Printing Tips For You

Firstly thank you for taking the time to visit our printing website where you will find many tips on our pages and blogs about how to best construct your print files. Here are come comments from some of our printing pros along with one of my own. I hope you find them helpful.

Ira Blacker, Print Maestro

"Cardinal rule when doing any printing job with complex bindery: Work from the back to the front. Yes, in this case the caboose drives the commercial printing train. You would not want to design something that once printed cannot be bound. I have seen this done and it ain' t pretty! What you want to do is figure out what you want to end up with and plan from the finished product first.

Draft out our piece with not only the width and height, but the fold style, with printer marks above the image area (well out of the way especially for the high speed web presses), creep, which is the amount you add or subtract from each panel's successive fold so at the end of the day the fold is perfect with all panels being where they should be and not having art from one panel bleeding over into the next.

Think of the bindery type you are using: if perfect bound, know that you will need to slightly offset each of your pages away from the binding edge for a proper final visual effect. You would also not want to see any copy tucking into the bind area. If spiral bind know where the holds go and design away from them.

If your job is complicated then once you have your printing company in place, then send the file or a simple layout of your panels, folds, cuts, etc. to the pre pre press department for review in advance of your submitting finished art to the printing company."

Dave Ritchie, Foiling And Embossing Professional

"Foil stamping and embossing are excellent ways to upgrade the look of the piece you are printing. In order to achieve the desired effect, there needs to be good communication between the designer, printer and stamper. Some things to keep in mind when planning a foil job are:

Check with the stamper to see where the guide and gripper should be on the pre printed stock. Different foil presses may have different requirements.

Large solid areas combined with fine intricate areas may need to be run in two passes. The foil formulation needed to run one application may not work on the other.

If the foil is to stamp over litho, the ink and/or varnish must be wax free (never rubber based.)

Offset powder must be kept at a minimum when running the litho that will be stamped.

The only coating that foil will stick to is aqueous. If the piece is to be UV coated, it must be stamped prior to the coating.

Be aware that when you specify colors other than gold and silver that there are fewer adhesive formulations. Check to see that there is a formulation that is suitable for your application.

Foiled letterheads that are to be used in a laser printer should be tested prior to running the whole job. Different laser printer models run at various temperatures. None of the manufactures will guarantee that their foil with work 100% of the time."

Ralph Seguyan, Bindery Professional

"The printing companies or designers should consider the amount of creep on the signature for booklets of more than 12 pages. Avoid using blue ink, as much as possible, unless with aqueous. Blue ink seems to need more time to dry compared to other colors and it can create marking and offsetting during the bindery operation."

Michael Young, Pressman

  • "When needing a "DENSE" or "DARK" Black area in your 4-color printing layout instead of using a "Double Hit" of black ink creating a "5 th Color", consider using your primary colors as a base or foundation to achieve a richer/deeper Black by creating it with percentages of your primary colors.
  • Examples:
  • For "Neutral" Black create a custom color of 100% Black + 30% each of Yellow, Cyan & Magenta.
  • For "Cool" Black create a custom color of 100% Black + 50% Cyan + 15% each of Yellow & Magenta.
  • For "Warm" Black create a custom color of 100% Black + 60% Magenta + 20% Yellow + 10% Cyan."

Wayne Brown, Marketing & Copy Writing

"Generally, you should never put a price in a classified ad (on-line or off-line.) Price typically repels responses."

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