Printing Basics

Want to print something but don’t know where to begin? Wondering about paper stocks and how to choose the best one? Before you place your online printing order, check out these printing basics and learn all you need to know.

Online Printing for the First Time

2 MIN READ
Level: basic

Online printing for the first time? New to printing and not sure where to begin? As a world-class online printer, Smartpress has all the tools to help you design the perfect booklet, calendar or business card and learn all the printing lingo along the way. We’ve compiled some essential articles to guide you from idea […]

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Printing Methods 101

10 MIN READ
Level: advanced

The diversity and scope of the printing industry can be pretty overwhelming if you’re just getting started as a designer or find yourself suddenly responsible for your company’s print procurement. Even a little knowledge of both historic and developing printing methods is important in order to understand the capabilities and unique aspects of each. Learning […]

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Bleed & Borders

3 MIN READ
Level: medium

Smartpress’ online printing services makes it easy to add bleeds and borders. Begin designing your artwork with a minimum safety bleed margin of 0.125″. If you add a border to your artwork…

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Cutting Tolerance for Print

1 MIN READ
Level: basic

Cutting tolerance is the slight variation that occurs when online printing projects are cut down to size. Smartpress recommends a tolerance of 0.125″ for our online printing services, meaning the trim line can vary by up to 0.125″. Anything that comes within 0.125″ of the edge of the cut line could potentially be cut off. […]

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Page Creep

2 MIN READ
Level: basic

In online printing, page creep refers to the fanning out of pages that can occur when they’re folded and gathered together. As you fold more pages together, the thickness of the paper pushes the inner pages out. The amount of creep depends on the number of pages and the thickness of the paper. Once the pages are folded and […]

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How to Print with Crossover

2 MIN READ
Level: basic

A printing crossover means a page spread has text and/or an image that crosses over the spine from the left page to the right page, like in a booklet. When online printing, it’s important to properly align these pages so that the objects that cross the spine do not appear to be misaligned or partially […]

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Digital Color vs. Print Color

4 MIN READ
Level: medium

As you design your custom books, personalized calendars, direct mail marketing and more, you might come across color discrepancies between the digital color and the print color. Ever wonder why there’s a difference between what you see on your screen and what you see on your printed pieces? This is a common question in the […]

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Recycled Paper Stocks

3 MIN READ
Level: basic

As you design your business cards, custom booklets or entire direct mail campaigns, you may wonder about the environmental impact of all that online printing. Let’s face it, we still need printed materials, but we don’t need to print them carelessly. Enter recycled paper stocks. As an eco-friendly printer, Smartpress is committed to sustainable business practices […]

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Coated Paper Stocks vs. Uncoated Paper Stocks

3 MIN READ
Level: basic

No matter what marketing collateral or personal projects you’re designing, the right paper stock is a small detail that can leave a big impression. With Smartpress’ wide array of premium coated paper stocks and uncoated paper stocks, you may be wondering which is the best brochure paper, the best business card paper or if booklet […]

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Text Weight vs. Cover Weight

2 MIN READ
Level: basic

Choosing the right paper weight for your online printing project can be crucial. Measured in pounds or grams per square meter (GSM), text weight and cover weight can affect the look and feel of marketing materials, personal invitations and projects of all kinds. Fun fact: The pound refers to how much a ream of paper […]

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Dye Sublimation Printing

2 MIN READ
Level: medium

Dye sublimation printing is a printing technique where specific inks react to heat and transform into a gas. This gas penetrates into polyester or polymer, resulting in a print where the ink is embedded into the substrate. Other printing techniques often result in much of the ink sitting on top of the substrate. Compared to […]

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Fabric Backdrops vs. Vinyl Backdrops

3 MIN READ
Level: basic

Ideal for event advertising, branding, trade shows and more, backdrop printing sends a message that can’t be missed. Smartpress’ online printing services offer custom fabric backdrops and vinyl materials, so you get a look and feel that’s just right for you. Before you design photo backdrops or custom banners for online printing, compare the two […]

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The Difference Between Toner and Ink

2 MIN READ
Level: medium

When it comes to digital printing, there are many options you may not be familiar with. One common question you might have is, “What’s the difference between toner and ink?” As part of Smartpress’ wide range of online printing services, we offer both toner and Electroink. See how they compare before designing your project and […]

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Acrylic vs. PETG

2 MIN READ
Level: basic

Designing custom signs and not sure where to begin? Our online printing services offer a wide variety of materials to make your own signs. Two you’re likely to be familiar with are acrylic and PETG. Whether you have your own design or are following our sign printing templates, find out what the differences are between […]

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Black vs. Full-Color Printing

2 MIN READ
Level: basic

When it comes to online printing, the black or full-color printing makes all the difference. Whether your goal is to boost engagement with vibrant brochures or you’re sending invitations for a gala event, we can help you create a presentation that’s the most effective for any occasion. As you design your print-ready files with our […]

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Dot Patterns

2 MIN READ
Level: advanced

In the online printing world, “dot” refers to the pattern of dots that simulate a continuous tone image with solid ink. However, most modern printing technologies simply can’t produce these tones to create dot patterns. Instead, an online printer can produce printed images that contain a series of dots in specific patterns and these patterns […]

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Banner Materials & Sign Substrates

5 MIN READ
Level: basic

Smartpress’ online printing services offer superior banner materials and sign substrates. Before you place your order for custom banners, signs and more, check out our high-quality materials (including eco-friendly green alternatives) to find the one that best suits your online printing project. Banner Materials & Sign Substrates Learn more about our sustainable materials: Sustainable Signage: […]

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Small Format Paper Stocks

4 MIN READ

As a world-class online printer, Smartpress offers superior paper stocks and lots of options. Whether you’re designing a brochure for your business, turning a custom booklet into a photography portfolio or sending warm wishes with your own cards, the right paper can help send the right message. Learn more about our premium paper stocks and […]

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Ink Technology: Aqueous, Latex, UV Ink and More

6 MIN READ
Level: advanced

Smartpress’ online printing services include an impressive large format digital printer fleet consisting of four different ink technologies: aqueous, UV ink, latex and disperse dye-sublimation. Each ink set has its own capabilities, limitations and benefits. For example, we aren’t able to print aqueous ink or latex ink onto a rigid substrate but we can print […]

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Print Fonts

3 MIN READ
Level: medium

Knowing which print fonts to choose for your project can be challenging. Check out our font facts below to determine which font type is right for your product catalogs, marketing sell sheets, menus and more.

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Color Space

3 MIN READ
Level: medium

In the printing world, color space is crucial. Depending on the type of project and if it’ll be seen on digital screens or in physical form, the right color space and make all the difference. Smartpress uses a CMYK digital printing process, which means our presses print a wide range of hues using cyan, magenta, […]

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PPI, DPI & Image Resolution

3 MIN READ
Level: medium

  If you have questions about image resolution, whether your project needs vector or raster graphics or any other printing services, please contact our experts in customer service.

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