What resolution is required for printing images?
All images should be 300dpi or more at 100% of the image size in order to print clearly.
What is a spot colour?
A spot colours in an exact colour not a breakdown of CMYK and is a Pantone PMS number.
What is a PDF?
This is the most common type of file supplied to a printer. A PDF needs to be supplied at high resolution with crop marks and 3mm of bleed.
What is vector file?
Vector artwork is a scalable format of electronic artwork. This format is commonly used for the supply of logos and large format signs. Vector artwork can be scaled to any size with no loss of clarity. These include .ai and .eps files.
What is a raster image?
Raster images are constructed using a fixed number of colored pixels, they can’t be dramatically resized without compromising their resolution. When stretched to fit a space they weren’t designed to fill, their pixels become visibly grainy and the image distorts. This is why altered photos may appear pixilated or low resolution.
What is high and low resolution or DPI?
Resolution is the dots per inch (DPI) of an image. The web images display 72dpi  and are relatively low pixel density. While monitors can display higher resolution the web also needs to optimized for speed so images around 100 dpi hit the sweet spot for looking great on a screen but also loading quickly.

To correctly print an image, it should be at least 300 dpi, a much higher pixel density than the web displays. Resizing a low DPI image pulled from the web to fit the dimensions of your print project won’t work because the same finite number of pixels only get bigger and begin to distort.

What are the different file formats?
JPG
JPG (or JPEG) is a raster image that is often used for photographs on the web. JPGs can be optimized, when saving them out of photoshop, to find the perfect balance of small file size and high quality. On the web, you want your images files to be as small as they can be so your site loads quickly, but large enough to still appear crisp and not pixilated. A JPG can’t have a transparent background so they are always in the shape of a rectangle or square with a solid background.

Best use = rectangle or square photos and photographs on your website.

PNG
PNG is another raster image type. For the general marketer, the main difference to understand between a PNG and JPG is that a PNG can have a transparent background and is generally larger and higher quality. Therefore a PNG is ideal for saving logo files for websites because they can be placed over a colored background.

Best use = logos, icons and other images where a transparent background is preferred.

GIF
A GIF is another raster image type. A GIF is formed from up to 256 colors from the RBG colorspace. The fewer colors and shades contained in an image, the smaller the file size. Therefore a GIF is ideal for images that use just a few solid colors and don’t have gradients or natural shades. You wouldn’t want to use a GIF for a photograph.

Best use = simple web graphics such as web buttons, charts and icons.

TIF
A TIF (or TIFF) is a large raster file. It has no loss in quality and therefore is primarily used for images used in printing. On the web, because of load time, you generally want to use smaller images such as JPG or PNG.

Best use = images and photographs for high quality print.

EPS
An EPS file is a vector file of a graphic, text or illustration. Because it is vector it can easily be resized to any size it needs to be. An EPS file can be reopened and edited.

Best use = master logo files and graphics and print designs.

AI
An AI file is a proprietary, vector file type created by Adobe that can only be created or edited with Adobe Illustrator. It is most commonly used for creating logos, illustrations and print layouts.

Best use = creating logos, graphics, illustrations.

What is the difference between RGB and CMYK?

RGB and CMYK are the two most prominent and typical colour spaces / formats / models used in the world of design. In print, web, or digital media, a basic understanding of what the differences are, means a designer can vastly improve the quality of a project and the client can understand the colour matching limitations.

RGB (Red, Green, Blue) is the typical colour space used by computer monitors, mobile phones and televisions. In RGB, images are created by combining red, green, and blue light. Process of addition can create millions of different colours by using varying concentrations of the primaries. So when designing a website, web banner, buttons, e-newsletter, etc., your images and files should be set to this profile. Chances are any image you receive will be RGB by default, but it’s always a good practice to check.

CMYK is the primary colour model used by colour printers. So for flyers, brochures, advertising, newsletters, direct mail pieces, etc., a CMYK profile may provide better quality results or a better expectation of what your results will be. CMYK creates different colours in a subtractive process using four colours or inks: cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow, and black. Chances are your inkjet or laser printer at home has a CMYK or CMYK variant setup. There are many RGB colours that CMYK printers cannot reproduce. Something that looks good on the monitor may not retain that quality in the printed piece.

 

What is paper weight?
Paper weight is measured in GSM, or grams per square metre. The higher the GSM value, the thicker and sturdier the paper. This can communicate subtle cues about your brand and your message. Thicker stocks imply a more premium product or service.

80–100gsm
Perfect for letterheads and general stationery.

150gsm
Good quality flyers, brochures, and booklets.

170gsm
Premium corporate brochures, calendars and quality posters.

200–250gsm
Not quite card thickness, this is great for premium flyers, brochures and vouchers.

300–350gsm
Strong and rigid; good for standard business cards, menus, postcards and premium booklet covers.

420gsm
Ideal for business cards, swing tags, and product packaging.

What are the different paper and printing finishes?
Uncoated paper
No glare and highly ink-absorbent, reducing the risk of smudging. Perfect for text-heavy forms like manuals, letterheads, tickets and memo paper.

Silk Matte paper:
Often used for reports, flyers, postcards and magazines due to its high-quality feel.

Gloss coated paper:
The shiny surface makes it a perfect match for vibrant colours and high-contrast prints. A favourite for high-end magazines, brochures and booklets.

Celloglaze:
A thin sheet of plastic film, fixed to either one or both sides of a printed sheet of heavy paper stock to create extra durability. Available in gloss matte or soft touch velvet.

Spot Gloss:
Adds a luxe shiny finish when used in combination with matte celloglaze.

What are the different paper sizes?
A0 841mm x 1188mm

B1 707mm x 1000mm

A1 594mm x 841mm

A2 420mm x 594mm

A3 297mm x 420mm

A4 210mm x 297mm

A5 148mm x 210mm

A6 105mm x 148mm

DL 99mm x 210mm

What is bleed and bleed area?
Sometimes, a panel of colour on the page runs to the very edge. Because the process of trimming or binding a page is not exact to the fraction of a millimetre, ink needs to run over the edge of the page so the colour and/or the image look neat.
What are trim marks?
Trim marks appear on artwork and are used by the printer to cut the sheet of paper to the exact size once it has been printed. These are included because many copies are often printed on the same large sheet of paper to save time.
What is a die cut?
Where a cut is made in a stock using a special knife. It is like a cookie cutter which makes a specific shape exactly the same on all items in bulk rather than one by one. It can also be used to create fold lines by simply creasing the stock rather than cutting it.