Vancouver Printer - FAQ

Some pointers  to keep in mind when preparing and submitting your files.

If you have any concerns please read this collection of frequently asked questions before contacting us. If you are still unclear about something feel free to contact us.

What is a print ready file?

Print-Ready is a term we use which means the submitted print file meets certain criteria for print; before you send your document to your printer, make sure your file meets the following criteria:

  • Convert all RGB images into CMYK colour.
  • File is in proper format (ai, eps, High-Resolution jpg, pdf, psd, tif).
  • Make sure all fonts are converted to outlines and file are flattened and rasterized.
  • Check if final image has enough resolution (300 dpi minimum at 100% size including bleeds).
  • Contains only high-resolution image data
  • Has links to placed graphics and images
  • Includes all fonts
  • Check if all text pages have enough bleed at least 1/8″ larger than the trim size.
  • Text and images not intended to be cut must be within the safe area, this is 1/8″ inwards from the trim size.
  • Included are trim/crop marks, centre marks, and page info.
  • Includes paper size with indications for bleeds and page marking
  • Does not require any additional modifications or tweaks before being sent to the printer

What is bleed?

  • Bleed is a printing term that refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet before trimming. In other words, the bleed is the area that will be trimmed off. The bleed is the part on the side of a document that gives the printer a small amount of space to account for movement of the paper, and design inconsistencies. Artwork and background colours can extend into the bleed area. After trimming, the bleed ensures that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed document.
  • Small mechanical variations can end up leaving a hairline white edge where there should be no white edge at all, if the image is not extended beyond the final trim size. Extending images 1/8″ beyond the final trim size guarantees that images truly will go all the way to the edge of the printed paper.
  • It is very difficult to print exactly to the edge of a sheet of paper/card so, to achieve this, it is necessary to print a slightly larger area than is needed and then trim the paper/card down to the required finished size. Images, background images and fills which are intended to extend to the edge of the page must be extended beyond the trim line to give a bleed.

CMYK or RGB colour?

  • All artwork or designs and images must be provided in CMYK colour mode.
  • RGB
    Stands for Red, Green, Blue; the primary colours for visible light.
    RGB depends on a light source to create colour. Your monitor, for example, creates colour by emitting light through red, green, and blue phosphors. RGB colour mode is best for your monitor but not for paper.
    RGB will not separate for production.
  • CMYK
    Stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black; the colours used in four colour process printing. CMYK is based on the light absorbing quality of ink printed on paper.
    Please make sure that all photos / pictures are saved as CMYK.
  • Colour Shifts
    Be sure to convert all RGB images to CMYK before submitting to avoid colour shift.
    A Colour Shift occurs when our printer tries to convert from RGB to CMYK. Do not trust the colours on your monitor. For best results, convert images to CMYK and print a sample to proof.
    If we have to convert the colours for you, colour shift may cause unsatisfactory quality results.

Why is resolution important? What resolution do I need?

  • Generally, the more dots per inch, the more detail captured and the sharper the resulting image.
  • Resolution also known as Dpi (Dots Per Inch) can be described as the number of dots that fit horizontally and vertically into a one-inch space.
  • For an image to print properly, the image must be at least 300 dots per inch (dpi) at the final output size. If your file is not 300 dpi, you can not simply increase the dpi from a low resolution to a higher one by increasing the Dpi in your imaging program.

What type of files should I upload?

  • We prefer that you send high resolution PDF’s with embedded or outlined fonts. PDF’s are easier to handle and will likely speed up your turn-around. Remember to add crop marks and flatten your files before uploading.
  • Our process is for one side at a time and this requires that each side of a job must be on a separate file. Remember to separate the pages of your .pdf files as well.
  • You may also send the file in the following types: high resolution jpg, jpeg, tif, tiff, eps, png, psd and ai.
  • Not separating files will cause delays and you might have to send the files again.

Where are your prices?

  • All printing jobs are different in many ways. Some are a rush, some have many special finishings and other depend on the amount printed.
  • We like to quote on a job to job basis, assuring you that we will provide every time our best price.
  • You can request a free no obligation quote here.

Glossary of Printing Terms

  • Binding:

    Process of fastening papers together.

  • Bleed:

    The printed image extends beyond the trim edge of a sheet or page. A bleed may occur at the head, front, foot and/or gutter of a page.

  • CMYK:

    Abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the 4 process colours, which combined together in varying proportions can be made to produce the full colour spectrum.

  • Crop marks:

    Lines near the margins of artwork or photos indicating where to trim, perforate or fold.

  • Dpi:

    A measure of the quality of an image from a scanner or output resolution of a printer. The more dots per inch, the higher the quality will be but the larger the file size the slower it will process.

  • Estimate:

    Our offer to produce a job for a specific price calculated on from specifications provided by the customer.
    Click here to submit your specifications!

  • Four-colour process:

    Reproduction of full-colour photographs or art with the four basic colours of ink (cyan, magenta, yellow, black).

  • Free delivery:

    To your address in the Lower Mainland, one day after completion of the job.

    • Image area:

      Portion of paper where ink appears.

    • Page count:

      Total number of pages, including blanks and printed pages without numbers.

    • Quotation:

      Our offer to produce a job for a specific price calculated on from specifications provided by the customer.
      Click here to submit your specifications!

    • Registration marks:

      Reference marks on the page used to align overlaying colours. Also known as trim marks or crop marks.

    • RGB:

      An acronym for red, green and blue. RGB is a colour model used for computer monitors and colour video output systems. colour separations for litho printing can not be made directly from RGB files and need to be converted to CMYK first.

    • Spot UV varnish:

      A liquid laminate that is bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.

    • Template:

      A pre-developed page layout in electronic or paper media used to make new pages with a similar design, pattern, or style. Download our versions here!


How do I upload a file?

      • Click on the top menu on the tab “Send a File” and follow the prompts.
      • You can also click here.
      • Remember to compress all your files in one zip for easy uploading. 

Can I submit a Front and a Back in the same file?

      • Only on separated pages of your .pdf files.
      • You can create this file with the same size and bleeds in all the pages.
      • Remember to outline, flatten and rasterize the files before submitting.
      • On all other formats we require one file per page. 

How should I set up a Spot UV file?

      • When creating a Spot UV job, You must include a Spot UV template file along with the regular full colour file.
      • The Spot UV template file is used to show where the UV will be placed.
      • Use 100% K to indicate where you would like the UV. White will indicate no UV. 

Do you accept borders on jobs?

      • Yes, but if the border is too close to the cut line, it may be cut off-centre slightly.
      • Prepare your files with large borders or not at all.
      • We cut through many sheets at a time,  watching for borders on every sheet to avoid an unwanted mistake is almost impossible.

What is overprint? Can it ruin my print results?

      • Overprint is primarily used to intentionally overlap inks for a number of reasons.
      • Unexpected results may occur if you have accidentally set certain objects to overprint.
      • Always check logos and other artwork before submitting. 

How do I use your templates?


How do I set up a multi-page booklet?

      •  Multi-page booklets are a little more complex to design.

Here are some rules to follow when creating your booklet:

      1. Page counts start on the cover as page 1, inside cover as page 2 and so on.
      2. Booklets must be created in multiples of 4 to avoid blank pages…so 4, 8, 12, 16 and so on…
      3. Total bleed is .25” and total Safety is .5”. For example, an 8.5 x 11 booklet with bleed should be 8.75 x 11.25 total. This allows us to set up your crossovers properly.
      4. Only single pages are accepted. NO readers OR printers spreads.
      5. We prefer a multi page PDF but single page files are also all right.
      • Crossovers are common in booklets and require extra attention. A Crossover is an image, text or other graphic element that goes from one page to another.
      • Designers must pay close attention to the crossover design and make sure it is as seamless as possible on the finished piece. Also, do not use text or thin lines as crossovers. Big pictures work best.
      • Note: Due to the nature of saddle stitch binding, crossovers may not line up 100% on the final booklet.