Printing Tips


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Common paper sizes

 

A0 – 841 x 1189
A1 – 594 x 841

A2 – 420 x 594

A3 – 297 x 420

A4 – 210 x 297

A5 – 148 x 210

A6 – 105 x 148

 

Measurements are in mm.

 

Spot and Full Colour Printing

 

A common misconception is that spot colour printing is more cost effective than full colour printing. These days full colour printing is just as economical (sometimes more so) as most printers are setup primarily for full colour printing. Full colour allows your design to really grab attention and reach its full potential. Spot colour is perfect for projects that require a specific colour set but many clients still think that they should purposefully restrict their colour selection to gain a cost advantage. This is just not the case anymore. That aside, if you are going to do something you might as well do it right the first time and not cut corners! You will be glad you did.

 

Resolution and Colour

 

When printing you should always ensure your images are high resolution. The difference between print quality and web quality is that web is designed to load quickly and is usually reduced in quality and/or size. The common website image resolution used is 72dpi. When it comes to printing you need to ensure images are at 300dpi in the full size you want to print in. Anything smaller results in blurry or unclear images and spoils the print project. Printing also relies on the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) combination whilst computer viewing uses RGB (red, green, blue). Ensure you convert your images to suit the platform you are working with.

 

Paper Stock

 

Paper comes with different finishes which can be divided into glossy/shiny or matte. They also come in different weights. To top these elements off you can also add a gloss or matte cello glaze to finish off. This can act as a level of protection and add life to a print project. It also adds to the end finish and quality. To give you some examples that you may have seen previously – business cards are often printed on a 300 – 350gsm stock, this is quite a firm card stock and are at times finished off with a gloss or matt cello which adds a super-glossy/shiny finish or smooth texture. You will also find if a cello glazed business card goes through the washing machine that it will still be in tact at the end (maybe in two halves but not in a million pieces like a tissue or piece of paper)! Standard promotional brochures are typically printed on a 130gsm standard glossy paper stock. This is the most economical option and most commercial printers have bulk quantities in stock for generic runs.

 

For those with larger budgets there is the option of specialized paper stocks. Companies like Doggett, Raleigh and various other paper stockists supply a comprehensive range of options including textured, environmental and coloured. This is a wonderful idea for pieces that have a long life span or need to make a huge impact and demand attention.

 

Digital V’s Offset Printing

Generally digital is the cost effective option for print runs of 500 or less. You do not need such a high resolution for digital and it has a faster turn-around. Offset is the way to go if you want a high quality finish, print more than 500 copies and usually takes around 5 business days to produce. Offset printing does require correct file setup, high resolution and CMYK setup.

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