PRINT JARGON EXPLAINED

Ordering Print Made Simple 

How to Order Print

Can I send Word, PowerPoint or Excel files?

You can, however you need to know they are not necessarily ‘print ready’ files. It is most likely that your local Snap Centre will need to do more work, to ensure that you have the best possible result.

Why doesn’t the Word file you printed look like the one from my office printer?

The Word file receives fonts and set up from your computer but doesn’t transport this information to our computer. That’s why we require a high resolution PDF for best results.

What is a PDF and how do I create one?

It stands for Portable Document Format – a file format that compiles a complete description of a fixed layout, flat document including fonts, text, graphics and other information required to display it. In any Microsoft application, in your ‘Save As’ panel select ‘Save as PDF’.

What resolution do you require for photographs, pictures and images?

For an image to print properly, it will need to be a high resolution file. The standard size is 300dpi at 100% of the physical size you require the image to appear in your printed material.

Can you print images from the internet for me?

There are several issues with images taken directly from the internet. First, these images are mainly 72dpi – this is less than a third of the necessary print size and will therefore pixilate when you try to print them. There are also copyright issues, as most images from the internet are the property of the owner of the site – yes, this is policed and the dines are heavy.

However, images sourced from an online stock photography library can be used in artwork files, as long as you have obtained the appropriate copyright approvals and they are purchased at the correct resolution. There are many reputable resources on the internet that can provide images for a reasonable cost.

How do I send large files to you?

Our Send File tool can handle large files – it is also secure, quick, and an easy way to send your files to your Snap Centre.

What is the maximum size file I can send to you via email?

It does vary among Snap Centres, but most have a limit of 4MB.

How do you want us to supply artwork for booklets?

You can supply each individual page as a PDF file. We will “impose” these pages i.e. create your booklet for you with the pages combined in the right order.

Types of Print

What is the difference between offset and digital printing?

They are two different processes that have pluses and minuses, depending on the specific job. Essentially, offset printing uses inks and plates to transfer images to paper. For small quantities (under 500 units) this is generally a more expensive printing method.

However, for larger print runs it can be the most economical print method. The other traditional advantages have been quality of the result and the possibility of greater size versatility than digital printing.

Digital printing is more economical than offset for short runs (under 500 units). Because digital requires a file (rather than setting up printing plates) there’s less time and expense involved. Technology advances in recent years have ensured that high quality digital printing now compares favourably with offset printing.

If you’re still confused, don’t worry. Your local Snap Centre will advise you on the best printing process for your specific job.

What is large format printing?

Pretty much what it says, large format printing allows us to print posters and banners that are larger than standard size. This means that your local Snap Centre can look after what you need for trade shows, exhibitions and conferences.

What is the largest sheet you can print on?

It depends – for digital print it’s 350mm x 450mm, but offset print allows you to print larger sizes. Just ask your local Snap Centre about the custom sizes to suit your needs.

What is the difference between a celloglaze and a varnish?

Celloglaze is actually a sheet of plastic that is applied with heat, whereas a varnish is applied on press, in the same way an ink would be.

Do I own the artwork?

Once you have paid for it, your Snap Centre will send you the native files for your records.

Talk about Colour.

PMS Colour stands for the Pantone Matching System (PMS) and this can be printed in litho printing where a specific ink is used.

Full Colour or Process Colour or CMYK is when the 4 process Colours (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) are used to print any colour (except metallic colours).

Understanding Printing Terms

What is Die cutting?

Die cutting is used for material that requires a special shape (such as a presentation folder or custom shape brochure). A ‘die’ – a knife that is created and attached to a special press – cuts that shape out of the paper.

What is Bleed?

In printing, bleed is printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet before trimming. Content on a page has to be printed oversize and then trimmed back to correct size to give bleed. Bleed is the zone outside the trim area. Margin is the zone inside the trim area. In other words, the bleed is the area to be trimmed off.

What shapes and sizes do you make presentation folders in?

We can create die lines for most presentation folders and can help you with any specific ideas you have.

Why are my pictures fuzzy? When I look on screen, they look nice and sharp?

On screen, you are viewing an image at the resolution of 72dpi, whereas in print, you are viewing it at 300dpi. Therefore, the image you have supplied was probably low resolution and therefore looks fuzzy.

What is saddle stitching?

Sometimes called saddle stapling, it is a binding method that uses staples down the middle of the fold (the spine) to secure to individual printed sheets.

What is embossing?

Embossing uses a metal stamp to create a raised image on the page. You can also deboss, which uses a metal stamp to press downwards.

Is recycled paper the most environmentally friendly paper option?

Not necessarily – often paper manufactured from sustainable forests is more environmentally friendly than recycled stocks, which can take extra energy to manufacture.

Why is my print job taking so long to dry?

There is a number of factors – for example, ink does not dry as quickly in wet or humid weather.

What is the difference between vector and raster images?

Vector images are made up of a series of shapes and stokes (vectors) and are manually created and edited using design software (commonly Adobe Illustrator) and can be enlarged to any size. Raster (sometimes called pixel) based images are commonly created by photography and cannot be enlarged any further than their original size without impacting negatively on their final resolution.

What is the difference between a sans serif font and a serif font?

A serif font has ‘feet’ (strokes) at the end of each letter – Times New Roman is a good example. A sans serif font is ‘without strokes’ and has a simplified, modern look – Helvetica is a good example.

Can you print white?

You can print an opaque white ink or white foil (you would typically do this against a dark background).

Why can’t my brochure be 11 pages?

All brochure printing (with the exception of six page brochures) must occur in multiples of four. So while your brochure could be eight pages or 12 pages, it can never be 11. (Please note: this only applies to printed and bound brochures and not to documents, which could be wire bound pages of any number).

Do you offer direct mailing?

Yes, we can look after all your direct mail campaigns from design, writing copy, tracking the results and even managing your campaign. What’s more, our variable data printing options mean we can personalise your campaign, which has proven to achieve considerably more effective results.

What is variable data?

Variable data allows you to personalise whatever you are printing. So, for example, you can add a specific name, address or message to each recipient from your database. This can be especially effective for direct marketing, advertising and customer relationship management (CRM).