Before any printing can take place, your message in the form of wording, drawings, logos or photographs or a combination of all four, need to be created to form the finished design to suit the product(s) upon which they are to be printed. This is now performed using computerised design software. The finished design is known as artwork. If you use you own Designers, they will be able to supply us with artwork. Alternatively we able to produce it for you but this may be chargeable.
Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF): preserves the visually rich content of original files.
Bitmap files: images are exactly what their name suggests, a collection of bits that form an image. The image consists of a matrix of individual dots (or pixels) that all have their own colour.
Encapsulated Postscript (EPS) file: an alternative picture file format that allows postscript data to be stored and edited and is easy to transfer between Macintosh, MSDOS and other systems.
Tagged Image File Format (TIFF): a file format for exchanging bitmapped images (usually scans) between applications.
Vector files: most images created with tools such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw are in the form of vector images. Unlike Bitmap files, artwork is produced using lines & curves (as opposed to pixels) to create an image. This then enables the manipulation/resizing of an image without losing any quality.
When the design is finished we can send it to you by e-mail.
In many cases, and if time allows, we can supply a proof of your logo printed onto the actual product but this (in most cases) would be chargeable.
You may have noticed that we say “Marking Processes” rather than Printing. This is because many products are not printed with your message but Embroidered, Engraved, Etched, Die stamped or Dye Sublimated. The following briefly outlines these processes.
Debossing: depressing an image into a material’s surface so that the image sites below the product surface.
Dye Sublimation: your design is reproduced onto a special paper which is then placed onto the surface of the product. A heat process ‘draws’ the ink into the surface of the product. Often used on metal & earthenware products and also on some garments.
Embossing: impressing an image in relief to achieve a raised surface.
Embroidery: stitching a design into fabric through the use of a high speed computer controlled sewing machine. Artwork must first be digitised, which is the specialised process of converting 2D artwork into stitches or thread. This process is used regularly on Clothing and Bags.
Engraving: cutting an image into metal, wood or glass by one of three methods, computerised laser engraving, hand tracing or hand engraving.
Etching: using a process in which an image is first covered with a protective coating that resists acid, then exposed, leaving bare and protected metal. The acid attacks only the exposed metal, leaving the image etched onto the surface.
Foil Stamp: applying metallic or coloured foil to vinyl, leather or paper surfaces.
4 Colour Process: a system where a colour image is separated into 4 different colour values, by the use of filters and screens (usually performed via digital methods). The result is a colour separation of 4 images, that when transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press with the coloured inks Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black (also known as CMYK), reproduces the original colour image. These four colours can be combined to create thousands of colours.
Hot Stamp: setting a design on a relief die, which is then heated and pressed onto the printing surface.
Litho Printing: a rotary process for printing wet inks onto flat surfaces. In our industry it is mainly used for paper products such as Calendars, Carrier Bags, Diaries, Notepads, & Paper Hats.
Pad Printing: also known as ‘Tampo printing’. A recessed surface is covered with ink. The plate is wiped clean, leaving ink in the recessed areas. A silicone pad is then pressed against the plate, pulling the ink out of the recesses, and pressing it directly onto the product. Ideal for curved and irregular shaped products.
Personalisation: imprinting an item with an ‘individuals’ name.
Screen Printing: also known as ‘Silk Screening’. An image is transferred to the printed surface by ink, which is pressed through a stencilled screen and treated with a light sensitive emulsion. Film positives are put in contact with the screens and exposed to light, hardening the emulsion not covered by film and leaving a soft area on the screen for the squeegee to press ink through. Generally used on flat surfaces and clothing.
As an example, if you order 100 items, we will try to make sure this is the quantity delivered to you. However, it is possible that that some items may be spoilt during production or when inspected by ‘quality control’ maybe rejected. To compensate for this we may print an extra 5% of the items. If all are perfect then we will despatch and invoice this quantity. These are known as “Overs”. If, on the other hand some are lost in production, you may be supplied with 95 and the difference is known as “Unders” and so you would be charged for 95 items and not 100.
Pantone Ink Matching System
The Printing Industry uses a system for matching colours of ink known as “Pantones”.
There are hundreds of colours and shades of colours and these all have a number. When your company colour scheme is designed, the designer will give the colours he/she uses a Pantone number, and by quoting this to us we can match that colour.
All items have different positions on them upon which we print. Due to their shape or size, some items can be printed in 1 position only. Others can be printed in several positions for example Pens. We can print onto the barrel in line with the clip, but where the message needs more space we can sometimes print around the back of the barrel or onto the clip. These are known as Print areas and each has a different size.