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Find all the information needed when working with us, we have useful information on what you should know about print, including downloads of specs and requirements we work to. Links to useful websites and links to resources we work with.

Useful Information When Using Theta Online

CMYK is an abbreviation of Cyan(C), Magenta(M), Yellow(Y) and Black(K). These colours make up the standard 4 colour process used for printing in full colour.
In order to reproduce full-colour images, a printing press uses these four colours of ink. The four inks are placed on the paper in layers of dots that combine to create the illusion of many more colours.
A common mistake that is often made when submitting artwork for 4-colour printing is not converting the images to CMYK. This is needed so that the file can be separated into the four colours so that a separate printing plate can be made for each of the colours.
Spot Colours refers to solid colours which are found in commercially obtainable colour ranges such as Pantone®. These colours are mostly used in addition to CMYK for example printing gold or silver, as well as when a corporate colour is very specific and cannot be made up of CMYK. When using Pantone colours, it is worth bearing in mind for future jobs that should you want to print in CMYK, the chosen Pantone® may not have a suitable CMYK equivalent.
Crop Marks are the line markings where the paper is to be trimmed after printing has been completed.
Bleed refers to the area where the image to be printed extends by 3-5mm over the crop marks. This makes trimming easier and ensures that the finished printed product will run to the edges, rather than having unsightly white paper showing.
Pre-press is the process a design or document must proceed through before it can be printed. There are many elements that form part of this process, such as design & conceptualization, editing, proof reading and printed proofs, layout and imposition.
Proof-reading and proof-checking a document and/or design is by far the most important step in any printing or branding process, as this is where mistakes are noticed and can then be rectified before the job is printed. Once a job has been proof-checked it will be signed off and the printing process will commence.
The following simple checklist will ensure that no unnecessary time is wasted in the proofing stage:

Check that the printed proof backs up correctly and verify the registration
Check that the colours are as per the specification and requirement
Check that there are no “gremlins” that have crept into the text, for example, a full stop, a letter or an exclamation mark has not disappeared, or appeared where it’s not necessary
Before sending artwork to us for printing, run through this checklist to verify that everything is in order for a seamless printing process:

Check that the artwork is in CMYK (converted from RGB), with bleed and crop marks
If possible, supply a hard copy of the previous print in order for us to match the colours
Include all fonts in the directory of the open file artwork (if not in PDF format and converted to curves)
Ensure that all images are at least 300dpi (dots per inch). If it is lower than 300, the quality and clarity of the image will deteriorate.
NOTE: In order to achieve a deep, cool black effect on a printed job, the following CMYK values will be best suited in the compilation of the artwork (For small text ensure that it is 100% black only):

Cyan – 40%
Magenta – 0%
Yellow – 0%
Black – 100%

Selecting the right paper stock for your printing is crucial to the desired outcome your printed job. There are many elements to a paper and these elements can affect the colour and clarity of the job. Coated & uncoated & porous paper will affect the colours of your job. It is advisable to spend some time with us in order for us to show you different types of paper, and samples of prints done on these papers. We can also assist by showing you the colour variations on different paper in our large range of Pantone® booklets.
Another important aspect of paper is that not all white paper is the same. There are also many different thicknesses of paper available. The term used to refer to the thickness of paper is GSM (grams per square meter)
The most common types of paper are:

BlueArrow Coated (gloss and matt finished paper)
BlueArrow Uncoated/Bond (“normal” everyday copy-type paper)
BlueArrow NCR (no carbon required – commonly used for books or pads where multiple copies are required, e.g. invoice and order books)
BlueArrow Recycled
BlueArrow Cartridge
BlueArrow Packaging board
BlueArrow Self adhesive

As a rule of thumb, remember that litho printing takes longer than digital printing in most circumstance. Litho printing is used for longer runs and digital printing is used for shorter runs. Litho printing requires a larger capital outlay versus digital printing which requires less. There is also more flexibility with regards to finished sizes in litho printing, whereas digital printing has it’s size limitations.
Not all scenarios pan out like this, so chat to us and we will make a recommendation and give you best advice that will suit your budget and requirements.
The main factor that drives costs related to printing (besides single or multi colour printing) is the quantity orders. The unit costs of production tend to decrease as the print quantity increases.

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