FAQ

proofreading

What’s the most important thing?

Proofreading! You don’t want to receive your printing only to discover your phone number or other important detail is incorrect!

Proofread it, then proofread it again. Then start at the bottom and proofread it backwards. Then give it to at least one other person to proof read it.

Do I need digital printing or offset printing?

We will always let you know whether it is more economical for you to use digital or offset printing so you don’t really need to worry about making this choice.

Digital printing is more economical than offset printing when you’re only printing a small number of sheets (about 500 SRA3 or less). This is because it takes a much longer to set up an offset printer for a print job than it does to set up a digital printer. However once the offset printer gets going it can print at a much faster rate. Therefore the cost per sheet for offset printing is less than the cost per sheet for digital printing. So when you add up the cost per sheet and the set up there is a crossover point where it becomes cheaper to use offset printing than the digital printing.

You may be surprised how much greater quantity you can get for not much extra cost. If the quantity you’re going to print is near the crossover point then by paying an extra 20% you may be able to get twice as many items printed.

The other difference between digital printing and offset printing is the quality. These days advances in technology means that digital printing can almost match the quality and vibrancy of offset printing, but its not quite there yet, offset printing still has the edge over digital printing.

Files

pdf format

In what format should I send my printing artwork?

It’s best to send your artwork as press ready pdf files (use 3mm bleed and crop lines if necessary)

Fonts must be fully embedded in the PDF or included with the digital file
We also accept: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Indesign, Microsoft Word.

Please be aware that with .doc, that fonts may change from computer to computer and your printed material may not look exactly as it did on your computer.

Do not set up your document with facing pages. Please supply files as single, subsequent pages only (not spreads).

How can I make sure my text isn’t cut off.

We recommend that all text should be at least 5mm away from the trim, this will ensure that when trimmed, or bound, nothing will be cut off.

Artwork

bad resolution

What resolution should I use for images?

Images in your printing should be at least 300dpi. You can user lower quality images but they may appear grainy or blurry when printed.

When designing artwork for printing should I set the colour format to RGB or CMYK?
RGB (Red, Blue, Greed) is the format used by monitors,

good resolution

TVs and digital cameras. CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) is what is used by commercial printers in “4 colour process printing” which is also known as “full colour printing”.

As all our printing is done using the CMYK colour format we will convert your artwork from RGB to CMYK you don’t supply it in CMYK format yourself. It’s best, however, if you design your printing artwork in CMYK right from the start so that you avoid slight variations being introduced during the conversion process.

Colour Matching

Digital printing relies on the use of four Colours (CMYK) to produce all colours as opposed to your computer screen which only uses three (RGB). This means not all Pantone (PMS) colours are available.

  • Convert all PMS colours to 4 colour process
  • Save all scans and colour images as CMYK
  • Avoid using duotones, indexed colour or RGB.
  • Hard copy proofs are always available
  • Always use CMYK for solid black areas. To create a rich black set your colour to C – 60, M- 50, Y – 50, K – 100.
  • Use the correct Pantone names (i.e. Pantone 300 CV)

Do I need to do anything special when printing black areas?

Yes.

When editing your image in CMYK format the 100% black may look ok on the screen but it may look a little patchy once printed. It’s better to use what I known as a “rich black”, which adds some additional colours to give a deeper black. But don’t add too much extra colour – you shouldn’t set the CMYK to full saturation, which is 100% Cyan, 100% Magenta, 100% Yellow and 100% Black. Full saturation black is problematic when it’s printed because it is slow to dry and therefore may smudge, and because it’s thicker it may crack when it’s folded. It may also appear scuffed.

You will achieve the best effect on your printing when you keep the saturation below 300%. Therefore you should use a black that is 60% Cyan, 50% Magenta, 50% Yellow and 100% Black.

You should just use the normal black for text because a rich black may reduce the sharpness of the printed letters.

folding printed brochures

Design and colours on folds?

If you print on the actual fold in the paper then the ink will always crack a little. You can minimise the cracking by printing on paper thicker than 160gsm.

You can also avoid printing dark colours on the fold because the white paper in the cracks will show through more prominently if the colour is dark. To avoid this problem completely you should make sure you do’t print anything on the fold.

folding printed brochures

Provide Fonts for printing

Not all computers have the same fonts. Therefore you should either embed all your fonts in your pdf file or outline your fonts in an EPS file to make sure that your fonts on your printed material are the same as on your computer.

Font Size

Fonts smaller than 6pts are not only difficult to read but may loose quality when printing, because the lines are too thin. This is especially true if the writing is white on a coloured background. If you do need to print small fonts, its best to use sans serif fonts.

Minimum Line Thickness

For best results you shouldn’t make any lines thinner than 0.5pt, because they won’t appear sharp and clear when printing.

Printing on envelopes

When printing onto envelopes we need to use a slightly lighter ink in order to avoid the ink smudging onto the next envelope because the paper is different.

Therefore the colours may appear slightly different to the colours you get when printing onto your business cards or letterheads.

Die cuts

This is only for when your printing needs to be cut into unusual shapes.

Please supply a separate file in 1 spot colour for your die cut shape. It should be supplied in the exact position as the artwork using the trim marks and it should be set to overprint.

Cropping / Trimming / Bleed

What are crop marks / crop lines?

Crop lines, also known as a trim lines or crop marks, are lines that show where the paper should be cut after printing.

What is bleed?

Bleed is the space on the outside of the crop lines. Everything in the bleed area will be chopped off after printing. The reason you need bleed is because the paper is not always cut exactly along the cut lines and therefore if you’ve got a colour background that stops at the crop line then if the cut occurs a little to the outside of the crop line there will be some white paper showing along the edge of the printed paper. To prevent this happening you should extend all your background colours at least 3mm beyond the crop line. All commercial printers will ask you to allow for bleed.

How can I make sure my text isn’t cut off?

You should not print anything import right up against the inside of the crop line because it may also be chopped of if the cut is mad a little inside the crop line.

Printing Paper

Paper Sizes

A0 – 841mm X 1189mm
A1 – 594mm X 841mm
A2 – 420mm X 594mm
A3 – 297mm X 420mm
A4 – 210mm X 297mm
A5 – 148mm X 210mm
A6 – 105mm X 148mm
A7 – 74mm X 105mm
A8 – 52mm X 74mm

 

Paper thickness

The thickness of printing paper is measured in gsm (grams per square metre). The bigger the number the thicker the paper.

Choosing the appropriate thickness paper for your printing job is an important which we can help you with.
Here is a rough guide to give you an idea:
80gsm – standard photocopy paper
80gsm – 130gsm printing letterheads, flyers and items for letterbox distribution.
Printing on this thickness paper will show through the other side.
130gsm – 150gsm great for printing flyers and brochures, especially printed items that need to be
folded.
200+gsm a thick, high quality paper that’s a little too thick for folding.
260gms – printing economical business cards
300gsm – printing business cards, postcards and marketing cards.
300+gsm – extra thick, premium business cards and marketing cards.

Paper finishes

Paper comes in three finish types:

  • Gloss: a completely smooth, shiny surface
  • Silk: a very smooth and slightly reflective surface
  • Bond: a flat surface with a matt (non-reflective) surface