Printing [blog]

Printing [blog]

Why Bleed & The “Safe Zone” Are Important to Printing

The Bleed

When it comes to professional printing, it is important that you have a something called a bleed and that all your important content are within the safe zone.

This comes about because of the nature of the printing process itself.

Commercial printers often print on massive runs (hence why printing 250 business cards costs relatively so little compared to doing it yourself – especially when you factor in time spent, printer ink, cost of the paper etc).

Due to the fact that printing right to the edge of the paper is extremely difficult (mainly due to the fact the getting the paper positioned accurately in the printer is difficult). To get around this, commercial printers will print business cards (and other business stationery) on larger paper than necessary and will print each card/stationery item 6mm larger than the final product will be when finished.

The cards/stationery are then cut down after the print run is complete on large cutting presses down the proper size of 85mm by 55mm (for cards that is, letterheads etc are cropped to their proper dimension).

So the Bleed is merely there to ensure that the design stretches all the way across the edge and to give the cutting machine a tiny margin of error.

So they the “Safe Zone” Then?

Commercial printers often emphasis a safe zone of 3mm. Due to the nature of the cropping machines, they may “drift” a little during the print run which means that the artwork may not be perfectly centred in the cutter when the cut is made. The 3mm safe zone is to safeguard against this and ensure that all the important details (such as your contact details) aren’t cut or cropped.

Without the 3mm safe zone, the card details could be cut off, leaving you with a potentially useless card.

Printing [blog]

Why do my colours look different when printed?

The main reason for this is simply because of the way commercial printers work – they work on a colour model called CYMK (also known as Cyan, Yellow, Magenta & Key – Black).

Our monitors work on a colour model called RG (or Red, Green & Blue) and these two colour models work on separate ideas.

In short, CYMK works on 4 different colours, whereas RGB works on 3 colours. The reason for this is that your monitor has tiny dots of colour colour pixels, which are individually made up for 3 different coloured dots which are, you guessed it, red, green & blue.

CYMK on the other hand is based on the four different colours which are printed onto the paper which can make most colours easily (although not ALL colours are possible with CYMK that are possible with RGB).

The Additive Model

RGB is known as the additive model because it works on the assumption that you are you working from black to white – this is why when you have 0% red, 0% green & 0% blue you get black and on the flip-side 100% red, green & blue you get white.

This came out because the screens are naturally black and the pixels expel light in the relative wavelengths our eyes can see.

The Subtractive Model

CYMK on the other hand is known as the subtractive model because it works from white through to white (with 0% of all the four elements of CYMK being pure white). As you can see, this is completely opposite of RGB as you start to add colours, you get darker and darker colours, eventually leading to black.

This is due to the fact that printers work on white paper stock, and the inks are added to the surface which reflect different wave lengths based on which ink(s) are present and in what saturation.

So why don’t they look exactly same?

This is due to the fact that converting from one colour model to the other may not produce an exact match. In fact, this is partly because the RGB colour model can theoretically produce more hues and colours than the CYMK model, so producing an exact match is virtually impossible.

In fact, the RGB model can produce up to 16,777,216 different colour hues and shades (although distinguishing between two closely related shades with the naked eye is fairly hard if not impossible) whereas the CMYK model can only produce around 10,000,000 different shades.

Printing [blog]

What Does GSM Mean?

What Does GSM Mean?

GSM is simply a measure of paper weight.

It stands for Grams per Square Meter. If you took a sheet of 350gsm paper that measured 1 meter wide and 1 meter long, it would weigh exactly 350 grams.

What does it mean for me?

Well, it is an industry standard measurement of how thick a sheet of paper is – with heavier (and higher) GSMs being thicker and thicker.

As a rough guide, here are the “common” GSM’s of most stock:

  • Tissue paper = 10 – 35gsm
  • Copy paper= 70 – 100gsm
  • Letterhead paper = 120gsm
  • “thin” Business card = 350gsm
  • “Thick” business cards = 400gsm to 450gsm
  • What does it say about a business?

    The cost the materials you print your business stationery often has a tangible effect on people. If they receive a thick business card, they often assume your business card is established and will last a long while whereas flimsy, thinner business cards often appear to be less robust and to be of less “quality”.

    However, you have to take into account your audience and your brand. Printing on premium stock may not be possible due to budget constraints – if your offering bargain basement pricings, then buying premium business cards may not be appropriate whereas if you’re a high end brand known for charging a premium on your goods and services, offering potential clients flimsy cards is not an option so spending a little more will no doubt help in you in the long run.

    What do we print on?

    Here at GB Logo Design, we only print on 120gsm paper when printing your letterheads & compliment slips and we print on thick high quality (450gsm) business card paper as standard. We can get you quotes for more “exotic” business cards such as plastic cards, metal cards and even expensive finishes such as silver or gold ink, UV coatings and embossed cards, so get in touch today for a quote.