Printing Options 101:

Use this Guide to Find the Print Solution that’s Right for your Business

In traditional offset printing, rumbling presses roll day and night, you are handed hot paper with barely dry ink, and asked by the pressman, “What do you think?”

Those who favor offset find it hard to equal the feeling of seeing those first copies of a carefully crafted message, then approving the run, and finally seeing the work in bulk – confident the product will drive new business. Today, you have many print choices, each with pros and cons. This page defines each approach to help you make an informed decision to execute your next marketing strategy.


What are Bleeds?

Bleed is a printing or design term used when the ink goes to or through the edge of the sheet after trimming. The bleed is the extra design space in a document that gives the printer that small amount of room for trimming and to compensate for a small amount of registration shifting during the print process. Printed pieces that have a white border or white around the edges, DO NOT bleed. If you have images or backgrounds that you want to print (bleed) off the edge of the paper, then you must design your job larger than the final CUT SIZE. We create a finished piece with bleeds by actually cutting through the enlarged or extra image/background.

Bleeds are required on almost all artwork. We require and additional quarter of an inch (.25") to each dimension to allow for proper trimming & cutting. As an example, a 4” X 6” postcard mailer with full bleed, the image size you would submit should be 4.25” x 6.25” (see image).

.125" (1/8”) on each edge of the card will be trimmed off during the cutting process. This will leave you a 4” X 6” standard post card (black box above).

Your type (text) should be .125" (1/8”) inside the cut box on each side, represented by the blue safety box.

For designs and artwork that require a white border, please see “Print Borders”

Print Borders

The cutting process for printed materials has a mechanical tolerance of about .0625 or 1/16 of an inch. When using a border in your artwork, it is essential that your design use at least .25 or 1/4 of an inch of white space from your border to the cut line to maintain a symmetric appearance.


If the border is solid, and bleeds to the edge of the card, be sure to include bleeds with your file.


If you are using a line border, be sure to make the line at least .25 pt. thick to assure the line prints correctly.

Traditional Offset Printing

Offset printing covers all formats — from spot color to full color. This form of printing handles simple to complex images, so permit your imagination to soar. Offset printing is the least expensive way to create products in large quantities, such as mailers, envelopes, invoices, and other business forms.

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Digital Printing

Digital printing, ideal for smaller jobs, takes a digital image and prints it directly to media. It comes under the category of professional printing, though it may be compared to desktop publishing, which relies on laser or inkjet printers.

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Variable-Data Digital Printing
Variable-Data Digital Printing

Variable-data printing uses Big Data to personalize your approach to direct mail, right down to reaching an individual potential buyer. This gives your strategy a new, creative dimension.

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web Printing
Web Printing

Web printing – no relation to the World Wide Web – is a type of offset printing, whereby rolls, or webs of paper, not separate sheets, are used for your high-quantity print job. Web-to-print is an alternative for newspapers, magazines, brochures, and direct mail. Web-to-print, or web offset printing, lets firms produce print material relatively inexpensively.

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Sheet-Fed Offset Printing

Sheet-fed printing is just as its name implies: Individual sheets are fed into the press. Its quality is usually comparable to offset printing. Paper can either be pre-cut to the desired size or cut after the job.

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Continuous Forms Printing
Continuous Forms Printing

Continuous forms printing produces documents familiar to all of us. Anytime you hold a single, perforated sheet, think: continuous forms. This type of printing is in large demand by businesses whose departments require a roll of forms with perforations to separate into single sheets after printing.

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Quality Guaranteed

Let us help you make the most of your marketing budget, call today with your creative and print design challenges: 1.800.457.2899