What does “CMYK” mean?

CMYK stands for four ink colours – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.

In Offset and Digital printing, these four CMYK ink colours are applied to the paper in successive layers. By overlapping these four ink colours in various concentrations, a huge number of other colours can be created. As a result, the combined visual effects of these four CMYK colours produce what we commonly know as Full Colour Printing.

Other names for the CMYK printing method include Four Colour Printing, Four Colour Process, 4CP, or simply Process Printing. Hence, all of the additional colours that can be created from the four CMYK colours are referred to as Process colours. The CMYK Process is used for printed matter that contains photographs and other designs of varying colours.

If you have any questions about CMYK colours or Full Colour Printing, just give us a call. We can offer guidance on just about any printing topic and can simplify the task of buying printing for you.

What is Offset Printing?

Offset/Lithography Printing is a widely used commercial printing technique that produces consistent and high quality printed materials. As a general rule, this technique is used for production runs of large quantities of the same content.

Each Ink Colour has its own Set of Rollers

It is important to note that each ink colour applied to the paper has its own set of rollers as described above. Hence, an offset press used for four colour process printing has four sets of rollers in succession, one for each of the four colours. Likewise, a two colour offset press will have two roller sets in succession.

The Paper Feed

Offset printing presses are often described by the method used for feeding paper into the press, namely sheet-fed or web-fed.

A sheet-fed offset press uses single sheets of paper that are fed into the press one after the other. Sheet-fed presses are used for many popular printed items such as brochures, flyers, letterhead and booklets. Depending on the project, the sheets used may be the same size as the finished printed piece or they might be larger sheets that are trimmed down to the finished size after being printed.

A web-fed offset press uses a long, continuous roll of paper that is fed into the press from a giant spool. The paper feeds into the press through a series of tension rollers which keep the paper taut. After printing, the paper is trimmed to the desired size. Web presses run faster than sheet-fed presses and are used for high volume printing such as newspapers, magazines, books and catalogues.

Let us know if you have any questions about offset printing. Also, keep TopCopy in mind for any upcoming printing projects you may have. We make the printing process easy for you.

What is Digital Printing?

The term Digital refers to the digits 0 and 1, which provide the basis for the mathematical language computers use to create, process and store electronic images. Digital Printing is the process of transferring these stored images directly onto paper.

Most people can relate to the function of a digital printing press because it operates similar to a desktop printer. Like a desktop printer, the ink used in a digital printing press can be in powder form, like toner, or in liquid form. However, a commercial digital press is much bigger and faster than a desktop printer. And more importantly it offers much better quality, performs way more functions and has a greater number of paper choices.

No Printing Plate is Needed

Digital printing is different from other commercial printing methods because it does not involve the creation of printing plates. Instead, the digital files to be printed are electronically transferred directly to the press for output. The press then applies the ink directly to the paper. Being able to print without plates is the primary benefit of digital printing because it saves the time and expense of plate creation.

Digital printing has been the fastest growing segment of the printing industry. As a result, substantial technological advances have been made in recent years and digital printing is gradually approaching the quality level of high-end offset printing. Even though the quality gap is narrowing, it is important to note that offset presses still outperform the print quality of digital presses at the current time.

Perfect for Short Run Printing

One of the main advantages digital printing has over traditional offset printing is its ability to produce short production runs for less cost. Digital press runs of around 1,000 pieces or less are generally more cost effective than similar offset runs because there is no expense associated with the creation of printing plates. Also, the prep time for a digital press is minimal which reduces set-up costs and allows for faster turnaround times.

Being able to reduce the cost and time associated with Short Run Printing has made digital printing very popular for Print On Demand services as well as Variable Data Printing.

Perfect for Short Run Printing

One of the main advantages digital printing has over traditional offset printing is its ability to produce short production runs for less cost. Digital press runs of around 1,000 pieces or less are generally more cost effective than similar offset runs because there is no expense associated with the creation of printing plates. Also, the prep time for a digital press is minimal which reduces set-up costs and allows for faster turnaround times.

Being able to reduce the cost and time associated with Short Run Printing has made digital printing very popular for Print On Demand services as well as Variable Data Printing.

What is Print on Demand?

Print On Demand refers to the printer’s ability to produce any document on an “as needed” basis. You order only the quantity of books you require as you need them. Again, being able to print in Short Runs on Digital equipment makes this possible.

Just about anyone looking to order books can benefit from Short Run Printing / Print On Demand.  Below are the primary benefits…

1) Less Money tied up. Since you order a small quantity of books instead of a whole skid, you don’t have to invest much money. And you turn your inventory faster.

2) Less Waste. Because you are ordering in smaller increments, you reduce the chance of being stuck with obsolete or out-of-date books if the content changes more rapidly than anticipated.

3) Less Risk. You have the flexibility to make frequent changes to the content or design of your book. This is great for book projects because it allows for test marketing and relatively quick adjustments.

4) Less Storage Space. Books can take up a lot of room so the less you order at one time, the less room you’ll need to store them. This reduces handling costs too.

5) Faster turnaround. You can have books in your hands quicker because a shorter run takes less time to produce. Also, there is less set-up time with digital printing.

If you would like to learn more about the many benefits of Short Run Printing / Print On Demand, just let us know. We’d be happy to advise and assist with your next project.

What is Variable Data Printing?

Variable Data Printing (VDP) is a technique which enables the printed graphics and/or text to change throughout a single production run. In other words, the printed impressions can be different from one piece to another without halting or slowing down the press.

Because a digital press prints from a computer file, software can be used to manipulate the output so that each piece in the run prints with a different message or picture. You may have received a postcard, letter or brochure that contained some wording, an image or an offer tailored just to you. Variable printing is particularly popular for direct mail and other promotional pieces because personalization helps increase the response rate.

The innovations in digital technology have transformed the printing industry, especially the Short Run printing sector. If you’d like to learn more about Digital Printing, Print On Demand or Variable Printing just give TopCopy a call. We make printing easy for you.

What are some Common Problems with submitted files?

The most common problems we encounter are…

  • Improper set-up for Bleeds: Make sure to extend your artwork 1/8” beyond the edges that Bleed. Also, do not put important information or borders too close to the edges that get trimmed off. An exception is Envelopes, which are not trimmed. On Envelopes, only extend your artwork 1/16″ beyond the edge(s) that bleed.
  • Poor Image Resolution: Images must be at least 300 dpi for proper clarity. Do not use images from the web because they are generally low resolution and will appear pixilated (jagged and blurry) when printed.
  • Text and Grammar Issues: Make sure your text has good contrast against its background. Also, avoid the use of small text, especially if it is white text against a coloured background. Make sure to proof your file for spelling and grammar errors before forwarding it to us.
  • Crop Marks: Please include the crop marks on your artwork and make sure they are properly placed. Also please remove all unnecessary crop marks.

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A guide of how to set-up your Content, Crop marks and Bleed

 

Does all artwork have to be submitted on-line?

On-line submission is encouraged but we gladly accept artwork on a flash drive or disc sent by mail or courier. If you’d like to submit your artwork on-line click here . Not sure, please contact us

Our Proofing Process?

We will email you an artwork proof in PDF format for all projects. On straightforward  projects, such as business cards or postcards, we will issue a PDF proof unless you specifically request a hard copy proof option.

On more involved  projects, we strongly recommend a hard CMYK proof. If the project involves finishing processes such as binding / folding we recommend a physical mock-up as well.

The only time we do not provide proofs is if the project is an exact reorder from us. Please let us know if you require us to keep your files for future reruns, otherwise they will be deleted, client files are deleted on a weekly basis.

Will the colours on the Proof be Accurate?

When viewing PDF proofs on your monitor or from your desktop printer keep in mind there will be a slight variance in colour, so TopCopy cannot guarantee the printed colour(s) will match the PDF preview. However, the PDF proof will be a close representation of the finished piece.

TopCopy offers no guarantee of “match-print” or “match-product” colour fidelity. TopCopy cannot prevent slight colour shift throughout an order. Colour fidelity warranted by TopCopy is consistent with industry standards for “pleasing colour.” We ask that all uploaded files be designed in CMYK and uploaded in CMYK. If you send us an RGB file, we will need to convert it to CMYK which will alter the colour from your original file.

Sizes:

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Paper Sizes APaper Sizes B

Folds:

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Hi Res elements-01

Bindings:

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Saddle Stitch
Saddle Stitch Used for Booklets – Max number of pages depends on the weight of paper used. Eg: 80gsm Bond – min 8pgs max 80pgs | 128gsm HiQ – min 8pgs max 60pgs
Wire Binding
Wire Binding
Pur Binding
Wrap Around Cover / PUR Binding
Plastic Binding
Plastic Ring Binding
Glue Pad Binding
Pad Binding