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Crop Mark in Affinity (old school way ;-) )


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Hi AD Buddy. 


I give you my library of crop mark for Affinity Designer. this print sign is ready to print. for this example i use A4, but you can use for every format you want.


i'm Working on version of this crop ca be used with media library palette… but, it doesn't work with AD file.


Step 1 : Setup your page.

Add +20mm to your format and set the marges at 10 mm everywhere to define you format with it. everything outside the marges is the bleed. 




Step 2 : Add your crop mark. 

Now add you crop mark on the four corner like this : 



Don't forget to use snapping tool to be snapped on the corner. 
Step 3 : Add color bar and name project.
You can add this informations where you want… me, i put it on the top and the bottom
Don't forget to name your project. 
Step 4 Create or add your creation. 
Let's start your creation, or add it… if your creation is already created in another document don't forget your bleed… 
Step 5 Export
Don't forget to check this case… because i got some problems with AD and font embedded.
thanks for watching ! 

Clém !

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Thanks, It's old school way…

But i hope in the future it's gonna be fully integrated in AD tools (like the spot color, because here i put 400% black, but for the prepress process, it's not good). and more simple ! 

Clém !

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Appreciate the resource, thanks!


After setting up,the cropmarks, you can even resize the document to it's initial size and work with unchanged measurements (no need to add 1cm to every position you enter). Before outputting the finalised layout, just resize the document again and the cropmarks reapear. :-)

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  • 1 month later...

hi there, 

happy to help you. 

i coming back to upgrade the ressource ! because with the Affinity designer 1.3.2, we can use the navigator( in the previous version, AD doesn't keep the transparency). 


Download this .ZIP with the ressources before to start:

Crop mark


1 - Add 10mm on your document for the bleed. (like in the first step of my tuto)

2 - Press shitf+CMD+M to show the media navigator. 

3 - Right click, add folder and select the folder that you download previously.

4 - Drag and drop at right place and this done !




Clém !

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  • 7 months later...
  • 1 year later...

This important thread regarding Crop Marks was started back in 2015.  It's now April 2017 and no built-in way to add Crop Marks (including Japanese Crop marks) is to be found.  


I would think that this is probably one of the easier features to add to Affinity Designer.  Why not add it today?  For truly, the old school way teaches us, "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today!"

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Crop marks are able to be used with/in PDF export.


What is still not able to be done as of this writing is to see the bleed area, though it can be defined in the document set up. There is a work-around if one needs a precise or visual means of seeing the bleed area, though. Which in brief is to add a rectangle with no fill but has an outline the size of the document + 2x the bleed amount and center it. Just be sure to disable its output when exporting to PDF.



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Thanks for the hack... ahem...  "workaround," Mike!  :-)


Honestly, anyone who sends CYMK designs off to a professional printer uses crop marks.  In Illustrator, you simply sketch a rectangle and click Effect > Crop Marks.  (Whether or not to use Japanese crop marks is a Preference setting.)  And boom!  You're done.  Want to resize your rectangle in Illustrator?  No problem.  Crops are repositioned automatically!


Japanese Crop Marks are better than normal crop marks because they are very precise and offer a lot design guidance, as shown here:




I don't want to build those by hand for every size rectangle imaginable; hence, it is only logical that a TRUE Crop Mark feature be built into Affinity Designer.  It makes little sense to offer CMYK features without also offering Crop Marks.  They really do go hand-in-hand.

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The only time I have ever used on-page crop marks is doing packaging design. The ability to produce CMYK print files does not equate to having the ability to place crop marks.


Japanese crop marks are no better/worse than any other style--specifically, they are no more precise than any other. That's all they are, a style.


JDW, I don't know if you have ever worked in print production (non-packaging design), but since the advent of a PDF print work-flow, it's rare to even use the PDF's marks. They are discarded as the various "boxes" are defined in the in the PDF. Heck, it's rare to use color bars or any of the information contained in PDFs other than the design proper.

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Mike, I reside in Japan and we print CYMK flyers in A3 and A4 format, we design packaging, we design stickers, we design...  Well, we design a lot of different things.  And we always use Japanese crop marks because if we don't the people we send the data to will complain.  And I also get requests for Illustrator file data, with Crop Marks, from dealers who want to mod our existing designs and then professionally print the designs themselves.  The only time I do not use crop marks is when a shop wants an RGB PDF to print themselves on their inkjet printer.


So while things may be different OUTSIDE Japan, things that are required here are what matter when doing such work here.  And since the Japanese economy is nothing to treat flippantly, companies like Adobe build Japanese crop marks into their app.  It's only logical Affinity Designer should do the same, even if it could be argued that "the rest of the planet isn't like that."


And there you have it.

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No worries. I was mainly reacting to some of the other statements. It's a valid request. It would need to be an option.


I don't know if PDFlib (the library Serif uses) has that option. I would need to dig out my reference (I've used that library before) to see, or obtain a newer reference from them. There are several applications I use that use PDFlib and none have J cropmarks available. Might simply mean none of them have "turned them on" but it also may mean they are not available.

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  • 2 weeks later...

May I butt in? I work in a printing company and uses a lot of cropping marks. I guess the best crop mark generator is the script in Adobe InDesign because I can change crop marks setting...though it cannot save.


The only workaround I find in AD is exporting it to PDF with added bleeds ( I like the 'rasterize everything' setting) then import it to InDesign, preserve the original size, transform/duplicate then use InDesign's cropmark script...show the bleeds, now it's ready for printing.


I wish to have that feature in AD.

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  • 2 months later...

There is no imposition. You will need to draw them out yourself. Or, you can use an imposition software. For A4 and down page sizes, there is a free version of Montax Imposer. (At least the last time I looked there was.)



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For now it's easier to use Illustrator because Serif still doesn't give us that most basic of all functionality. In illustrator it's a laughably easy two-step process:


1. Select the box tool and then click once on the page so a dialog box appears that allows you to set the exact width and height you want.


2. Go to the appropriate menu and simply place your crop marks.


There's a preference setting that lets you choose if you want Japanese crop marks or not. It's that easy. It should be that easy in Affinity Designer.


Here's yet another way to do it in Illustrator:



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I agree that simple imposition would be nice in-app. I wouldn't expect to see such a feature until after APub, though. And maybe not even trickled down into AD/APhoto.


There is also a free imposition software for the Mac I've seen that is highly recommended, though I forget it's name right off. Both of these free applications have a limitation compared to their paid-for counterparts.


If someone needs this in AD and doesn't desire to use one of the free versions, or perhaps the limitations won't do, there is a certain amount of simple imposition that can be done in AD.


Using a business card where one is going to be cutting themselves, for example, one could export with trim marks, place the resultant PDF into a new, larger page-size AD file and replicate it into the desired positions. The same then applies to postcard-sized designs.


I also wouldn't expect more involved impositions to be in a Serif application.

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  • 2 years later...

A Japanese printing company asking you to implement Japanese style crop mark that is effective to gain users in Japan.



What I'd like to see in Affinity is "Japanese style double crop mark implementation", Including Adobe, it's hard for foreign software makers to understand the fact that Japanese printing people are deeply familiar with double crop marks. It is obvious that the cost effectiveness of giving the Japanese style crop mark feature to this inexpensive and excellent software is preeminent.... I believe that the chances of this blog being viewed by the people involved are not zero, so I would like to express my strongest wishes here.


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14 minutes ago, ashf said:

A Japanese printing company asking you to implement Japanese style crop mark that is effective to gain users in Japan...

Exactly what I have been saying, yet I am largely ignored by Serif. 

(I've lived continuously here in Japan for more than 25 years.)

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