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Menu Printing FAQ

Have a question about printing custom menus? Check out these frequently asked questions and learn about paper stocks, coatings, double-sided printing, fold options and more. Expand the sections below for each of our menu products.

[accordionHead]Backlit Menus[/accordionHead][accordionBody]

How do backlit menus work? What’s backlit film?

Backlit Menus feature backlit film, an opaque polyester UV material that has natural light diffusion properties, resulting in high-impact prints with superior, vibrant color when used with a lightbox. Water-resistant, it withstands heat from prolonged backlit exposure and is designed for most lightbox applications.

What sizes are available?

Backlit menu printing can be done in any size. When you enter your desired dimensions in the Finished Size fields on the product page, a notification will alert you if they are outside our parameters. In that case, you can request a Custom Quote.

We recommend knowing which lightbox you’ll be using before placing your online printing order for custom menus. Having the lightbox first will let you know dimension and installation requirements.

What size font is recommended?

Your font size can vary and depends on the design and layout of your menu. We recommend designing your menu like a poster, with big, thick fonts that are legible from a distance. Learn more: Fonts

Does it include a lightbox? How do I order one?

A lightbox is not included. As a premium online printer, Smartpress can help you order one from a lightbox display manufacturer via Custom Quote.

Can I create menus for different services in the same order?

Yes. With our Versions feature, you can print various designs to differ content on multiple menus (like happy hour menus, lunch specials and dinner menus). Our online printing services require your menus be the same size but your designs and content can change as much as you like. Learn more: Versions

[/accordionBody] [accordionHead]Brochure Menus[/accordionHead][accordionBody]

What sizes are available?

You can design custom Brochure Menus for online printing in our predetermined sizes. Just choose one from the dropdown on the product page.

What paper stocks and weights are available?

Menu printing is available in a wide selection of premium paper stocks, including coated, uncoated, linen and felt weave, as well as text and cover weights. Learn more: Small Format Stocks, Coated Paper Stocks vs. Uncoated Paper Stocks, Text Weight vs. Cover Weight

What size font is recommended?

Your font size can vary and depends on the design and layout of your menu. Generally, we recommend using fonts no smaller than 7-8 pt. Learn more: Fonts

Can menus be printed on both sides?

Yes. Custom menus can be printed on both sides in black or full-color ink. Just use the Printing on the Front and Printing on the Back dropdowns on the product page. Learn more: Black vs. Full-Color Ink

Should I use a text weight or cover weight stock?

This depends on your menu design, the aesthetic you want and how you plan to use your menus. Text weight stocks are lightweight and easy to fold. Cover weight stocks are more rigid and substantial, and while they can be folded, must be scored first. Learn more: Text Weight vs. Cover Weight, Paper Scoring, Brochure Folding Ideas

Should I use coating or laminate? Does that make my menu waterproof? Can I sanitize them?

Our coating and laminate options create a professional look and guard against moisture, smudging and smearing. UV coating can be applied to both text and cover weight stocks, while we recommend laminates for cover stocks only.

Neither coating nor laminate makes your menu waterproof (for that, check out our Waterproof Menus). To clean, wipe your menus with mild soap and water. We do not recommend using harsh chemicals. Learn more: UV Coating, Soft Touch Laminate, Coating vs. Laminate

Are there different fold options?

Yes. As a premium online printer, we offer more than 10 different fold options. We recommend using a cover stock for one or two folds and text stock for three or more. Learn more: Brochure Folding Ideas

Do you offer menu holders?

Yes. If you’d like to order menu holders, please request a Custom Quote.

Can I create menus for different services in the same order?

Yes. With our Versions feature, you can print various designs to differ content on multiple menus (like happy hour menus, lunch specials and dinner menus). Our online printing services require your menus be the same size, stock and finish but your designs and content can change as much as you like. Learn more: Versions

What’s the difference between simple and complex digital laser cutting?

Choose simple die cutting for shapes like circles, ovals, squares and rectangles. Choose complex die cutting for any shapes or cuts more intricate than that.

[/accordionBody] [accordionHead]Saddle Stitch Menus[/accordionHead][accordionBody]

What sizes are available?

You can design Saddle Stitch Menus for online printing in our predetermined sizes or use custom dimensions. When you enter your desired dimensions in the Finished Size fields on the product page, a notification will alert you if they are outside our parameters. In that case, you can request a Custom Quote.

What paper stocks and weights are available?

Custom menu printing is available in a wide selection of premium paper stocks, including coated, uncoated, linen and recycled, as well as text and cover weights. Learn more: Small Format Stocks, Coated Paper Stocks vs. Uncoated Paper Stocks, Recycled Paper Stocks, Text Weight vs. Cover Weight

What size font is recommended?

Your font size can vary and depends on the design and layout of your menu. Generally, we recommend using fonts not smaller than 7-8 pt. Learn more: Fonts

Can menus be printed on both sides?

Yes. Menu covers can be printed on both sides in black or full-color ink. Just use the Cover Printing Inside and Cover Printing Outside dropdowns on the product page.

For interior pages, it’s assumed you want double-sided printing when you select your ink choice from the Pages Printing dropdown. If you’d like single-sided printing, be sure to include blank pages between the printed pages in your print-ready file. Learn more: Black vs. Full-Color Ink

Should I use a text weight or cover weight stock?

This depends on your menu design, the aesthetic you want and how you plan to use your menus. Text weight stocks are lightweight and thin. Cover weight stocks are more rigid and substantial. Learn more: Text Weight vs. Cover Weight

Should I use coating or laminate? Does that make my menu waterproof? Can I sanitize them?

Our coating and laminate options create a professional look and guard against moisture, smudging and smearing. Both options are available for cover stocks only.

Neither coating nor laminate makes your menu waterproof (for that, check out our Waterproof Menus). To clean, wipe your menus with mild soap and water. We do not recommend using harsh chemicals. Learn more: UV Coating, Soft Touch Laminate, Coating vs. Laminate

Do you offer menu holders?

Yes. If you’d like to order menu holders, please request a Custom Quote.

Can I create menus for different services in the same order?

Yes. With our Versions feature, you can print various designs to differ content on multiple menus (like happy hour menus, lunch specials and dinner menus). Our online printing services require your menus be the same size, stock and finish but your designs and content can change as much as you like. Learn more: Versions

What’s the difference between pages and sheets? Do I include the menu cover when calculating them?

A page is one side or face of a piece of paper. A sheet is two pages. For example, page one is the front cover, page two is the inside of the front cover, page three is the first interior page, etc. To calculate the number of sheets, divide the number of pages by two. Learn more: Pages, Sheets & How to Count Them

What is the minimum and maximum number of pages my Saddle Stitch Menu can have?

Saddle Stitch Menus must have a minimum of eight pages and can have a maximum of 80 pages. For custom menus measuring 9” x 12” or larger, the maximum number of pages is 36. Learn more: Booklet Printing

Why is it called saddle stitch if the binding has staples?

Saddle stitching refers to the equipment used to create the binding. The sheets are folded and placed in order over a rounded triangle form, or “saddle,” and then stitched together with staples.

Are there other binding options?

Yes. As a premium online printer, we also offer:

  • Square Backing – Mimics a perfect binding
  • Folded, Not Stapled – Pages are arranged and folded without staples
  • Unbound, Flat Sheet – Pages are neither folded nor stapled

Just use the Binding dropdown on the product page to make your choice.

[/accordionBody] [accordionHead]Spiral Coil Menus[/accordionHead][accordionBody]

What sizes are available?

You can design Spiral Coil Menus for online printing in any size. When you enter your desired dimensions in the Finished Size fields on the product page, a notification will alert you if they are outside our parameters. In that case, you can request a Custom Quote.

What paper stocks and weights are available?

Custom menu printing is available in a wide selection of premium paper stocks, including coated, uncoated, linen and recycled, as well as text and cover weights. Learn more: Small Format Stocks, Coated Paper Stocks vs. Uncoated Paper Stocks, Recycled Paper Stocks, Text Weight vs. Cover Weight

What size font is recommended?

Your font size can vary and depends on the design and layout of your menu. Generally, we recommend using fonts not smaller than 7-8 pt. Learn more: Fonts

Can menus be printed on both sides?

Yes. Menu covers can be printed on both sides with the Cover Printing Inside and Cover Printing Outside dropdowns on the product page. Menu interior pages can also be printed on both sides with the Pages Printing and Pages Printing Back dropdowns.

Should I use a text weight or cover weight stock?

This depends on your menu design, the aesthetic you want and how you plan to use your menus. Text weight stocks are lightweight and thin. Cover weight stocks are more rigid and substantial. Learn more: Text Weight vs. Cover Weight

Should I use coating or laminate? Does that make my menu waterproof? Can I sanitize them?

Our coating and laminate options create a professional look and guard against moisture, smudging and smearing. Both options are available for cover stocks only.

Neither coating nor laminate makes your menu waterproof (for that, select our Synthetic – White stock). To clean, wipe your menus with mild soap and water. We do not recommend using harsh chemicals. Learn more: UV Coating, Soft Touch Laminate, Coating vs. Laminate

Do you offer menu holders?

Yes. If you’d like to order menu holders, please request a Custom Quote.

What’s the spiral coil made out of?

The spiral coil is made of sturdy, durable plastic and comes in your choice of black or white.

Can I create menus for different services in the same order?

Yes. With our Versions feature, you can print various designs to differ content on multiple menus (like happy hour menus, lunch specials and dinner menus). Our online printing services require your menus be the same size, stock and finish but your designs and content can change as much as you like. Learn more: Versions

What’s the difference between pages and sheets? Do I include the menu cover when calculating them?

A page is one side or face of a piece of paper. A sheet is two pages. For example, page one is the front cover, page two is the inside of the front cover, page three is the first interior page, etc. To calculate the number of sheets, divide the number of pages by two. Learn more: Pages, Sheets & How to Count Them

What is the minimum and maximum number of pages my Spiral Coil Menu can have?

Spiral coil menus must have a minimum of three pages and can be up to 1-1/2” thick. The maximum number of pages depends on which paper stock you choose (the thicker the stock, the fewer the pages). Learn more: Booklet Printing

What do the different ink choices mean?

As a premium online printer, we offer a variety of ink choices for both menu covers and interior pages. We recommend:

  • Black Only – For designs with no color
  • Full Color – For designs with a wide range of colors
  • Full Color + Spot White – If you want a white layer of ink printed in designated areas of your full color design
  • White Only – If you do not want any color (or black) within your design

Learn more: Color, Black vs. Full-Color Ink, White Ink Printing

[/accordionBody] [accordionHead]Take-out Menus[/accordionHead][accordionBody]

What sizes are available?

You can design Take-out Menus for online printing in our predetermined sizes or use custom dimensions. When you enter your desired dimensions in the Unfolded Size fields on the product page, a notification will alert you if they are outside our parameters. In that case, you can request a Custom Quote.

What paper stocks and weights are available?

Custom menu printing is available in a wide selection of premium paper stocks, including coated, uncoated, linen and recycled, as well as text and cover weights. Learn more: Small Format Stocks, Coated Paper Stocks vs. Uncoated Paper Stocks, Recycled Paper Stocks, Text Weight vs. Cover Weight

What size font is recommended?

Your font size can vary and depends on the design and layout of your menu. Generally, we recommend using fonts not smaller than 7-8 pt. Learn more: Fonts

Can menus be printed on both sides?

Yes. Menus can be printed on both sides in black or full-color ink. Just use the Printing on the Front and Printing on the Back dropdowns on the product page. Learn more: Black vs. Full-Color Ink

Should I use a text weight or cover weight stock?

This depends on your menu design, the aesthetic you want and how you plan to use your menus. Text weight stocks are lightweight and easy to fold. Cover weight stocks are more rigid and substantial, and while they can be folded, must be scored first. Learn more: Text Weight vs. Cover Weight, Paper Scoring, Brochure Folding Ideas

Should I use coating? Does that make my menu waterproof? Can I sanitize them?

Our coating options create a professional look and guard against moisture, smudging and smearing. Coatings are available on cover stocks only.

Coating does not make your menu waterproof (for that, check out our Waterproof Menus). To clean, wipe your menus with mild soap and water. We do not recommend using harsh chemicals. Learn more: UV Coating, Coating vs. Laminate

Are there different fold options?

Yes. As a premium online printer, we offer a variety of different fold options. We recommend using a cover stock for one or two folds and text stock for three or more. Learn more: Folding Ideas

Can I create menus for different services in the same order?

Yes. With our Versions feature, you can print various designs to differ content on multiple menus (like happy hour menus, lunch specials and dinner menus). Our online printing services require your menus be the same size, stock and finish but your designs and content can change as much as you like. Learn more: Versions

[/accordionBody] [accordionHead]Waterproof Menus[/accordionHead][accordionBody]

What sizes are available?

You can design Waterproof Menus for online printing in our predetermined sizes or use custom dimensions. When you enter your desired dimensions in the Unfolded Size fields on the product page, a notification will alert you if they are outside our parameters. In that case, you can request a Custom Quote.

What paper stocks and weights are available?

Custom menu printing is available in our Synthetic – White stock. Durable and waterproof, it’s available in two thicknesses: 10 mil and 14 mil.

We recommend:

  • 14 mil – For single sheet menus, as it’s more rigid
  • 10 mil – For double-sided, folded menus

What size font is recommended?

Your font size can vary and depends on the design and layout of your menu. Generally, we recommend using fonts not smaller than 7-8 pt. Learn more: Fonts

Can menus be printed on both sides?

Yes. Custom menus can be printed on both sides in black or full-color ink. Just use the Printing on the Front and Printing on the Back dropdowns on the product page. Learn more: Black vs. Full-Color Ink

Should I use coating?

We recommend a UV coating to create a professional look and guard against smudging and smearing.

Can I sanitize my menus?

Yes. Since custom waterproof menus are printed on a synthetic substrate, they can be easily and quickly sanitized. To clean, use a soft, non-abrasive cloth and wipe your menus with mild soap and water, a mild cleaner/disinfectant or both. We do not recommend using harsh chemicals, as they may compromise the integrity of the ink.

Are there different fold options?

Yes. As a premium online printer, we offer a variety of different fold options. Learn more: Folding Ideas

Do you offer menu holders?

Yes. If you’d like to order menu holders, please request a Custom Quote.

Can I create menus for different services in the same order?

Yes. With our Versions feature, you can print various designs to differ content on multiple menus (like happy hour menus, lunch specials and dinner menus). Our online printing services require your menus be the same size, stock and finish but your designs and content can change as much as you like. Learn more: Versions

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