One for the Designers!

Designing for print can be one of the most satisfying projects a designer can take on. Seeing your artwork come to life in physical form is amazing… but receiving print with unwelcome changes or alterations is a common frustration. Understanding how the print process affects the way you design can really enhance your artwork and opens up new ways you can use the form to create stunning work.

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Understand the print process

If there is one rule designers are told about designing for print, it’s that you should use CMYK instead of RGB. That’s a standard. Yet why you must use CMYK is often overlooked. Actually understanding the printing process will help you design better, especially if you often switch between digital and print.

Large runs of print are produced with an offset lithographic printing press, which lays down a coverage of ink from plates in the four colours cyan, magenta, yellow and black on the stock, mixing like a traditional artist to overlay and change the colours. Of course, the more colours that are mixed, the darker the colours will become. Colours with a high percentage (over 280%) of cyan, magenta, yellow and black in your design programme will become oversaturated. This results in dark, muddy colours as the ink doesn’t dry and transfers from one sheet to another.

This also means you shouldn’t mix too many colours when dealing with fine artwork and fonts. Keep colours simple to avoid a “fuzzy” look as the ink saturates the paper stock, blurring lines and making it difficult to read.

Re-evaluate your colour percentages

The more accurate and refined your colour percentages are, the better quality your print will be. It can be a case of trial and error if you’re struggling to achieve a certain hue, but there are quick fixes you can use straight away.

Are your blues being printed with too much purple running through? Increasing your cyan to 30% more than your magenta value will help cancel out the pesky purple for a clearer blue.

C0, M0, Y0, K100 would logically make a clear black. Yet when applied to print as a background colour, it will appear a dark grey. Then if you press D on Photoshop and reset the foreground, the automatic black is more of a C75, M68, Y67 and K90 mix. This makes up to an almost 300% coverage which is a lot of ink to transfer to paper! The perfect solution for a rich black that can be spread across as a solid background colour use C30 K100. Believe us, you’ll notice the difference.

The actual stock of your paper will also affect the way your colours are printed. If you use a cream stock, a light colour will sink in and become much darker so take this into consideration and discuss stocks with your client before you start to design.

Use the best quality images you can get your hands on

DPI is the output resolution of a printer and needs to be considered even more when designing for print than for web. The correct print quality will really only be achieved from images with a resolution between 300-400dpi (but never go above 400dpi in greyscale).

The leap between how a bad picture looks on screen to how it looks on paper is huge. Every dot you can fit into each inch will help improve how crisp and clear your image is. Vector illustrations are always recommended, followed closely by original digital images that haven’t had their quality or size compromised. Images you take from the web or from printed documents are usually lower in resolution which reflect onto the final printed product.

How to avoid banding

Banding is a universal annoyance for many a designer. Prevent headaches with banding by avoiding gradients with small ranges. Instead, add blur or soft noise effects and don’t use JPEG compression.

Banding is the presence of extraneous lines on a page and occurs when the colours are passed over multiple times. Cull banding at the design phase by avoiding gradients with small ranges. Blurring and soft noise effects should be used instead to keep colours uniform and avoid using JPEG compressions of files.

Does your artwork need overprinting?

Overprinting stops colour mixing when they are printed on top of each other. Colours “knocking out each other” are a common frustration for designers and results in weird results from what you see on your screen! Overprinting will stop this from happening by ensuring nothing is unwantedly overlapped. Unsure whether your artwork needs overprinting? Just check with your printer to make sure.

Fonts work differently with print

The printing presses control how much ink is placed on the paper by using a lower density of dots in those areas which don’t actually need much coverage. This does mean that really tiny text can become faint and blurred. To avoid this, use fonts no smaller than 6pt so your design is sharp and clear when printed. If your chosen font uses very fine, delicate lines, it’s vital to add thicker strokes just to boost visibility.

Take into consideration font formatting as well as your sizing. Converting your text to outlined during the process will help avoid blurring and help the text to keep its shape. This is especially important with large format items such as Roller Banners and signs!

Lastly, always embed your fonts when you create a PDF. This means even if the person opening your file doesn’t have that font, they are able to process and proof the file correctly. It’s a simple trick that saves heaps of time further down the line.

Check the preview for mistakes

Fixing an issue on the web is easy. A typo can be changed in a split second, a misplaced box moved in moments. Any designer who has opened a box of 5000 booklets which they’ve ordered for their client, only to spot a missing letter or a wonky shape would not wish the sinking feeling on their worst enemy.

Print preview should be taken seriously. You can use your PDF to check for any unwanted spot colours with (Advanced > Print Production) and always check for typos! Letters can be missed when pasting into Photoshop and even if you spot one that wasn’t your fault, you client will appreciate you picking up on it!

Folded items can be tricky!

Heavy ink coverage over a folded line can cause cracking. A high-density colour means a large volume of ink is absorbed by the stock which when folded, can crack and cause unwelcome breaks in your design! Always use lighter colours that aren’t mixed too heavily for a faultless finish.


Just a few reasons to choose leaflets from Print & Copy Centre

Leaflet img

There’s a lot to love about our leaflet range. Whatever the reason, we have a range of stocks, sizes and finishes to suit all. Here are just a few reasons how we can help you spread your message.


A6 double sided 350gsm silk

a6 ds 350gsm

Our most popular leaflet, often used by clubs and bars to convey a sense of quality when promoting their events. Add matt, gloss or soft-touch lamination for an extra touch of luxury,


A5 double sided 150gsm silk

a5 ds 150gsm

Great for cost-effective campaigns and often used by the likes of charities, festivals and events for reaching wide-scale audiences.


A4 double sided 150gsm silk

a4 ds 150gsm

The ideal choice for when you have lot to say. With a slight sheen and smooth finish, it can also double up as a gig poster or takeaway menu.


DL double sided 250gsm silk

dl ds 250gsm

Perfect for communicating short, snappy messages. With the option of adding lamination the DL is our sleekest option, often used by salons, shops and bars for price lists, menus and vouchers.


Get in touch to see how we can help you! Call us on 01472 350442 or email

Laser Die-Cut Printing

diecut image

Bespoke cut-out shaped printing used to be an expensive addition to a marketing campaign.Well, not any more! With our experienced, cost-effective techniques and new laser die-cut machine, that’s a thing of the past. You’ll pay a fraction of the usual cost and still receive a high quality product. Be different, make your printing stand out from the competition!

Laser die-cut printing can be adapted to suit your needs. Essentially, we can cut to any shape required. Different weights of paper and card are available. Our helpful team can advise you on what will suit your business best. We can even design it for you. If you have your own design, that’s not a problem either. We are here to help and get the job done as efficiently as possible.

For more information or if you would like us to send you a sample pack, please do get in touch. You call us on 01472 350422 or 01472 241498. Alternatively, if you’d prefer, you can email and we’ll be more than happy to deal with any enquiries you may have.

35% off Digital Folders

35 off digital folders

Would you like to give a personalised Folder to each delegate at your conference? How much more special would that make them feel?

Would you like to send out a proposal personalised to the individual recipient? How much more impact would that make with your clients and prospects? Or do you simply want a very small quantity of Folders?

With our unique ‘Finish then Print’ technology we can produce really short runs of Folders, from one Folder upwards, exceptionally cost effectively. Plus, during August, we have taken Folder economy to a whole new level with a huge 35% off our already low Digital Folder prices for our most popular A4 Folder!

To take advantage of this Offer go to our website and click ‘buy online’, then select the folders you require from the menu option and then enter voucher code 35DGJA at the Shopping Basket.

Please note: Offer is available on A4 Digital Folder type F1 printed on 400gm Matt Art Card only. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. Offer runs until the 31st August 2014.

20% off Beer Mats

20off beer mats

Beer Mats are always in big demand during the summer so our special offer could not be better timed!

Our unique production system means our Beer Mats have exceptional print clarity and can be ordered in quantities as low as just 250, allowing limited distribution and split testing of marketing messages.

A massive 20% off this perennial favourite means you can stock up in time for the holiday season and be ready to ‘absorb the rush’ when the summer drinks arrive.

To take advantage of this offer simply go to our website and click ‘buy online’, select your order of beer mats from the menu options and then enter the voucher code 20BM2014 at the shopping basket.

Please note: This offer is available on any quantity of Beer Mats up to 2,500. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. Offer runs until the 31st August, 2014.

25% off Metal Signs

25 off metal signs

Our Metal Signs have quickly established themselves as one of our most popular new products for 2014!

Printed on Dibond Aluminium Composite sheet they are both exceptionally durable and really light, making them perfect for a huge range of permanent and semi permanent signage.

Our high quality printing system means we can render photographs as well as text in high definition using light stable UV Inks. The quality of our finished signs is receiving particularly favourable comment.

Our ‘everyday’ sign prices are exceptionally favourable but, during the rest of July and August, cost effectiveness has been redefined with a further 25% off!

To take advantage of this great offer go to our website and click ‘buy online’, simply order your metal sign and apply the voucher code RV20MSJA at the Shopping Basket – your 25% off will then be applied.

Please note: Maximum Metal Sign size is 1200mm x 2400mm. Please allow 2.5mm bleed when setting up your artwork. This offer is available on any size and quantity of Metal Signs. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. Offer runs until the 31st August, 2014.

2 for 1 Matt Laminated Business Cards

2for1 bc matt lam

As this great summer rolls on we are delighted to make you a sizzling hot offer on our prestigious full colour 400gsm business cards.
Until the end of July, order one set of 500 full colour, double sided cards with matt lamination both sides and get a second absolutely free! Our cards are widely regarded as the best around and with this sensational offer this is a great time to experience them for yourself. As the saying goes ‘You only have one chance to make a first impression’, with our business cards you can be certain to make the right one on clients and prospects.

To take advantage of this great offer simply go to and click ‘buy online’. Order a single set of 500 full colour, matt laminated business cards. At the checkout use the code DBLBC2014 and your order for one set will be increased to two sets at no additional cost.

You’ll have to be quick – this offer ends on 31st July, 2014.

Please note: Our great 2 for 1 offer is on 500 quantity of 400gsm full colour double sided cards with matt lamination on both sides only. Cards requiring finishing or digital embossing are not part of this offer.

Introducing our new HP Latex 360 Printer

HP Latex 360

This new printer helps to build a healthier environment inside & out. Healthier printing using latex inks which require no special ventilation making odourless prints. A safer workplace as the latex inks are non-flammable, non-combustable and nickel free as opposed to the solvent-based inks more commonly used in other printers. It produces high quality prints for indoors and outdoors at great production speeds making it ideal for handling urgent jobs. We can offer a wide range of products including…

Point of Purchase Posters Point of Purchase Posters

Great results on all types of paper, including low-cost uncoated papers and traditional offset papers.

Light Boxes Light Boxes

Produce high-resolution prints up to 1200dpi with vibrant, saturated colours.

Outdoor & Event Banners Outdoor & Event Banners

High-quality results with scratch resistance comparable to hard-solvent inks on SAV and PVC banner. Outdoor display permanence up to 3 years unlaminated and up to 5 years laminated.

Wraps and Graphics Wraps & Graphics

We can laminate right after printing – no need to wait for prints to dry. The flexible ink layer conforms to complex surfaces.

Wallcoverings + canvas Wallcoverings & Canvas

Odourless prints meet high environmental and health standards – ideal for hotels, restaurants and schools.

Temporary textiles Temporary Textiles

Print on a wide variety of textiles, including uncoated and natural textiles. An easy-to-use solution compared to dye-sublimination techniques.

We can produce prints up to 64” wide by whatever length you require. Give us a call on 01472 350442 to see how our new HP Latex 360 Printer can help to benefit you.

15% off Presentation Folders

15% off Presentation Folders

During the rest of June we are offering a massive 15% off our hugely popular Full Colour Folder range. And the discount applies to any special finishes you may require, such as gloss or matt lamination, digital embossing or assembly.

All our Full Colour Folders are available on 280gsm or the ultimate in quality 400gsm card and in digital or litho print. So, whatever you want to say, let our Folders help you to say it in style!

Please note: Offer applies to any quantity of Folders up to 5,000. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. Offer runs until the 30th June 2014.

To take advantage of this offer, simply go to and click ‘Buy Online’, then enter the voucher code RV15FOLD at the Shopping Basket.

Offer ends 30th June 2014.

FREE Compliment Slips when you order Letterheads!

FREE Compliment Slips when you order Letterheads!

Now is definitely the time to top up on full colour letterheads. Because until the end of June when you order full colour letterheads on 100gm Executive Paper you can get the same number of full colour compliments slips FREE.

Our letterheads are lithographically printed using the very highest quality Stochastic screening technology to ensure that every detail is pin sharp and clear, plus the paper we use is Forest Stewardship Council certified and produced to the very highest environmental standards.

They are widely regarded as the best letterheads there are. And, even though they are free, you can be certain that the same attention to detail will be shown when it comes to printing your compliment slips.

Please note:You can use this offer on any quantity of letterheads up to 5,000. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. Offer runs until the 30th June 2014.

To take advantage of this offer please go to and click ‘buy online’ and enter voucher code FREECOMP at the Shopping Basket.

Offer ends 30th June 2014.