The following hints and tips are designed to help and inform you. In particular they are to give you guidelines in how to prepare your files before sending them to print. If you need any personal assistance to cover any point in more detail please feel free to contact us on 0800 0346 247. Alternatively have a look at our latest You Tube video - www.youtube.com/watch
Why Digital Print?
Digital printing is the fastest growing method of printing.
At a time when marketing and print budgets are under pressure – digital printing is a great way to produce low quantity, fast turnaround colour printing on demand.
It is ideal due to the quality, speed and cost-effectiveness of modern digital print production equipment.
Digital printing is not only ideal for documents but also now the preferred option for printing small quantities of your business stationery and marketing literature.
Letterheads, business cards, brochures or leaflets can all be printed on various types and thickness of cards and papers to match the very best of litho printing – but without the problems or set-up costs associated with litho print.
Artwork Guidelines - Preparing Your Files for Document Printing
Digital printing is generally accepted as the preferred method to produce documents such as presentations, price lists, reports or training manuals.
It can not be matched for speed, quality and cost.
With document printing the pages will not normally bleed off. Therefore, printers bleed or crop marks should not be added. If you do want the print to bleed off the page you will need to obtain a Custom Quote.
Give careful consideration to reasonable margins and adjust pages accordingly for single or double-sided format if they are to be bound or numbered.
It is always safer to convert your file to PDF format. Even if you have the same version of the same software, the printer settings may change the page layout or number of pages.
Make sure all objects, such as fonts, logos and pictures, are embedded in the PDF.
And double-check page size (For example, we print on A4 rather than US Letter size paper) and then “print” the PDF. For more on Paper and Envelope sizes, we have a useful page on our Blog.
If you need more assistance - Click here for our instructions on 'How to Create a PDF'. We also have a useful page on our Blog giving a bit more information on how to prepare your artwork.
If you do not have a PDF printer you are able to download one free of charge from the Internet. For the last 10 years we have used Cute PDF and you can obtain this by going to our LINKS page.
Mixed Colour and Mono Pages
Many people think that if there is only a little bit of colour on the page then it should be counted as black and white. This is not the case. Any colour on the page at all means that we have to print the entire page in colour. Please be aware that with word processor documents, the word processor may automatically insert colour for specific things – for example, blue for web (hypertext) links.
If your document contains mixed pages we can prepare a Custom Quote as a mail order transaction. Our machines can detect mono pages in a mixed document so that you only pay for colour when you use colour.
Go through and check your document, and make sure that if you do not want the page to be printed in colour, then make sure that everything on the page is changed to black before sending the file to us.
We will check all files for the number of black and white and the number of colour pages and submit a Custom Quote.
Artwork Guidelines - Preparing Your File for Digital Printing
Things are a bit more complicated when preparing files for business stationery or marketing materials. However, you have no need to stress about whether your file has been saved in CMYK or RGB format or whether solids, tints and blends will reproduce effectively. Our digital print process can accept files in both formats very easily.
Here are some rules and things to avoid if you want business stationery or promotional marketing materials,
- Avoid using borders, especially for double sided artwork and where folding is required. It is difficult to register both sides perfectly and there is often a little movement when paper or card travels through the press. Be aware that your border may not be consistent throughout the finished product.
- Try and leave about 4mm from the edges of the design unless you want to bleed off the printing. Bleed and crop marks should always be added where artwork meets the edge of the page. If your artwork meets the edge of the page but has no bleed we may cut into your job.
- What you see on screen may not be good enough to print. Typical screen resolution is about 72dpi. Image files for digital printing should be 300dpi – ideally not much more, but certainly no less. Even if they look good on screen they may not look good when printed.
- Remember to flatten images and layers before you convert to PDF.
- Avoid using very thin fonts as this may cause registration and legibility problems. Font sizes below 8pt can become difficult to read. At least 10pt is recommended for good legibility in most documents.
- If you are given the option, select press-ready PDF or print-ready PDF rather than a screen-ready PDF option.
- The general rule is the better the quality, the larger the file size. Files should be as small as possible without compromising on quality. Files larger than 20mb may need to be compressed and may not go through our order process system. We will point you in the direction of a specialist file sending service if you need to send us a large file.
It is always worth checking prior to sending the file and, if possible, printing a single copy out on your own printed proof for any obvious problems.
If you do not have access to a printer or want to check the quality of the printed page or test the order process – simply go to our FREE TRIALpage and send a single page or the artwork for the digital file you want printed.
Complete your details and we will then print and return a sample by first class post.
There is no cost to this service.
If have a larger document and you need a complete proof copy prior to placing a large order – complete the order process inserting just “1” in the quantity box. The sample will be returned by courier and will be held on our system until you place an order.
In certain situations we are able to deduct the cost off the price of the actual order.
The advantage of a digital proof sample is that it will be the same as the finished job. However, machines are calibrated on a regular basis and this is sometimes likely to cause minor colour variations when jobs are printed at different times.