FAQ Knowledge Base

We realise that not everyone is an expert when it comes to buying print and we are here to hold your hand through the process. Here are some of the most frequently asked subjects we get asked about, which we will build on over time.


Setting up and saving artwork

We can acceptable artwork files in the following formats:
• High resolution PDF - fonts must be embedded or outlined
• Quark
• Adobe Indesign
• Photoshop
• Illustrator
If supplying in open file format all linked fonts and images must also be supplied.

Before starting artwork you should decide how the job will be printed as different printing processes and papers will have an impact on the finished results. For example if printing on uncoated paper solid areas of colour may cause drying or picking issues. We would prefer you to give us a call early on to discuss your project if you are at all unsure.

Setting up artwork - the basics
Artwork should be set up as readers spreads, i.e., how it will appear to the reader. The page size must be the exact size of the trimmed and finished object (there are exceptions - such as folders). 3mm bleed and crop marks are needed to allow for the tolereances of finishing and trimming. These must not be included in the document measurements but should exist outside of the printing area.

Image resolution should be at a minimum 300 dpi at 100% size as it appears on the page and to avoid unpredictable colour changes images should be converted to CMYK - not supplied as RGB screen colours.

Saving Files
Files should be saved as individual pages not as spreads. It is preferable that your files are saved as PDFs as this is the safest way of transferring content however the pdf must be press-ready quality

Using cutter guides
If creating a job with cutters, such as a folder, cutter guides should be set up as a spot colour not as part of the CMYK and must be set to overprint.

Paper Types

The two most common paper types used today are Coated and Uncoated.


Typical use - stationery
Uncoated simply means that the paper has no added layer on the surface, but is completely natural, although, the surface may be sized with starch. Uncoated papers are generally whiter than coated papers.

Uncoated paper is absorbent, so inks, varnishes, and coatings perform differently than on coated papers. Because the surfaces are not coated ink tends to be absorbed into the paper, this means that images are not as crisp and tend to be flatter than on coated materials. However, today there are also some high grade ultra smooth surfaces to uncoated stock.

Coated Paper

Typical use - brochures, leaflets flyers
Coated paper has a PCC, china clay, pigment or adhesive coating, which fills the miniscule pits between the fibres in the base paper, giving it a smooth, flat surface. This improves the opacity, lustre and colour-absorption ability, which means that generally images produce sharper and brighter and it has better reflectivity than uncoated paper. The coating can be gloss, matte, or other finishes.

Because coated paper is smoother and has better ink holdout it is more suitable for certain types of overprint finishing techniques such as varnish, laminates or special finishes.