8 print questions you’ll be glad to have the answers to

Being an approachable bunch, we encourage our clients to voice their queries if they find that something isn’t 100% clear.

We believe there’s no such thing as a silly question, which is probably why we’ve heard everything from “Why can’t you blow up the image I found on Google for my ten metre exhibition?” to “What’s a PDF?” (Incidentally, it stands for Portable Document Format – a file which can be shared and viewed globally by anyone using Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

Over the years, we’ve collected a comprehensive range of Frequently Asked Questions from our clients and it’s our intention that by sharing some of the most common with you now, it will help improve communications on your next project.


Why can’t I use an image off my website in my brochure?

Generally, images on websites are low resolution. The usual resolution for website images is 72dpi (dots per square inch), whereas the resolution needed for printing is at least 300dpi. Printing out images at 72dpi would result in them looking fuzzy and pixelated. The same rules can also apply to logos.


What is bleed and how do I supply my artwork with it?

Bleed is the tiny printed area around your document edge which provides tolerance for trimming. It’s there to make sure there are no white gaps at the edge of the printed sheet once it’s been cut. We recommend all text should be at least 8mm clear of the edge.


Does it matter if I use a PC or Mac to produce my artwork?

No, if you’ve produced your high-resolution PDF to the artwork specifications outlined then it shouldn’t make any difference whether you’ve used a PC or Mac.


I’ve received the PDF proof you sent me to check before going to print. Why is it low resolution and why can’t I copy and paste things out of it?

Tolputt Keeton send all proofs in a protected format and in low resolution to help keep file sizes small enough to send as email attachments.


Why can’t I open the PDF proof you emailed me?

The most likely reason is you don’t have up-to-date PDF reading software on your computer. We recommend you view PDFs in Adobe Reader – this software is free to download from the Adobe website, click here to visit the download page.


I asked for my design to be A5 but when I printed the PDF proof it came out A4 – why is this?

It’s more than likely that when you printed it out your print settings were set to ‘fit to page’. This prints the design to fit the size of the page (e.g. A4) instead of printing it to its actual size. This is easily sorted; just go into the print settings and deselect ‘fit to page’ before printing.


Why does my PANTONE® colour look different on different materials?

This happens because of how the ink is absorbed into the paper. Different types of paper absorb different types of ink, but the more that’s absorbed, the duller the colour will look. To help get the closest match possible it’s best to supply an example of the colour you want to achieve through a sample of your own promotional material.


How can I make sure I get the colour right?

This depends on whether you’re supplying print-ready PDF’s or using a design service. If your job is being designed, the team working on it should take care of the colour for you – although if you have a PANTONE® reference you should make this known. Visit the PANTONE® website to find out more. If you’re supplying a print-ready PDF, you need to make sure that any colours you wish to use as a ‘spot’ are saved as a spot colour in your PDF.


For more tips on which type of material works best for what print project, be sure to check out our blog on 5 ways to look great on paper or get in touch to discuss your options.


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