What's the difference between "four-color process" and "spot colors"?
- Four-color process is the combining of CMYK ink (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) on press to create the full range of colors. Spot, or PMS colors (Pantone Matching System), are individual colors with numerical designations that are mixed using a precise formula for each color.
Digital vs. Offset?
- Quantity and timeframe are usually the deciding factors in whether to use offset or digital printing. With Offset, the inked image is transferred (or "offset") from a plate to a rubber blanket and then to the printing surface. It can reproduce solid screen tints and accurate PMS colors, and is a good value for larger runs (1000 8.5x11 sheets or over) or larger sheet sizes (up to 20x26).
- Digital printing is the reproduction of digital images on the sheet. It is ideal for short runs (under 1000) and small sheet sizes (up to 12x18). Digitally printed sheets can be cut, scored or folded very quickly, whereas offset printing must dry or be coated before handling. Digital printing is ideal for producing variable-data pieces in which each sheet is personalized in a unique way.
What types of coatings are available?
- Varnish is a clear, resinous coating applied in-line or off-line to a printed piece. It offers protection, alters the look of a piece, and aids drying time. We offer three kinds of varnish: dull, gloss or silk. These can be applied as a flood varnish coating the entire sheet or as a spot varnish applied to just a certain area, like a photo. A varnish is not recommended on uncoated paper, which will absorb the varnish and not allow it to "set."
- Aqueous is a high-gloss coating made up of polymers and water. It has better holdout than varnish and doesn't crack or scuff easily. It is available in gloss or dull.
- Ultraviolet is a clear liquid spread over the paper like ink and then cured instantly with ultraviolet light. It gives piece high durability and an ultra-gloss effect.
- Lamination is the application of plastic film to a printed sheet to enhance and protect it. It is available in matt and gloss finishes.
Note: coatings should not be used in areas where information will be inkjetted or handwritten. Also keep coatings away from areas that will have glue applied, such as the pocket tabs of a folder.