Frequently Asked Questions

Printing Terminology

Here we have listed some basic printing terminology to help you understand our services a little better.
If there is anything that you don’t understand or are still unsure, then get in contact with us using the online chat or calling 0845 072 2778 and we will update our page accordingly.

Artwork, Pre-Press, and Files

Bleed
If your document contains background colours or imagery that goes to the edge of the page, bleed should be added so the content goes beyond the edge. This excess will then be trimmed off, ensuring your artwork is printed to the edge of the page. If edge to edge printing (full bleed) is required, we recommend a 3mm bleed on your artwork. If a bleed is not added then white borders may be visible.

Crop marks/cut marks/trim marks
Crop marks, also known as cut marks and trim marks, are small lines placed in the corner of your artwork to indicate the artwork trim size. Crop marks and bleed will guide the print finisher when trimming the document.

DPI
DPI means ‘dots per inch’ – the number of little printed dots there is in an inch of your printed document. The larger the DPI, the larger the number of dots and therefore the clearer the print. Typically, printed artwork requires an output resolution of 300dpi. Digital display artwork requires an output resolution of 72dpi. If you send us artwork that is not 300dpi then there is a risk of this being pixelated when printing.

Papers and Stocks and Other Printing Terminology

FSC® certified paper
FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) – an international, non-governmental organization who promotes the practice of responsible forestry. This paper is typically used on business cards, printed documents, and book and manual covers.

Paper stock
This refers to the type of paper that we print on. The standard options are gloss, matt and silk paper.

Gloss paper
Gloss is ideal for colour printing and is commonly used for magazines, brochures and flyers. It is a smooth, shiny and reflective paper finish. Due to the reflective nature of the paper, it can show fingerprints more easily than matt paper. Gloss paper is also difficult to write on and is not recommended for diaries, workbooks, forms etc. Suitable for: magazines, brochures, flyers, photobooks, book and manual covers.

Matt paper
Matt paper stock is similar to your standard home or office paper. It is used for a wide range of documents, from forms and letters to essays, corporate stationery and more. It is easy to write on and does not reflect light. Suitable for: letters, forms, essays, corporate stationery and manual inner pages.

Silk paper
Silk is a great all-rounder, with a finish halfway between matt and gloss. It is a popular choice for documents which include a mix of text and images. Suitable for: softback books, booklets, brochures, leaflets, posters, manuals, documents, and more.

Paper weight (gsm)
Paper weight is referred to in gsm (grams per square metre). It refers to the weight of the paper. Typically, the higher the gsm, the thicker the paper.

  • 100gsm is our standard white paper stock for colour printing. It is often used for letters compliment slips, forms and surveys.
  • 120gsm is a better quality option offering less transparency. It is good for professional documents such as reports, presentations, and CVs.
  • 150gsm is slightly thicker than the standard home or office printing paper. it is used for presentations, reports and brochures.
  • 160gsm bridges the gap between paper and card. It is a thicker paper option offering extra durability. It is good for brochures and high-quality flyers.
  • 170gsm silk is usually used for large posters and 170gsm gloss is a popular choice for leaflets, calendars and more.
  • 200gsm is a heavier stock, making it ideal for document covers or thick sheets.
  • 250gsm is ideal for document covers and commonly used for greetings cards, invitations and booklet or brochure covers.
  • 300gsm/350gsm is one of our thickest available paper stocks for some products. It is perfect for business cards, loyalty cards, bookmarks, postcards and other print jobs that require a thick or luxury finish.

Colour

Pantone® colour
Pantone is a colour matching system that is universally used by many industries, including print, graphic design, paint-making and fashion. The Pantone Matching System (PMS) allows us to make sure we are printing your colours perfectly if you have a Pantone reference in your artwork. To read more about Pantone colours then have a road of our blog on our main website, here.

RGB
RGB refers to the colour model that is used to display graphics on-screen. It stands for Red, Green and Blue because these are the three main colours used to create all the colours you see on your screen.

CMYK
CMYK refers to the colour model that is used for full-colour printing. It stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black). This is representative of the four colours used in printers.

Finishing and Binding

Print finishing
Finishing refers to all the activities that are performed on printed material after it has been printed. It includes binding, putting individual sheets together, folding, stapling, foiling, embossing, laminating, encapsulating… The possibilities are endless with print finishing and it determines how the end product will look.

Perfect binding
Pages are fixed to a cover or spine using glue. This process is mainly used for softback books.

Saddle stitching
Pages are bound by driving staples through the centre of the spine of folded sheets. This technique is commonly used for magazines, newsletters and small catalogues, but is limited in the number of pages that can be bound.

Side stitching
This type of binding is less common than saddle stitching. The staples are driven through the pages, usually parallel to the binding margin. Reports are often bound this way.

Spiral binding/Wire binding
A continuous wire or plastic coil is threaded through holes drilled or punched into a stack of sheets. This is the most popular method of binding manuals and documents that are used frequently.

Loose-leaf binding
A set of holes is drilled in a stack of sheets which are then inserted into standard or customised ring binders. This binding technique is used for presentations, financial reports, manuals, or any other type of publication that require frequent updating.

For tips on binding methods, please refer to our blog: What type of binding should I use?

Personalised print
This means that the print is personalised. Each printed piece may have a different company name or address on for large mailouts or may be personalised to each person on a training course.

Embossing and debossing
Embossing is the process of adding a raised image to a book cover or other printed material. Sometimes an ink or foil is used to accent the raised image. Debossing is the opposite, creating a sunken image on the material.

Foiling
Foil can be a real eyecatcher when applied to book or magazine covers. This is especially true for metallic foils which reflect light and add a silvery or golden glow. Such foils are applied using a pattern on a heated die that presses a roll of foil against the material.

Laminating
The usual term for laminating would be to encase the printed sheet in a plastic cover, however, laminating in printing terms is slightly different. Laminating refers to a coat or cover that can be applied to printed matter, which means no plastic outer; it looks just like a normal print but adds a professional feel to your documents. We offer a gloss, matt, or soft-touch lamination.

Encapsulation
Encapsulation is what we printers refer to as bonding the printed sheet between two layers of plastic material – not to be confused with lamination. A typical example of this would be menu cards for restaurants which often need to be both sturdy and waterproof.

Die-cutting
Irregularly shaped printed matter such as coasters or labels are cut out of the material in a process called die-cutting. The die contains knives or creasing rules that have been prepared specifically for a certain shape.

Spot UV
Similar to our foiling method, spot UV is a high gloss coating that is applied using a pattern on a heated die that presses the UV gloss against the material. It gives an extra gloss shine to certain areas of the printing that you want to highlight.

You can request a sample pack to see what these finishes look first-hand, and to help you make a decision on your specialist finishing options.

“A” Paper Sizes

Paper Sizes Explained. A Class Paper sizes are the industry standard for most European countries. The A-Class is an International standard, so an A4 size will always be the same size wherever you are in the world.

A Class paper sizes have a unique ratio of height and length. If you fold one size in half lengthways it will be the same size as the A Size below.

paper size guide

So fold an A3 size piece of paper in half and it will now be A4. Do this again and the size will now become A5.

A Paper Sizes

A0 – 841mm x 1189mm
A1 – 594mm x 841mm
A2 – 420mm x 594mm
A3 – 297mm x 420mm
A4 – 210mm x 297mm
A5 – 148mm x 210mm
A6 – 105mm x 148mm

There are other sizes used in the UK that are popular.

DL
This is basically the size of an A4 split into three rows. DL is 210mm x 99mm, which is the size of a standard compliment slip.

Business Cards
The UK standard size for business cards is 85mm x 55mm, however, this is not a strict guideline to follow. Business cards can be squared or follow the US standard size which is 90mm x 50mm.

For more information on printing and binding options please feel free to head over to our blog here.

If you would like more info on what we do or who we are, then please feel free to look at our main website www.printroom.co.uk

Types of Binding Explained

Here we have listed our types of binding to help you understand our services a little better.

Wire binding

Wire binding is a popular binding method and is also commonly known as wiro binding, spiral binding and coil binding. Wire-bound documents are held together with a C shaped wire spine which binds the pages together securely, enabling them to turn 360 degrees and lay flat on the desk.

This is the most popular binding option for training manuals because the wire spine keeps the manual held together tightly and securely, and it’s great for longevity. If the manual needs to be written inside, a matt paper stock is recommended, although a silk paper stock will allow you to write with a biro.

Wire binding is cost-effective and usually, an acetate front cover and card back is added to your manuals to make them more durable.

Pros Cons
• Durable • Doesn’t look as professional as a perfect-bound document
• Can lay flat on a desk • Pages cannot be added once the manual has been bound
• Easy to turn pages
• Printed tabs can be added easily before binding

Perfect binding

Perfect binding is often used for softback books, also known as paperback books, and sports a flat spine. The pages are printed loose and then glued to the spine area. The cover and spine are fully customisable in terms of design. Our softback books are bound just like those in your local book shop.

Perfect binding makes your manuals look professional and are great for storing on bookshelves. They are usually kept as a resource after a course has finished, however, perfect-bound books only work well if the page count is higher as they tend to close on themselves. Because pages are glued into the spine, images or text near the middle of the manual can be harder to read and can sometimes get lost when the pages bow.

Pros Cons
• Can be kept afterwards as a keepsake • Cannot lay flat on a desk
• Looks professional • Only works well with documents that have a higher page count
• Perfect-bound documents are not good for heavy usage
• Can be costly
• Printed tabs cannot be added

Ring binding

Ring binding is a simple form of document binding. The pages are printed, hole-punched (2 or 4 holes) and attached to 2 or 4 rings inside the binder. Your ring binder can be printed with a customisable front cover and spine and it is easy to update rin-bound documents. Simply open the metal rings and add or remove the hole-punched pages as needed.

Ring binding is a popular option for training manuals and course materials. A more cost-effective option would be to have a cover and spine printed as well for your ring binder. Ring binders lie flat, however, the pages can be tedious to turn as you have to thread the page through the ring and tearing is inevitable if care isn’t taken.

Pages can be added after the final document has been bound, and pages can also be taken out. This can be both an advantage and disadvantage as people can remove pages as they please and content could then be missing. If you want your delegates to use the training manual regularly afterwards and add more sections in future, then this is recommended. However, ring-bound manuals are also bulkier and aren’t easy to transport in a suitcase or small bag.

Pros Cons
• Sections, chapters or modules can be added easily after binding • Can be costly
• Ring binders can be re-used for other courses afterwards • Potential to be bulky and not easy to travel with
• Can lay flat on a desk
• Sturdy and durable
• Printed tabs can be added before or after binding

For more information on our company please pop over to our main website www.printroom.co.uk

How does VAT work?

VAT is Value Added Tax. The current rate for VAT in the UK is 20%.

VAT is added to most products sold however, there are some exemptions. VAT is not added to books, manuals, and advertising leaflets.

VAT registered companies are able to claim VAT back. For more detailed explanations on VAT please look at these resources.

VAT Explained for SME’s.

Sage Accounting VAT explanation.

 

Shipping Carrier Information

We have various delivery options for your manual orders.

UK Royal Mail 1st Class

For standard delivery, we will use a next day courier service. This guarantees that your order will be with you the day after it leaves our Bracknell head office.

Please note that Saturdays and Bank Holidays are not included in our delivery options. If you do need either a timed delivery, weekend delivery or even same-day delivery then please speak to one of our client services team by engaging the online chat or calling 0845 072 2778 and we can find the right shipping method for you and help you to meet your deadline.

Our extra delivery options include:

• UK Next Day Guaranteed by Pre-9am
• UK Next Day Guaranteed by Pre-12pm
• UK Saturday Morning Delivery
• Same Day Delivery (please note that this may not be viable depending on your location)

 

International Shipping

Printroom Group uses various courier companies for international shipping.

We ship all around the globe on a daily basis, delivering training manuals and courseware to all kinds of locations. We will send you a tracking reference once your item is shipped, allowing you to track your parcel.

Everything we ship is packaged in double wall boxes with appropriate packaging to protect your documents. International shipping depends on air freight and customs in your chosen country.

Standard delivery for locations in Europe is 4-5 business days, whilst locations for the rest of the world is 6-10 business days.

For urgent orders and requests, or express service then please speak to us via the online chat, send us an email at hello@printroom.co.uk, or call us on 0845 072 2778.

To find out more about us please visit our main website, www.printroom.co.uk