How to Create Artwork for Print with Other Design Tools

How to Create Artwork for Print with Other Design Tools

Read Time: 3 Minutes


25 Jan 2021

There are loads of ways to create incredible looking print, from online tools like Canva to downloadable editors like CorelDRAW. In this guide, we’ll guide you through setting up artwork and exporting it as the correct file type using the following popular tools:

  • Canva
  • CorelDRAW
  • GIMP
  • Crello


How to Create Artwork for Print with Canva

Setting up your document

Canva is a really popular online design tool thanks to its many free and premium features, templates and customisation options. Before you dive straight into the design, here’s how to set up a blank Canva canvas!

  • Log in to Canva and click ‘Create a Design’
  • Choose custom dimensions and change from ‘px’ to ‘mm’
  • Enter the correct size for the print item you want to design, plus 6mm to include bleed*
  • Customise with the free templates, text and images, or upload your own high-resolution images to the design tool
  • Click ‘Add page’ to add extra pages if you’re making a multi-page product

*If you don’t want to add bleed at this stage, that’s not a problem! Our free online proofing tool can add this for you.


How to export Canva to PDF

To send your Canva design to us to print, you’ll need to export it as a PDF file to upload to our website. Here’s how.

  • Click Download
  • Under file type, choose PDF Print
  • Untick crop marks and bleed – we have our own cropping system set up that won’t read them!
  • Click Download


How to Create Artwork for Print with CorelDRAW

Setting up your CorelDRAW document

Vector graphics editing software CorelDRAW is an effective and more affordable alternative to the Adobe Creative Suite, making it a popular choice for our customers. Here’s how to set your artwork up for a print perfect finish.

  • Go to File > New
  • Name your new file
  • Set the preset as Custom
  • Set the color mode as CMYK
  • Set the resolution to 300dpi
  • Set the page size to the print item you want + 6mm to the height and width for your bleed area
  • Click Okay to start designing


How to Export a file as a PDF on CorelDRAW

  • Click File > Export
  • In the export range area, enable ‘current document’
  • Under page size, select ‘As defined in CorelDRAW’
  • Under the PDF preset list, choose: PDF/X-1a
  • Export the document


How to Create Artwork for Print with GIMP

How to set up your new file in GIMP

GIMP is a photo manipulating tool, making it great for setting up photos to print. Here’s how to set up a new file:

  • Go to File > New
  • Change the dimensions from pixels to mm
  • Add the height and width for the product you want and add 6mm for your bleed area
  • Open up the advanced options
  • Change to X and Y resolutions to 300
  • Change the colour space to CMYK
  • Click OK to get started


Exporting a PDF from GIMP

  • Go to File > Export
  • Under File Format, select ‘Portable Document Format (*PDF)’
  • Name your file and click Export
  • Tick ‘Apply Layer Masks Before Saving’
  •  Click Export again


How to Create Artwork for Print with Crello

Create a new file in Crello

Crello is a free online graphic design tool where you can design from scratch or use one of the thousands of free templates. To set up a new file:

  • Go to the Crello homepage and either choose a template or create a custom size 
  • If choosing a custom size, enter the dimensions of the print item you want to create + 6mm on the height and width for the bleed area
  • Use the design tool to add image, colours and text to your design


Saving your design as a print-ready PDF

  • When you’re finished designing, click Download
  • Under the format picker, choose PDF Print
  • Untick bleed and crop marks 
  • Click Download


And there you have it! If you’d like some more help setting up your artwork for print or to see what other design options are available, head on over to our Artwork Help page, or get in touch with our Personal Artworker team for specific artwork questions.


About the Author

Hello! I’m Keyan, I’m part of the Studio team. When you upload artwork to your order, our team check through and set it up for print.