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Frequently Asked Questions


Have you ever had a question and either didn't know where to find the answer or were too afraid to ask? If so, you've come to the right place.

As the name would suggest, this section is a compilation of answers to the questions our clients commonly ask. To find an answer, just start by following one of the links below.

  1. How do I go about getting an estimate from you?

    Simply use our online estimate request form by clicking here. Otherwise, the best way to ensure that we get all the information necessary to do an accurate quote is to give us a call and speak with one of our customer service representatives.

  2. How well will what I see on my monitor match what I see on paper?

    The technology of design, layout and printing has come a long way to the point where much of the work is done in a WSYWIG (What You See Is What You Get) digital environment. However, there are sometimes noticeable differences in colour calibration and spatial conformity from monitor to monitor and consequently from screen to print.

    The process for minimizing any variance begins with adjusting your monitor for optimal colour and clarity according to the manufacturer's recommendations as outlined within its product manual or website. Doing this will alleviate a number of potential issues.

    Beyond that, for the greatest conformity in colour from screen to print, there are tools available that will ensure exact colour calibration. Perhaps you have already invested in such a tool. If so, let us know what you use and we'll work with you to achieve the best results. If you are considering investing in a colour calibration tool, talk to us first and we'll be happy to offer our advice.

  3. Is white considered a printing colour?

    No. White is not generally considered a printing colour as typically the paper itself will be white. If a coloured paper (something other than white) is chosen, then white becomes a printing colour if any text or graphics require it.

  4. What are Pantone colours?

    Pantone colours refer to the Pantone Matching System (PMS), a colour matching system used by the printing industry whereby printing colours are identified by a unique name or number (as opposed to just a visual reference). This helps make sure that colours turn out the same from system to system, and print run to print run.

  5. What are the different grades of paper and their respective basis weight?

    The basis weight of a given grade of paper is defined as the weight (in grams per square metre - ie: gsm) 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 are 80gsm, 100gsm or 120gsm for stationery.

    Text: A high-quality grade paper with a lot of surface texture. Basis weights range from 100gsm to 150gsm.

    Uncoated Cardstock (ie: for Business Cards, etc.): The most common grade for offset printing. Typically is either 280, 300, 310 or 350gsm.

    Coated Flyer Stock: Has a glossy finish that yields vivid colours and overall excellent reproduction. Basis weights range from 120, 150, 200gsm.

    Cover: Used in creating business cards, postcards and book covers. Can be either coated or uncoated. Basis weights for this grade are 250, 280, 300 up to 360gsm.

  6. What are the most common business envelope sizes?

    Business envelope sizes are referenced by a letter and a number. The chart below indicates the most common sizes in use today:

    SizeWidth x Length
    DL110mm x 220mm"
    DLX120mm x 235mm
    C6114mm x 162mm
    C5229mm x 162mm
    C4324mm x 229mm
    B4353mm x 250mm
    #10 :Larger 'Foolscap Size'
    #11 :380mm x 255mm
  7. What are the most common card stocks used for postcards?

    The most common card stocks used for postcards are:

    300gsm stock coated (Uncoated) on both sides: The most popular postcard stock.

    300gsm stock coated (Gloss Cast Coat) on one side: Well suited to mailing with a Hi-gloss on one side.

    300gsm stock coated (Gloss) on both sides: a premium paper with a high luster finish.

  8. What are the most common sizes for brochures?

    Common brochure sizes are DL (210mm x 99mm), A5 (210mm x 148mm), A4 (297mm x 210mm) and A3 folded to A4 (flat size 420mm x 297mm).

  9. What are the most common sizes for catalogs and booklets?

    Standard sizes for catalogs and booklets are A4 (297mm x 210mm) or A3 (420mm x 297mm). These are finished sizes but can have multiple pages.

  10. What are the most popular sizes for sticky notepads?

    The most popular size for sticky notes: 75mm x 75mm

  11. What are the standard sizes for postcards?

    Postcards are found in two common sizes: A6 (148mm x 105mm) or DL (210mm x 99mm).

  12. What are the types of bindings I can use for multi-page projects?

    Some of the common methods of binding books and other multi-page documents include:

    Perfect binding: Gluing the outside edges of the pages together to create a flat edge.

    Saddle-stitch binding: Using staples along the folds of the pages to bind them together.

    Spiral Wire binding: Wires in a spiral form threaded through punched holes along the binding edge of the papers. Allows the document to lay open flatly.

    Plastic comb binding: Similar to spiral binding but using a tubular plastic piece with teeth that fit through rectangular holes punched into the binding edge.

    Three-ring binding: Holes are punched into the pages and fitted into a binder.

  13. What different types of materials can be 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.

    Acetate: Use when the label needs to be transparent.

    Mylar/Polyester: Best for applications where the label needs to be applied to an object with sharp, angular corners.

  14. What does "camera ready" mean?

    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.

  15. What is a "proof"?

    A proof is a way of ensuring that we have set your type accurately and that everything is positioned according to your requirements. Typically, we will produce a proof which will be sent to you online or printed on paper which can be viewed in our store or delivered to you in person.

    On multiple colour jobs, we can produce a colour proof on our colour output device to show how the different colours will appear.

  16. 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 colours 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.

    Typically, we will produce a proof that will be sent to you online in PDF format or on printed paper, which can be either viewed in our store or delivered to you in person. For multiple-colour jobs, we can produce a proof on our output device to show you how the different colours will appear on the final product.

    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.

  17. What is colour separation?

    Colour separation is the process of separating a coloured graphic or photograph into its primary colour components in preparation for printed reproduction. For example, to print a full colour 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-colour plate puts onto the paper the exact amount of ink needed at exactly the right spot. As the different coloured wet inks are applied, they blend together to create the rich and infinite pallet of complex colours needed to reproduce the original image.

  18. What is halftone printing?

    Halftone printing converts a continuous tone (solid areas of black or colour) 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.

  19. What is the best file format for submitting a document for printing?

    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.

  20. What is the difference between coated and uncoated paper stock?

    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 colours. It tends to be more expensive, however.

  21. What requirements does Australia Post have for envelopes?

    There are many Australia Post requirements to keep in mind when designing an envelope:

    Please check directly with Australia Post or you can discuss your requirements with us prior to designing.

  22. At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics?

    Resolution should be set to 300 dpi.

    Pictures and graphics pulled from the internet are often low resolution, typically 72 dpi or 96 dpi. Avoid these graphics, as they will appear pixilated and blocky when printed.

    Also note that you should save all photos in CMYK mode, not RGB mode when possible. Images saved in RGB mode may not print properly.