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An A-Z of Printing Terms

A-Z of printing terms

If you’re involved in buying printing but are not a designer or printer yourself, you’ll probably have come across some printing jargon that, at some point, has left you a little confused. ‘CMYK’, ‘bleed’ and ‘outlining fonts’ are possible examples. Such terminology often crops up at the worst possible time too — in print quotes or just when you are in a hurry to finalise artwork. Fear not, though, as we’re here to help you make sense of it all. Here is our handy A to Z of common printing terms:

Brochure Printers in London

Brochure printers in London SE1

 

Are you looking for brochure printers in London? Southside Print produce brochures and booklets for customers throughout the SE1 region, London Bridge, Borough, Southwark, London, the South East and beyond. We’re fast, economical and produce high quality printing along with design and artwork services if required.

Folded brochuresWe’re digital brochure printers

Our digital printing process is hard to beat when it comes to the quality of the printed brochures produced. Colours are vibrant and consistent from the first page to the very last. Images and text are sharp and clear and our finishing processes are also every bit as good. So whether you’re looking at the fine detail, the quality of the folding and trimming or the professionalism used in the binding process, you can rely on us to produce a first class job that’ll make you, your brand, your product or service look a million dollars, at an affordable price.

Binding options

We can supply printed brochures using a variety of different binding mechanisms. For example:

  • Folded brochures like four pagers, six pagers, gate-folded brochures and concertina brochures. These are each formed from a single piece of paper or card that is simply creased and folded to make multiple pages and sides. These are fast and economical to produce and keep things very, very simple.
  • Wire-O bound brochuresTraditional saddle-stitched brochures (stapled with two wires at the folded spine). Perfect for no-frills brochures, newsletters, product booklets and reports that have multiple pages (8 pages or more).
  • Wire-O bound brochures and booklets. These use a coloured metal coil or comb that binds the pages together through a series of neatly punched holes. The wire comes in a variety of different colours, for example, black, white, red, etc. Wire-O bound booklets are perfect for manuals, information booklets, presentations and even bespoke writing pads.
  • Perfect bound brochures and booklets. These take a form similar to that of a soft-bound, paperback book. So, the spine has a thickness with a flat surface that can be printed. Internal pages are glued into the spine and a heavier weight card usually forms the outer cover into which the pages are glued. Perfect binding is suitable for books, annual reports, high-end brochures, magazines and catalogues.

Perfect bound brochuresFinishing options

Printed brochures can also include a variety of different finishes …

  • Lamination to the outer covers includes matt, ‘soft touch’ and gloss options. Laminated covers are protected from moisture and are more resistant to wear and tear than their non-laminated equivalents. Matt lamination flattens contrast and gives brochures and booklets a fresh, contemporary feel. Gloss lamination gives brochures a high gloss look at the same time as making colours saturated and images more contrasty, for extra punch. ‘Soft touch’ lamination is similar in looks to matt lamination but has a velvety, slightly rubbery feel to the touch.
  • Metal foiling. At Southside Print we now offer digital foiling which is faster and more convenient than traditional foil blocking (which requires extra time and budget to produce a metal foiling die). Our digital foiling process takes place entirely in-house and is available in several colours, not just standard gold or silver.
  • Let the paper do all the work. It’s amazing how effective different papers and cards can be, all on their own. A brochure or booklet that uses uncoated paper or card has a natural, contemporary feel to it. In contrast, a brochure that uses coated stock tends to look more corporate and a little more traditional. It’s a tricky balance, though, because coated papers will ‘lift’ the ink to make the graphics and text more punchy while uncoated printing papers and cards tend to mute the colours in comparison. Each has their place, though, and any preference is a purely subjective thing.
  • Take it to the next level and mix it up. Taking all of this a step or two further, you could consider textured papers or cards, which will literally give your brochures and booklets a whole new ‘feel’. Textured covers can bring an extremely high quality aspect to any brochure or booklet — even more so when you also incorporate the aforementioned metallic foiling to the graphics on the cover. It’s a superb combination!

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Our New Digital Foiling Service vs. Traditional Hot Foil

Digital foiling (L) vs traditional hot foiling (R)

If you see printed material that has a mirror-like metallic imprint on it, it’s likely that you’re looking at the printing process known as ‘foiling’. Foiling really gives your printed items an added ‘wow’ factor — any foiled areas will catch the light in a way that other printing processes simply cannot accomplish. Foiling is a great way to set your printing apart from that of your competitors, giving it an extra dimension and almost jewel-like detailing. Foiled areas will glint in the light and give your printed pieces a feel of real quality.

Digital foiling is one of several new services that are now available at Southside Print, courtesy of our Vivid Matrix 530D digital foiling facility. While hot foiling is always available, the new digital foil service offers several benefits over its more traditional counterpart. Here we’ll take a look at the differences, benefits and any limitations of each process.

Similarities

  • Both processes can accomplish an attractive metallic printed finish to logos, text and graphics, as desired.
  • Both processes offer a variety of finishes including a mirror-like shine or more muted satin and matt effects.
  • Both processes offer a variety of colours including anything from the traditional metal colours like silver, gold, rose gold, and copper to more standard colours like blue, green, red, pink and white.
  • Both processes can also accomplish holographic effects within the metallic coating. These are rather like you might find on a banknote or high quality voucher.
  • Both processes can also replicate spot varnish effects through the use of clear foils. However, for those looking for the ultimate in high gloss, real U.V. varnishing will accomplish a much higher gloss than is possible using foils.

An example of digital foilingDigital Foiling

  • Digital foiling requires no ‘die’ (a bespoke metal stamping block) but requires an additional printing pass compared to traditional hot foiling.
  • Digital printing can be accomplished almost instantly, whereas traditional hot foiling requires a larger amount of set-up.
  • Fine detail is possible with both types of foiling, however finer detail can be held using digital foiling.
  • Because it is not indented (indeed it may even be very slightly raised), digital foil may not catch the light and glint quite so much as the hot foil process, which is stamped hard into the paper or card, causing the indent. However, it’s only a subtle difference.
  • Supplying a one-off foiled printer’s proof is totally viable with digital printing. With traditional hot foil it would usually be cost-prohibitive on all but the highest budget jobs.
  • Digital foiling is accomplished entirely in-house, so usually offers speed and cost savings over traditional hot foil, being particularly cost-effective for short to medium volumes of printing.
  • Holographic foilWhile digital foiling can accomplish holographic effects, they are limited to just a few options including glitter and rainbow patterns. Unlike with traditional hot foiling, it is not usually possible to have bespoke holographic effects with digital foiling, which is limited to off-the-shelf holographic patterns.
  • The digital foiling process can use special foils that are printable, meaning that you can print black or coloured graphics over the top of the foiled areas. That is particularly useful if you want the entire background of your job to be foil (e.g. glitter foil) with graphics printed on top of the metallic surface, for example on product packaging.
  • If your job requires foiling on top of an area already printed with ink, it will have to be laminated first (unlike with traditional hot foil). However, this is not always the case, for example if the printed ink doesn’t meet the foiled area and if the job is printed in a particular order.

An example of traditional hot foilingTraditional Hot Foil

  • Traditional hot foiling requires a metal die, which costs more the larger it is. This die is heated and pressed into the paper under high pressure so as to make the foiling film adhere to the paper or card.
  • The pressure used during the hot foil process causes the underlying paper or card to become indented/debossed. This can be quite attractive, in fact, as it can cause the foiled area to glint and catch the light more readily.
  • While both digital and traditional hot foiling techniques can ‘print’ in a variety of metals, colours and finishes, traditional foiling has a wider range available.
  • Metal hot foil 'die' used in traditional foilingTraditional hot foiling can use totally bespoke holographic effects e.g. you might want your logo to appear in the holographic ‘image’. As well as adding a unique and attractive feel to the printed piece, such bespoke holograms are also used as security devices because they are harder to copy. However, the added cost needs to be factored in.
  • Unlike with digital foiling, you never need to laminate your sheets if you don’t want to. Foiling can take place on top of any printed ink when you use the traditional hot foiling process.
  • Although more expensive than digital foiling for small and medium print quantities, traditional hot foil can save money for particularly large print volumes.

Using Foiling in your Printing

Foiling adds a high quality feel to key details on printed pieces like packaging, stationery, business cards, annual reports, brochures, book covers and wedding stationery and is also a perfect addition for security detailing and top-end bespoke design work. Foiled jobs automatically sell themselves as high quality sales or marketing pieces — almost effortlessly. So if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd and add quality to your brand, we can thoroughly recommend metallic foiling as an option.

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Brochure Printing in London Bridge, SE1

Printed brochures

Full colour brochures printed for Munro & ForsterBrochures are a priceless marketing tool for just about any business or organisation. Akin to a mini shop window or store front they will work hard to silently market your product or service to your target market, especially if written, designed and printed well. That’s helped still further if they also include professionally generated photographs or illustrations to showcase your products or services in the best possible light. With a well executed brochure, all your key sales and marketing information will be available anywhere, all distilled down in a handy, portable format. Unlike a physical store, they can be perused at your prospect’s leisure, whether mailed in the post, distributed from dispensers, left at coffee tables and receptions or handed out face-to-face.

Brochure Formats

Typical brochure formats include:
  • Saddle-stitched printed brochures for Gembuildstandard ‘saddle-stitched’ brochures;
  • wiro-bound brochures;
  • perfect bound brochures;
  • hybrid brochures e.g. that may have extra fold-out sections;
  • brochures that double up as folders, for example with pockets for inserts at the front or back.

Shapes & Sizes

Perfect bound 'Power to Change' brochuresMost brochures are based upon the ‘A’ sized paper sizes, for example A4, A5 and A6 etc. Such sizes can be presented in portrait or landscape mode, although portrait format tends to be most common as it’s more cost-effective to produce due to the way it uses standard stock sizes (less waste).

Aside from the standard ‘A’ sizes, there are also a few other brochure shapes that are quite effective, including:

  • Square brochures (typical sizes include 210mm square and 148.5mm square) — these have a certain charm about them;
  • 6-page format (like a wide gate fold);
  •  Wiro bound, full colour brochures 'Power to Change'‘DL’ sized mini brochures (most often portrait in format, being H210mm x W99mm, which is easily accomplished simply by folding an A4 sheet into three).

Each of these sizes and formats will give your brochure a different feel which will, in turn, affect that all important first impression — important because your brand, product and service are all at stake. If your brochure looks poorly conceived and underwhelming, that is inevitably how your product, brand or service will also be perceived, so it’s important to take everything into consideration and to get it right. Read more