when opened. We'll punch holes along one side of your printed pages before fastening them with a coated metal coil binding. Every file you upload to your Artwork tab must include a 3mm bleed, a 5mm quiet area and a 15mm gutter margin. Visit our Bleed and File Setup Guide for more information and download free PDF Print Templates to set up your designs.

How do I set up files for Perfect Binding?

Perfect Binding is affordable, looks professional and can accommodate large and small page counts. This binding involves applying an adhesive to a spine formed from gathered inner pages to a cover to hold them together securely, allowing them to lie almost flat without the risk of losing pages or spine damage. Every file you upload to your Artwork tab must include a 3mm bleed, a 5mm quiet area and a 12mm gutter margin. Visit our Bleed and File Setup Guide for more information and download free PDF Print Templates to set up your designs.

How do I set up files for Staple Binding?

Staple (Saddle-Stitch) Binding is a simple, cost-effective option offering fast turnarounds. It involves attaching folded pages with staples through the centrefold. Every file you upload to your Artwork tab must include a 3mm bleed and a 5mm quiet area and gutter margin. Visit our Bleed and File Setup Guide for more information and download free PDF Print Templates to set up your designs.

How do I set up files for Layflat Binding?

Layflat Binding lets you print seamless double-page spreads; every page will lie flat when opened. We'll fold single-sided printed pages in half, then glue the blank side to the next blank side of the next spread and continue until it forms a book block. For Paperback items, every file you upload to your Artwork tab must include a 3mm bleed and a 5mm quiet area. The same bleed and quiet area applies to Hardcover items, except the cover pages and spine must include a 20mm bleed. Visit our Bleed and File Setup Guide for more information and download free PDF Print Templates to set up your designs.

Which folding option is best?

There's no correct answer, but factors like content, design, print dimensions and intended purpose can influence your decision. Items with low paper weights and small dimensions may arrive flat and unfolded with creases.

Half Fold: A Half (Single) Fold is a simple and effective option for a variety of projects where content is uncompromised by the fold. Prints are folded once along the middle to create 4 printed panels - a front cover, a back cover, and two internal panels. 

Roll Fold: The Roll (Letter) Fold is an easy way to display large quantities of text and graphics. It can separate information into equal folded panels for digestible reading experiences. We fold prints twice to produce 6 printed panels (3 sections inside and outside). 

Z-Fold: The Z-Fold, or Concertina Fold, is perfect for dividing large quantities of information. It can help split content across equal panels or one page when fully open, making it a versatile folding option. We fold prints twice to resemble a 'Z' shape to create 6 printed panels (3 sections inside and outside). 

Gate Fold: The Gate Fold means we fold prints twice, once from both ends of the print inwards. Both folds meet equally in the middle without overlapping to resemble a gate. The large central panel appears when the two smaller outer panels open, making this ideal for promotional or graphic-heavy projects. 

Cross Fold: The Cross Fold is ideal for items like Posters, Maps or Infographics. It's a convenient size when folded and can fold both ways to provide more printed panels and visual impact. We fold prints in half, then half again to create 8 printed sections (4 sections front and back). 

Double-Parallel Fold: The Double Parallel Fold lets you display extensive information in a simple format. We fold prints in the middle before folding them twice again to produce up to 6 sections.

Payment Questions

Which payment methods does Mixam accept?

We accept multiple payment methods, including Credit and Direct Debit, Paypal and Proforma invoices. Please refer to our Payment Methods Support Page for the complete list of options.

Is VAT included?

We have to charge VAT on some items by law. VAT can depend on an item's intended purpose, materials and size. When you add an item to your Shopping Cart, the charge will be visible in your summary and your order's Details tab. Visit our VAT on Printing Support Page or HMRC's website for a detailed explanation.

I want to cancel my order. Will I get a full refund?

Yes, as long as you cancel your order before it goes into production.

What is a store credit, and how long is it valid for?

Mixam sometimes offers store credit as a type of refund. When Mixam’s Finance team approves the credit, you can apply it at the payment stage. It’s valid for 1 year from the issue date, after which it will auto-expire. 

Delivery Questions

How much is delivery?

It depends on your print specifications. The delivery cost is visible in your Shopping Cart summary and your order's Details tab.

Where does Mixam deliver?

We can ship to any address in the UK. If you wish to send your prints abroad or want to arrange international split shipping, email our team with your order details, and we'll provide a quote. Please note you're responsible for paying additional fees incurred by your shipments.

How do I arrange split shipping?

Split shipping means we’ll send items from a single order as separate packages. You can select a quote, click Add to Cart, and enter separate addresses for each item. Or, you can enter your first address in your order’s Details tab, then click ‘Add another delivery address’. Enter the quantity you want us to send to each address, and we’ll update your delivery fee. Please note that 6 addresses or more will each incur additional delivery fees, but the first 5 addresses will each incur the standard fee.

Is white labelling available?

White labelling means we'll remove our branding on the packaging so you can present the contents as your own. Select the ‘Use plain packaging’ option in your order's Details tab when you’ve added all the addresses to your order, and the delivery fee will update.

Why does my order have multiple delivery charges?

On multi-part orders, items made at different facilities will be delivered separately, thus incurring separate delivery charges. Due to limited floor space, we cannot hold orders, and we’ll deliver items upon completion. But we’ll produce items with similar production times at the same facilities and deliver them together where possible.

How long will it take for my order to arrive?

Our Instant Quote Calculator will display dates based on the print specifications you enter. All delivery dates are estimated, but if your order is time-sensitive, contact our team in advance to discuss options. Please note deliveries to Northern Ireland and the islands may take longer. High volumes of work during the peak season before Christmas may mean that orders in production can experience delays. But we'll keep you informed if any occur.

How will Mixam deliver my order?

We use reliable, third-party couriers for our deliveries. Larger orders will be delivered on a pallet for curbside delivery but aren't trackable, while smaller orders are sent in boxes or small parcels and are trackable.

How do I track my order?

Once your order has left a production facility, we’ll update your order status and notify you by email. Please check Spam and Junk folders, as emails can sometimes appear there. Courier tracking details will soon become available so you can monitor your order. While we cannot guarantee delivery dates or times, you can contact us via chat, email or phone if you have not received tracking details on or by your estimated delivery date.

My order hasn't arrived - what should I do?

If your order hasn't arrived on or by your estimated delivery date, you can contact us via: 

Chat: Click the Chat option on our website to start a conversation with a print expert. 

Messages Tab: Click the Messages tab to contact us directly through your order. 

Email: Address your email to team@mixam.uk with your name and order details. 

Phone: Call 01923 594 252, and our print experts will update you.

Paper Explained

What is a paper stock, and which options are available?

Paper stock refers to the paper type used for print. You can choose from a wide variety of high-quality papers and weights. While availability varies for each item, you can also choose eco-friendly options for minimal environmental impact. Visit Our Paper Range Support Page for more information and order a free sample pack.

What is a finish, and which are available?

A finish, or lamination, refers to applying a plastic coating to a finished printed page. Laminates not only add visually appealing properties to prints, but they also extend their lifespan. Our laminations include Matt, Gloss and Soft Touch, and availability varies per item. Alternatively, you can choose a finish that partially covers your prints, like Spot UV, to highlight key design features. Visit Our Print Finishes and Special Print Options Support Pages for more information.

Other Questions

How do I reorder my prints?

Mixam account holders can reorder prints. Log in, and under the 'My Orders' tab, locate the relevant order and click the Reorder button. You can then amend the quantity, details and confirm your order. Our cut-off time for confirmed orders is 4 pm GMT every workday and 10 am for Priority orders. If you placed an order but don't have an account, email our print experts and provide your order number so we can arrange a reorder.

How do I combine postage on my orders?

Choose an item from the categories at the top of the website, enter your print specifications via the Instant Quote Calculator and add a quote to your Shopping Cart. You can then repeat the process as many times as needed, and the summary will show you the postage fee on all items in a single order. 

Please note that some items may have different production times. We may occasionally produce items at different printing facilities, meaning we cannot deliver them as part of a single order, combine postage or withhold items to send together due to limited floor space. Visit our How To Print Multiple Designs Support Page for more information.

How do I report print issues?

If you've received your prints and find issues, please revisit your online order to ensure your print specifications and artwork match what was confirmed and displayed on-screen. If something is still incorrect, please log in to your Mixam account and head to your 'My Orders' page. A red 'Report An Issue' button will appear under the relevant order number. Non-account holders can email our Care team their order details and follow the advice below. To help us resolve your issue, please provide the following details: 

  • A description that best describes your problem from the dropdown menu 
  • A brief overview of the issue in the Comments box 
  • The total quantity of copies affected 
  • Any specific page numbers we need to check 
  • Upload photographs or videos clearly showing the issues. If multiple copies are affected, please capture all or at least 15 to 20 copies in the same shot. If your images and video files are too large to upload, supply them as a WeTransfer or Dropbox link in the Comments section. If the concern is regarding paper or color variance, we may ask you to send them to us for further investigation, but we will confirm this as soon as possible. 
  • For damage issues, please include images clearly showing any damaged prints and packaging. Keep hold of the damaged copies and packaging until we let you know you can dispose of or recycle them. 
  • Finally, choose the preferred action from the menu stating how you would like the issue resolved. 

Once you have completed the online form, the Care team will investigate and contact you via email. The process will generally occur within one working day, but please check your Spam and Junk folders, as emails can appear there. Please note response times may also take longer during peak season, but we're here to help and offer you practical advice and solutions. Visit our How To Report Print Issues Support Page for more information.

Where do I find my invoice?

All invoices are easily accessible and stored safely in your Mixam account. First, log in and click the relevant order number. Click the Payment tab and the Invoice PDF link, which will open in a new window. You can then view, download and save it. Non-account holders can email our team their order number and request a copy.

Why is the item I want unavailable?

The reasons an item is unavailable vary, and we treat every scenario individually. Please contact our team so they can review your quote, identify what’s causing the issue, and offer you a similar, available item.

Why is the binding option I want unavailable?

Your page count dictates the availability of each binding option. Too many pages can result in inner page content becoming obscured by the binding, while too few pages can make the binding costly and unsuitable. But our Instant Quote Calculator will only show you the best, cost-effective options. If the binding option you want is unavailable, adjust your page count or read our Page Counts Support Page for more information.

Why can't I enter a specific page quantity into the Calculator?

We print pages in groups of four to ensure your page order is correct, excluding Hardcover items. If you have an odd number of pages, not divisible by four, you may need to add blank or additional print files. Visit our Page Counts Support Page for more information.

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