Frequently Asked Printing Questions - FAQs | Printnova

Printing FAQs

1. What are the most common print sizes?
Poster sizes
A0 - 841mm x 1189mm
A1 - 594mm x 841mm
A2 - 420mm x 594mm
A3 - 297mm x 420mm

A4 - 210mm x 297mm - standard sheet of paper
A5 - 148mm x 210mm - half an A4 sheet
A6- 105mm x 148mm - postcard size
A7- 74mm x 105mm

DL- 99mm x 210mm
2DL- 198mm x 210mm
2. How do I get an estimate for my job?
Please feel free to complete the “Contact Us” form and leave us your details and we will have one of our team contact you as soon as possible. Alternatively, if you would like to discuss your job in more detail, please give us a call to speak with one of our knowledgeable customer service executives.
3. How long will it take for my printing to be completed?
Please let us know if you have a deadline for your print work and we will always do our very best to accommodate this. Simple small-run digital printing jobs can often be turned around in a very tight timeframe, whereas for larger offset print runs, we generally ask that you allow at least 3-5 business days from sign-off.

Processes such as Spot-UV varnishing, collating, laminating and binding are all additional steps post-printing and as such will add to finishing times. Rest assured, we will go to great lengths to ensure that your timeline is met.
4. Can I order via email?
Yes! For the vast majority of print jobs we supply, the entire process is conducted via email.

Enquires and estimate requests should be sent to: . If you are happy with the estimate we supply, we will send you an artwork proof prior to printing and you are able to approve this via an online form…

If your job is more complex, feel free to give us a call to discuss or if you would like to sit down with one of our team, we would be happy to make an appointment time for you to meet with us in our Warners Bay office.
5. What file types do we prefer?
We will always ask you to supply your artwork as a hi resolution PDF file first. A big advantage of the PDF is that it stores your design in a way that isn’t changing. It can also prevent someone or some computer mistakenly changing something in the file.

From a printer’s perspective many elements in your file can still be modified within an editable PDF if need be. Adjustments can be made if necessary to match equipment settings and prepare a file to print in cost-effective ways. Most printers have software that will allow them to open up a PDF and make the changes they need for printing.

Sending the wrong sort of files to a printer can have a pretty big impact on your finished product. A negative one at that!

At Printnova, we prefer 3mm bleed with crop marks at on all sides of your document or artwork.

Remember when printing four colour process jobs, convert all images and colours to CMYK, as opposed to RGB or spot colours

Always link your graphics instead of embedding them and another handy hint, don’t rename graphic files after you put your file on disk. If the files are named incorrectly, they will not link properly.

Set black text to 100% black (not 4/colour text) and for large solid areas of black, please supply as rich black.

If you can’t supply your file as a PDF, don’t stress, our designers are here to help.
6. Do I have to supply my print job as a print-ready file or can you create the artwork for me?
If you have your own designer, you are welcome to supply your artwork in print-ready PDF format.

However, we also have a team of experienced in-house graphic designers and offer a full design service- so we can create any artwork you might require from logos and corporate branding, to business cards, stationery, brochures, magazines, annual reports…right through to signage for your business premises.
7. What is a ‘Print-Ready PDF’?
‘Print Ready’ means that the file supplied to us is ready to be transferred to the printing plates (offset) or sent directly to a digital machine, without any alterations.

Unless otherwise specified, the estimates you receive from us are generally based on supply to us of print ready PDF files.

Files supplied to us which are not in this format may incur extra charges as our graphic designers will need to convert or adjust them in order to make them print-ready.

PDF (Portable Document Format) is the file format preferred by commercial printers as it is compatible with virtually all pre-press software as well as professional digital and offset printing equipment. A PDF file allows document integrity to be maintained across the various systems we use, which ensures the quickest and smoothest path through our pre-press and printing processes.

That is, supplying us with a print ready PDF simplifies the workflow between you and us and ensures a smooth transition from design right through to the finished print.
  • The supplied file must be CMYK (4 colour process) and not RGB
  • Fonts are embedded
  • Images are embedded in the supplied file
  • The page size of the document matches the finished trim size required
  • Files are supplied with crop (trim) marks as well as 3mm bleed
  • All images are 300dpi to avoid any blurring or pixilation at full size
  • Any crop, score or fold marks are indicated in the file but outside of the actual print area
  • Black text is 100% black rather than a mix of CMYK. For large solid areas of black, please supply as rich black.
  • Overprint is switched off in InDesign for any white text
  • Check for any spot colours in your artwork
  • If there’s Spot UV, Scodix or embossing/debossing in your artwork, the area should be highlighted as a separate page in a spot colour
Check for any spot colours in your artwork

If there’s Spot UV, Scodix or embossing/debossing in your artwork, the area should be highlighted as a separate page in a spot colour
8. What is a Proof, how is it supplied and why is it important?
A proof is created to allow you to check the layout and the content of your document prior to sending the document to print. We will generally email you a soft copy (digital) proof in PDF format which you can either view on your computer, or print out. We do require approval of the proof prior to going to print, to ensure that you have checked that all details are correct and that everything reads and appears the way you intend.

Please note, it is your responsibility to check all details such as layout, spelling, phone numbers and email addresses in your document prior to approving the proof. We will try our hardest, however you know your details better than anyone else.

Also, be aware that the colours you see on your computer screen are RGB (not CMYK) which is a light source and therefore may not be a true reflection of the colours in the final printed product.

*If colour is critical to your job, please speak with us and we may be able to arrange a hard copy proof (for digital printing only) to show you how the colours will appear on your final product.
9. What is Bleed and why is it important?
Bleed allows you to run an artwork to the edge of your document. Jobs are printed on a large sheets of paper and then trimmed to the desired size. Without allowing for 3mm bleed, any misalignment while trimming will result with the artwork not running to the edge of the paper. Therefore bleed ensures you get the results you need and no white areas on your finished product.
10. What is CMYK?
So many people ask us this…CMYK refers to the four inks used in some colour printing: cyan, magenta, yellow and key black and is industry standard for both offset and digital printing for full colour brochures and magazines etc.

The reason for black ink being referred to as key is because in four-colour printing, cyan, magenta, and yellow printing plates are carefully keyed, or aligned, with the key of the black key plate.

Other names for printing in CMYK include four colour process, 4cp, or simply process printing. Meaning all of the additional colours that can be created from the four CMYK are referred to as process colours. The CMYK process is used for printed matter that contains photographs and other designs of varying colours

If you have any questions about CMYK colours or full colour printing, just give us a call. We can offer guidance on just about any printing questions, we are here to help.
11. Can I receive a proof before I pay for my printing?
Absolutely, yes! Once your quote has been approved, we will always supply a digital proof prior to print. When you are happy with the proof and it has been signed off, we ask for payment prior to production.

If picking up payment upon receiving your printed material is also an option if approved by one of our staff.
12. What is the Pantone Matching System?
The Pantone Colour Matching System (PMS) in a nutshell is a standardised colour reproduction system. By standardising colours, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colours match without direct contact with one another.

One such use is standardising colours in the CMYK process or 4 colour process. CMYK isn’t an exact science. Pantone revolutionised the professional printing industry with its numbered system and pretty much is!

Most of the Pantone system's 1,114 spot colours cannot be simulated with CMYK but with 13 base pigments (14 including black) mixed in specified amounts.

The Pantone system also allows for many special colours to be produced, such as metallics and fluorescents.

Pantone colours are described by their allocated number (typically referred to as, for example, "PMS 120"). PMS colours are almost always used in branding and have even found their way into government legislation and military standards (to describe the colours of respective Nations ie: flags and seals.

PMS is definitely the option when colour is crucial, however there is a catch and you will pay for this form of printing, as The Pantone Matching System is basically mixed by a chemist. We normally run PMS jobs once a week only due to its demand.
13. What are the different grades of paper and their respective weights?
Weight of a given grade of paper is defined in grams (gsm) however, we would advise to sit down with one of our experienced staff to discuss the look and feel of different options. There’s coated stock, uncoated, celloglazed, linen & recycled

We recognise that all projects are different, we will show/guide you with hard copies samples that will suit certain artworks.

We have a standard stock selector with different weights (gsm) and recommendations for what each are likely to be used for.

You may prefer a matt/silk look over a glossy stock.
14. What‘s the difference between offset & digital printing?
In a nutshell, turnaround time, cost and the amount of print required. Digital technology continues to evolve.

Offset printing uses plates, which are used to etching an image onto the drums and then rolling that image onto a sheet of paper. It's called offset because the ink is not transferred directly onto the paper. Offset printing is the only option when larger runs are required and has extremely accurate colour reproduction.
15. What is Digital Printing?
Whilst digital printing produces excellent colour results these days, it comes down to the amount of printed material required. Digital uses drums instead of plates to transfer the image onto sheets of paper as opposed to ink in offset.

Basically toner is used and heated to embed the image onto the stock. Digital printing is definitely the option when lower print runs are required. Another benefit of digital printing is it's variable data capability. When each piece needs a unique code, name or address, digital is the only way to go. Offset printing cannot accommodate this need.

While offset printing is a fantastic way to produce great-looking print projects, many businesses or individuals do not need large runs of 500 or more, and the best solution is digital printing.