The Process



Well, it’s not so much a battle — digital vs. offset — as an ongoing coupling of new and old technology. The print industry hurries along just like any industry that both relies on and drives technology. The effect on printing has been both to reduce the stages between the computer (typically) and press and to continue developing digital printing as a viable, large-scale solution — potentially replacing the traditional press.


Traditional printing methods require artwork to be translated to printing plates, one plate for each ink that will be used to produce the final images/type. While separations have long been the responsibility of the print shop, modern graphics software has given the designer the ability to greatly control separations.


The resolution of image files that are used for print is one of the most common misunderstandings to lead to disappointment, especially when a print job so often only exists digitally right up to the point of production. Whereas the computer screen might be displaying what appears to be a quality image at the right size, when printed the image becomes a blocky, perhaps illegible smudge on the printed page.

FIle Types

For all file types:

Remember to send font files used in the design or where possible convert all type to outlines. This is certainly the most common delay for print jobs, where we are unable to use the artwork as supplied because we do not have the right fonts on our system.



Bleeds are essentially the part of printed material that is meant to be trimmed away, leaving artwork that covers right to the edge of the finished print piece. It’s not a difficult concept to understand but can be tricky to learn without seeing examples. What’s more, when designing a print piece on a computer, every program handles bleeds a bit differently.


    Paper (stock) differs in terms of colour, texture, and weight. Other important terms include coating (generally glossy or matte), opacity (ability to provide or prevent the transmission of light), and brightness (light-reflecting quality). When planning a print job, you may choose a standard, readily available, in-house stock, or you can request a unique paper that will add to the effectiveness of your printed piece.