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Wire-O Binding2023-05-10T09:50:35-05:00

Also known as twin-loop binding or double-loop binding. A wire is threaded through small holes in the edge of the paper. The result is very similar in look and function to coil binding. A variety of colors are available.

Why is a clipping path used instead of “painting over” the unwanted parts of the image?2023-05-10T10:36:12-05:00

The reasons to use a clipping path to remove the background from an image varies with the project but generally involve:

  • Flexibility. Many file types can be edited with a clipping path, including JPG, PNG, GIF, TIF.
  • Professionalism. A clipped image will look better than “painting out” the background. A clipped image simply looks more professional.
  • Edge Treatment. A clipped image can be created with either a sharp edge or a soft edge.
  • Edibility. A clipped image can be edited at any time.
  • Convenience. A clipping path service is easy and fast.
  • File Size. A clipped image can produce a smaller file size.
What is UV coating finish?2023-05-10T10:47:20-05:00

A matte, silk, satin, or glossy finish is applied to the entire printed piece. For this type of coating, a liquid is applied to the printed paper and exposed to ultraviolet light which rapidly cures it and bonds it to the paper. UV coating adds durability to the printed piece and deters dirt. For most UV coatings, the piece can no longer be printed on nor written on with a ballpoint pen.

What is uncoated paper?2023-05-10T10:44:08-05:00

Exaggerated Side View Illustration

All paper stocks start out being uncoated. Uncoated paper is porous with an uneven, rougher surface. As a result, uncoated paper is easier to write on as it absorbs ink readily and dries to the touch faster. However, the heavier amount of ink uncoated paper absorbs may result in less rub resistance. Uncoated stocks include bonds, offsets, cards, and newsprint.

What is the Trim Edge?2023-05-10T10:29:15-05:00

A sheet with bleed is larger than its finished size. The “trim edge” refers to each edge of the sheet after it has been cut to its finished size. Any printed elements that extend beyond the trim edge will be cut off in the process of reducing the paper to its finished size.

What is the Safety Zone?2023-05-10T10:33:27-05:00

To avoid being trimmed off, text and other important matter must stay within a “safety zone” that is is a minimum of .125″ (3mm) away from the trim edge. Any design elements that extend beyond the safety zone risk being cut off in the process of trimming the paper to its finished size. For example, the safety zone for an 8.5″ x 11″ letterhead would be .125″ smaller on each side, or 8.25″ x 10.75″.

What is the difference between text, book, bond, cover, bristol, index, tag and card paper?2023-05-10T10:55:03-05:00

Paper can be grouped into two main grades based on weight and thickness: Text and Cover.

“Text” is a generic name for a variety of lighter, thinner paper stocks that includes Book, Bond, Writing, Ledger, Offset paper. Text paper is flexible, can be easily rolled and folded and is used for printing flyers, handouts, letterheads, book pages, etc. The paper used in inkjet printers would be considered Text.

“Cover” is a generic name for a variety of heavier and thicker paper stocks that includes Bristol, Index, Tag, and Card paper. It is more durable than Text paper. Cover paper is more rigid and must be scored (i.e., dented or creased) before it can be folded. This type of paper is usually smooth, but can have a texture. It can have either a matte or glossy appearance. Cover/Card stock is often used for mass-mailed postcards, business cards, playing cards, invitations, program covers, greeting cards, door hangers, catalog covers, presentation covers, scrapbooking, etc. At its heaviest, Card stock would be similar to the material used for a cereal box.

What is the difference between LB, #, GSM, G/M2 and G/M²?2023-05-10T10:55:27-05:00

Besides a generic “Text” weight or “Cover” weight, descriptions often include a number to refer to the weight of the paper. The higher the number, the heavier the paper. Heavier paper is typically thicker as well.

There are two systems for indicating the weight of paper; an international metric system and a North American system. The North American system for paper weight uses pounds (expressed as either # or lb) while the metric system uses grams per square meter (gsm or g/m2 or g/m²), often called “grammage”. The North American pound rating is based on the weight of 500 sheets (a.k.a. a ream), while the metric rating is based on the weight of a 1 meter by 1-meter sheet.

The U.S. system is a bit confusing because the same pound number can be used for both lighter (Text) paper and heavier (Cover) paper. For example, 80# Text paper and 80# Cover paper have the same pound number even though the Cover stock is almost twice as heavy! The metric system in comparison is more straightforward. For example, 80# Text Paper weighs 104 g/m² while 80# Cover Stock weighs 218 g/m². The Cover stock is clearly more than twice as heavy as the Text stock.

The reason the actual weight of Text and Cover stock of the same pound rating will be different is due to the way the pound rating is determined. Both use the weight of 500 sheets for the pound rating, but they use a different size sheets. For Text stock, 500 sheets measuring 25″ x 38″ are used. While for Cover stock, 500 sheets measuring 20″ x 26″ sheets are used instead.

What is the difference between dot gain and TVI?2023-05-10T11:04:58-05:00

Dot gain and TVI are sometimes used interchangeably. TVI stands for Tone Value Increase which is a more general measure of the difference in value between the value specified in the source file and the value of the printed piece. Instead of measuring an increase in dot size, it measures changes in tone. It is used when individual ink dots are not used in the printing process to produce the printed piece. A tone reproduction curve provides a relationship between tonal value increase and dot gain.

What is the difference between coated paper and a coating finish?2023-05-10T10:45:24-05:00

A coated paper is produced at the paper mill with a smooth surface and can have a range of reflectivity values including dull, matte, silk, satin, or glossy. A coating finish on the other hand is a clear layer applied after the ink is printed on the paper. It is used to enhance the visual appeal of printed graphics or to add durability and protection to the printing.

What is the difference between coated and uncoated paper?2023-05-10T10:45:05-05:00

Paper with a coating is smooth and shiny while uncoated paper is flat with little or no shine. Gloss stock makes colors look smoother, deeper, richer, and with great color contrast. Photos and graphics tend to look better on gloss stock, while text-heavy documents and artwork often use matte stock.

Text is more easily read on paper with a matte finish. The softer-looking dull surface of matte paper provides color contrast and clarity. Unlike glossy paper, matte stock is more forgiving of fingerprints, smudges, and dust.

Uncoated paper is very absorbent, and ink dots will tend to spread outwards (i.e., dot gain), leading to a less precise and darker image than when printed on coated stock. A similar effect happens when a paper towel is placed on a spilled drop of coffee. The drop diameter increases and gets a ragged edge as the liquid spreads in the absorbent fibers. This dot gain can be minimized using sophisticated printing techniques, but it can’t be eliminated. Coated paper is less absorbant and therefore dot gain is usually not an issue.

What is the difference between an aqueous coating and UV coating?2023-05-10T10:47:02-05:00

Aqueous coatings are dried by hot air, and UV coatings are almost instantly dried and cured by ultraviolet light. UV coatings are tougher and more slippery than aqueous. A ballpoint pen can be used to write on an aqueous coating, but not on most UV coatings. UV coatings can achieve a higher gloss.

What is the difference between an aqueous coating and traditional varnish?2023-05-10T10:46:41-05:00

Aqueous coatings are less costly than varnish. Aqueous coatings are dried in minutes while traditional varnishes may need a few hours or days to dry. Aqueous coatings don’t yellow with age while varnishes will yellow.

What is spot UV finish?2023-05-10T10:47:41-05:00

A matte, silk, satin, or glossy finish can be applied to specific “spot” areas of the printed piece such as photographs and graphic images. For this type of coating, a liquid is applied to the printed paper and exposed to ultraviolet light which rapidly cures it and bonds it to the paper.

What is Slip Sheeting?2023-05-10T10:38:04-05:00

In printing, slip sheeting refers to placing a blank piece of paper between groups of printed pages. It can be used with collated or uncollated pages. Slip sheets make it easy to see where one set stops and another begins, especially when stacked loose one on top of another, and packed in cartons.

What is Reverse Collating?2023-05-10T10:37:12-05:00

Instead of sequencing the pages where page one is followed by page two, which is followed by page three, the pages are in reverse order. Page three is first, followed by page two, which is followed by page one.

What is optical dot gain?2023-05-10T11:01:18-05:00

Optical dot gain results when light is trapped under the edge of ink dots, making the image appear darker to the measuring device as well as your eye.

What is Mechanical Dot Gain?2023-05-10T10:59:47-05:00

Mechanical dot gain occurs when paper fibers wick away the liquid ink, increasing the ink dot size. Like rolling out bakery dough to make pizza, it can also be the result of the ink dot being pressed and flattened by rollers during the printing process, increasing the size of the dot.

What is meant by uncollated?2023-05-10T10:37:42-05:00

An option to order a multiple-page document without collating (i.e., uncollated), simply means that each page will be delivered in separate stacks or bundles. Page one will be in one stack, page two in another stack, etc.

What is Dot Gain?2023-05-10T10:59:30-05:00

Dot gain is a measure of the difference between the actual ink dot size of the printed piece and the ink dot size specified by the source file. It refers to ink dots appearing larger on the printed piece due to either a mechanical or optical effect. Dot gain is not good or bad. It is simply a normal result of the printing process that must be taken into consideration during the creation of the source file, the choice of papers, printing process, inks, etc. If not taken into account, the result is a printed image that looks darker than intended.

What is Collating?2023-05-10T10:36:53-05:00

In printing, collating refers to sequentially layering the pages of a multiple-page document, book, brochure, etc. in their proper, finished order. Collation is performed during the finishing process. It is often followed by binding the pages together. The simplest example of collating is a three-page document, where page one is followed by page two, which is followed by page three. This is the same sequence the pages are read.

What is coated paper?2023-05-10T10:44:43-05:00

Exaggerated Side View Illustration

After manufacture, the uncoated paper surface may be coated with white clay materials. The clay gives the paper a smooth feel by filling minute valleys in the paper surface. The coating also limits the absorption of inks into the paper. Because the inks stay on the surface of the coating instead of soaking in, the ink looks deeper, sharper, and glossier. However, writing and ballpoint pen inks may take longer to dry on coated paper and can smudge more easily. On coated stock, less ink is needed to achieve the desired visual richness for text, images, and photo’s.

Coatings are offered in a range of reflectivity values including dull, matte, silk, satin, or glossy. Reading long areas of text is easier when printed on dull or matte finishes. After printing images on dull or mat stock, a varnish can be applied to the picture areas to add gloss and make the pictures pop.

What is coated finishing?2023-05-10T10:45:47-05:00

Coating finishes are applied after the ink. They are often used to enhance the appearance of graphics. These coatings also protect the printed surface from scratching, marring, fingerprints and dirt by increasing the rub and scuff resistance.

Coating finishes improve the durability of the printed pieces during shipment through to the end-use of items such as postcards, brochures, catalog covers, and flyers. Coating finishes can also be used to enhance economy-grade paper by improving gloss and providing a smoother touch.

Exaggerated Side View Illustration

Uncoated paper printed, with coating finish.

Exaggerated Side View Illustration

Coated paper printed, with coating finish.

What is aqueous coating?2023-05-10T10:46:17-05:00

An aqueous coating is a water-based coating applied to a printed piece to enhance the graphics with a matte or gloss finish and to provide added durability and protection. Aqueous coatings provide good rub and scuff resistance. Like other finishes applied to printed paper, it protects the surface from scratches, fingerprints, dirt, and smudging.

What is a clipping path?2023-05-10T10:35:44-05:00

A clipping path is a digital equivalent of cutting out part of a photograph with scissors, except it is done on a digital image by trained professionals employing sophisticated software tools. A clipping path cuts out an area of an image, removing it from the background. Everything inside the clipping path is kept while everything outside the path is deleted. It can also be used to edit a particular area of an image. Clipping paths can produce a sharp, defined edge or a soft edge instead of a jagged “stepping stair” edge.

Image before clipping path service:

Image after clipping paths are applied:

What factors affect optical dot gain?2023-05-10T11:01:43-05:00

A scanned image that looks fine on screen may be too dark for printing and my need to have its contrast curves adjusted. Optical dot gain (or loss) can be caused by the laser beam in certain equipment such as film imagesetters (recorder gain) and computer to plate systems. Depending on whether the process is positive or negative, a slight dot gain or a dot loss may occur. The type of material used for the plate or film may affect dot gain. In general, more dot gain will result from higher screen rulings.

What factors affect mechanical dot gain?2023-05-10T11:00:42-05:00

The paper that is used, the ink, the ink color, the printing press, the roller pressure, and the press speed all can affect dot gain. Uncoated papers like newsprint have a higher dot gain than coated papers. For color printing, the dot gain will vary between colors. The dot gain for cyan, magenta, yellow and black will not be the same. Therefore, the dot gain for each color of ink used in the printed piece must be measured to accurately portray the dot gain for the piece. Web presses normally produce a higher dot gain than sheetfed presses.

What are the different types of paper folding methods?2023-05-10T09:48:28-05:00

There are a number of standard folding types used in the printing industry. These are illustrated below. Of course, there are many more than we show here. If you have a question about a standard or special fold, please use the Contact link in the main navigation menu above.

What are print bleeds?2023-05-10T09:40:43-05:00

Bleed refers to a background color, graphic, or image that extends to the edge of the finished paper size and beyond. It’s difficult for printing equipment to apply ink up to the cut edge of a sheet of paper. So an extra .125″ (3mm) margin is typically added on each side of the design, enabling the background color, graphic, or image to extend past (i.e., “bleed off”) the paper’s final trim edge. This extra bleed area will be cut off the printed sheet. For example, a letterhead sheet that incorporates bleed in its design will be 8.75″ x 11.25″ before being trimmed to a finished size of 8.5″ x 11″.

In contrast, a piece with no bleed keeps all the printed elements a minimum of .125″ (3mm) away from the edge of the paper on all four sides. Nothing is printed to the finished edge of the paper.

Velo Binding2023-05-10T09:51:40-05:00

Thin strips of plastic are permanently locked together through holes in the front and back of the pages. Velo bound pages do not lie flat and have an exposed, unprintable spine. A variety of colors are available.


Tape Binding2023-05-10T09:51:59-05:00

A strip of tape is applied to the spine of a stack of pages, overlapping the bound edge. The pages are often stitched together before the tape is applied. Limited color range.

Sometimes I see “10 pt” or “12 pt” paper stock listed. Is this a paper weight?2023-05-10T10:55:46-05:00

Sometimes the thickness of Cover/Card stock is used instead of its weight. In North America, paper thickness can be displayed in points (1/1000″ or .001″). For example, a 10 pt. Card stock is 0.010″ thick (about the weight of a 140lb Index stock) while 12 pt. Card stock is 0.012″ thick (about the weight of a 100lb Cover stock).

Paper Weight Comparison Chart (Lightest to Heaviest) 

#’s gsm Paper Stock
16lb 60.2 g/m² Bond/Writing/Ledger
40lb 60.2 g/m² Book/Text/Offset
20lb 75.2 g/m² Bond/Writing/Ledger
50lb 75.2 g/m² Book/Text/Offset
24lb 90.3 g/m² Bond/Writing/Ledger
60lb 90.3 g/m² Book/Text/Offset
80lb 104 g/m² Book/Text/Offset
28lb 105.4 g/m² Bond/Writing/Ledger
70lb 105.4 g/m² Book/Text/Offset
40lb 109.1 g/m² Cover
50lb 135.5 g/m² Cover
60lb 161.8 g/m² Cover
100lb 161.8 g/m² Tag
90lb 161.8 g/m² Index
65lb 176.8 g/m² Cover
110lb 199.4 g/m² Index
80lb 218.2 g/m² Cover
90lb 244.6 g/m² Cover
140lb 252.1 g/m² Index
100lb 270.0g/m² Cover
170lb 308.5 g/m² Index
220lb 385.1 g/m² Index
Does your artwork contain images, text, or graphics that extend the very edge of the finished piece? This is called “bleeding off the edge” or simply “bleed”. Files with bleed need to be built to the final trim size plus 1/8″ extra on each side for the bleed. For Example, if you are ordering an 8.5″ x 11″ sell sheet, the graphic file’s size should be 8.75″ x 11.25″. When saving the file into the proper format (preferably PDF), do not use any crop or printer marks. These will increase the dimensions of the file.
Sheet vs Page Illustration2023-05-10T10:56:28-05:00

A single sheet of paper has two sides. Each side is considered one page. So a sheet of paper is two pages.


A sheet folded in two is a four-page document. Page one is the front cover, page two is the inside front, page three is the facing page, and page four is the back cover.


Two folded sheets that are nested together are an eight-page document.

Safety zone2023-05-10T10:41:42-05:00

Does your piece have any images, text, or other elements close to the page edge? If too close, it may get cut off. Establish a no-go “safety zone” of at least 1/8″ from the edge of the final trim size. To avoid any images or text being cut off when the piece is trimmed, do not place them in the safety zone.

Saddle Stich Binding2023-05-10T09:49:14-05:00

This inexpensive method binds pages using two or more staples placed along a folded edge. Suitable for 60 pages or less, there is no printable spine with this option.

Saddle Loop Binding2023-05-10T09:49:36-05:00

Similar to saddle stitching, except the loops extend out from the spine staples. The loops allow the bound pages to be placed into ring binders.

Roll Fold2023-05-10T10:51:03-05:00

Quarter Fold2023-05-10T10:51:22-05:00

Post Binding2023-05-10T09:51:24-05:00

Metal screw-together posts are inserted into holes drill through the stack of paper. holding them together.

Popular file format tips on common software2023-05-10T10:38:49-05:00

.AI – Adobe Illustrator. Convert all fonts to outlines and embed any linked graphics.

.INDD – Adobe InDesign. Converting your fonts to outlines is recommended if you are not using True Type

.JPG or .JPEG – Photographic images. Set your camera to the highest resolution if using your own photos. Note that most jpeg images downloaded from the web are low quality and unsuitable for printing. Fonts (.TTF). Package your files to include your fonts and links. Compress the packaged folder (.zip or .sit) before sending.

.PSD – Adobe Photoshop. Flatten your layers before submitting your files.

.TIF or .TIFF – This graphic file format will retain the highest possible image quality.

Perfect binding2023-05-10T10:27:44-05:00

A paper cover wraps around the pages and glued to the spine. The cover forms the front, spine and back. Popular for paperback and softcover books, this method results in a professional appearance. Suitable for most book types and sizes.

North American paper sizes2023-05-10T10:53:24-05:00
SIZE WIDTH (in.) HEIGHT (in.) WIDTH (mm) HEIGHT (mm)
Business Card 3.5 in. 2 in. 85.6 mm 53.98 mm
Executive 7.5 in. 10 in. 190.5 mm 254 mm
Jr. Legal 8 in. 5 in. 203.2 mm 127 mm
Letter/ ANSI A 8.5 in. 11 in. 215.9 mm 279.4 mm
Legal 8.5 in. 14 in. 215. 9 mm 355.6 mm
Ledger/Tabloid/ANSI B 11 in. 17 in. 279.4 mm 431.8 mm
ANSI C 17 in. 22 in. 432 mm 559 mm
ANSI D 22 in. 34 in. 559 mm 864 mm
ANSI E 34 in. 44 in. 864 mm 1118 mm
Arch A 9 in. 12 in. 229 mm 305 mm
Arch B 12 in. 18 in. 305 mm 457 mm
Arch C 18 in. 24 in. 457 mm 610 mm
Arch D 24 in. 36 in. 610 mm 914 mm
Arch E 36 in. 48 in. 1914 mm 1219 mm
Arch E1 30 in. 42 in. 762 mm 1067 mm
Arch E2 26 in. 38 in. 660 mm 965 mm
Arch E3 27 in. 39 in. 686 mm 991 mm

Do you have lines on your piece? All lines should be at least .25 pts thick to make them printable. Thinner lines may display on your screen but be too thin to print.

ISO Metric paper sizes2023-05-10T10:53:57-05:00
SIZE WIDTH (mm) HEIGHT (mm) WIDTH (in.) HEIGHT (in.)
Int’l Business Card 85.6 mm 53.98 mm 3.37 in. 2.125 in.
Japanese Business Card 91 mm 55 mm 3.583 in. 2.165 in.
Hungarian Business Card 90 mm 50 mm 3.543 in. 1.969 in.
A0 841 mm 1189 mm 33.11 in. 46.81 in
A1 594 mm 841 mm 23.39 in. 33.11 in.
A2 420 mm 594 mm 16.54 in. 23.39 in.
A3 297 mm 420 mm 11.69 in. 16.54 in.
A4 210 mm 297 mm 8.27 in. 11.69 in.
A5 148 mm 210 mm 5.83 in. 8.27 in.
A6 105 mm 148 mm 4.13 in. 5.83 in.
A7 74 mm 105 mm 2.91 in. 4.13 in.
B0 1028 mm 1456 mm 40.48 in. 57.32 in.
B1 707 mm 1000 mm 28.66 in. 40.48 in.
B2 514 mm 728 mm 20.24 in. 28.66 in.
B3 364 mm 514 mm 14.33 in. 20.24 in.
B4 257 mm 364 mm 10.12 in. 14.33 in.
B5 182 mm 257 mm 7.17 in. 10.12 in.
B6 128 mm 182 mm 5.04 in. 7.17 in.
Image Resolution2023-05-10T10:41:04-05:00

While your computer screen will display low-resolution images well, when printed they will look rough, blurry, and jagged. For best printing results, a resolution of at least 300 dpi is recommended. Files with resolution lower than 300 dpi can be printed, but the results may be unsatisfactory.

How much does a clipping path service cost?2023-05-10T10:36:32-05:00

The cost for converting artwork to a clipped path is based on the number of images and the complexity of the clipping path required to remove the image. Note that the service is only for those placing an order for a product in our store.

Simple Clipping Path
For images that require just a simple outline — perhaps with a few curves or jagged edges — but with no inside paths.


Medium Clipping Path
For images with more difficult compounded shapes (i.e., shapes made up of many other shapes) but with no inside paths.


Complex Clipping Path
For images with complex shapes requiring many cutting paths, a detailed outline, or inside paths.



How is dot gain measured?2023-05-10T11:03:52-05:00

Dot gain is expressed as the difference between the actual value and the intended value. What is being measured is something called a “flat tint” which is expressed as a percentage. For example: if the flat tint of the piece is measured at 60%, while the intended flat tint was 50%, the printed piece would have a dot gain of 10% (60%-50%=10%). Note the use of “%” is treated like a unit of measure such as inches, kilograms, etc. rather than a real percentage. A spectrodensitometer is used for accurately measuring dot areas. A densitometer can also be used but it is less accurate.

How do I create bleed in my design?2023-05-10T10:35:10-05:00

To create bleed in your design, simply make sure the background color, graphic, or image you want it to bleed extends off the final trim edge of the page by .125″ (3mm).

If you are creating your file in an application such as Photoshop, you must make your document height and width dimensions .25″ (6mm) larger than your final trim size. For example, if the finished size is 8.5″ x 11″ then make your document 8.75″ x11.25″. Position guides that are .125″ from each edge. For design purposes, these guides will represent where the paper (and any of your design elements) will be cut.

Position any background color, graphic, or image that you want to bleed so they are extended past your guides, all the way to the outside edge of the document. Remember, the extra .125″ will be cut off after your piece is printed.

How are the number of pages in a document counted?2023-05-10T10:56:03-05:00

Sometimes there is confusion about the difference between what is a sheet of paper and what is a page. They are not the same. For example, the booklet on the left has two sheets of paper that are folded and saddle stitched (stapled) along the fold, joining together the folded sheets. This booklet contains eight pages.
The images below show how the printing industry counts the number of pages in a document. If you have questions about the number of pages in your project, use Contact Us in the menu above.

Half fold2023-05-10T10:48:03-05:00

GBC Binding2023-05-10T09:50:54-05:00

This inexpensive method well uses a plastic “comb” that wraps through rectangular holes in the edge of the pages. The plastic comb also form a spine that covers the edge of the pages.

Gate Fold Open2023-05-10T10:49:05-05:00

Gate Fold Closed2023-05-10T10:49:20-05:00


Are you using vector-based software such as CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, or Adobe Freehand? For vector files such as these, all text must be converted to outlines before creating the file (preferably PDF) you send us.

Are you using a bitmap-based (a.k.a. raster) software application such as Adobe Photoshop? For bitmap files such as these, simply flatten the image. Avoid font sizes smaller than 8 pts or fonts that are very narrow as these may not print, or will lack crispness, or may not display well against dark backgrounds.

Fastbind Binding2023-04-25T10:16:50-05:00

Pages are pressed into an adhesive-coated cloth strip that wraps around the spine and covers. Similar to tape binding, the binding is flexible and durable. A variety of cloth colors are available.


N. American ANSI Sizes

8.5 in. x 11 in.
(215.9 mm x 279.4 mm)
11 in. x 17 in.
(279.4 mm x 431.8 mm)
17 in. x 22 in.
(432 mm x 559 mm)
22 in. x 34 in.
(559 mm x 864 mm)
34 in. x 44 in.
(1118 mm x 864 mm)
Dot Gain & TVI2023-05-10T10:59:11-05:00

The printing industry uses a number of special terms to describe or measure how a printed piece looks. Dot gain and TVI are two of these terms.

Do you need a clipping path service?2023-05-10T10:35:27-05:00

If you have an image you want printed, but with part of the image or background removed, you need a clipping path service. To get a quote on your clipping path image(s), use the Clipping Service Quote form.

Corner Staple Binding2023-05-10T09:48:56-05:00

The most economical binding method, a staple is used in the corner to attached pages together.

Color mode2023-05-10T10:40:22-05:00

Does your piece contain more than black color? Files that contain color text, artwork, or images must be saved in four color “CMYK” (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) color mode. Files submitted in the RGB or Pantone color mode will need to be converted to CMYK. Note that converting RGB to CMYK will cause a color shift as they are not the same color spectrum.

Is your piece black and white? Files that are black and white must have all artwork or images in Grayscale color mode.

Collating & Slip Sheeting Service2023-05-10T10:57:31-05:00

Our online printing store may include options to have the pages of the finished document collated. Or, we may require that pages be laid out in a way that facilitates collating the pages during production. Examples of printed items that are often collated include brochures, books, booklets, manuals, copies, and pamphlets.

Coil/ Continuous Loop Binding2023-05-10T09:49:55-05:00

A round plastic or metal coil is wound through the pages to hold them together. Pages bound this way can be opened 360 degrees and can remain flat when open. Available in black (standard ) and other colors including PMS.

Clipping Path Service2023-05-10T10:57:14-05:00

When you want to remove the background from an image or logo, a clipping path can be used to produce the desired results.

Case Binding2023-05-10T10:28:01-05:00

Also known as hard cover binding, case binding cover materials can be paper, vinyl, cloth, or leather. A loose, paper dust jacket often wrapped around the cover to protect it.

Can dot gain be eliminated?2023-05-10T11:04:20-05:00

There will always be some degree of dot gain, but it can be minimized by our experienced prepress staff and our press operators using sophisticated software, calibration tools, and production processes. Our trained staff of graphic designers takes dot gain into account when designing pieces for our customers. Of course, if you are employing someone else to design your pieces it would be their responsibility to take dot gain into account.


Does your piece contain a graphic or artistic border close to the paper edge? See related Bleed above and Safety Zone below. When paper is trimmed there is a cutting tolerance of 1/16″ which may result in uneven borders. For this reason we do not recommend borders. However, if they are necessary for your piece, the border should be at least 1/4″ thick and at least 3/8″ from the bleed line. Perfect trimming is not guaranteed.

Bleed VS No Bleed2023-05-10T10:28:19-05:00

This illustration (bleed) shows a page printed with bleed, before trimming. When trimmed, the finished piece will have a color or graphic content extending to the finished, cut edge on all four sides. The illustration on the right (No bleed) shows a page designed without any bleed. When trimmed, the finished piece will have an unprinted border on all four sides

Bleed Before and After Trimming2023-05-10T10:34:55-05:00

The illustration above shows a document designed with bleed (finished size plus an extra .125″ (3mm) on each side). Because minor variations can occur when cutting the paper to its finished size, to avoid being trimmed off, text and other important matter must stay .125″ (3mm) away from the trim edge (the “safety zone”).

The illustration on the right shows the printed piece after trimming. Note the last “e” in “Example” has been cut in half because it extended past the safety zone and into the trimming area. Some of the artwork has been cut off for the same reason. Any elements that extend past the safety zone risk being lost in the process of trimming the paper to its finished size.


Does your artwork contain images, text, or graphics that extend the very edge of the finished piece? This is called “bleeding off the edge” or simply “bleed”. Files with bleed need to be built to the final trim size plus 1/8″ extra on each side for the bleed. For Example, if you are ordering an 8.5″ x 11″ sell sheet, the graphic file’s size should be 8.75″ x 11.25″. When saving the file into the proper format (preferably PDF), do not use any crop or printer marks. These will increase the dimensions of the file.

Binding Methods2023-05-10T10:56:47-05:00

There are a variety of binding methods that can be used for combining separate pages into a finished document. The type of binding may be limited by the paper size and the number of pages to be bound. The images below illustrate some of the more popular binding methods used in the printing industry. If you have questions about these or other binding methods, use the Contact link in the menu above.


ISO B Sizes

1028 mm x 1456 mm
(40.48 in. x 57.32 in.)
707 mm x 1000 mm
(28.66 in. x 40.48 in.)
514 mm x 728 mm
(20.24 in. x 28.66 in.)
364 mm x 514 mm
(14.33 in. x 20.24 in.)
257 mm x 364 mm
(10.12 in. x 14.33 in.)
182 mm x 257 mm
(7.17 in. x 10.12 in.)
128 mm x 182 mm
(5.04 in. x 7.17 in.)
Arch E2023-05-10T10:52:56-05:00

N. American ARCH Sizes

Arch A:
9 in. x 12 in.
(229 mm x 305 mm)
Arch B:
12 in. x 18 in.
(305 mm x 457 mm)
Arch C:
18 in. x 24 in.
(457 mm x 610 mm)
Arch D:
24 in. x 36 in.
(610 mm x 914 mm)
Arch E:
36 in. x 48 in.
(1914 mm x 1219 mm)
Accordion Fold2023-05-10T10:50:03-05:00


A4 is slightly narrower and a bit longer than North American Letter size paper.

ISO A Sizes

841 mm x 1,189 mm
(33.11 in. x 46.81 in.)
594 mm x 841 mm
(23.39 in. x 33.11 in.)
420 mm x 594 mm
(16.54 in. x 23.39 in.)
297 mm x 420 mm
(11.69 in. x 16.54 in.)
210 mm x 297 mm
(8.27 in. x 11.69 in.)
148 mm x 210 mm
(5.83 in. x 8.27 in.)
105 mm x 148 mm
(4.13 in. x 5.83 in.)
74 mm x 105 mm
(2.91 in. x 4.13 in.)
4-Panel Fold/ Parallel Fold2023-05-10T10:50:42-05:00

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