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 Questions and Answers
 Q. What is Laminating (Gloss or Matt)?
 A. This process coats the printed sheet with an extremely thin layer of either glossy or matt plastic. It should not be confused with encapsulation which uses much thicker plastic, and which extends beyond the edges of the item being encapsulated.

The advantages of lamination are that it provides a highly professional, extra smooth finish, as well as protecting the paper or card surface from markings such as fingerprints and scratches caused by everyday handling.

Lamination also removes the danger (which is otherwise present) that ink in heavy ink coverage areas may come off slightly if rubbed. Additionally, lamination is especially recommended if the design in question features a dark colour which bleeds, in order to preserve clean edges where the dark ink meets any very slight roughness in the edges of the paper or card itself. (You can learn more about this by searching for "lamination" in our help centre).

Lamination can often be a particularly good value extra if added to a full colour item from one of the suggested great-value defaults in our Instant Quote Calculator!
 Q. What is meant by the term 'Full Colour'?
 A. A print job that utilizes a 'Full Colour' process (also known as a 'Four Colour' or 'CMYK' process) is produced by printing a combination of solid areas and very small dots of ink in four primary colours; cyan (light blue), magenta (bright pink), yellow and black.

When printed alongside each other in precise proportions, these base colours produce the effect that many thousands of colours can be represented using just four inks. Most magazines and other comercially printed items containing colour pictures are produced this way, as it represents the most cost-effective way of producing full colour print to a professional standard.
 Q. What is a Spot Colour?
 A. A "Spot Colour" refers to an ink that is specially mixed, before printing, to a particular colour shade. Whereas "Full Colour" printing (also known as "Four Colour", Four Colour Process" or CMYK printing) seeks to create an acceptable substitute for a particular colour (eg dark green) by mixing a combination of magenta (pink), blue, yellow and black on the sheet, Spot Colour printing uses an individual ink of the desired colour to achieve the required result.

If only two colours are required on the finished printing, the use of spot colours will quite likely be the more cost-effective option. However, if many colours are required on a job, or photographs need to be incorporated, then "Full Colour" printing is likely to be more economical.

 Q. What is UV Varnishing?
 A. This process involves applying an extra high-gloss varnish (a clear liquid) over the top of a printed area, either to specific areas of a design such as logos in order to highlight them, or to the entire surface of a printed item, resulting in an extremely glossy and luxurious appearance. This is also available as a textured or rough finish on selected items.

This is not offered on our website as a standard extra as yet but please call our Customer Service team on 0845 458 1 458 and they will be happy to give you a quote for this.
 Q. What is Bleed?
 A. A design is said to bleed if the printed area extends right to the edge of the paper/card in any region of the design, (i.e. there is no continuous ‘border’ of clear space separating the inked area from the edge of the paper/card).
 Q. Can my printing be folded?
 A. Your printed sheets can be folded in half (one fold), or into thirds (two folds) in either a ‘roll’ fold configuration or a ‘z’ (also known as ziz-zag or concertina) fold configuration.

When heavier weight materials (170gsm and above) are selected, our Instant Quote Calculator automatically includes the cost of pre-creasing (sometimes known as 'scoring') your printing before folding, in order to minimise cracking along the fold.

 Q. What is Sealing?
 A. A "Seal" is recommended on print jobs where the material specified is a silk or matt art paper. As ink dries more slowly on these papers than, say, a gloss paper, the seal (a clear liquid coating, not normally visible except to the very expert eye), is applied at the printing stage to prevent the ink from smudging or rubbing off the paper during subsequent handling.

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