Print Question of the Week?

Want to know more about print. Watch videos by resident experts telling you all you need to know, (some that you may have been too embarrassed to ask)

there are so many questions about print. Who better to answer them than the experts. See if you can find the answers you are looking for.

Google is great for getting answers to all your questions but you don’t always know the ‘Die cut’ it has search out for you, is really the right one to be used in print.  So after years of answering the same questions or variations on the same theme we thought it would be a good idea to  put together these simple videos to help you find your way through print buying.

A new video will be published each week and we promise to keep it short and sweet.

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to see new videos as they are posted or sign up for our newsletter.


What is a special colour?

In the print world a special colour is a specific colour that is required to be achieved consistently through a range of stocks. It is often a brand colour, like the green of Lloyds bank, for example. These special inks are mixed offsite by specialists and supplied to us for use on the litho press with a colour swatch for matching.



What is a pantone colour?

Sounds like a simple question and most of us have a pantone book but do we really know how the colours are produced.  All the pantonecolours are made from a mixture of a range of base colours in very specific measurements to achieve a certain colour.  The mix can either be created in house from the base colours which we keep inhouse or pantone colour inks can be ordered in. To choose the pantone colour you would like please view the pantone books and make sure you look at the right finish, whether that be uncoated or coated as the same colour does look different on the 2 different stocks.

Each pantone colour has the equivalent in 4 colour process, (make up of the CMYK inks), but there can be slight variations in the translation from pantone colour to CMYK colour. If you have a specific pantone colour you want to achieve best to include a pantone ink, particularly for colours which require a reflex blue, like dark brown, dark grey and green.




Offset printing is the process of ink being applied to the image area only of a printing plate and the ink being transferred onto a blanket as it rotates in the machine.( the blanket is a cylinder covered in a rubber blanket)

illustration of offset printing by apple colour, bristol printer

Illustration of offset printing

Once the ink is transferred to the blanket it rotates and is pressured against a cylinder and the paper runs between the 2 surfaces, at which point the ink is applied to the paper/sheet. or perhaps a drawing is easier to understand on this occasion. so here is our very best sketch of what is offset printing.

but if you prefer us to talk it through, Take it away clive……



What is CMYK?

Yes it is the same as 4 colour process, here is what you need to know by Clive peters, Client services.

The litho press prints in 4 colours, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK). Each colour is applied to the paper in turn, in a dot matrix arrangement which builds up to create a spectrum of colours.  The only colours it cannot create is a spot colour, a neon or metallic.


Combining Litho And Digital Print

Litho and digital under one roof means you can combine the look of litho with the practicalities of digital. A brochure with a heavy cover, printed litho; plus personalised text pages printed digitally, is ideal for combining the two techniques.

See an example of litho & digital combined