Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the answers to the most common questions we get asked.

How long will it take to complete your order?
Every job is different. Some jobs can be produced in minutes while some may take several days to complete. Let us know when you need your job completed and we’ll let you know if it can be done. We go to great lengths to meet even your most demanding timelines.
What is the best file format to submit?
The Portable Document Format (PDF) is generally the preferred file format for submitting a document for printing as it works with virtually all professional printing and digital output devices. By design, a PDF file incorporates the information needed to maintain document consistency from system to system. Most other file formats such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Microsoft Word are easily converted to PDF format. Should I compress my files using programs like WinZip and StuffIt? If you use our online file upload form, your files will be compressed automatically. If you’re sending your files via E-mail or FTP, then compressing large files before sending is a great idea. This allows your document and all supporting files and fonts to be included into one easy to handle file while reducing overall file size.
What is bleed?
Bleed is required to ensure edge-to-edge colour on your final product. Any background colours or images need to expand your final size by 3mm on all sides to allow for any movement on the guillotine. Please click here to go to our guide on bleed
Accordion Panel
In the digital age of printing, it means that an image file submitted for printing is ready to be transferred to the printing plates without any alterations.
What are the different grades of paper and basis weight?

The basis weight of a given grade of paper is defined as the weight (in pounds) of 500 standard-sized sheets of that paper. With that in mind, here are different examples of paper grades and their respective basis weights:

  • Bond: Most commonly used for letterhead, business forms and copying. Typical basis weights are16# for forms, 20# for copying and 24# for stationery.
  • Text: A high-quality grade paper with a lot of surface texture. Basis weights range from 60# to 100# with the most common being 70# or 80#.
  • Uncoated Book: The most common grade for offset printing. Typically 50# to 70#.
  • Coated Book: Has a glossy finish that yields vivid colors and overall excellent reproduction. Basis weights range from 30# to 70# for web press, and 60# to 110# for sheet press.
  • Cover: Used in creating business cards, postcards and book covers. Can be either coated or uncoated. Basis weights for this grade are 60#, 65#, 80# or 100#.
What is the difference between coated and uncoated paper
Uncoated stock paper is comparatively porous and inexpensive, and is typically used for such applications as newspaper print and basic black-and-white copying. Coated stock, by contrast, is made of higher quality paper having a smooth glossy finish that works well for reproducing sharp text and vivid colors. It tends to be more expensive, however.
What different materials are used for labels?
Materials for labels and their application include:
  • Paper, Uncoated: Use where you need the label to be easily written on by hand or printed on by machine.
  • Paper, High Gloss: Use when you need good printability. Keep in mind that it cannot be written on easily by hand.
  • Vinyl: Use vinyl for outdoor environments, or if applying a label to a vinyl surface.
What is CMYK?
CMYK is also referred to as ‘Full colour printing’ or ‘Four colour printing’ and is the most commonly used printing technique. The system uses 4 colour primary colours as its base – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK – with various combinations of these 4 it is possible to produce virtually every colour you can imagine!
What are pantone colours?
Pantone colors refer to the Pantone Matching System (PMS), a color matching system used by the printing industry whereby printing colors are identified by a unique name or number (as opposed to just a visual reference). This helps make sure that colors turn out the same from system to system, and print run to print run.
Is white considered a printing colour?
No. White is not generally considered a printing color as typically the paper itself will be white. If a colored paper (something other than white) is chosen, then white becomes a printing color if any text or graphics require it.
What is colour separation?
Color separation is the process of separating a colored graphic or photograph into its primary color components in preparation for printed reproduction. For example, to print a full color photo with an offset printing press, we would create four separate printing plates each accounting for one of the four basic printing inks (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) needed to reproduce the image. As the paper is fed through the press, each single-color plate puts onto the paper the exact amount of ink needed at exactly the right spot. As the different colored wet inks are applied, they blend together to create the rich and infinite pallet of complex colors needed to reproduce the original image.
Why do colours on screen look different from printed colours?
In short, printers and monitors produce colors in very different ways. Monitors use the RGB (red, green, blue) color model, which usually supports a wider spectrum of colors. Printers use the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) color model, which can reproduce most—but not all—of the colors in the RGB color model. Depending on the equipment used, CMYK generally matches 85–90% of the colors in the RGB model.
What is the difference between 'digital' and 'litho' printing?
Digital printing allows a job to go directly from a computer file, straight to the plate, eliminating the need for films. This makes digital printing very quick to produce, which is whey we offer a 24 hour turnaround on all of our digital non folded work. If you order by noon of any weekday, we will produce your job and dispatch it that afternoon for next day delivery. Alternatively, lithographic or ‘litho’ printing is a process where a plate is specially coated so ink only sticks to dry areas of the plate. The inked image is then transferred, or offset on to a rubber blanket, which then makes an impression on the paper
What is halftone printing?
Halftone printing converts a continuous tone (solid areas of black or color) photograph or image into a pattern of different size dots that simulate continuous tone. When examining the page closely, you will see a series of dots spaced slightly apart. At a normal viewing distance, however, the spacing between dots becomes essentially invisible to the eye and what you see is a continuous tone.
What is a proof and why is it needed?
A proof is a one-off copy of your printed document used for visual inspection to ensure that the layout and colors of your document are exactly how they are intended to be. A proof is made prior to sending the document to the press for final printing. Your approval on the final proof is the best assurance you have that every aspect of our work and your own is correct, and that everything reads and appears the way you intended. Mistakes can and sometimes do happen. It benefits everyone if errors are caught in the proofing process rather than after the job is completed and delivered.
Will you match a sample I print out
Due to varying technologies used in printing, there is no guarantee that your completed document will match your printed sample. This is due mainly to the varying results from different output devices such as inkjet, bubblejet and laser printers and offset press prints. Even from one commercial printing firm to another, there can be wide differences in results. In an effort to match the color you are looking for, we require that a proof be approved of color printed documents before printing the complete job.