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FAQs

 

  • Print and Pre-Press Terminology

    • Accordion fold
      Bindery term, two or more parallel folds which open like an accordion
    • Against the grain
      At right angles to direction of paper grain.
    • Alteration
      Change in copy of specifications after production has begun.
    • Artboard
      Alternate term for mechanical art
    • Author's corrections
      Also know as "AC's". Changed and additions in copy after it has been typeset.
    • Back up
      Printing the second side of a sheet already printed on one side
    • Banding
      Method of packaging printed pieces of paper using rubber or paper bands.
    • Bind
      To fasten sheets or signatures with wire, thread, glue. or by other means.
    • Bindery
      The finishing department of a print shop or firm specializing in finishing printed products.
    • Blanket
      The thick rubber mat on a printing press that transfers ink from the plate to paper.
    • Bleed
      Printing that goes to the edge of the sheet after trimming.
    • Blind embossing
      An image pressed into a sheet without ink or foil
    • Blueline
      A blue photographic proof used to check position of all image elements
    • Board
      Alternate term for mechanical
    • Bond & carbon
      Business form with paper and carbon paper
    • Bond paper
      Strong durable paper grade used for letterheads and business forms
    • Break for colour
      Also known as a colour break. To separate mechanically or by software the parts to be printed in different colours
    • Brightness
      The brilliance or reflectance of paper.
    • Bulk
      Thickness of paper stock in thousandths of an inch or number of pages per inch.
    • Bulk pack
      Boxing printed product without wrapping or banding.
    • Burn
      Exposing a printing plate to high intensity light or placing an image on a printing plate by light.
    • Butt
      Joining images without overlapping
    • Butt fit
      Printed colours that overlap one row of dots so they appear to butt.
    • Carbonless
      Pressure sensitive writing paper that does not use carbon.
    • Calliper
      Paper thickness in thousandths of an inch
    • Camera-ready copy
      Print ready mechanical art
    • Case bind
      A type of binding used in making hard cover books using glue
    • Cast coated
      Coated paper with a high gloss reflective finish.
    • Coated paper
      A clay coated printing paper with a smooth finish.
    • Collate
      A finishing term for gathering paper in a precise order
    • Colour bar
      A quality control term regarding the spots of ink colour on the tail of a sheet
    • Colour correction
      Methods of improving colour separations
    • Colour filter
      Filters uses in making colour separations, red, blue, green
    • Colour key
      Colour proofs in layers of acetate
    • Colour matching system
      A system of formulated ink colours used for communicating colour
    • Colour separations
      The process of preparing artwork, photographs, transparencies, or computer generated art for printing by separating into the four primary printing colours
    • Comb bind
      To plastic comb bind by inserting the comb into punched holes.
    • Composite film
      Combining two or more images on one or more pieces of film
    • Continuous-tone copy
      Illustrations, photographs or computer files that contain gradient tones from black to white or light to dark
    • Contrast
      The tonal change in colour from light to dark.
    • Copy
      All furnished material or disc used in the production of a printed product
    • Cover paper
      A heavy printing paper used to cover books, make presentation folders, etc
    • Crash number
      Numbering paper by pressing an image on the first sheet which is transferred to all parts of the printed set
    • Crimping
      Puncture marks holding business forms together
    • Cromalin
      Trade name for DuPont colour proofs
    • Crop
      To cut off parts of a picture or image
    • Crop marks
      Printed lines showing where to trim a printed sheet
    • Crossover
      Printing across the gutter or from one page to the facing page of a publication.
    • Cyan
      One of four standard process colours. The blue colour.
    • Densitometer
      A quality control devise to measure the density of printing ink.
    • Density
      The degree of colour or darkness of an image or photograph.
    • Diazo
      A light sensitive coating used on printing plates.
    • Die
      Metal rule or imaged block used to cut or place an image on paper in the finishing process.
    • Die cutting
      Cutting images out of paper
    • Dot
      An element of halftones. Using a loupe you will see that printed pictures are made many dots
    • Dot gain or spread
      A term used to explain the difference in size between the dot on film v paper
    • Double burn
      Exposing a plate to multiple images
    • Draw-down
      A sample of ink and paper used to evaluate ink colours
    • Drop-out
      Portions of artwork that do not print
    • Dummy
      A rough layout of a printed piece showing position and finished size
    • Duotone
      A halftone picture made up of two printed colours
    • Dylux
      Photographic paper made by DuPont and used for bluelines.
    • Emboss
      Pressing an image into paper so that it will create a raised relief
    • Emulsion
      Light sensitive coating found on printing plates and film.
    • Eurobind
      A patented method of binding perfect bound books so they will open and lay flatter.
    • Flat
      An assembly of negatives taped to masking materials for platemaking
    • Flood
      To cover a printed page with ink, varnish, or plastic coating
    • Foil
      A metallic or pigmented coating on plastic sheets or rolls used in foil stamping and foil embossing
    • Foil emboss
      Foil stamping and embossing a image on paper with a die
    • Foil stamping
      Using a die to place a metallic or pigmented image on paper
    • 4-color-process
      The process of combining four basic colours to create a printed colour picture or colours composed from the basic four colours
    • French fold
      Two folds at right angles to each other
    • Galley proof
      Text copy before it is put into a mechanical layout or desktop layout
    • Gang
      Getting the most out of a printing press by using the maximum sheet size to print multiple images or jobs on the same sheet. A way to save money.
    • Generation
      Stages of reproduction from original copy. A first generation reproduction yields the best quality.
    • Ghost bars
      A quality control method used to reduce ghosted image created by heat or chemical contamination.
    • Ghosting
      A faint printed image that appears on a printed sheet where it was not intended. More often than not this problem is a function of graphical design. It is hard to tell when or where ghosting will occur. Sometimes you can see the problem developing immediately after printing the sheet, other times the problem occurs while drying. However the problem occurs it is costly to fix, if it can be fixed. Occasionally it can be eliminated by changing the colour sequence, the inks, the paper, changing to a press with a drier, printing the problem area in a separate pass through the press or changing the racking (reducing the number of sheets on the drying racks). Since it is a function of graphical design, the buyer pays for the increased cost.
    • Gloss
      A shiny look reflecting light
    • Grain
      The direction in which the paper fibre lie.
    • Grippers
      The metal fingers on a printing press that hold the paper as it passes through the press
    • Hairline
      A very thin line or gap about the width of a hair or 1/100 inch
    • Halftone
      Converting a continuous tone to dots for printing     
    • Hard copy
      The output of a computer printer, or typed text sent for typesetting
    • Hickey
      Re-occurring unplanned spots that appear in the printed image from dust, lint, dried ink
    • High-bulk paper
      A paper made thicker than its standard basis weight
    • Highlight
      The lightest areas in a picture or halftone
    • Image area
      Portion of paper on which ink can appear
    • Imposition
      Positioning printed pages so they will fold in the proper order.
    • Impression
      Putting an image on paper.
    • Imprint
      Adding copy to a previously printed page
    • Ink Duct
      The reservoir on a printing press that hold the ink
    • Keylines
      Lines on mechanical art that show position of photographs or illustrations
    • Kiss die cut
      To cut the top layer of a pressure sensitive sheet and not the backing
    • Knock out
      To mask out an image
    • Laid finish
      Simulating the surface of handmade paper
    • Laminate
      To cover with film, to bond or glue one surface to another
    • Line copy
      High contrast copy not requiring a halftone
    • Lines per inch
      The number of rows of dots per inch in a halftone
    • Loupe
      A magnifying glass used to review a printed image, plate and position film
    • Magenta
      Process red, one of the basic colours in process colour
    • Makeready
      All the activities required to prepare a press for printing
    • Marginal words
      Call outs for directions on various parts of a business form
    • Mask
      Blocking light from reaching parts of a printing plate
    • Matte finish
      Dull paper or ink finish
    • Mechanical
      Camera ready art all contained on one board
    • Mechanical separation
      Mechanical art overlay for each colour to be printed
    • Micrometer
      Instrument used to measure the thickness of different papers
    • Middle tones
      The tones in a photograph that are approximately half as dark as the shadow area
    • Moire
      Occurs when screen angles are wrong causing odd patterns in photographs
    • Negative
      The image on film that makes the white areas of originals black and black areas white
    • Non-reproducing blue
      A blue colour the camera cannot see. Used in marking up artwork
    • Offsetting
      Using an intermediate surface used to transfer ink. Also, an unpleasant happening when the images of freshly printed sheets transfer images to each other
    • Offset paper
      Term for uncoated book paper
    • Ok sheet
      Final approved colour inking sheet before production begins
    • Opacity
      The amount of show-through on a printed sheet. The more opacity or the thicker the paper the less show-through. (The thicker/heavier the paper the higher the cost.)
    • Outline halftone
      Removing the background of a picture or silhouetting an image in a picture
    • Overlay
      The transparent cover sheet on artwork often used for instructions
    • Overrun or overs
      Copies printed in excess of the specified quantity. (Printing trade terms allow for + - 10 % to represent a completed order.)
    • Page count
      Total number of pages in a book including blanks
    • Pattern carbon
      Special carbon paper used in business forms that only transfers in certain areas
    • Perfect bind
      A type of binding that glues the edge of sheets to a cover like a telephone book, Microsoft software manual, or Country Living Magazine
    • Perfecting press
      A sheet fed printing press that prints both sides of a sheet in one pass
    • Pica
      Unit of measure in typesetting. One pica = 1/6 inch
    • Picking
      Printers nightmare that occurs as the surface of a sheet lifts off during printing. Generally a paper manufactures quality control problem
    • Pin register
      A standard used to fit film to film and film to plates and plates to press to assure the proper registration of printer colours
    • Plate gap
      Gripper space. The area where the grippers hold the sheet as it passes through the press
    • PMS
      The abbreviated name of the Pantone Colour Matching System
    • PMT
      Abbreviated name for photomechanical transfer. Often used to make position prints
    • Point
      For paper, a unit of thickness equalling 1/1000 inch. for typesetting, a unit of height equalling 1/72 inch
    • PostScript
      The computer language most recognized by printing devices
    • Press number
      A method of numbering manufacturing business forms or tickets
    • Pressure-sensitive paper
      Paper material with self sticking adhesive covered by a backing sheet
    • Process blue
      The blue or cyan colour in process printing
    • Process colours
      Cyan (blue), magenta (process red), yellow (process yellow), black (process black)
    • Ragged left
      Type that is justified to the right margin and the line lengths vary on the left
    • Ragged right
      Type that is justified to the left margin and the line lengths vary on the right
    • Ream
      Five hundred sheets of paper
    • Recto
      Right-hand page of an open book
    • Reflective copy
      Copy that is not transparent
    • Register
      To position print in the proper position in relation to the edge of the sheet and to other printing on the same sheet
    • Register marks
      Cross-hair lines or marks on film, plates, and paper that guide strippers, platemakers, pressmen, and bindery personnel in processing a print order from start to finish
    • Reverse
      The opposite of what you see. Printing the background of an image. For example; type your name on a piece of paper. The reverse of this would be a black piece of paper with a white name
    • Rip film
      A method of making printing negatives from PostScript files created by desktop publishing
    • Saddle stitch
      Binding a booklet or magazine with staples in the seam where it folds
    • Scanner
      Device used to make colour separations, halftones, duo tones and tri tones. Also a device used to scan art, pictures or drawings in desktop publishing
    • Score
      A crease put on paper to help it fold better
    • Screen angles
      Frequently a desktop publishers nightmare. The angles at which halftone, duo tones, tri tones, and colour separation printing films are placed to make them look right
    • Self-cover
      Using the same paper as the text for the cover
    • Shadow
      The darkest areas of a photograph
    • Show-through
      Printing on one side of a sheet that can be seen on the other side of the sheet
    • Side guide
      The mechanical register unit on a printing press that positions a sheet from the side
    • Side stitch
      Binding by stapling along one side of a sheet
    • Signature
      A sheet of printed pages which when folded become a part of a book or publication  
    • Silhouette halftone
      A term used for an outline halftone
    • Skid
      A pallet used for a pile of cut sheets
    • Specifications
      A precise description of a print order
    • Spine
      The binding edge of a book or publication
    • Split fountain
      Putting more than one ink in a printing fountain to achieve special colour affects.
    • Spoilage
      Planned paper waste for all printing operations
    • Spot varnish
      Varnish used to highlight a specific part of the printed sheet
    • Stamping
      Term for foil stamping     
    • Stat
      Term for inexpensive print of line copy or halftone
    • Step-and-repeat
      A procedure for placing the same image on plates in multiple places
    • Stet
      A proof mark meaning let the original copy stand
    • Stock
      The material to be printed
    • Stripping
      The positioning of film on a flat prior to platemaking
    • Substance weight
      A term of basis weight when referring to bond papers
    • Substrate
      Any surface on which printing is done
    • Text paper
      Grades of uncoated paper with textured surfaces
    • Tints
      A shade of a single colour or combined colours
    • Tissue overlay
      Usually a thin transparent paper placed over artwork for protection uses for marking colour breaks and other printer instructions
    • Transfer tape
      A peel and stick tape used in business forms
    • Transparency
      A positive photographic slide on film allowing light to pass through
    • Transparent copy
      A film that light must pass through for it to be seen or reproduced
    • Transparent ink
      A printing ink that does not conceal the colour under it
    • Trapping
      The ability to print one ink over the other
    • Trim marks
      Similar to crop or register marks. These marks show where to trim the printed sheet
    • Trim size
      The final size of one printed image after the last trim is made
    • Under-run
      Production of fewer copies than ordered. See over run
    • Up
      Printing two or three up means printing multiple copies of the same image on the same sheet
    • UV coating
      Liquid laminate bonded and cured with ultraviolet light. Environmentally friendly
    • Varnish
      A clear liquid applied to printed surfaces for looks and protection.
    • Verso
      The left hand page of an open book
    • Vignette halftone
      A halftone whose background gradually fades to white
    • Washup
      Removing printing ink from a press, washing the rollers and blanket. Certain ink colours require multiple washups to avoid ink and chemical contamination
    • Waste
      A term for planned spoilage
    • Watermark
      A distinctive design created in paper at the time of manufacture that can be easily seen by holding the paper up to a light
    • Web
      A roll of printing paper
    • Web press
      The name of a type of presses that print from rolls of paper
    • Wire O
      A bindery trade name for mechanical binding using double loops of wire through a hole
    • Wire-O binding
      A method of wire binding books along the binding edge that will allow the book to lay flat using double loops. See Wire O
    • With the grain
      Folding or feeding paper into the press or folder parallel to the grain of the paper
    • Work and tumble
      Printing one side of a sheet and turning it over from the gripper to the tail to print the second side using the same side guide and plate for the second side
    • Work and turn
      Printing one side of a sheet and turning it over from left to right using the same side guides and plate for the second side
    • Wove paper
      A paper having a uniform unlined surface with a smooth finish
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  • File Preparation (IMPORTANT)

    • Bleed
      Images, background colours and fills which are intended to extend to the edge of the page should be extended 3mm beyond the page to give a bleed. Text, boxes and other areas you need on your finished job should sit 6mm in from the edges of the page.
    • Colour
      All files need to be prepared in a CMYK workspace. We print using a four colour process.
      Designers preparing their files in a RGB format and then outputting to CMYK may experience variations in colour and can cause delays in the printing process. Designers must ensure their working space is set to CMYK from start.
    • Scans and Photos within documents
      All photos and scans must be provided at a minimum 300dpi. If preparing PDF, EPS or AI files please ensure all images are embedded within your final document.
    • How should I prepare my pages?
      Please supply everything in a 'one up' basis. i.e. provide one business card on a 90 x 50 or 85 x 55 page or one A4 leaflet on a 210 x 297 page.
    • Will my printed job match the colour from my desktop printer?
      We will endeavour to match a print to your desktop output, please forward a copy via post once you have place your order. If there are colour matching issues we will contact you to clarify the position.
    • Sending booklet artwork
      We require multiple page documents such as booklets to be arranged in PRINTERS SPREADS. For more information please do not hesitate to make contact.
    • Which file types provide the highest quality output?
      We recommend PDF as your default file type. Please ensure you save your PDF as a PRESS QUALITY document, this is often a standard default within your graphics program.

      PDF ensures that all fonts and images are embedded within the document, and when saved at PRESS QUALITY ensures the maximum image quality too.

      If using PHOTOSHOP CS2:
      When creating your document save as PSD with layers preserved. When you are ready to output as PDF, choose SAVE AS then selectPHOTSHOP PDF when presented with the ADOBE PDF PRESET options simply choose [Press Quality] and save your file.

      To ensure highest quality output DO NOT FLATTEN YOUR ARTWORK PRIOR TO SAVING

      If using ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR:
      When ready to output from AI format. Choose SAVE AS, then ADOBE PDF and choose PRESS from the program presets.
    • Which files can we accept?
      PDF // EPS // ILLUSTRATOR // PSD // TIFFS // JPEG

      If supplying artwork in PSD format please ensure that all fonts used in the document are collected and sent. Alternatively follow the PDF advice to create a press ready PDF from your PSD.

      Please ensure if sending artwork as EPS that all fonts are converted to PATHS/OUTLINES and all images are embedded within the document.

      Please ensure if sending artwork as TIFF or JPEG that document is CMYK and saved at minimum 300dpi
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  • Delivery

    • How do we despatch items?
      All orders are despatched using our next working day courier service with DPD or UPS. All prices online include delivery to one UK mainland address as standard. If your job is to be delivered to NON-Mainland please contact us for a delivery price.

      Upon order completion an email confirming the Tracking details will be sent. Please visit www.dpd.co.uk or www.ups.co.uk to view the status of your delivery.
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  • Ordering Online

    • Placing an order
      All orders are treated as LIVE once full payment has been accepted online and artwork supplied has been approved. To ensure swift order processing please pay attention to the artwork preparation guidelines.
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  • Pricing

    • What is included?
      All prices will list their associated VAT element. All items listed are inclusive of delivery charge to one UK mainland address.
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  • Turnaround Times

    • When can I expect my order?
      Each product has its own unique turnaround time, please refer to these at the point of order. Items that are not in the "Next Day" sections will usually be despatched within 4-5 working days. Items from the "Next Day" sections will be despatched the same day (On a next working day delivery) if the payment and press ready artwork has been received before 3pm.
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  • Download Templates

    • Are there any files I can use for reference?
      You can visit our TOOLS section and choose PRODUCT DOWNLOAD for a comprehensive list of standard product sizes. Available in EPD, PDF or JPEG format.
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  • Online Designer

    • Can I design my print online?
      When you place an order you can upload your completed design, prepared off site, in your account area.
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  • Multiname Service (IMPORTANT)

    • What is the multiname service?
      Multiname is a unique service available online. Designed to offer substantial savings when ordering business cards for the same company.

      For example:

      I require 500 Business Cards for 3 members of staff. A traditional printer will charge 3 x 500 Business cards. With our system you would order the combined amount (1500) and benefit from the bulk saving.

      Multiname is only available when purchasing cards for the same company, you can't order 1500 cards and submit 3 designs for different businesses, the back of each card must be the same. Multiname is only available in quantity's of 500.
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  • Uploading Files

    • How can I send artwork?
      When you process your order online you will need to process the payment first and then upload your artwork, if you cannot find the artwork uploader please go to www.mailbigfile.com/riverside
      This process marries up your order and artwork and ensures a swift and efficient order process.
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