What resolution should my print files be?
For standard print applications we require files at 300dpi (dots per inch) at 100% size. For large format print (anything greater than A2) files should be 300dpi at 25% size. On web based work it’s 72dpi at 100% size. Printers refer to resolution in dpi, or dots-per-inch. This is exactly as it is stated, the minimum number of dots per inch that your artwork can contain. We require artwork exactly at 300 dots per inch. Any lower and your quality will suffer. Any higher and one increases processing time unnecessarily. It’s also worth noting that resolution cannot be added at a later date.
What file formats do you accept?
High resolutions PDFs are normally preferred, however we can also accept InDesign files, TIF, JPEG, PSD and EPS files. Include crop marks with all PDF & EPS files. No crops please on InDesign, Illustrator or TIFF files.
What’s the best way to send my files to Upper Case?
You can email any file under 10MB to us. Larger files can be emailed via free file transfer services such as www.wetransfer.com , www.megabigfile.com or www.yousendit.com . Files can also be sent to us on USB, CD or DVD if you wish. Should none of the more hi-tec options prove possible and the post is your only option, please, please use registered post, rather than standard post – better still use a courier.
Will your final print colour match that on my monitor/printer?
Colour matching is a complex issue. Everybody’s monitors and printers will display different colours. Because computer monitors vary, PDF proofs can be used to help display layout, text accuracy, and image placement and proportion, and to give a fairly accurate interpretation of colour or density. Although we make every effort to match colours and/or ink densities as shown on PDF proofs, we cannot guarantee exact matches between our press print and the PDF proof you print from your office or home printer.
All full colour files must be CMYK when supplied to us. If you supply RGB files and we convert them, there may be additional variation outside of our control. Please be aware that your monitor or printer is in all likelihood not calibrated to our systems and this means there will be variation compared to the final print.
What factors can affect my colours?
Avoid tints that contain less than 10% of either cyan, magenta, yellow, or black, as they will print much lighter than they appear on screen.
Watch your blacks! 100% black is very different to “full colour black” (also known as rich black) – generally a 40/40/40/100 mix of C/M/Y/K and is much fuller and richer. You may not be able to tell the difference on flat screens or laptops but you will when printed!
Colours will appear different on different paper stocks, much more so than you would imagine. Uncoated stocks will darken most colours, while gloss stocks will add vibrancy and punch. A pantone guide will contain swatches of each colour on both coated and uncoated papers, so you can see the variation, we advise you always check first.
Can I get proofing?
Where the process/print press allows for economical press proofing we are happy to do so. You will then possess a 100% colour accurate proof of your work, in many cases it can also be printed on the correct material stock also. If you have exact colour requirements, we may advise printing a series of test strips showing several colour options, shades or percentages of your desired colour. Particular colours to look out for are blues and purples. Blue and purple are in a very similar range of colours and can be easily miss-represented by your computer monitors calibration.
Artwork set-up...what should I watch out for?
Most print is first laid up on sheets and then cut to size. This ensures clean edges and avoids thin white strips at the sides. The extra overflow of the image is referred to as ”bleed”. You should send artwork to us as standard dimensions, plus 3mm bleed on each side. So you add 6mm in total to each document dimension. So A4, which is 210 x 297mm, will be produced at 216 x 303mm and then trimmed back down to exact A4 again. If you are supplying multi page documents in PDF or EPS format, please use the appropriate imposition (e.g. perfect bound, saddle stitch) including bleed and crops.
What format do I send my multi-page documents in?
Multi-page documents are accepted in InDesign and multi page PDFs.
If you require a die-cut, hole drilling, folding or other finishing, please contact us with your specific requirements.
With books what does “pp” mean, e.g. “42pp A4”?
Booklets and brochures can only be made up of pages that are a multiple of 4 when saddle stitched and multiples of 2 when perfect/wiro bound. This is because of the way they are constructed, so if you imagine a sheet of A4 paper folded in half to make an A5 booklet, you are left with 4 printed pages (pp). In order to add more pages you need to print and fold another sheet, therefore you add another 4 pages each time. Be sure to detail whether the cover is included in your overall page count or additional to it.
Any tips for designing bound documents?
We may be perfect binding or saddle/wire stitching (staples) your document. Accordingly, there may be a difference in spine widths from what you might expect and it’s wise to design with a view to the creep and bleed implications of your binding. We prefer to calculate any spine widths and then adjust your file for you. To this end you should provide us with your original editable files i.e. InDesign files. Remember to allow for binders creep on all saddle stitched work, otherwise page numbers may be cut off. To play it safe you can centre page numbers and keep a generous side margin on all pages, helping you sidestep both issues.
What are the main types of binding ?
Double-wire stitched: (stapled) – the most common and suitable for up to 48pp, possibly higher dependent on paper weight.
Wire-o-bound: (spiral binding) – suitable for short runs or for special effect.
Canadian bound: Wiro binding where the wire is mostly hidden by a wraparound spine.
Perfect bound: (glued spine) like a paperback book – 40pp minimum, variations such as “thread sewing” add strength.
Rivet bound: Using metal screws/rivets – for high quality, high impact items.
Ring bound: basically where the contents pages are 2 or 4 hole punched and inserted to a ring binder.
If you would like any part of your print to be cut to a certain shape you will need to have a die-cut made. This is a custom made cutter which cuts the print to the desired shape. It is not just custom shapes that require a die-cut, any shape of print that is not a rectangle or square will require one.
Upper Case can however produce most work with round corners without resorting to a die cut. This is a very cost effective way of giving your printed piece a customised look without the extra cost normally associated.
Do you offer special finishes?
Yes we do. We offer spot varnishes, signature strips, bar codes, embossing, die-cutting, glueing, foiling, varnishing, lamination, numbering and perforating.
Explain “Large format”?
This applies in general to most printing that is A2 (420 x 594mm) or over. So banners, displays, posters, billboards, signage all come under this heading. Such files should be supplied at 25% of the actual print size at 300dpi. Generally accepted file types: PDF, TIF, EPS, JPEG, Illustrator, In Design, PSD. However hi-res PDFs are the format we recommend.