How to Print my file

I don’t understand print, or what I need, can I talk to someone?

Yes! If you are not sure which product type best works for you or are confused about ordering online, please get in touch with us and our friendly staff will be happy to help.

What is gsm?

gsm means grams per square metre. The lower the gsm, the thinner the paper/card stock and the higher the gsm, the thicker the paper/card stock.
A typical standard paper you would use in your home or office printer would be 80-90gsm. A letter head or with compliments slip are generally 100gsm. Standard brochures, flyers or handouts are typically 150-200gsm. Premium flyers, brochures, invitations and postcards are between 200-300gsm. Business cards start at 300gsm to 350gsm and for premium cards go from 400 to 600gsm for specialty cards.
Posters range from 150gsm to 220gsm in general depending on the size and purpose.
If you are unsure what gsm is best for you and your project, we are happy to help or recommend the most suitable for you.

 

What is bleed?

Bleed is area where an image or object of colour runs off the edge of the page (leaving no white border). The minimum required bleed amount (or extra that the image or object passes over the edge of the page) is 3mm on each side.

For more information on bleed, visit our ‘Print Specifications’ page.

What are trim marks?

Trim marks are lines that tell the printer where the edge of the page is (i.e where the page is to be cut). This is particularly important if your file has bleed (see below). 
If your file does not have bleed you may not need to include trim marks and the file can be final size. Trim mark lines are on the outside of the page and are usually automatically placed by the software you use to create your print ready PDF. 

For more information about trim marks, see our ‘Print Specifications’ page.

What are PMS colours

PMS colours are colours form the Pantone Colour Matching System©™. They are an internationally recognised standard for colours in the print industry.
PMS colours are used to ensure consistent colour matching for specific colours, most commonly used for corporations to retain constant colour of their brand and image.
Depending on the process used to print, choosing a PMS colour from the PANTONE swap book can insure your colours print how you envisioned. 
On most printing jobs, CMYK colours (see CMYK above) are used to produce all colours. This means that PMS colours may not be exactly as seen in the pantone swap book but will be matched as closely as possible. If you require a definite PMS colour in your file, please specify this in your communication and ‘contact us’ for a custom quote.

What are CMYK and RGB colours?

CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black). These 4 colours are used in combination in print to lay onto white paper to produce almost any colour required. No colours produce nothing (white), all the colours combined create black and every combination in-between create all the colours you see on the page.

RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue. These 3 colours are used for all TV, screen and light based colour on a black screen. No colours produces nothing (black) and all colours at full intensity produce white, with every combination in-between creating all the colours we see.

As there are fundamentally different ways to create the colours we see, when RBG images are converted to CMYK during the printing process, some colour changes and undesirable outcomes can occur.
It is always recommended to convert all colours to CMYK for most printing products for best results. However, there are some exceptions; RBG produces the most vibrant colours for large large format printing such as Posters.

If you are unsure on what colour space your files or images are or what colour space to use for your project, please Contact Us and we will be happy to check your files and/or advise the best colour space to use for your project.

What are high resolution images?

To print sharp and clear images, they need to be in high resolution. The standard is 300dpi (dots/pixels per inch). In general, images downloaded from the internet are low resolution; they might look great on the display screen, however they will look pixelated (blurry or fuzzy) when printed.

You can check the resolution of your image file in photoshop or other photo editing programs or by simply doing the following:

On a PC: Right click on the file > select ‘Properties’ > select the ‘Details’ tab, scroll down and note the Image Resolution horizontal/vertical.

On a Mac: Open the image in preview > press Apple/command + I  OR  go to ‘Tools’ > ‘show inspector’ and note the ‘image DPI’.

If an image is 72dpi at final size, it is only suitable to be viewed on screen or on the web. Large format posters can be around 200dpi (depending on the image and text used on the image) but in general all print files should be 300dpi.

If you are unsure whether your images are high resolution or will be suitable for print, we are more than happy to check your files. Simply send us your image files and our friendly staff will be able to verify this for you.

What is Rich Black and why do I need it?

Rich black is a combination of 40% cyan, 30% magenta, 30% yellow and 100% Key (black).Rich black is used for large black images or objects to ensure a nice deep solid black. 100% black on its own isn’t always enough to produce this so we add 40C, 30M and 30Y to boost the richness of the black. 

IMPORTANT: Rich black should NEVER be used on text or thin lines or objects. 100% of all 4 CMYK colours should never be used as well. 
A rich black can be created by creating a new spot colour in Indesign/Illustrator and setting the values to 40c, 30m, 30y, 100k

If you are unsure of how or when to use a rich black, please ask us or visit the ‘Print Specifications’ page for more information.

What are Templates?

Templates are downloadable PDF files that you can use to setup your artwork to fit our die cut presentation folders, envelope sizes etc. For more information, see 'How do i use the templates' question below.

How do I use the templates?

Ready made Templates can be found in the Product Information Page and the Presentation Folders product page. Once you find a template that meets your requirements, click on the blue button to download the PDF template file. Import the PDF file as a layer into your design program to design your artwork with.

If you can't find a template you want or have any issues downloading a template or are unsure of how to use them, please get in touch with us and our friendly staff will be happy to help.

What are print ready PDFs?

Print ready PDFs is a term used to describe how the file is setup and saved.

To achieve best print results, your print file must contain bleed, trim marks, high resolution images, fonts converted to outlines or embedded and transparencies set as required. 

For more information, visit our 'Print Specifications' page to download 'PDF present settings' and view 'Export to PDF' instructions.

What if I need help or advice on ordering or my files?

Check out our ‘Print Specifications’ page for more information about printing and step by step instructions on how to set up your files.
We understand that Print can be stressful and knowing the right stock type, finishing, paper weight, etc. can be confusing to a lot of people, however we are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Get in touch with us and one of our friendly staff will be happy to help.

What if the product I need is not listed on the site?

We offer a vast range of standard products that we currently list online, however we also have unlisted products to suit all your specific needs. So if you need a product that isn’t listed on our website or a quantity different from the options available or a different stock type/finishing, please get in touch with us and we can provide you with a quote.

Can I order different quantities than the options available on the site?

Yes! If you require a quantity that isn't available in the pull down option, please Contact Us. We will provide you a quick quote to meet your specific needs.

How do payments work.

Standard products ordered online:
Once you have chosen your desired product, filled out the required information and uploaded your artwork, you will be taken to the checkout page. You must pay for the product in full before your printing can commence. 

Custom jobs with a custom quote:
Custom quote jobs require the quote to be approved first. Once approved, you will receive an invoice, which must be paid in full before printing can commence. 

How long will my order take to be delivered?

Delivery times will depend on product type, quantity and the complexity of the order (for eg: finishing or special print effects). 

For simple product printing (for eg: Standard business cards), you can expect delivery in 2-3 business day.
For complex and labour intense products (for eg: foiling, boolets, speciality finishing), we estimate delivery between 5-7 business days. 
Products that require Foils can take up to 7-10 business days for delivery.

If you require a product by a certain date, please Contact Us for a more accurate estimate.

What if I realise an error in my file after I have sent an order?

Contact us’ immediately! 

In most cases once an order is received and verified, it gets sent into production. Depending on what stage of production the job is, it may be possible to stop and hold the job before being printed. 
Unfortunately, sometimes if the job is already in production we are unable to stop it in time.
If you need to make a correction or supply a new file for printing, an admin and file prep fee may apply. Please refer to our ‘Terms and Conditions’ for more information.

What if there is a problem with my job when I receive it?

Even though we do everything to ensure you job is exactly how you envisioned it, on the rare occasion there may be issues with your final printed product.
If you find a problem, whether it be wrong stock type, image corruption, colour issues or damage to the printed product, please notify us immideately.
If we determine that The Print Co. is at fault, we will rectify the problem and have your job reprinted as soon as we can and deliver back to you at no cost.
In some cases, we may need to request photo evidence or verification by returning part or the full job back to The Print Co.

Please see our ‘Terms and Conditions’ for more information.

5 simple steps to 'Print My File'

Step 1
From the home page, click on the 'Instant price' button

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Step 2
Then select the product type you wish to print from the dropdowns

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Step 3
Now choose your printing options from the dropdown lists. Once all the options have been selected, a price will appear underneath for your print job.

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Step 4
Upload you print ready file by dragging it onto the area to upload files or by clicking on the area and then choosing your file from your computer.
Once the file has uploaded (keep in mind that large files may take some time to upload depending on your internet connection) you can click 'Add to cart'.

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Step 5
This will bring you to the checkout section where you can complete the checkout or return to shopping.

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File specifications for 'print ready files'

All files should be sent as PDF files with the following specifications

Bleed - 3mm (see bleed section below for more information)

Trim/crop marks (see trim marks section below for more information)

High resolution images - 300dpi (see high resolution images  section below for more information)

Outlined Text - Text/fonts converted to outlines or curves  (see fonts section below for more information)

Colours - set to CMYK (unless otherwise specified)  (see colours section below for more information)

Spot UV/Scodix/Foiling setups included (if applicable)  (see Spot UV/Scodix section below for more information)

For step-by-step instructions on how to export a print ready PDF file, please see instructions below on how to export your PDF correctly for print.
Download The Print Co PDF Presets File

Export to PDF (Print Ready PDF)

Step by step instructions on how to set up acrobat job settings and exporting.
Please follow these instructions on how to export your PDF correctly for print.
Download PDF Presets File for Importing

Download PDF job options in the link above (these are the recommended settings for use with The Print Co.) to import into Indesign or Illustrator, or use the values and options shown further below (from step 5).

Step 1:

 File -> Adobe PDF presets -> Define...

Step 2:   

Click on Load...

Step 3:

Select the PDF job options downloaded from the link above

Step 4:

Once the job options loads, click done

Step 5:

File -> Export...

Step 6:

Name your file -> Save

Step 7:

Select 'The Print Co_PDF Export' in Adobe PDF Preset dropdown

**if you did not download 'The Print Co_PDF export' job options, please skip this step and go to Step 8

Step 8:

•If you are using 'The Print Co_PDF Export' then you can click export to create your print ready PDF. You are done!

•If you did not import 'The Print Co_PDF Export' job options, continue by following these steps. Select the same values in each tab before exporting

General Tab:

Step 9:

Compression Tab:

Step 10:

Marks and Bleeds Tab:

Step 11:

Output Tab:

Step 12:

Advanced Tab:


Once you have set all of these settings, you can click on Export to create your Print Ready File! You are done!

Trim Marks / Crop Marks

What are they and how do they work?

Trim marks or crop marks must be included on your print ready file.
These marks indicate where the file will be trimmed. Trim marks are usually automatically setup during exporting your file to PDF.

Bleed

What is bleed and why do I need it?

Bleed is a printing term that is used to describe images or elements that touch the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge and leaving no white margin.  A commercial printer cannot print right to the edge of a sheet of paper. In other words, there's really no such thing as "borderless" printing on a commercial press. In order to combat this, you print a little over the edge of the design. It must be printed on a larger sheet of paper and then trimmed down.

The example below shows how a document should be set up with bleed. This is the way you must set up your document if you intend to have graphics that extend all the way to the edges of the cut item. 

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High Resolution Images

What's the difference between high and low res images?

We require all images to be 300dpi and of good quality. If these requirements are not met then we cannot guarantee the quality of the printed image.\
For images to print looking sharp and clear, they need to be high resolution. The standard is 300dpi (dots/pixels per inch). In general, images downloaded from the internet are low resolution and, even though they look great on screen, they will look pixelated (blurry or fuzzy) when printed. 
You can check the resolution of a file in photoshop or other photo editing programs or you can simply do the following:

On a PC: right click on the file > select ‘Properties’ > select the ‘Details’ tab, scroll down to where is says image resolution horizontal/vertical.

On a Mac: Open the image in preview > press Apple/command + I  OR  go to ‘Tools’ > ‘show inspector’, here you will see ‘image DPI’.

If an image that is 72dpi at final size, the image is only good to be viewed on screen or for the web. Large format posters can be around 200dpi (depending on the image and text used on the image) but in general all print files should be 300dpi.
If you are unsure if your images are high resolution or will be fine to print, we are more than happy to check your files. Simply send us your image/file and we can verify this for you before you send for print.

high resolution and low resolution

Colours

Can my file be RGB or must it be CMYK? What if I need a pantone colour?

All colours must be set to CMYK.
RGB colours will be converted and may vary from desired colour.
PMS or PANTONE colours should be converted to CMYK unless you require a specific colour for your print. In this case, please contact us for a custom quote.

What is CMYK?

CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black). These 4 colours are used in combination for print to overlay onto white paper to produce almost any colour required. No colours produce nothing (white), all the colours combined create black, and every combination in-between create all the colours we see.

What is CMYK
What is RGB?

RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue. These 3 colours are used for all TV, screen and light based colour on a black screen. No colours produces nothing (black) and all colours at full intensity produce white, with every combination in-between creating all the colours we see.

Because of these fundamentally different ways to create the colours we see, when RBG images are converted to CMYK during the printing process, some colour changes and undesirable outcomes can occur. (see example below)

It is always recommended to convert all colours to CMYK for most printing products for the best results.

There are some exceptions to this. In large format inkjet printing for posters etc. can be best left as RBG for the most vibrant colours.

If you are unsure on what colour space your files or images are or what colour space to use for your project, please ask us and we will be happy to check your files and/or advise the best colour space to use for your project.

What is RGB?
RGB Image on Screen
CMYK to RBG conversion
RGB image print result not converted to CMYK before print
CMYK to RBG conversion
What are PMS or PANTONE colours?

PMS colours are colours form the Pantone Colour Matching System©™. They are an internationally recognised standard for colours in the print industry.

PMS colours are used to insure consistent colour matching for specific colours, most commonly used for corporations to retain constant colour of their brand and image.
Depending on the process used to print, choosing a PMS colour from the PANTONE swap book can insure your colours print how you envisioned. 

On most printing jobs, CMYK colours (see CMYK above) are used to produce all colours. This means that PMS colours may not be exactly as seen in the pantone swap book but will be matched as closely as possible. If you require a definite PMS colour in your file, you must specify this and ‘ contact us ’ for a custom quote.

 

HIW_Pantone-colour-chart

Fonts

How to prepare my file so that the fonts print as I would like?

All fonts must be converted to outlines (recommended) or embedded to ensure the correct font prints on your job. Failure to do this may result in a default font being used to replace a missing font.

To convert your font to outlines (also known as creating outlines):
In Illustrator or Indesign -  simply select all the text in the document, then click Type -> create outlines.

Please note:   After converting your text to outlines, you will no longer be able to edit this text. Please ensure you keep a saved copy of your files before converting to outlines so that you can edit the text later if you ever need to. Converting to outlines should only be done when the file is final and you are saving the print document for the printer.

Rich Black

What is “rich black” and why do I need it?

Rich black is a combination of 40% cyan, 30% magenta, 30% yellow and 100% Key (black).

Rich black is used for large black images or object to ensure a nice deep solid black. 100% black on its own isn’t always enough to produce this so we add 40c, 30m and 30y to boost the richness of the black. Rich black should NEVER be used on black text or thin lines or objects, these should always be 100% black only.

Also, 100% of all 4 colours should never be used.
A rich black can be created by creating a new spot colour in indesign/Illustrator and setting the values to 40c, 30m, 30y, 100k
See instructions below.
 

Example of 100% black Vs Rich Black

What is Rich black

Step 1:

Window -> Swatches

Step 2:

Click drop down on top right corner of Swatch window -> New Swatch...

Step 3:

Name Swatch with 'Rich Black'

Set values to 40c, 30m, 30y, 100k

Step 4:

Fill object with the new swatch 'Rich Black'

Spot UV

What is Spot UV, how I can use it and how do I set it up?

A Spot UV coating or "varnish" is applied to chosen spots (areas), of a printed card. This has the affect of highlighting and drawing attention to that part of the design, but it also provides the additional visual stimulus of having varied textures on a single printed surface

How to setup artwork for Spot UV:

  • With your artwork open in Indesign, create a new layer for the Spot UV application.
  • Select the images/objects you wish to make Spot UV and duplicate them to the new Spot UV layer.
  • Create a NEW colour swatch and name it “Spot UV”, set the fill to 100% 
  • Select all objects to be Spot UV and convert them to the “Spot Colour” by selecting it in the swatch panel.
  • Spot UV elements should all be set to 100% Opacity.
  • IMPORTANT - All objects to be Spot UV must be set to “Overprint Fill” in the Attributes palette (Window/Output Attributes).
  • Make sure you verify “Overprint Preview” from the ‘View’ menu to CHECK your artwork.
  • Export the Spot UV layer - this is done by turning off all layers except the new Spot UV layer, then export as a single PDF with all trim marks.
  • Proceed to export the CMYK file by turning off the Spot UV layer, then export all CMYK layers with trim marks.
  • For BUSINESS CARD or SINGLE Page - Combine both Spot UV pdf and the CMYK pdf into a SINGLE PDF - with the last page being the Spot UV.

It is important to make sure that this ‘Spot layer’ exported PDF file is identical in all respects to (size, orientation, crop, position of images and text etc.) to your original CMYK artwork.

Things to Avoid - UV varnish can sometimes shift slightly when applied. Avoid applying UV to thin lines, small text or finely detailed artwork. 

Spot UV
Spot UV

SCODIX

What is Scodix, how I can use it and how do I set it up?

Scodix is a print finish that adds a luxury look and feel to ordinary print runs by producing a raised ink experience. This could be clear, gold or silver. It is a digital enhancement printed on top of an image after the printing and laminating process.

SCODIX looks best when you follow some basic design fundamentals where often LESS can be MORE when adding SCODIX to your design.

There are a few rules to follow to achieve the best result when applying SCODIX.

Trim Areas

  • SCODIX High Build cannot bleed outside of trim area. (Please leave 3mm from the edge of the SCODIX application to the product trim area)

Score Lines

  • SCODIX High Build cannot be applied over the score/fold areas of a Presentation Folder. (Please leave 3mm from the SCODIX application to the product score/fold area)

Business Cards

  • SCODIX Business Card options are only available at 90 x 55mm trim size.

Supplying Final Artwork

  • When supplying final artwork, SCODIX artwork should be supplied as an extra PDF set as 100% Spot Colour named ‘Scodix’. See instructions below

Things to Avoid

  • For the best effects, avoid applying SCODIX to thin lines, small text or finely detailed artwork.

How to Setup Your Files

  • Open your artwork in Indesign
  • Create a new layer for the SCODIX separation
  • Select the elements you wish to enhance and duplicate them to the new SCODIX layer
  • Create a new colour swatch and name it 'Scodix'
  • Select colour type "Spot Colour", and convert all SCODIX elements to this spot colour
  • SCODIX elements are all set to 100% Opacity
  • Export this SCODIX layer as a single PDF with all trim marks
Scodix
Scodix

Business Cards

Brochures

Flyers / Invitations

Envelopes

Posters

Letterheads

Booklets

Cards

Postcards


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