file set-up checklistfile set-up checklist
binding choices buttonbinding choices button
binding choices buttonbinding choices button

Hey there, are you an artist or publisher who wants to bring your art to life in a zine? We get it, zine printing can feel super overwhelming, especially if you're new to it all. But don't stress! We've got all the deets you need to make smart choices about printing your zine.

On this page, we'll chat about finding inspiration for your project, the costs involved with printing, different binding options, choices for paper and sizes. We'll also dive deeper into each area so you can make the best decision for your specific needs. Our philosophy is to embrace your creative ideas while keeping it flexible within the practical stuff like budget and technical limits.

We wanna help make your vision happen! So why wait? Let's start bringing your zine dreams to reality today!

Setting Up Your Artwork For Print

Jump straight to>>>

adding 3mm bleedadding 3mm bleed
printing video guidesprinting video guides

⬇️ Or scroll down to read each guide, for a complete overview

Wire Stitching Guide

Perfect Binding Guide

Adding 3mm Bleed

Video Guides

File Set-Up Checklist

A key thing to remember is, all we need to print your book is a PDF file. Our guides discuss preparing artwork in Adobe Indesign, but you can choose any computer program for the design then Save As or Export to PDF.

File Set-Up Checklist for Zine Printing

Before you send your zine files to us for printing, take a moment to ensure they meet these key requirements:

⚠️ Add a 3mm bleed and crop marks on all four edges of your pages.
⚠️ Double-check that your zine's dimensions match your desired print size.
⚠️ Ensure the number of pages in your zine corresponds to the total in your final booklet.

⬇️ Or continuing scrolling for more help on preparing artwork correctly.

⚠️ Position important elements and page numbers at least 5mm away from the page margins.
⚠️ Confirm your images are high resolution (300dpi) and, ideally, in CMYK format.
⚠️ Save all files as PDFX/1A during export, which is an option in the PDF export settings.

Did you get 6 ticks on our check list?
Great, lets get your work into print!

Adding Bleed on Your Artwork

Master perfect zine design with our comprehensive video guide. In just a few minutes, learn how to add a 3mm bleed to your pages and export your artwork to PDF. Illustrated guides are also available for those who prefer them.

adding bleed video guide
adding bleed video guide

Design for Print Video Guides

Our collection of videos will quickly elevate you from a print novice to an expert. These tutorials cover everything from design basics to mastering Adobe InDesign for zine printing.

design for print video guides
design for print video guides

Wire Stitched Zine Set-Up

Follow these simple steps to creating a print-ready file for printing a stapled zine with us.

Detailed view of an A5 Softback Zine on uncoated paper
Detailed view of an A5 Softback Zine on uncoated paper

Wire Stitching Checklist

⚠️ We need one hi-res pdf with a 3mm bleed on each edge and CMYK images.
⚠️ Pages should be supplied incorrect reading order: 1st page is your cover, 2nd page the inside cover etc right through to your back cover.
⚠️ Your total number of pages must be a multiple of 4 (8,12,16,20,24,28 etc).
⚠️ The artwork should be the same size you want your printed booklet to be.
⚠️ Pages nearer the centre of the booklet are trimmed shorter (this is called creep) – keep important page numbers and info away from edges.

Setting up artwork for a Wire Stitched Booklet

To prepare your wire-stitched zine files, start by arranging them in the correct reading order. The cover should be the first page, followed by the inner pages in the order they will be read, and the back cover as the last page. Remember, you need to supply these as single pages, not as spreads. Our system will handle the imposition, arranging the pages into printer's pairs, so your main focus should be on the sequential order of the pages.

Begin by creating a new document

Go to File > New > Document.

Next up, you will see the dialog box shown here. Within this box are the settings you need to define based on the size and number of pages of your booklet.

The example shown here is for a 24 Page A5 Booklet

  • Page Size in Width and Height: Set this to the size of your finished zine. Ensure it matches your intended trimmed size.
    A5 is 210x148mm, A4 is 297x210mm or choose any bespoke choice - we can print them all.

  • Orientation: Choose between portrait (left-hand icon) and landscape (right-hand icon).

  • Pages: Enter the total number of pages. It must be a multiple of four for wire stitching, like 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, etc.

  • Facing Pages: If designing in double-page spreads is more comfortable, leave this option checked. Otherwise, uncheck it. Experiment with both methods to see which suits you best.

  • Master Text Frame: Keep this option unchecked.

  • Columns: Generally, leave this set to '1', unless you're aiming for a specific column layout.

  • Column Gutter: This is the space between columns. If you have only one column, skip this setting.

  • Margins: It is good practice to set all margins to 5mm which encourages you to keep crucial content away from the page edges. These margins appear as pink lines in InDesign (shown here). If this is confusing, set the margins to '0'.

  • Bleed: Enter 3mm in each box to extend the bleed area by 3mm beyond the page edge, indicated by a red border in InDesign.

  • Slug: These boxes can all be left on '0'.

After setting these parameters, click 'CREATE' to open your new file. The new page should look like our example here. The pages tab down the right hand side, lets you jump to any of the 24 pages.

Now, continue refining your design by following our File Set-Up and Binding Options guidelines. Once satisfied, export your artwork to PDF. It is best to use a service like to send us the final PDF.

Screenshot of an InDesign interface showing a 24-page document setup
Screenshot of an InDesign interface showing a 24-page document setup
Image of InDesign bleed and slug settings with bleed set to 3mm
Image of InDesign bleed and slug settings with bleed set to 3mm
Example of an InDesign interface showing a 24-page document setup
Example of an InDesign interface showing a 24-page document setup

Winning Solutions for Designing and Styling a Wire Stitched Zine

Enjoy our short video about winning solutions for designing and styling your wire stitched project.

Perfect Binding Book Set-Up

Crafting the Perfect Bound Book: A Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing Your Artwork

Exquisite A5 Softback Zine printed on silk paper
Exquisite A5 Softback Zine printed on silk paper

Perfect Binding Checklist

⚠️ We need two files - a spread for the inside and outside cover AND a second file for the text pages.
⚠️ The text file should be single pages NOT spreads.
⚠️ Cover spread needs the correct spine size through the centre of the cover file.
⚠️ Artwork should be the same size you want your printed book to be.
⚠️ You lose 2-3mm in the spine gutter on each double-page spread. Keep content clear of this area especially text.
⚠️ There is a hinge on the 1st and last inside page where the cover is glued on. This 7mm area is completely hidden so keep any content well away from it.
⚠️ When you're happy with the design, export to High Res PDF with crop marks and 3mm bleed on each edge. Ideally choose PDFX1/a:2001 in InDesign.

Embarking on your perfect bound book printing journey is straightforward and exciting. You'll only need two high-quality PDFs to get started. With the widespread availability of 'Export to PDF' or 'Save As PDF' options in 2024's layout programs, your main focus can be on the creative aspects of your design.

For the Cover Spreads, we require a single PDF file consisting of two pages:

• Page 1 features the outer cover spread, with the back cover on the left, the spine at the center, and the front cover on the right.

• Page 2 showcases the inner cover spread, with the inside front cover on the left and the inside back cover on the right. The spine remains blank in the middle, as this is where we'll bind the pages.

The spine's width is determined by the number of pages inside your book – more pages mean a thicker spine.

For the Inside Pages, we need a second PDF, which contains all the inner pages in the correct reading order.

The first page in this file becomes the first right-hand page of your book. So if your book contains 60 inside pages, your PDF should have 60 pages as well. The running order of your book is:

• Front Cover (in the outer cover spread PDF)
• Inside Front Cover (in the inner cover spread PDF)
• First Right Hand Page (page 1 in your inside pages PDF)
• Pages 2 and 3 of your inside pages PDF, forming a double-page spread.

If your book's inside pages are designed in spreads, remember to export them as individual pages. Adobe InDesign, for example, allows you to do this with a single click (see screenshot here).

A crucial detail to remember is the 3mm bleed on each page. If you're unsure about what 'bleed' means, we recommend watching our informative video. It's essential viewing before submitting your files.

When exporting, choose the PDFx1a:2001 setting if it's available. If not, select the 'Highest Quality' or 'Maximum Quality' option available.

By following these simple steps, your artwork will be primed and ready for printing – it's as easy as that! ✅✅✅✅✅

Example of exporting from Adobe InDesign as single pages
Example of exporting from Adobe InDesign as single pages

You Are an 8 Minute Video Away from a Zine Cover

Follow from start to finish and adding a spine to your perfect bound zine cover spreads will be a breeze.