Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any Free Design Software available?

We are always happy to create your artwork for you. This is typically charged at £20net per page. In order to create your artwork we need to know preferred lay out, colours and content. However you can create your own to save money. We recommend using Scibus to design your own artwork it comes with its own design templates also free to download. We also recommend open office for simpler design work and book/booklet writing. If you would prefer a better software we highly recommend InDesign by Adobe this is however not a free program. Although it does have a free 30 day trial available and comfortable monthly payment schemes.

What is Adobe Acrobat Reader?

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required for previewing all of our proofs and paperwork. This may be downloaded free fromhttp://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

What is Prepress?

Is the term used in the printing and publishing industries for the processes and procedures that occur between the creation of a print layout and the final printing. The prepress procedure includes the manufacture of a printing plate, image carrier or form, ready for mounting on a printing press, as well as the adjustment of images and texts or the creation of a high-quality print file. In today's prepress shop, the form of delivery from the customer is usually electronic, either a PDF or application files created from such programs as Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress.

What is Bleed ?

Is the portion of the product that will be trimmed off when it is cut to the final size. it is normally a continuation of the colour or image that remains on the trim edge. It is important to include this on every print job so that we can insure your finished product comes out perfect! Bleed of 2mm must be allowed on all trimmed edges of the artwork. e.g.

A2 - 424mm x 598mm including 2mm bleeds (finished size: 420mm x 594mm)

A3 - 301mm x 424mm including 2mm bleeds (finished size: 297mm x 420mm)

A4 - 214mm x 301mm including 2mm bleeds (finished size: 210mm x 297mm)

A5- 152mm x 214mm including 2mm bleeds (finished size: 148mm x 210mm)

A6 - 109mm x 152mm including 2mm bleeds (finished size: 105mm x 148mm)

DL - 103mm x 214mm including 2mm bleeds (finished size: 99mm x 210mm)

BC - 089mm x 059mm including 2mm bleeds (finished size: 85mm x 55mm)

What is Margin?

Is the safety area between the edge of the document and any elements that are not to be trimmed (Text and photos that do not bleed). We require a minimum 5mm margin to contain all text and images which do not bleed off the finished size.

Bleed & Margin Explained...

What is CMYK?

Four colour printing isa system where a colour image is separated into 4 different colour values(called a colour separation) by the use of filters and screens. The result is acolour separation of 4 images that when transferred to printing plates andsequentially printed on a printing press with the coloured inks cyan (blue),magenta (red), yellow and black (the k in CMYK), reproduces the original colourimage. Most of the entire spectrum or gamut of colours are reproduced with justthe four process ink colours. The four colour printing process is universallyused in the graphic arts and commercial printing industry for the reproductionof colour images and text. Though it varies by print house, press operator, press manufacturer and press run, ink is typically applied in the order of the abbreviation. The “K” in CMYK stands for key since in four-colour printing cyan, magenta, and yellow printing plates are carefully keyed or aligned with the key of the black key plate.

The CMYK model works by partially or entirely masking colours on a lighter, usually white, background. The ink reduces the light that would otherwise be reflected. Such a model is called subtractive because inks “subtract” brightness from white. In additive colour models such as RGB , white is the “additive” combination of all primary coloured lights, while black is the absence of light. In the CMYK model, it is the opposite: white is the natural colour of the paper or other background, while black results from a full combination of coloured inks. To save money on ink, and to produce deeper black tones, unsaturated and dark colours are produced by using black ink instead of the combination of cyan, magenta and yellow.

How do I setup artwork for A4 to DL Folding?

What are Pantones?

Is largely a standardized colour reproduction system. By standardizing the colours, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colours match without direct contact with one another. Pantone colours are described by their allocated number (typically referred to as, for example, 'PMS 130'). PMS colours are almost always used in branding and have even found their way into government legislation (to describe the colours of flags). A useful guide to pantone colours can be found here http://www.cal-print.com/InkColorChart.htm

What are Sizes in inches?

Here is a quick reference table for converting A Series Paper Sizes to mm or inch

A0      1189 x 841 mm        46.8 x 33.1 in
A1      841 x 594 mm         33.1 x 23.4 in
A2      594 x 420 mm         23.4 x 16.5 in
A3      420 x 297 mm         16.5 x 11.7 in
A4      297 x 210 mm         11.7 x 8.3 in
A5      210 x 148 mm         8.3 x 5.8 in
A6      148 x 105 mm         5.8 x 4.1 in
A7      105 x 74 mm           4.1 x. 2.9 in
A8      74 x 52 mm             2.9 x 2.0 in
A9      52 x 37 mm             2.0 x 1.5 in
A10     37 x 26 mm             1.5 x 1.0 in

Paper Size Guide

How do I know if Images are any good?

When reviewing images for printing you should view them at approximately 175% size to get a good feel for how they will look when printed. If they look blocky or blurry, that's how they will print too! 

When scanning photographs - save them as EPS or TIFF files, this will preserve the colour and clarity of images. GIF formats compress the image and actually discard information, causing colour shifts. Don't use this format. LZW compression and ASCII encoding will cause problems. JPEGs compress the image and again discard information but can be used, we have to uncompress them before sending them into production which can cause colour shifts.

How do I Setup artwork for Perfect Binding?

Allow for 4mm bleed for the cover, 2mm bleed for the Inners. The inner pages should have nothing near the spine edge up to 15mm preferably. The cover should be clear of print on the inside spine plus 5mm margin either side. Allow for the front of cover to be scored at up to 8mm from the spine.

The spine should be as per calculation

100gsm = 0.10mm approx multiplied by number of leaves.

120gsm = 0.12mm approx multiplied by number of leaves.

plus 1mm for glue allowance.

What thickness of paper should I choose for booklets?

We recommend using the following guide. Please note the weight of paper is the maximum recommend weight.

4pp 350GSM

8pp 300GSM

12pp 250GSM

16pp 200GSM

20pp 170GSM

24pp 150GSM

28pp 130GSM

32pp 100GSM

36pp 80GSM

Above this number of pages we would recommend having them bound either Wiro, Thermal, Coil, Comb or Perfect Bind.