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Posts tagged ‘digital printing’


Consider the Fold

Many times artwork is beautifully laid out and very pleasing to the eye. But while the design looks great, one important aspect has been over looked… do the folds work?

There are three things to think through; orientation, position and avoid cracking.

  1. Orientation: While modern folding machines are very efficient and make clean crisp folds, don’t assume that they can make every type of fold you can envision. When you have complex folds that will go in more than one direction, it’s best to check the folding machine can handle the folds you want.

    Origami Crane folded with a red floral pattern paper

    Origami Crane folded with a red floral pattern paper

  2. Position: The position of a fold can cause problems in several ways. For example, you sent your beautifully designed flyer to be printed and when you get the flyers back you are horrified to find out that one of the folds goes right through the head of your company’s CEO. Always printout and fold a mock-up before it goes to print. The mock-up is also a good way to check the fold sequence and make sure that each panel is positioned properly. If your address panel is not positioned properly, your postage costs can go up dramatically. Lastly, when doing multiple roll folds you need to make each consecutive panel slightly smaller to allow for the fold.
  3. Cracking: A fold can cause cracking across it for a number of reasons, including the thickness of the stock, grain of the paper, and ink coverage on the fold. If you are printing on cover weight stock, you most likely will need the paper to be scored before it is folded. If the quantity you are printing lends itself to digital printing, cracking can be an even bigger problem. Since toner is applied by heat, it’s best to not have any toner on the lines of the folds. Sometimes you have no choice but to have toner run across the folds. When this occurs, options such as paper brand, finish and the position of the grain can be used to help cut down on cracking.

As always, your FNBR representative will be happy to help guide you to avoid the problems discussed above.  Call us at 888-988-8148 or email



Speaking Printer 101

The starting point of any printing job is designing the items that are to be printed. As design software has become more user friendly, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of material that is being designed by the end client themselves. Many of our clients have very talented employees that are producing impressive designs.FNBR Printing

The first step in the printing process is to make sure that the art files are ready to go on press. Many times when discussing these files with the client, printing terms come up that the client may not be familiar with. The following are some of the more common terms and what they mean:

  1. Crops – Crop marks are small lines at the edge of a design that indicate exactly where the printed item needs to be trimmed. Crop marks are cut off in the trimming process and are not seen on the final print.
  2. Bleeds – When a photo or a design extends beyond the trim lines. Typically the image should extend at least 1/8” (0.125″) beyond where you want it trimmed.
  3. CMYK – The four basic colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black) used to produce four color printing. When designing files for four color printing, all of the art should be saved as four color and not as individual PMS colors.
  4. Aqueous / Varnish – These are coatings that are applied over the inks to protect or highlight the printing. When printing on matte or dull gloss finish stock, you can use spot varnish on the photos to make the images jump off the page.
  5. Cross-Over – Art on one page of a book that carries over to the adjoining page.
  6. Back-up – Printing on the second side, or back of the sheet. The term is also used to describe adjusting an image on one side so that it aligns perfectly back to back with the image on the other side.
  7. Creep – Creep is when the middle pages of a bound or stapled booklet start pushing out. Size adjustments must be made to eliminate this problem.
  8. DPI – Dots per Inch – the higher the DPI the cleaner the image will be. Printing should be done at a minimum of 300 DPI.
  9. Grayscale – Printing only in shades of black.

Hopefully you will find the above snapshot of printing terms useful.

When discussing printing with your FNBR representative, if we use a printing term you are unfamiliar with, just let us know – we’ll be more than happy to go over it with you! Or if you need help with your design work our staff won’t rest until it is just what you imagined (or better!).


Not Your Run of the Mill Paper

The printing industry has come a long way since Benjamin Franklin was cranking out copies of his “Pennsylvania Gazette” by hand. Back then, your ink color choices were black, black or black to be printed on a shade of white paper. Today, your choices while not limitless are quite extensive.

Often businesses call ready to start a printing project. The two questions we start with is how many ink colors do you want to print and what type of paper. With regards to the ink colors, most of the clients envision using four color printing since most advertising is done in multiple colors. However, besides using color to make a printed piece more attractive, colors can be used to convey psychological messages and drive sales (see “Communicating with Colors” from Feb. 2011). FNBR Printing

When it comes to paper, there are many different choices.

Paper thickness ranges from thin text weight stock up to triple thick cover weight. There are numerous paper finishes to choose from that create a plethora of tactile sensations. The most commonly used finishes are offset, matte, dull, silk and glossy. In addition to being able to choose many different thicknesses and finishes, paper comes in a wide variety of colors. In fact, studies have shown that color has been proven to increase readership, enhance retention and improve comprehension.

Careful consideration should always be given when deciding what paper to use for your printing. Choosing the right paper can dramatically enhance the look-and-feel of your printed piece.

For Example:

Let’s say that you’re inviting people to attend a formal fund raiser. By using a linen stock or perhaps a stock with a pearl finish, you will not only make your invitation stand out, but it will make the recipient feel special by receiving such a quality invitation. You can further add to the elegance of the invitation by printing on a translucent sheet of paper and incorporating it into the invitation design.

Besides the paper, other techniques can be used to enhance your printing. Foil can be used to add an elegant look, or the printed piece can be embossed to add the sensation of touch to the visual appeal of the mailer. Aqueous and UV coatings can be used to protect the printing or they can be used to make specific areas of the printing jump out.

Shapes can also be used to identify your printing. By using custom dies, printed material can be cut to any shape you desire. Imagine sending out a postcard for a shoe store in the shape of a shoe, or a jewelry store mailer in the shape of a diamond.


Investing the time to design and print a piece that uniquely represents your product or service can greatly increase your desired results. Your FNBR representative will gladly take the time to help guide you through all of your printing options.  Call FNBR toll free at 888-988-8148 or via email at

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