WHAT IS OFFSET / LITHOGRAPHIC PRINTING?
Lithography is an offset printing technique. Ink is applied to the printing plate to form the image (such as text or artwork to be printed) and then transferred or “offset” to a rubber blanket. The image on the blanket is then transferred to the substrate (typically paper or paperboard) to produce the printed product.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SHEET FED AND WEB PRINTING?
Sheet-fed offset printing is carried out on single sheets of paper as they are fed to the press one at a time at a very high speed.
Web-fed offset printing is carried out on a single, continuous sheet of paper fed from a large roll. The sheet is then cut into individual sheets of desired sizes. They are used to print large quantities (thousands of copies) of magazines, newspapers or catalogs.
WHAT IS DIGITAL PRINTING?
Digital printing primarily uses an electrical charge to transfer toner or liquid ink to the substrate it is printed on. It is similar to colour photocopying. It eliminates the need for printing plates by using computer files. It is ideal for lower quantity and customised needs, but can only print in CMYK.
WHAT ARE CMYK, RGB & SPOT COLOURS?
C is cyan (blue), M is magenta (red), Y is yellow, and K is black. These are the four inks used in printing and when mixed together form the spectrum of colours seen on your printed product.
To reproduce full-color photographic images these four inks are placed on the paper in layers of dots that combine to create the illusion of many more colors. A mistake often made when submitting artwork for 4-color printing is not converting the images to the CMYK colour space. This is needed so that the file can be separated into the four colors and a separate printing plate can be made for each of the colours.
RGB is the colour system that your computer monitor displays and even when you are watching TV, the pictures are being displayed in a RGB colour mode.
RGB is an additive colour system. What this means is that the colours are used to form a variety of colours. If you add an equal amount of red light, green light and blue light you will get white light.
Spot colours are premade inks that can be used instead of, or in addition to CMYK process inks. A spot colour is usually a PMS colour designated by a number and whether or not the ink is to be printed on a specific stock. For example Pantone 123 CVC is used for coated stock and Pantone 281 CVU is used for uncoated stocks.
When printing spot colours each colour needs its own plate on the press. Spot colours are mainly used in one to three colour jobs. If you are using four spot colours you may as well make it a CMYK job (unless the colours are absolutely specific to the content). CMYK printing is far cheaper than four spot colours.
HOW MANY COLOURS?
‘Colours’ generally will refer to the number of inks required to produce your print job. You can have as many colours as you like but the number of ‘inks’ will depend on the print process that is required. See “What is CMYK?” and “What is Spot Colour?” to get a better understanding of the ink colours that you may require.
A common mistake made is that people forget that BLACK is a colour. So if you are ordering a card with black and green it will be 2 colours. (black=1 & green=2). The black could be a process colour and the green would be a PMS spot colour.
WHAT DO THE STOCK, WEIGHT & SIZES MEAN?
WHAT DOES STOCK MEAN?
This is the paper ‘type’ that your artwork will be printed on. It is best to talk with our staff about the best option to suit your product and desired outcome as there are many options available when selecting the stock. You will need to consider the weight and if you want the paper to be matt or gloss, coated or un-coated or even recycled. Additional embellishment and coatings are also available once the stock has been printed on.
WHAT DOES THE WEIGHT MEAN?
This is the paper your artwork will be printed on.
The numerical value refers to how thick the paper is. The measure is in weight, which are grammage or gsm (grams per square meter) values. The larger the number the heavier the stock will be.
Here are a few descriptions of the paper we offer.
80gsm – Standard Weight of A4 copy Paper and used for Letterheads
90gsm – Great for letterheads. A lot more reliable with Laser Printers
115gsm – Great for flyers and brochures (General use is for advertising mailout flyers)
150gsm – Great for flyers and brochures
250gsm – Great for covers
300gsm – Great for promotional cards
350gsm – Great for heavy business cards, POS displays, packaging
WHAT DO THE SIZES MEAN?
This is the final trimmed dimension of your product. If you are selecting a product with available folding options such as brochures or flyers, this size is often referred to the flat size. Your finished size will be determined by the folding choice. Below are the most common sizes. You can have your design created to any size you wish, but it may work out more expensive than using those listed.
BC 90mm x 55mm DL 98mm x 210mm A6 105mm x 148mm
A5 148mm x 210mm A4 210mm x 297mm A3 297 x 420mm
A2 420mm x 594mm A1 594mm x 840mm A0 840mm x 1189mm
EMBELLISHMENTS & COATINGS
A varnish is a liquid coating applied to a printed surface (for example the outside of a presentation folder) to add a clear glossy, matte, satin, or neutral finish. Machine varnishing is carried out on the printing press, in line with the inks being applied. The varnish is applied directly after the last ink is put on the paper. (It can also be applied some time after printing).
A varnish increases colour absorption and speeds up the drying process. By ‘locking in’ the ink under a protective coat, the varnish helps to prevent the ink rubbing off when the paper is subjected to handling. Varnishes are used most frequently, and successfully on coated papers.
As the name suggests is shiny. A gloss coating can add impact to your print, especially in sales or promotional material, where optimum presentation of images is paramount. This is a good option for brochure printing or flyer printing.
This varnish gives the printed surface a non-glossy, smooth look. This type of seal is sometimes considered to ‘soften’ the appearance of a printed image. Small text in a leaflet or booklet is easier to read on a surface coated with matt vanish as the coating scatters the light, reducing glare.
SILK / SATIN VARNISH
Naturally enough, this coating represents the ‘middle ground’ between the two above, being neither as glossy as a true gloss, nor as subtle as a matt.
Laminating is the placing of something between layers of plastic and sealing them with heat and/or pressure, usually with an adhesive. Laminating your printing can prevent it from becoming creased, sun damaged, wrinkled, stained, smudged, abraded and/or marked by grease, fingerprints and environmental concerns. Laminating is available in a MATT (dull) or GLOSS (shiny) finish. There are different weights of laminate available to choose from and you would be best to discuss which option suits your application best with our sales staff.
This process involves applying an extra high-gloss varnish (a clear liquid) over the top of a printed area, either to specific areas of a design such as logos in order to highlight them, or to the entire surface of a printed item, resulting in an extremely glossy and luxurious appearance.
Ultra Violet (UV) Varnishing requires the use of special Ultraviolet drying machinery.
A UV varnish can be applied as either an all-over coating, or as a spot varnish:
ALL-OVER UV VARNISH
Simply put, this is a UV seal applied all over the printed surface. A gloss UV varnish seal is the most common type of all-over UV varnish, (perhaps because this finish really does achieve a very high gloss effect, more so than with a laminate in many cases) although silk and matt are also available.
SPOT UV VARNISH
As the name suggests, a Spot Varnish is applied to chosen areas (spots), of a printed piece. 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. This adds a lot of interest, and can identify the printing as a premium piece of literature in the perception of the reader.
One very effective technique is to apply a UV gloss spot varnish on top of matt laminated printing. This achieves maximum contrast between the highly reflective shiny UV coating and the light-absorbing matt laminate, and can, for instance, create a striking first impression on presentation folders or a brochure cover.
Adding a powder to the ink being printed on a paper’s surface creates the effect of Raised Print. The printed piece is then passed under heat and literally cooked together. When heated, the ink and powder blend giving a raised effect.
Is the process of creating a three-dimensional image or design on the paper. It is typically accomplished with a combination of heat and pressure on the paper. This is achieved by using a metal die (female) and a counter die (male) that fit together and actually squeeze the fibers of the substrate. This pressure and a combination of heat actually “irons” while raising the level of the image higher than the substrate to make it smooth. In printing this is accomplished on a letterpress.
Foil stamping is the application of pigment or metallic foil, often gold or silver, but can also be various patterns or what is known as pastel foil which is a flat opaque color to paper. A heated die is stamped onto the foil, making it adhere to the surface leaving the design of the die on the paper. Foil stamping can be combined with embossing to create a more striking 3D image.
Presentation folders are printed on flat sheets and then forme cut to shape otherwise we can arrange a new forme to be made to suit your requirements.
This is the approximate number of finished pieces for your project. Quantities may vary up to +/-10%.
Depending on the print process used, frequently an increase in quantity does not reflect in an equivalent proportional increase in cost. Therefore double the quantity may not mean double the price!
RECEIVING AND PAYING FOR MY ORDER?
DO YOU DELIVER OR CAN I PICK UP MY ORDER?
We deliver Australia wide. Alternatively you could arrange your own pick up or collection. Please advise us when placing your order.
HOW CAN I PAY?
Our terms are COD. Full payment must be received before your order will be despatched. We accept Cash, Cheque and Electronic Bank Deposit.
ELECTRONIC ARTWORK SPECIFICATIONS
At Offset Solutions we are able to accept files from all major Mac OS & Windows applications. For us to be able to achieve maximum results and minimise delays they must conform to the following specifications.
FILES FROM THE FOLLOWING APPLICATIONS
FILE TRANSFER & STORAGE FORMATS
CD / DVD
DOCUMENT PAGE SIZES
BC 90mm x 55mm DL 99mm x 210mm* A6 105mm x 148mm
A5 148mm x 210mm A4 210mm x 297mm A3 297 x 420mm
A2 420mm x 594mm A1 594mm x 840mm A0 840mm x 1189mm
*99x210mm is DL size unless a folding pattern or a design feature dictates otherwise.
Please remember to supply us with all the relevant files for output (eg fonts and graphics) and let us know what files are attached and for what product in your order. If mailing your material please include a colour or a black & white proof copy of your file.
If you have other files in your transfer besides the files you want us to use, please clearly mark the files that are intended for output.
Please make sure that at least 3mm bleed is placed on your artwork where needed, artwork to be 1 up on a single page document. Where possible convert your text to paths, curves or outlines.
For large multi page jobs please be aware of the implications of creep. Please check for the required bleed on artwork in such cases.
Please ensure that all images supplied are of a resolution of 300dpi at the same size you wish to print.
When using color or color images in your design and layout, be certain to use CMYK values instead of RGB. If you have an image that is RGB, like images that come from your digital camera or scanner, you must convert them to CMYK first before placing into your design.
When using black elements in your 4-color design, it is best to you use a “rich black,” which is a black composed of all four process colors. This gives your black a deeper, darker shade of black on the press. A rich black should be used on larger areas of black to ensure an even, dark coverage, as the second ink colour disguises any inconsistencies. To achieve rick blacks, create a color swatch or assign a process color with the following CMYK combinations: Cyan = 60%, M = 40%, Y = 20%, K = 100%.
Make sure all colours are nominated CMYK or PMS (Pantone Matching System) depending upon the printing process by which your job is to be printed.
Screen colours are never accurate; please check your CMYK or PMS specifications. Any files received in any other colour format (i.e.: RGB, Lab, HSB) will still be printed but may not reproduce as to your expectations.