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.

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How to calculate the weight of a printed item?

Working out the weight of a printed item. In order to work out delivery changes it is important that we can work out the weight for printed items, prior to them being printed. Also if you are going to mail the item you will need to know the weight in order to work out the postage price.
So here is a quick sum to use to help you work it out.
For example. I want to work out the weight of a 16pp A4 brochure which has a 4pp 350gsm cover and a 12pp 170gsm text.
A4 size is 297 x 210.
Cover = 0.297 x 0.210 x 350 (grammage of the paper) =21.83gsm
Cover is 4pp so that is 2 leaves so time by 2 – 21.83 x 2 = 43.66

Text = 0.297 x 0.210 x 170 (grammage of the paper) = 10.60gsm
Text is 12pp so that is 6 leaves so times this weight by 6 – 10.6 x 6 = 63.62
TOTAL – 42.76 + 63.62 = 107.28gsm per brochure

What is a throw-out in a brochure?

A throw out is a folded sheet that opens out to one side. In a brochure it is a page which is bound into a saddle stitched or perfect bound book which fold out to reveal another two page section. It is great for a reveal in a brochure and also very handy if you have a panoramic image or long and thin content you need to include. A throw-out can be connected to either a cover or a text page. But remember when you set up the artwork you must make sure that the page that folds in is shorter than the other pages and also that the fold sits well within the page width of the other pages or it will be chopped off when it is trimmed! If the throw out is on the inside front cover and the cover needs to be flush with the rest of the book we can achieve this by a technique called a pre-bind.  It is a bit more expensive but well worth it to keep the brochure looking neat. To see an example of a double throw-out. Contact your Bristol Printer to discuss the options.

What is the difference between offset litho and digital?

We offer both processes of printing at Apple Colour as we recognise that different jobs require different techniques.
The litho press is best suited to long run printing of brochures or leaflets with multiple pages. That is when it is at its most cost efficient. It uses ink and printing plates to print sheets up to 520 x 720mm. You can print litho onto a large range of stocks and a comprehensive range of finishing is available when printing litho.
The digital printer is toner based and can print sheets up to 330 x 720mm. It is particularly useful when there is only a short run of print required (10-500 copies depending on the format). Digital has the advantage of being able to print personalised materials with individuals names, and we offer a range of finishing to compliment the digital print including the booklet maker, lamination, foiling and perfect binding.
Join us to see how this finishing is applied in future print question of the weeks. Follow us on twitter or Facebook to see the next instalment.


How do you count the number of pages when you spec a print job?

It’s actually quite complicated. Using the right terminology is the key and this is very much dependant on the binding being used.
(Just for reference 4pp means 4 printed pages).
Saddle stitching (with staples) only works if pages are made up of a 4 page section. As the staples are applied to the middle of the sheet, so most saddle stitched books require the number of pages to be divisible by 4. Unless you want to include a throw out, in which case this would require a 6 page section.(in which the extra 2pp can fold out of the book.
Perfect binding can accommodate a 2pp section but it does weaken the binding.
Wirobound – you will need to count the number of leaves. 1 leaf= 2 pages,so when you spec the job to the printer you would say 20 leaves/ 40 pages.
Glued pads- You need to count each sheet of paper as a leaf. It is a leaf whether it is printed on a single side or both sides. If double sided you would say 40 leaves of 2pp, if single sided you would say 40 leaves of 1pp.
NCR pads(No carbon required- duplication pads) – In this instance you count how many parts there are to each sheet to work out what is in the set.  So if it has 3 layers for each page , you would ask for 50 copies of a 3 part set.
Hope that helps. But if you are not sure please just ask. We’re here to help



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)

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