Help

Web Site

Application navigation

Typically, pages throughout the application have a simple navigation panel on the top right side that adapts to the context the page. The Add link can be used for creating new entries, by presenting the corresponding form for the user to fill. The Browse link lists all existing records, while the Search link presents the user with a form to enter the required search keywords. Finally, the Return link, returns the user to the previous page, if this is possible.

Individual records can be managed using a similar menu that typically features three icons. The Edit icon can be used to revise a record, the Display to show the records data and the Delete icon to remove it (after the user has been prompted to confirm this action first). Individual records usually feature a unique ID number next to the actions column that make it possible to easily refer to them. Record listings may feature a number of other fields depending on a case. Listings can be sorted in ascending or descending manner, by clicking on the title of the column which requires sorting. Listing tables can be also adjusted dynamically. When an action takes place a temporary modal message is displayed on the top of the page to notify the user that the action has been implemented. This is hidden automatically after a few seconds.

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Account

Registering

To register a new account, click the "Register" link. In turn, you will be prompted to register or sign in to your account. In order to create a new account click on the link to create a new account and fill in the form to proceed. As your email will be used as your username, please enter an email that has not been used by another account. You may be asked to complete a CAPTCHA puzzle. Alternatively it is possible to create a trial account without providing any information. Trial accounts can be converted to live accounts just before the checkout stage. If the user signs out of a trial account, it will not be possible to sign-in again to this account. CAPTCHA is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to determine whether or not the user is human. The most common type of CAPTCHA requires that the user types the letters of a distorted image, sometimes with the addition of an obscured sequence of letters or digits that appears on the screen. Alternatively the user may need to solve a puzzle, e.g. to pick images showing a given object or type of place.

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Signing in/out

To sign in click on the corresponding button on the top right side of the page. Enter your username and password in the form or use any of the available social media options to login. Passwords are case sensitive and must be at least 6 characters. If you forget password you can reset it using "Forgot Password?" link. Enter the email associated with the account for which the new password is necessary. A new password will be sent via email. Once you log into the system please change the password. To logout, simply close your browser or click on the "Sign out" button.

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Cookies

An HTTP cookie (also called web cookie, Internet cookie, browser cookie or simply cookie), is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in the user's web browser while the user is browsing. Every time the user loads the website, the browser sends the cookie back to the server to identify the user and make possible to resume the user's previous state. The system uses cookies to handle user sessions. Without cookies the user cannot sign-in and consequently it is not possible to use the site. Third-party software installed on user devices may interfere with cookies and internet settings and prevent the correct handle of cookies by the browser.

Cookies are disabled in your browser.

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My account

Users can access and edit their account information using this page. The first tab contains their contact information; full name, telephone number, URL and their username and password. Password can be reset or changed in this section if required. The next tab captures their address. The setting tab controls settings such opting in/out of our mailing list.

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Domains & Offices

Domain information can only be managed by the administrator. The first tab consists of the organisation details including the contact name, telephone number and email address. The second tab stores the organisation address. The last one lists information only of the domain's settings. If any changes are necessary please contact your account manager.

Offices can be managed by administrators and super users who can only manage the information for the office they belong to. An office record requires the full name, address, email address and contact details.

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Users

New users can be added and existing ones can be managed by using the corresponding links. User batch can be added by the main site administrator. If this is required, please contact the support team.The table presents the list of all users including their name, email address, user type and the office they are belong to.

There are 3 user types:

  • Administrators who can manage all the users and offices
  • Super users who can manage the offices and users in that office
  • Users can only manage their own account

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My library

My documents

The document library stores all the user's PDF files, which can then be setup and added to the shopping cart. The library listing summarises key information about each document such as their title, the upload date and when they document will expire (on which day it will be automatically removed from the library). Properties such as the documents page numbers and its print properties are also stated. Links are provided so that the user can download, edit (e.g. set the printing and finishing options) or delete a document. Only the owner of the file can edit/delete a document. Documents that have been recently ordered cannot be deleted for 3 days.

Documents can be browsed and searched by name. It is also possible to filter PDF documents by user, office and domain or to clear the library quickly. In the library documents are listed by scope: first the user documents, then the office ones and the domain ones. The scope is designated as "Domain: / Office:" followed by the title of the document.

In order to add a new document to the library, click on the "Add" button. Recently added documents that have not been setup will need to be configured before a price can be estimated. In such a case a "SETUP" link will be displayed. This will be replaced by the document price when the document has been configured. Only then can the document be added to the shopping cart. Documents can be added to the shopping cart individually or in batch, by clicking on "Add all documents" to cart link. This will result in all the documents currently shown in the listing to be added to the shopping cart.

Setting up a document: An uploaded document requires setting up the print finishing options before its pricing is calculated and it can be added to the shopping cart. The finishing options are presented accordingly to a type, size and number of pages of the document. For example a booklet option will only be available for documents in certain size and with multiple number of pages. The main print options (document properties, its title, number of pages, and size; then colour, paper type, and impositions settings for the print) are presented under the document tab while advanced options under the second tab. Advance settings include settings such as the description, tags, the document language and whether the file can be downloaded or not. Under the Mailer Options the document can be set to a mailer. Advanced settings also make it possible to specify access levels (everyone in registered in the domain, everyone in the office or just the user) advanced print options (e.g. bleed or cover page paper type). The File tab summaries the source, name, size and the type of the uploaded file. Finally, the last tab- Record consists dates of when the document was uploaded, last ordered, its expiry and update date.

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My images

The user's image library stores images that can be converted to PDFs or used in templates. New images can be added by using Add button on the, top, left of the table. Images over 2.50Mb size will be compressed. Images can also be browsed and searched by name. The filtering link makes it possible to only show images by user, office and domain. Clearing enables quick removing of all the images from the library.

The image listing show a thumbnail, a title and the image dimensions. It also states other useful information such as when the image was uploaded and its access scope. Links are provided to edit, view or delete a record. When editing an image, under the image tab a title and tags can be entered. User can set also the image's access options for each (everyone under the same domain, everyone in the same office or only for the user). Only the owner of the file can edit/delete/rotate it. Download option can be set which enables users who have access to the image to download it. The File tab shows the image properties while the last tab, lists its creation, last update and expiry dates.

Rotating an image with shift it 90 degrees clockwise. When rotating images your browser may not show the updated thumbnail until forced to refresh (CONTROL+F5).

The link on the right hand side converts an image to PDF and saves this to the document library. When converting images to PDF three main options are offered. The first is the size of the document on which to impose the image. The PDF dimensions can be selected from a predefined list that includes many popular image sizes. Alternatively custom dimensions can be entered. If the custom dimensions that are entered are bigger than those we can support the system returns a message. The second option controls the type of scaling to use, while the third adds an optional white border around the image.

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Upload files

This upload tool is used to upload up to 10 files at a time. Files in 3 following formats can be added PDF, Ms Word and JPG. PDF files will be added to the document library. MS Word files will be converted to PDF files and then added to the document library. Finally, JPEG/JPG files will be added to the image library. Files can be dragged and dropped to the main box or browsed.

Users can upload files individually or in batches without leaving this page. An upload progress bar is presented under the main box. This will indicate when the upload is over. Once all files have been uploaded click corresponding link to proceed to the document or image library.

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Upload files from URL

This tool makes it possible to upload PDF or a JPG file directly from the Internet, by entering its URL. Once the file is copied it can be accessed as per usual, via the document or image libraries.

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Merging PDFs and Images

This tool makes it possible to merge two or more PDF or images files (up to 10 PDFs or 10 images). Files that require merging together need to be uploaded to the document library first. For PDF merging, once the first file is selected, its properties will dictate which other files can be merged with it, as they need to have the same dimensions and orientation. Users can then select the order in which the files will follow. When it comes to images, the user can select images of any dimensions or orientation. These are then imposed on the same page size following the positioning option selected. Merged documents are saved in the document library, ready for the user to set up print options.

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Templates

Templates

Document templates which can be used to create new documents using pre-defined designs that can be customised. Creating a document using a template requires entering all the necessary information in a form which can be built with different fields, such as:

  • Text: simple text field
  • Text area: for bigger text input that does not require formatting
  • Rich text: big text that can be formatted
  • Image
  • Radio/checkbox/select: select one or multiple options that correspond to a given value

Images can be selected from the drop down menu (using images uploaded to the image library) or by using an image upload link to upload a new one. Image positioning enables the user to scale image or add border. The filter icon, next to the drop down lists, makes it possible to toggle filtering office and domain images.Text areas enable the user to customise their document with their own message. And finally check box fields require selecting one of provided options.

Once all fields are filled in and all required options are selected; the user can preview the document by using the Preview button (bottom of the page). Once it is loaded the preview thumbnail will be available in the top of the form. The user can also find there the Preview PDF button which enables viewing the exact document that will be submitted to print. The user should approve the layout of the document before it is saved to the document library. The input can be saved for future modification or document can be saved to the document library in order to be printed.

Each template has pre-set printing options such as paper and finishing. The user will be asked to confirm the exported document before this is added to the shopping cart. When saving templates, the advanced options tab is not present.

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Shopping cart

Checkout

The first step of your checkout process involves setting the quantities required for your documents. The amount of documents can be selected from the drop down menu or entered manually. From the shopping cart the user can return to the document library or empty the shopping cart by selecting the action links accordingly. Then, the user is asked for a delivery address. A previously used addresses can be selected or user can perform a quick UK address search, simply by entering the postcode of the delivery destination. Alternatively, the delivery address can be entered manually using provided delivery address form. Telephone number and email address provided here are only used for delivery related enquiries. Depending on the address entered the system shows all the available printing and delivery options. A delivery method can be chosen depending on the delivery time and cost. The final checkout step provides an overview of the order and prompt for payment. Depending on account's setup, user can pay by credit card, PayPal or by invoice. Once payment is cleared a print order is submitted and sent to the selected printer for fulfilment. From this point onwards order status can be tracked using the order information that is available through the reports section.

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Orders

My Orders

Order reports can be used for accessing the details of a specific order or to generate a report. The later one can be narrowed by using a number of criteria, which may change depending on the user type. Account administrator can access all orders in their domain, superuser all orders in their current offices, while users can only access their own orders. Records can also be filtered by date. Three types of reports can be generated depending on the purpose of the report: a full report that includes only active orders (default), a full report, that includes pending and deleted orders or a summary report. When pending and deleted orders option are shown, these are not taken into consideration in the calculations (e.g. sums or averages shown at the bottom). The first column of report table includes action link which enables displaying order. The other columns include reference number, date of an order, order status, number of document ordered and finally cost break down. Records with an asterisk (*) in the total are discounted orders. The export button makes it possible to export in CSV format all the information shown in the order listing table.

In order to access a specific order, its order ID (e.g. 12) or Reference (e.g. 12-3-3-8) needs to be entered in the corresponding box. Order references contain the order ID as well as the domain, office and user IDs. All orders also have a button (top right) to print the order info. Order details include the date the order was placed and status (e.g. when a job was accepted for processing or despatched). If a tracking number is added, a link may be presented to redirecting to the courier's tracking page. The order report page also provides a detailed break-down of the costs. It also lists the documents ordered and shows the quantity and type of ordered documents, as well as their finishing options. This section also states useful logistics information such as the delivery address, the selected distribution method and the estimated time of arrival (ETA). The printer and support information are included in each report. In addition to the above, users can access the print fulfilment information which shows the latest status of order batches. Orders may be dispatched in multiple batches depending on the finishing they require. Finally, customer's feedback is shown at the bottom of the order information page.

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Confirming orders

Depending on the account settings, confirmation by an administrator may be required before an order can be processed. An order is set to pending status until an administrator confirms an order. Once confirmed the order appears in the reports as per usual. An email is sent to let users know when orders have been approved or not and by whom. Pending orders are shown in the reports when the second report mode is selected: Full report, including pending and deleted orders.

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Tracking

Once an order status is set to dispatched the order is complete. An email is sent to the user notifying them that this is the case. Orders may be dispatched in multiple batches depending on the finishing they require. When delivery tracking information is available this will be stated in the order's information page. This may redirect the user to the courier's page where additional information may be available.

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Feedback

User can leave feedback for each submitted order. In order to do so, the user needs to follow the feedback link available on the top of the Document library (when this is available). User feedback is very important to us, as it enables our support team identifying potential issues and in turn deal with them effectively. Customers can score their experience with the service leaving 1-5 rating on the following: overall experience, print quality, satisfaction with delivery, support received in the process of ordering and value for money. The comment section enables the users leaving a short note to explain their scores. All feedback is reviewed by our customer support team. Users may be contacted by the team if further action is necessary.

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Help and Support

Help

The Help and Support pages provides many useful resources when it comes to designing and printing your documents online. Our help pages provide comprehensive instructions as to how our system works and what to expect. In this section you will find many frequently asked questions, print resources and our Terms and Conditions. Finally, a selection of links to third-party software tools are provided in the download section which can be useful when designing and preparing your files for printing.

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Support / Contact us

For any enquires; our contact details can be found under the Contact us section. Our support team can assist via:

  • Email: support@fileprint.org
  • Telephone: (++44) 0191 645 1184
  • Skype: fileprint

The user can also submit an enquiry by complete the form. This makes it possible to follow up requests and see their progress of your enquiry. Users can view existing enquiries and track their progress by selecting "My enquiries". Every time an enquiry is updated, an email with an update is sent automatically to the user.

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Terms and conditions

For our terms and conditions please refer to this page.

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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Document Setup

Print options

Distribution & Orders

Miscellaneous

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Document setup

What job formats do you support?

We only accept PDFs, MS Word and JPEG files. If you can't output a PDF,you can download a free print driver, which allows you to create a PDF file from any application. Please note that many applications such as Microsoft Office offer native PDF output.

I can't/don't know how to create a PDF!

If you can't make a PDF, or don't know how to, you can download a free print driver, which allows you to create a PDF file from any application. Please note that many applications such as Microsoft Office offer native PDF output.

What are the recommended PDF Settings?

Typical settings

Our print solution will only give you options that are suitable for your file. It takes care of all the complicated issues, so all you need to do is:

  • Create your whole document in normal page order, i.e. page1, page 2, page 3. etc.
  • Not add any of the clever printing bits - NO crop marks or impositions.
  • Not leave any white space around the side unless it is part of the finished document.
  • Leave a quiet area around the document of 10mm, particularly on documents (like business cards). You can have images and colour in the quiet area, but avoid text too near the edge.
  • Not add bleed. If you know what bleed is, great, upload with bleed and set it in the options. No idea what bleed is - don't worry - you don't need it.
  • Embed fonts.
    • Create your PDF as normal (File> Print > choose a Printer e.g. Adobe PDF> Select Printing Properties)
    • Go to Adobe PDF Settings tab > Default Settings> Select Standard > Edit
    • Go to Fonts tab > tick Embed all fonts, Save and finish converting format to PDF

  • Double sided print: top of 1st page is printed back to back with top of the 2nd page therefore you should make sure the pages are correctly orientated.

Advanced Settings

This area is for the designers out there, if you are not a designer then you don't need this.

  • Resolution: 300 DPI is ideal. Some applications output 'fat' PDFs, before uploading it is well worth optimizing your PDF, if you have the tools (try Adobe Acrobat Optimize).
  • Fonts: Must be embedded, but better yet, convert all fonts to curves.
  • Colour: There are several issues around colour:
    • PDFs should be CMYK. If your document is to be printed in black and white, then please convert this to greyscale.
    • We do not support any colour profiles.
    • Digital presses have a 5% variance on a colour, therefore, avoid colours of low saturation, i.e. cream.
    • Flat colours tend to create a banding effect. best practice is to saturate the colour and/or use a pattern, i.e. marble.
    • Gradients also tend to band, so avoid.
    • If the document size is too , not all finishing options may apply.

What are the recommended JPEG Settings?

JPG is the standard format for images.

Typical JPEG Settings

  • Generally, any format of JPG will work fine.
  • The JPG should not be any bigger than 0.5 Mb, anything bigger will work fine, but will take longer to upload and preview.

Advanced JPEG settings

  • JPGs should be CMYK.
  • JPGs should be set for 300 DPI, for the target size. It is beneficial to keep the JPG sizes down (especially for complex documents) as the system will run faster.

How do I merge several PDFs into one?

This tool makes it possible to merge two or more PDF or images files (up to 10 PDFs or 10 images). Files that require merging together need to be uploaded to the document library first. For PDF merging, once the first file is selected, its properties will dictate which other files can be merged with it, as they need to have the same dimensions and orientation. Users can then select the order in which the files will follow. When it comes to images, the user can select images of any dimensions or orientation. These are then imposed on the same page size following the positioning option selected. Merged documents are saved in the document library, ready for the user to set up print options.

How can I switch from RGb to CMYK

Most digital devices such as monitors, cameras, etc; display images in RGb (Red, Green, blue). Printing presses require images in CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK). All our documents are pre-processed to make them CMYK - so, regardless of whether you upload RGb or CMYK we can still print your documents. The main problem is what colour actually then gets printed. If you upload CMYK then that's exactly what will be printed and you will get a very good colour match. If you upload RGb our process will "interpret" the document to CMYK - most colours match quite nicely, others do not and there may be a noticeable colour shift. Best practice is to always upload CMYK.

Photoshop: Simply choose Image> Mode> CMYK Colour

Adobe Illustrator: Select File/Document colour mode/CMYK colour

Microsoft Publisher: Select Tools/Commercial Printing Tools/ Colour Printing, Select Process Colours (CMYK)

How should I orient my pages?

We offer instructions for setting up popular types of documents here. Please be aware that double sided print is imposed with pages top to top which means that top of the first page will be back to back with top of the second page. This may cause some confusion if you want to print document double sided and folded like landscape greeting card.

Why are the page size dimensions different to what I expected?

Depending on how you setup your page size you may notice that the dimensions that our system reports are slightly different to those you thought your document was setup to meet. This is because there are different sets of dimensions depending on the 'box' you are considering. Please see below the different types of boxes you may have :

  • The Mediabox is used to specify the width and height of the page. For most users, this typically is the actual page size.
  • The Cropbox defines the region to which the page contents are to be clipped. Acrobat uses this size for screen display and printing.
  • The bleedbox determines the region to which the page contents needs to be clipped when output in a production environment. Usually the bleedbox is 3 to 5 millimetres larger than the Trimbox. by default the bleedbox equals the Cropbox.
  • The Trimbox defines the intended dimensions of the finished page. Contrary to the Cropbox, the Trimbox is very important because it defines the actual page size. by default the Trimbox equals the Cropbox.

Can you print a different size to my artwork?

No, you need to upload exactly what you want printed. Our solution is such great value because nobody touches a print job. So, if you upload an A4 job, there is no way of telling us that you actually want A5 prints - therefore you need to upload the correct size.

How do I order a calendar?

There are two way of getting a calendar

  • Use our templates. Upload your images or use the ones we provide. To design your calendar log in and go to the “build your document online” tab.
  • You can upload PDF with a ready calendar. Make sure you choose the “calendar” option ( which includes a spiral bound and a hanger)

How do I order a canvas?

There are two ways of order a canvas:

  • Upload a PDF. This must be er than A0 (841mmx1189mm) but larger than 320mm x 450mm, or you wont get the canvas option, but you will be able to upload any specific size you like
  • Use the "build documents online" canvas template. Our canvasses come rolled in a tube. To frame them you can buy stretchers from an art shop or online. You may therefore want extra canvas around your image, our template gives you this option, if you upload your own PDFs you will have to add this to the PDF.

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Print options

What paper weight options are there?

The following paper weights are available:

  • Standard Silk (100-120 gsm)
  • Heavy Silk (150-200 gsm)
  • Card Silk (280-300 gsm)
  • Heavy Card (350 gsm)
  • Heavy Card Gloss Laminated (350 gsm)
  • Heavy Matt Laminated (350 gsm)
  • Canvas (300 gsm)

What paper size options are there?

We will print what you order - so any size, but here is a list of the standard A sizes.

  • A0: 841 x 1189 mm (33.1 x 46.8 in)
  • A1: 594 x 841 mm (23.4 x 33.1 in)
  • A2: 420 x 594 mm (16.5 x 23.4 in)
  • A3: 297 x 420 mm (11.7 x 16.5 in)
  • A4: 210 x 297 mm (8.3 x 11.7 in)
  • A5: 148 x 210 mm (5.8 x 8.3 in)
  • A6: 105 x 148 mm (4.1 x 5.8 in)

Can I order coloured paper?

Users often ask if we can print onto coloured papers. The answer to this is No, however, the solution can print any colour you like. For example, if you wanted to produce a wedding invitation on cream or ivory paper, upload artwork which has an off white background and you will get the result that you are looking for.

What is the smallest document I can order?

We can print any size up to A0 but we may not be able to finish your document if it is too small.

  • Trimming: If one of the sides of your document is shorter than 50mm we may not be able to trim it.
  • Folding: If one of the sided of your document is shorter than 150mm we may not be able to fold it.
  • Stapling: The smallest document that can we stapled is A5.

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Distribution & Orders

How accurate are the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA)?

For the vast majority of orders we deliver in time or even ahead of the set ETAs. However, ETAs are 'estimated' time of arrivals and consequently they are not always 100% accurate for a number of reasons. For example, they do not take into consideration bank holidays, neither can they predict delays due to weather conditions or other unexpected circumstances. We calculate ETAs based on the time of the day you place an order. Printers typically dispatched orders the same day if you place an order before noon. Depending on the delivery method you selected and the finishing options required we add a number of days, e.g. 1 or 2 etc. If the ETA falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then we set the ETA to the following Monday. You can follow your order using the reporting tool which offers updates regarding the progress of the order. Once orders are dispatched, it is the responsibility of the courier to deliver in time. Although the ETA is typically accurate we cannot guarantee delivery times, as this is the responsibility of the selected courier. If your order is urgent please contact us to confirm the dispatch time.

How long will it take to get the prints back?

Our target is to have print back to you in 48 hours, many of our customers receive print back the next day. A few factors may delay this, however, like if you order late in the day, if you order at weekends, or if you have ordered lamination.

How much is postage and packaging?

Postage is calculated as you are placing your order. You will usually get different service options, which vary in price and delivery speed. Postage and packing charge contain all transactions fees, packing and postage. Postage charges are simply passed on from the courier.

What happens if something is wrong with an order?

Please refer to our terms and conditions.

How can I calculate the weight of my order?

Please use our print weight calculator.

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Miscellaneous

How much will my print cost?

Check out our sample prices for some common options. The best way to get a price, however, is to upload your job. It does not have to be the finished job, just as long as you have the correct paper size and number of pages, you'll still get the correct price. Doing it this way means you can play around with different paper and setup options.

Do I get a discount for volume?

We offer everybody a discounted price because our print service is fully automated, which allows us to always print in volume, whether you order 1 sheet of 1,000. This allows us to give a single price regardless of how many copies you order.

Do you have a "minimum order" for prints?

Yes - ONE! Our print on demand solution is fully automated, which means we can cost effectively print single documents.

Will my artwork look the same as on my computer screen?

There are some small differences. Most digital devices: monitors, cameras, etc; display images in RGB, or Red, Green, Blue. So a monitor has lots of small clusters of Red, Green, Blue dots and makes all the colours from them. Most print however is made up of CMYK, Cyan (Blue), Magenta (Red), Yellow and Black. To print your documents our print presses must have CMYK documents, but all our documents are pre-processed to make them CMYK - so, regardless of whether you upload RGB or CMYK we can still print your documents. The main problem is what colour actually then gets printed. If you upload CMYK then that's exactly what will be printed and you will get a very good colour match. If you upload RGB our process will "interpret" the document to CMYK - most colours match quite nicely, others do not and there may be a noticeable colour shift. Best practice is to always upload CMYK.

Do you do designs as well as print?

We offer a few designs that you can customise. Alternatively you can either upload your own PDFs or try downloading templates. For example, try Microsoft's FREE template designs.

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Print academy

Digital quality

Generally, there is now very little difference between digital print and lithographic print. There will always be passionate discussions about 'quality' but most people will struggle to see a difference. The vast majority of print solutions, digital and litho, use a four colour print process (CMYK - Cyan Magenta Yellow Black), also referred to as full colour. The one key difference with lithographic print is you can add additional colour, a spot colour. Normal CMYK printing requires colours to be made up from the four colours, but some colours cannot be matched well, or at all. Using a spot colour can ensure a perfect match to a corporate colour, gives a wider range of colour options (like metallic and dayglo colours) or could be used for spot UV (a high varnish). Digital can now match the quality of lithographic print for the vast majority of your colour needs.

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Artwork design

We want the same thing you want - to ensure that we print the document as you think it should be printed. The challenge is that what you think you want is not always what you give us. To help we have put together this section detailing the best format to supply your work.

Composition is your choice of how you put your document together and generally you can do what you want, but there are a few things you need to be aware of.

The Page Size of your document will be automatically read when you upload, so you can chose any page size or shape you like. It is a good practice to leave a 'quiet zone' of 5mm from the edge of the paper. This will make your job look more professional and won't look like objects are about to fall off the edges. Some of our products will be folded, like a DL mailer (i.e. A4 folded into third A4) so try to avoid folds going through images.

When it comes to images, our solution has two main uses for them: photo uploads and images used in templates. If an image is used in a template, the designer will define a box, into which the image will go. THe iamge may be scaled, as per the design's requirement. Please preview the template to ensure this meets your expectations.

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Image resolution

Resolution describes the detail an image holds; the higher the resolution the more detail the image will have.

There are three main things that define the quality and size of a bitmap image (like JPG):

  • The size of image: How big is the actual image, just like a photo, it might be 6x4 or it might the size of poster.
  • The DPI: or dots per inch. This determines the number of actual dots that make up the picture.
  • The compression: JPGs are great because you can compress the images, but compress them too much and you lose quality and can cause issues with our software.

You can imagine a JPG image like a balloon with print on it. If you blow the balloon up, the print gets stretched, it might distort and the colour becomes lighter. Let the air out of the balloon and the effects are reversed. Your JPG is the same, if you increase its size, it may distort and the colour might alter. This is particularly obvious on straight lines and text. An image may also look pretty good on a screen, but, look poor when printed. This is because most screen resolution images are only 72 dpi, where are print is usually 300 dpi. The problem can be as bad the other way though, you might take a digital image at 600 dpi, then shrink it by just dragging its corners. The image, though it looks smaller, still has the same number of dots, so you may now actually have a 1200 dpi document. Simply put, this means you are uploading larger images than you need, so uploads take longer, previews take longer.

The general guide lines for images are:

  • The size of the JPG should be roughly the size that it will be used in the final artwork, for most of our work that 150mm wide by 100mm tall.
  • The DPI needs only to be 250.

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Images types

Bitmap Images

A bitmap image is an image made up of hundreds of dots, the most common type is JPG, and now the industry standard image format. JPG is the only format we support.

There are three main things that define the quality and size of a JPG:

  • The size of image: How big is the actual image, just like a photo, it might be 6x4 or it might the size of poster.
  • The DPI: or dots per inch. This effects the number of actual dots that make up the picture.
  • The compression: JPGs are great because they are compressed the images, but compress them too much and you lose quality and can cause issues with the software.

You can imagine a JPG image like a balloon with print on it. If you blow the balloon up, the print gets stretched, it might distort and the colour becomes lighter. Let the air out of the balloon and the effects are reversed. Your JPG is the same, if you increase its size, it may distort and the colour might alter. This is particularly obvious on straight lines and text.

An image may also look pretty good on a screen, but, look poor when printed. This is because most screen resolution images are only 72 dpi, where as print is usually 300 dpi. The problem can be as bad the other way though, you might take a digital image at 600 dpi, then shrink it by just dragging its corners.The image, though it looks smaller, still has the same number of dots, so you may now actually have a 1200 dpi document. Simply put, this means you are uploading larger images than you need, so uploads take longer, previews take longer.

The general guide lines for images are:

  • Most JPGs need be no more than 250 Kb in size (exceptionally you might want them bigger if you are using them are very large print i.e. posters).
  • The size of the JPG should be roughly the size that it will be used in the final artwork, for most of our work that 150mm wide by 100mm tall.
  • The DPI needs only to be 250.

Vector Images

A vector graphics package (Corel Draw, Free Hand) uses mathematical formula to construct the image, using lines, curves, shapes and fonts. Regardless of how magnified the images are, they will always appear clean. Vector images are well suited to technical drawings, page layouts and some graphical design, but, cannot support photos.

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Colour

Most digital devices: monitors, cameras, etc; display images in RGB, or Red , Green, Blue. So, a monitor has lots of small clusters of Red, Green, Blue dots and makes all the colours from them.

Most print however is made up of CMYK, Cyan (Blue), Magenta (Red), Yellow and Black. To print your documents our print presses must have CMYK documents, but, all our documents are pre-processed to make them CMYK - so, regardless of whether you upload RGB or CMYK we can still print your documents. The main problem is what colour actually then gets printed. If you upload CMYK then that's exactly what will be printed and you will get a very good colour match. If you upload RGB our process will interpret the document to CMYK - most colours match quite nicely, others do not and there may be a noticeable colour shift. Still, it is best practice is to upload CMYK documents.

Things to Avoid: There are several challenges, first, regardless of what format you are using (RGB or CMYK), the colour can only be seen on your colour monitor, which is RGB and unless it has been colour calibrated it will not show you the exact colour anyway. Secondly, whilst our print process will automatically convert all colours to CMYK, it is not always possible to get an exact match. Lastly, colour will change depending on what paper (stock) it is printed on, gloss and laminated paper will make the colours look richer. Here are some tips to get the best out of your print:

  • Try to avoid using very light tints of colour as these are prone to print much lighter than you expect. As a digital press can vary by 5%, if you attempt to print cream (5% yellow), it could move to white (0% yellow) or light yellow (10% yellow).
  • Try to avoid large areas of the same colour too, it will be very easy to see even the slightest colour variation. It is much better to use textures or images.
  • Avoid using white (or light) text of less than 8 pt. on black (or dark) backgrounds.

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Paper sizes

International A paper sizes

Paper SizeMillimetersInches
A0841 x 118933.1 x 46.8
A1594 x 84123.4 x 33.1
A2420 x 59416.5 x 23.4
A3297 x 42011.7 x 16.5
A4210 x 2978.3 x 11.7
A5148 x 2105.8 x 8.3
A6105 x 1484.1 x 5.8
A774 x 1052.9 x 4.1
A852 x 742.0 x 2.9
A937 x 521.5 x 2.0
A1026 x 371.0 x 1.5

International B paper sizes

Paper SizeMillimetersInches
B01414 x 100055.7 x 39.4
B11000 x 70739.4 x 27.8
B2707 x 50027.8 x 19.7
B3500 x 35319.7 x 13.9
B4353 x 25013.9 x 9.8
B5250 x 1769.8 x 6.9
B6176 x 1256.9 x 4.9
B7125 x 884.9 x. 3.5
B888 x 623.5 x 2.4
B962 x 442.4 x 1.7
B1044 x 311.7 x 1.2

International C size envelopes

Paper SizeMillimetersInches
C01297 x 91751.5 x 36.1
C1917 x 64836.1 x 25.5
C2648 x 45825.5 x 18.0
C3458 x 32418.0 x 12.8
C4324 x 22912.8 x 9.0
C5 229 x 1629.0 x 6.4
C6162 x 1146.4 x 4.5
C7114 x 814.5 x. 3.2
C881 x 573.2 x 2.2
C957 x 402.2 x 1.6
C1040 x 281.6 x 1.1

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Paper types

There are many types of papers that modern printers can print onto. The technical term in the industry is substrates, as some of the 'papers' referred to below are not actually made of paper. The colour of a print is affected by the substrate used. Heavier papers will be more absorbent and so reduce the colour impact, whilst, silks and gloss will generate a richer colour. A few of the special kinds of printing paper are:

  • Matt Paper: It is a kind of printing paper which looks lusterless, dull. Matt paper is used to produce good quality prints and non glare images.
  • Silk Paper: Silk paper has a moderate sheen to it. This is good compromise between an expensive looking gloss and the readibility of matt. The silk finish is achieved by a thin coating of china clay, this will cause the paper to have a slight cream colour rather than bright white.
  • Gloss Paper: Glossy paper refers to smooth shiny paper which comes up with surface luster or brightness. The paper looks glossier, shiny which can be used for photographic prints. Most photographic paper has a high gloss. The gloss finish is achieved by a thin coating of china clay, this will cause the paper to have a cream colour rather than bright white.
  • Special Substrates: Most modern print devices can handle other types of substrates (e.g. Acetate: This is a see-through plastic 'paper' or Canvas: This is a course 'paper' with a woven pattern on it, it is designed to simulate clothe canvas, as used for oil painting.

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Bleed

If we print 100 copies of an A4 document with colour going all the way to the edge, we will get a pile of paper which needs cutting down to A4. There is often a small movement of the image on the paper, so if the top copy is used as a guide and the pile of paper is cut, there may be some copies with thin white lines on the edge. The only way to overcome this normally is to cut into the image slightly, so instead of producing an A4 document (210 by 297) we get something smaller than A4 (i.e. 209.5 by 296.5).

Bleed, solves this problem by increasing the colour on each side by 3mm (usually), so the actual paper size of the A4 will be 216 (210 + 3 + 3) by 303. When the paper is cut to size there will be NO white edges. It is therefore best practise to include 3mm bleed on your document and to have a quiet area of at least 5mm around the edge of the document where you have no text. If for example you put a page number right against the edge of the paper, on some copies it might get cut in half.

To set bleed when you upload a PDF, simply click on the Advanced tab, check the bleed box and set the amount of bleed you have. If you don't upload a document with bleed our standard procedure is to increase the size of the whole document by 1%, then cut to size. So, 210mm wide document becomes 212 and is then cut to 210, effectively putting 1mm bleed on the document.

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Glossary

You can find explanations of many useful print terms here.

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