Do you have an urgent printing job that simply MUST be turned around super-fast? If so, Southside Print can help. Subject to timing and workload, we offer:
- A same day printing service in London;
- Next day delivery for many locations* in the UK;
- Next day print & dispatch, for arrival anywhere in the UK* in 2-3 days;
- Plus our usual fast turnarounds for less urgent printing.
Same Day Printing Service for London
More often than not, we can turn around printing on the same day for local customers, particularly if we’re given advanced warning and artwork files are supplied according to pre-agreed timetables. If you’re in London, we can courier your printed jobs to you later on the same day, or they will be available to collect from our print shop near London Bridge and Borough, London SE1. Depending on the size of your printing job, the latest we’d usually need your artwork files and sign-off to proceed is 1pm, but obviously the earlier the better with timing being so short.
Printing Needed Within Just Hours?
If your print job is even more super-urgent, talk to us. Depending upon workloads and existing commitments, it may even be possible to turn around some jobs within just a few hours. While it’s not quite a while-you-wait service, it’s the next best thing.
Next Day, 24-Hour Printing Service
24-hour print turn around is also available for those jobs that simply must be with you the next working day, wherever you are in the UK. Our 24-hour print service will suit companies, organisations and individuals anywhere in the UK* as we can dispatch via overnight courier for next-day* delivery. It helps, of course, if we are forewarned so that we can clear the decks, ready for your job and to ensure that we have the right paper/volume ready. It works best when our clients hand over artwork files and/or give us sign-off to proceed no later than the times that we will have pre-agreed. Usually, the latest we’d need them is 1pm, but it does depend upon the size and complexity of the print job.
* Subject to availability. Some areas of the UK, for example more remote islands, may not be eligible for next day delivery via overnight courier, simply due to the limitations of the courier services themselves.
Next Day Dispatch (2-3 Day Service)
This is similar to the above, except the printing is dispatched the day after we receive the artwork and order to proceed, so will usually take a day longer to arrive with customers. We usually require artwork files and sign-off to proceed no later than 3pm on the first day.
We are a Green Printer!
Did you know that Southside Print is a very green printer? We’re even attaining ISO 14001 accreditation. There are not many eco-friendly printers around who will also be able to turn around printing super-fast, so bear us in mind next time you require urgent printing that’s also produced in a sustainable way, using recycled or eco-friendly materials and green processes.
We Can Print Virtually Anything
Whether you require printed brochures, booklets, posters, annual reports, manuals, stationery, banners, exhibition displays, mailers, menus, newsletters or anything else, we can almost certainly print it.
The Very Best Quality & Service
Our quality and service levels are superb and you don’t even need to take our word for it — our full suite of 5 Star Trust Pilot ratings speak for themselves.
Do You Need Urgent Printing?
If you have an urgent printing requirement and are looking for a super-fast printer that’s also high quality, reliable, eco-friendly and competitively priced, please get in touch so that we can schedule your print job in.
Sometimes a printed sales or marketing job simply needs to be as economical as possible. The quality still needs to be high but, for whatever reason, the production budget is particularly tight this time. For example, maybe you’re a start-up with limited budget, or two years of the pandemic have knocked your business for six. Or, perhaps you’re exhibiting at a trade show, already spent most of your budget on the space and stand, and forgot to order printed marketing materials to hand out to prospects. Well, worry not — there are always ways to save money when buying print on a budget. Take a look …
Have a think about the thickness of your paper or card. Does it really need to be that thick? Dropping from, say, 170gsm to 150gsm, 135gsm or even less will save you money and that saving could amount to a significant one, especially if you are producing a large print volume.
Posting Your Print?
If your printing is going to be posted, its thickness, size and weight are even doubly important. It would be tragic if your printed item was just a fraction over Royal Mail’s size and weight threshold, forcing you into the next price band. For example, if your printed piece is too large for standard First Class mail and sneaks into the ‘Large Letter’ band, sending just 500 out to prospects will cost you around £220 more in postage than it would otherwise have done. That’s not even allowing for additional costs like larger envelopes. So, some careful pre-planning of size, shape and paper weight can save significant money on postage when you get it right.
Ditch the Fancy Finishes
Do you really need that lamination? Or the rounded corners? Or the integral pocket for inserts? Eliminating luxuries at a time of need will save you money, for sure. It’ll also speed up production and that might also be critical if this print job has been left to the last minute.
Textured paper will almost always be more expensive than untextured. So, if you’re on a budget, forget laid paper, watercolour paper textures, onion skin textured paper and the like — it’s likely to add a significant amount to production costs. So, keep it simple when budgets are slim.
Going a step further, there is even a huge variety of untextured papers. Trendy uncoated (or ‘offset’) papers look organic and fresh, but they’re likely to cost quite a bit more money than more standard coated papers, which are produced in higher volumes at paper mills. In other words, the more ‘run-of-the-mill’ papers will help to save you money.
Branded vs. Unbranded
Do you really need to use that paper brand? There really are some lovely branded papers and cards out there, but when budgets are tight, any good commercial printer will be able to steer you towards a non-branded stock that could be a fraction of the price, but look every bit as good as the big brands.
Size & Format Considerations
Keep an eye on paper size/format to avoid paper wastage. What do we mean? Well, printing based on ‘A’ sizes (A4 and A5 etc.) will generally be cheaper to produce than bespoke sizes. That’s because there is less wasted paper/card produced when printers use the most commonly available paper sizes. So, perhaps that square brochure is not such a good idea if you are on a tight printing budget.
If your brochure or catalogue needs to be bound because it’s multi-page, consider the binding mechanism carefully. A folded brochure (e.g. 4 pager, multi-page ‘roll’ fold or even a ‘map’ fold) will generally be cheaper to produce than something that needs a separate binding stage. Even saddle-stitching (essentially stapling) will save money compared to wiro binding, velo binding, perfect binding and so on.
‘Ganging up’ is a great way to save money on print. The term refers to printing several jobs at the same time, on the same sheet. In this way, less printing passes (and, in the old days, less printing plates) are required because jobs are printed simultaneously. Once the large, multi-job, sheet is printed, it can then be cut down into it’s separate elements. An example would be A4 four-page brochures being produced at the same time as, say, A4 and/or A5 leaflets, all printed simultaneously on an SRA2 or SRA1 sheet. Some simple mathematics will be required to work out how many copies are produced of each, but ganging up certainly saves money when the maths and volumes work out nicely.
Top tip: Ask us for advice!
Photography & Illustration
If your brochure, leaflet or mini-catalogue requires photography or illustrations, there are potential ways to save money there too. Decent photographers and illustrators are expensive, to be frank. However, there are many ‘royalty-free’ image libraries that can offer high quality stock photos and illustrations for just a few pounds each. Adobe Stock, for example. They have literally millions of photos and images to choose from and you can even pay-as-you-go rather than having to sign up for anything long term.
Perhaps you need bespoke product/pack shots, though? These days, with ‘photo light tent’ kits available for less than £100 online and handheld mobile phones offering ample sharpness and resolution, it’s possible to get professional-looking pack shots produced entirely on a D.I.Y. basis. All on a low budget.
Professional print management should also save you money. If someone like Southside Print manages all your print, for the entire year, then savings can be made. That’s through a combination of things like ganging up, using print-on-demand so nothing goes to waste, and delivering several jobs at the same time to save on delivery costs. Going local also helps with delivery (if you’re in or near to the London SE1 area, our printing services are close by).
Multi-use & Reusable Print
Make your print multi-use. For example, perhaps you have a mini catalogue as well as a brochure. Well, combining the two into one printed document could save you money on production.
Similarly, making your printing reusable will also mean you don’t have to keep reprinting. For example, display graphics, laminated print collateral and banners can all be reused. Storing carefully will also extend their shelf lives.
Choose Your Printer Carefully
Choose your printer carefully. With Southside Print you will come to know that we are always competitively priced. What’s more, even when we print on a budget, our printing quality is superb and it’s also fast. Take a look at our 5 star Trust Pilot reviews and 5 star Google reviews and you’ll soon see this for yourself.
DIY Design & Artwork
If you know what you are doing, have a good eye for design and have the right (professional) software, you could consider producing your design and artwork entirely in-house. That’ll save you from spending out on professional design externally. However, it’s a tricky one because a poorly executed design can be a false economy. If the look, design and feel of your printed piece looks poorly executed, unattractive and confusing in terms of communicating your sales or marketing proposition, then it doesn’t matter how well it’s printed or how cheap it was to produce. Indeed, it could end up being a waste of time and money if the design and messaging is wrong. So, we suggest that the design of your printed piece is perhaps one area that you should not scrimp on even when budgets are tight. That’s unless, of course, you can ensure it’s going to look professional, clear in terms of message and technically correct using any in-house capabilities. If not, Southside Print offers a professional design and artwork service and we’re here if you need us.
It’s all a Balance
It’s all a balance, of course. You don’t want your sales and marketing collateral to do your product or service a disservice, so exactly where and how you save money needs careful consideration.
Competitively-Priced, High Quality Printers & Designers in London SE1
Southside Print can help with advice, of course, and our advice is totally free. We are a digital printer, large format printer and offer a complete range of print-related services near London Bridge. Print and design quotations are also free so, if you would like to request a free quote, have any questions or need advice, please get in contact and we’ll be happy to help:
Southside Print is proud to announce that we have embarked on our journey to become an ISO 14001-accredited printer by spring 2022. ISO 14001 is an important environmental management certification to a high quality, internationally recognised, standard. Gaining this independent accreditation will help us to further minimise our environmental impact and, in effect, that of customers using our printing services. That’s great news if you are operating as part of an ISO 14001-accredited business yourself, are a certified B Corporation (‘B Corp’) or want to ensure you are fully supporting your organisation’s CSR, sustainability and/or environmental policies. By choosing a supplier with ISO 14001 accreditation, you can be sure you are dealing with an environmentally-conscious supplier that delivers only environmentally-friendly, sustainable solutions for your printing and design needs.
A ‘Green’ Printer
ISO 14001 accreditation is a continuation of our efforts to be as ‘green’ a printer as possible. It’ll also help our clients by providing them with ecologically sustainable choices like environmentally-friendly paper, card, printing and finishing options for all their print.
Recycled & FSC Approved Paper & Card
Southside Print is already ticking all the right boxes. At time of writing, virtually 88% of the paper and card material we use is 100% recycled and FSC approved. It also goes without saying that we recycle as much of our paper and card off-cuts as possible. This goes directly back into the production of more paper pulp so that more of the world’s trees are conserved.
We even extend our efforts to lamination. When that is essential for customers’ printing, we only use bio-degradable laminate. However, that said, we discourage the use of any plastics whenever feasible.
Reducing Our Carbon Footprint
It doesn’t end with materials. There are many changes we have made to our working practices and the materials we use. For example, we are now fully electric, having taken out our old gas supplies. So, no more fossil fuels for Southside Print. We have also replaced all of our lighting bulbs with LED equivalents, so have vastly reduced our energy consumption for lighting. Even our website is hosted on ‘green’ servers.
Low & Zero Carbon Delivery Options
We even use ‘green’ couriers and delivery solutions. For example, we try to use only cycle couriers, electric bikes and electric vans vans for delivery wherever possible.
Eco-friendly Digital Printing
Printing production is also now fully digital. That means we use no nasty chemicals, nor do we produce any hazardous waste. With our green approach, environmental accreditation just around the corner and sustainability front and centre of everything we do, we are one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly printing companies.
ISO 14001 Environmental Accreditation:
- Shows we mean business when it comes to offering the most eco-friendly printing solutions;
- Helps facilitate the greenest printing and finishing options for clients, particularly those who wish to minimise their own carbon footprint and impact on the planet;
- Ensures efficient use of resources and a reduction in waste and energy use;
- Helps us to be ‘green to the core’ through a holistic approach to the environmental management of everything we do;
- Fosters a culture of continual improvement in our environmental systems and approach;
- Proactively boosts environmental performance, for us and our clients;
- Demonstrates our compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements, both now and in the future;
- Even encourages our suppliers to meet a certain level of environmental performance.
We hope to be fully accredited by the Spring of 2022. We will keep you updated, so please visit this blog area for more information in the first quarter of 2022.
Green Printers in South London
Are you looking for high quality, eco-friendly, green printers in South London or London Bridge? Our print shop is located nearby in Borough, just a few minutes from London Bridge station and Borough tube. We offer digital printing, large format printing , graphic design and a great print management service. Get in touch for more information or a free quotation — we’re here to help:
As we head into autumn, it’s time to consider printing of your corporate calendars for 2022. These are great give-aways and will remind your customers and prospects of your brand and contact details every day of the year. People are more likely to use them if they are received in good time, certainly no later than January 1st, so our advice is to start planning their design and production now.
Calendars are great give-aways and will remind your customers and prospects of your brand – and contact details – every day of the year.
Calendars should look interesting and attractive, so need to feature graphics or images that will be engaging for recipients; after all, each image will be visible for a whole month. If too corporate or ‘salesy’, people may well just bin them, so design and content needs careful consideration.
Calendar design & artwork service
We also offer a design/artwork service. So, if you’re unsure about design and print-ready artwork files, you can leave that to us. We can supply free quotations for design and artwork as well as for printing, so you will know exactly what to expect well before production begins.
The calendar year
Standard calendars start from January and run to the end of December. However, perhaps there’s a good reason why you require some other date range. For example, if you’re marketing to accountants or the financial sector, consider producing a calendar for the financial year, starting in April. Or, if you’re giving calendars to educational staff, another example is academic calendars. These usually run from September when the first term of the academic year begins. At Southside Print, anything is possible!
Calendars are great for fundraising too! Charities and fundraising personnel could even consider pre-selling them so they know how many to order.
Our standard calendars are wall calendars. These are available in A4 and A3 sizes (portrait format). However, we can also produce bespoke sizes as well as desktop calendars on request. Simply ask for more information or, if you have a design in mind, talk to us to see what’s possible. Like quotations, advice is free at Southside Print.
Standard wall calendars contain 13 pages (one for the cover and 12 for the months of the year), usually printed on beautiful silk photo paper. They have a hanging loop at the top and a protective ‘frost’ covering. Standard ones are hung from the short edge (portrait format), but if you require a landscape format calendar or a different type of paper, again that’s no problem and we can print something completely bespoke for you.
Please note that the wire at the top is usually silver in colour, but other colours are available on request. Please allow 10mm in your design, if supplying it, for the wiring area at the top.
We’re a Printer in London Bridge/Borough, South East London
We are a printer based in London Bridge/Borough in South East South London. Our core print-related services are digital printing, large format printing, graphic design, print management, a direct mail service and online printing. Please get in contact if you’d like to discuss a print or design project and we’ll be happy to help …
At Southside Print we have virtually a full suite of 5 Star reviews on Google for our printing and design services. A staggering 19 out of the 21 Google reviews that Southside Print has received are 5 star reviews. That’s the highest possible star rating for over 90% of all customer reviews — and we’ll be forever grateful to customers who went out of their way to leave such glowing reviews for us. Thank you to each and every one of them.
The highest possible rating in over 90% of customer reviews
Here’s what just some of our past customers have said on Google:
Thank you again to all of the above and the many others who left such positive feedback on Google for Southside Print.
Existing Customer? Please Write a Review
Southside Print SE1 would love your feedback. If you are an existing or previous customer of Southside Print and were happy with our service, please consider posting a review to our Google profile. Here’s how:
- Log into your Google account
- Go to https://g.page/r/Cctja4YTEM9bEAg/review
- Submit your review
We’re Printers in Borough/London Bridge, London SE1
Southside Print are printers in London Bridge, Borough and SE1 in South London, producing outstanding digital printing, large format printing, graphic design and artwork and online printing.
Curved pop-up display systems look incredibly impressive. They are a great way to showcase your brand and to get your sales or marketing message across, all in an instant. Despite their large size and powerful impact, they are surprisingly inexpensive.
Pop-up display systems really are a perfect solution whether you need large display graphics at an exhibition, trade show, industry expo or for ad hoc appearances in places like shopping malls and business receptions.
A Huge Display Area for Your Graphics
Southside Print’s pop-up display systems are beautiful. They offer a huge expanse for your graphics on a curved display wall that stands unaided over several metres. They have attractive curved ends too, with continuous, edge-to-edge graphics for your marketing proposition. It’s a vast area to display your logo, strap-line, key marketing messages and any photos or graphics. With size options ranging from 3m x 2m right up to an incredible 3m x 5m, you really do have enormous scope to get your message across with maximum visual impact.
The printing of the display graphics is included in the price.
The printed graphics are included along with everything you need for your display, all packed and ready to use inside the transportation case. When it’s needed, the entire display, including the counter (see section below), curved ‘wall’ and framework that holds it together all assemble in just a few minutes. So, in next to no time at all, your attractive and impressive display is ready to do its work. No special tools are required.
A Convenient Transportation & Storage Case is Included
Likewise, when your event is over, the entire thing packs down, just as easily, into the compact storage case. Despite packing a large punch in terms of size and marketing impact, pop-up display systems are extremely easy to store and to transport. The case has wheels integrated into its design and will easily fit inside a car. The robust case represents a perfect way to store and protect your large-scale graphics until the next time they’re needed.
The Display Counter is Also Included
At no extra cost, the storage case also doubles as an attractive display counter for use at your event. It can sit in front of, or alongside, your main display and perhaps form a focal point or place to talk with your prospects. A separate wrap-around graphic attaches seamlessly to the counter, giving you another display area to showcase your brand and key marketing messages. It also has beautifully curved sides to match the main display. The counter also features a robust, horizontal table top where you can perhaps stack brochures or other printed marketing materials for your prospects to take home.
Showcase Your Brand or Message in the Best Possible Light
Lights are included in our standard pop-up display pricing or are available separately, along with many other accessories, on request. Simply ask us about the various options and we’ll be happy to help.
Artwork Templates Available
Useful artwork templates are available online in both InDesign and Acrobat PDF formats. They’re available for all 4 pop-up display options:
- H3m x W2m pop-up display with storage case/counter;
- H3m x W3m pop-up display with storage case/counter;
- H3m x W4m pop-up display with storage case/counter;
- H3m x W5m pop-up display with storage case/counter.
So, if you’re supplying your own design and artwork, we even make that easier for you. On the other hand, if you need help with design and artwork we offer that as a service too; just contact us and one of our professional graphic designers can sort out a beautiful design for you.
Our Pop-up Displays are Surprisingly Inexpensive
You may be surprised to learn how little our pop-up banners cost. Despite their high quality, large size and huge impact, they start from just a few hundred pounds, so offer maximum bang for your buck. Our pricing includes printing of the graphics, the curved display unit, the counter that doubles as a storage/transport case and, at time of writing, free delivery in the UK. We’ll shortly be adding them to our new online print shop, so you can simply choose the most appropriate size for your event, download an artwork template and pay online — simple! Once you have supplied artwork, turnaround is surprisingly fast. We’ll update this post with a link to the product once the new online print shop is live. In the mean time, contact us for free printing quotes, queries, help with digital printing, graphic design/artwork, or anything else. Southside Print is a printer London Bridge and Borough, in London SE1.
Images are for illustrative purposes only.
If you are an environmentally conscious individual or represent a business or organisation that is, Southside Print can help by providing environmentally-friendly printing. More and more people are rightly concerned about the impact that their buying choices have on the environment. With temperatures and sea levels across the world rising, long-frozen ice caps melting and the world’s biodiversity under enormous threat, it’s becoming increasingly important to make good choices about where and how products and services are produced. Indeed, many companies and organisations across the globe now have sustainability policies in place to ensure that they are sourcing services and products only from environmentally-responsible, sustainable sources. That includes, of course, paper-based products and printing services. Well, at Southside Print, we supply sustainably-produced printed products for many environmentally aware clients including individuals, charities, green businesses, certified B Corporations (B Lab/B Corp) and so on. Our ‘green’ printing is perfect for anything from brochures, leaflets, annual reports and posters to large format printing, banners and letterheads — and much more.
Sustainable Printing at Southside Print
- All paper used at Southside Print is FSC accredited (more about that below).
- It’s also at least 20%-30% recycled.
- Customers have a wide choice of sustainable papers, card and board to choose from, including 100% recycled options and even some eco-friendly paper stocks that contain no wood pulp at all.
- We recycle all paper and card off-cuts, whenever it’s possible, throughout the year.
- We use only the most energy-efficient printing and finishing machinery and technologies.
- Our printing is fully digital, meaning we don’t use nasty chemicals in our print processes.
- Even our website is hosted on green servers, which use energy from renewable sources and the most energy-efficient server technologies, resulting in minimal CO2 emissions.
- When delivering finished print orders around London, we even use ‘green’ couriers whenever possible.
We mentioned that all our paper is FSC accredited. This means that our papers, cards and boards are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as containing wood or pulp from responsibly managed forests and/or from recycled post-consumer waste. That’s important to us and our many environmentally aware clients.
Paper — The Eco Facts
Some studies suggest that there are misconceptions, particularly amongst young adults, around sustainability in the printing and paper industry. The truth, however, is very positive and, indeed, the paper industry is one of the few that is genuinely and inherently sustainable.
“The paper industry is one of the few that is genuinely and inherently sustainable.”
- Over 12½ million tonnes of paper are used in the UK every year. About 80% of that is recycled, which is incredible when you think about it.
- About 57½ million tonnes of paper per year is recycled in Europe [2019 data], with up to 78% of it being recycled there.
- European forests are actually growing rather than shrinking. In the last 15 years or so, they have grown by more than the equivalent of the land mass of Switzerland — that’s a growth rate of about 1,500 football pitches every day.
- Paper can only be recycled 5 to 7 times before the fibres become unsuitable in the production of ‘new’ paper, so the role of new wood fibre/pulp from the FSC managed forests is essential.
- The biggest use of wood from the world’s forests is for fuel (logs etc.) — that accounts for 50%. Meanwhile, 30% of timber is used in the manufacture of more industrial products like furniture or in construction. Only about 13% of the world’s wood is used in the manufacture of paper.
- Printed paper products are one of the lowest greenhouse gas emitters in today’s world of electronic communications. In fact, they produce just a tiny fraction of what is produced by the ICT industry itself.
- Over 60% of forests in the EU are FSC certified (or PEFC equivalent), with over 42% of Europe being covered by them. (PEFC is similar to the FSC, with both independently verifying that wood fibre used in paper production has been sourced from sustainably managed forests).
- 71% of wood and 83% of pulp purchased in Europe for paper production is either FSC or PEFC accredited.
For more details about the incredible sustainability of paper and printed products, download an excellent 26 page report by the organisation Two Sides.
“From newspapers to magazines, from photocopies to leaflets, we believe Print and Paper cannot be beaten for attractiveness, impact and sustainability.”
Your Eco-friendly Printing Supplier
So if, like us, you believe that sustainable, eco-friendly choices are crucially important, then Southside Print can help with all your printing requirements. We’re a high quality printer in Borough, London SE1, near London Bridge, but we can supply anyone, anywhere. We care deeply for the environment and are keen to do everything we can to help others improve their ‘triple bottom line’ (social, environmental and financial) whilst also playing our own crucial part to help Planet Earth. Please do consider us if you would like to produce environmentally-friendly printing materials for your sales, marketing, corporate or private needs. Choose an appropriate button below to make contact and we’ll be happy to help.
At Southside Print we can either accept artwork files from customers, or produce artwork for them. Obviously, clients can save some money if they choose the former option and do their own design and artwork. However, if they’re not used to generating their own professional-grade artwork, common mistakes are easy to miss. These could lead to digital artwork files not working at all, unexpected printing results or, even worse, paid-for printing being totally unusable. For these reasons, we thought we’d highlight the most common artwork mistakes that we see, in the hope that they can be avoided by customers who supply their own artwork files to us.
1: Incorrect Colour Mode
Most mobile phones and digital cameras save images in RGB mode. This mode is meant for screen viewing rather than commercial printing. If digital artwork is supplied with images in RGB mode, there’s a significant chance that they will not look as expected – potentially terrible – on the final printed results.
Solution: Before putting full colour images into artwork files, they should first be opened in an application like Photoshop and re-saved in CMYK mode. For the same reason, the final artwork file (usually saved as a print-ready PDF) should also be saved in CMYK mode when printing full colour images.
2: Inadequate Image Resolution
Have you ever looked at something printed, perhaps in a brochure, and spotted one or more images that look a bit fuzzy or, worse still, pixelated? Both are almost certain to be due to the images having inadequate resolution within the artwork files supplied. With resolution too low, images can appear ‘soft’ and lacking detail at best, or broken up into visible squares (the pixels) at worst.
Solution: Ensure that photographic images are at least 300 dots per inch (‘dpi’, also known as ‘pixels per inch’ or ‘ppi’) at the size they are going to be shown in the final printing. This can also be checked in professional image editing applications like Photoshop. It’s important to ensure that the final digital artwork file (again, usually provided as a print-ready PDF) is also saved with images set to 300dpi or, for particularly fine screen rulings, 350dpi minimum. If they’re well above that resolution, most applications can save the print-ready PDF in such a way that images with resolutions above, say, 450dpi are ‘downsampled’ to 300 or 350dpi. If downsampling is used, the Image Quality setting should be set to Maximum.
Related note: ‘Line artwork’ type images should either be saved as vectors (e.g. Illustrator ‘EPS’ format) or, if they’re ‘rasterised’ (pixel-based) images, save them at a minimum of 1200dpi to avoid jagged edges showing on areas like curves.
3: Using the Wrong Application for Professional Artwork
Applications like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and even Corel Draw are fine for office use and for outputting to standard desktop printers. However, they’re not really seen as professional applications for use within the commercial printing industry. Attempting to use them as such may well simply not work, give unprofessional, substandard results, cause glitches in the case of Corel Draw, or require your commercial printer to re-make your artwork again from scratch (at significant cost in all likelihood).
Solution: Don’t attempt to use desktop applications like Word and PowerPoint nor, in our view, Corel Draw for use with high-end commercial printing. Instead, you should be using a professionally-recognised design and artwork application like Adobe InDesign. It is the de-facto design, page make-up and artwork application used in the design and print industry, having pretty much replaced older applications like Quark Express and PageMaker. It is usually used in tandem with images and graphics brought in from Adobe Photoshop and/or Adobe Illustrator, which are also both the de-facto professional applications for each of their respective fields.
4: Missing Out Bleed
If your design and artwork has colours or images going right to the edge of the printed item, you shouldn’t just stop your artwork there because guillotining of the final printing is not usually accurate to tenths of a millimetre. Therefore, you could end up with white edges showing rather than your background colour or image going right up to and off the edge of the cut sheet.
Solution: Remember to add an extra 3mm of ‘bleed’ (an area that prints further than the edge of the sheet) to all artwork elements that you want to print to the edge. That way, if guillotining is not quite accurate, your colour or image will still print to the edge because you built in a 3mm margin of possible error.
5: Sitting Artwork in the Middle of a Larger Sheet
When producing finished artwork for, say, a business card, it might be tempting to produce it in the middle of an A4 sheet, because that’s the size of paper you might usually deal with on your computer. However, saving smaller artworks on larger paper sizes within digital artwork can end up costing you money and causing problems at printing stage. That’s because it’s terribly difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of the surrounding margin. That’s important when we want to use several duplicates of the business card on the uncut printing sheets, so as to get economies of scale and reduce paper/card waste.
Solution: Within your design and artwork application, ensure that your document size is set to the correct, final size that you want your printed piece to be, and no larger (apart from the additional 3mm of bleed if needed — see above). Also discuss whether you need to add ‘trim marks’ with your commercial printer as that requirement can vary from printer to printer.
6: Supplying Readers’ Spreads instead of Printers’ Spreads
Let’s take the example of an 8-page brochure for illustrative purposes. In that example, although page 2 will be next to page 3 from a reader’s point of view on the final brochure, that’s not how they’re actually printed. If you supply your artwork with double-page spreads set up in that way, pages will end up on the wrong order in the final printing.
Solution: In the 8-page brochure example, you have two choices. The first is to supply individual pages rather than spreads and then allow your printer to do what’s called ‘imposing’ them into the correct multi-page spreads from which to print. That’s the safest option if you’re not a professional designer or ‘finished artist’. For professionals, though, you can supply properly imposed ‘printer’s spreads’, for example with the front cover on the right next to the back cover on the left, page 2 printed opposite page 7, page 3 alongside page 5 and so on. Either way, once printed, trimmed and folded, the pages will end up in the correct order, so long as the imposing is done thoughtfully.
7: Using the Space Bar for Tabulated or Indented Content
If you hit the space bar multiple times to try to align indented content or columns of text or numbers, you will almost certainly end up with columns that don’t quite line up vertically in a straight line. That’s because most commercially printed fonts don’t use a ‘fixed width’ measurement for every character. So, one line of 30 characters (including spaces) will almost certainly end up a different length to another line of 30 different characters. Hence, columns will look misaligned and unprofessional.
Solution: Professional designers use properly set-up tabs to align their tabulated content, not the space bar. This ensures that tabulated content and indents line up perfectly. And what’s more, it’s easier than you think once you’ve tried it a few times — and saves time.
8: Ad-hoc Text Styles
Changing font styles, colours, sizes and weights on an ad-hoc basis as you work through your text content is more likely to end up with styling errors and inconsistencies. This can make a printed piece look amateurish.
Solution: Use your professional design and artwork package’s character and paragraph style palettes properly, i.e. pre-set a range of styles that you are likely to use and then apply one style to each title, sub-title, paragraph etc. as you work through your document. It’ll save you time and mean that styling is totally consistent throughout your final printed piece. What’s more, if you decide one particular type of content needs to be altered throughout the entire document, all you need to do is to change that particular pre-set style once in the palette — and the whole document will update itself.
9: Using Clip-Art
Clip-art from desktop applications is all very well for internally-produced ‘office’ type documents that are to be printed on desk-top printers. However, they often lead to unexpected printing results on commercial printers. That’s because clip-art formats like Windows Meta Files are not designed for such commercial use; they often cause glitches in the printing or crashes in commercial printing PostScript software. In essence, clip-art is simply not fit for commercial printing purposes.
Solution: There are 3 possible solutions. Firstly, you could avoid clip-art unless it’s professionally produced specifically for high-end commercial PostScript printing and comes in a file format like .ai or .eps (and is in CMYK mode). Secondly, you could consider generating the designed graphic yourself using a professional programme like Adobe Illustrator. Then export it to your InDesign document layout as an EPS file. Lastly, you could try to ‘rasterise’ any suitable image (for example, by opening it, or a PDF of it, in Photoshop) so that it essentially ends up as the equivalent of a photo, i.e. made up of pixels instead of clip-art vectors. N.B. don’t forget to check it’s in CMYK mode and at least 300dpi if going for a rasterised (non-vector) route.
10: Not Proof-Reading Thoroughly
Once printed, it’s too late to correct any errors that were missed in your design and artwork. And you’ll still have to pay for the original printing and any reprint needed.
Solution:It goes almost without saying that you should check, double-check and triple-check every job before sending it to your commercial printer. Maybe even get another person to check again for you. Spell checking and proof-reading are all part of the checking process, as are technical checks to ensure that images are in the correct mode, that resolution is sufficient, bleed has been added where required, and so on. Another recommended way to catch any errors is to get your commercial printer to supply a printed proof, which you should also carefully scrutinise for errors and technical issues before sanctioning the full print run.
11: Not Embedding or Outlining Fonts
Forgetting to either embed or outline (vectorise) fonts within your final artwork file can lead to unexpected font substitutions that could wreck the look of your final printed piece.
Solution: Save a version of your InDesign artwork file first with it’s ‘live’ (editable) text. Then select all text with the pointer tool and convert it to vectors (using the Create Outlines command under the Type menu) and re-save it with a new name. The reason for keeping two versions is in case you subsequently spot an error and need to go back to the original file version to correct the document. You can’t do that with outlined fonts as they’ve become vectors (shapes) rather than live letters, even though they look identical. One final tip is to then use the Type > Find Font command to ensure that you haven’t missed any fonts and that there are no live ones left. Then, once all other checks have been made and there are no longer any live fonts in the document, save your print-ready PDF.
Another option is to embed all fonts rather than outlining them. However, outlining them in the way described above is more reliable, particularly as some font licences occasionally stop you from being able to embed them.
Let us Produce Your Design & Artwork
One sure-fire way to avoid all the potential problems above is to let us do your design and artwork for you. It’ll save you many hours of work, if not days, and will look totally professional. In tandem with digital printing, large format printing, and eco-friendly printing, it’s what we do professionally, after all. We have our own in-house designers and finished artists, who know graphic design and printing services backwards, so it’s really no trouble. We’re competitively priced and printing quotations are free. So, if you are looking for professional, high quality design, artwork or printing in London Bridge and Borough in South East London (SE1), please get in touch here , ask for a free printing or design quotation here, or call 020 7378 6754. We’ll be happy to help.
We offer an incredibly wide range of printing-related services and processes at Southside Print, so thought we’d publish a guide. It’s not an exhaustive list of everything we do, however it represents a good overview of the core print, design, binding, print finishing and direct mail services that are on offer from our London Bridge/Borough base. Take a look below.
As you can see, we can print and produce just about anything. There are many processes, finishes and embellishments to choose from, so your finished sales or marketing piece can be both fully functional and look as good as it possibly can. Whether you need