Category: FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions…
What are Spot Colours?
What are Pantone Colours?
What is Origination?
What is a Vector Format EPS File?
What is Camera Ready Artwork?
Etc Etc…

What is Vector Artwork?

Vector art is one of the most popular art forms used by computers. Vector art differs from bitmap art in the physical rendering of images. Bitmap art renders images in pixels or several dots of colour. Vector art renders images in lines.

Vector art is often preferred because an image is rendered the way the brain actually views it and does not distort when magnified. Instead of .JPEG, .GIF, .BMP, .JPG and .PCX used for extensions for bitmap art, vector art is denoted by extension .EPS and .SVG. Typically, .EPS files are used for printing, and .SVG files are used for rendering images on the Web.

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I’ve read various posts across the internet with reasons as to why you should or should not outline fonts when sending artwork to printers or clients for approval.  The basic answer from myself is that yes you should outline your fonts.

Why Do We Need Fonts Outlining?

When we open artwork on our systems here we need to have the same fonts in our font library that you have used in your document in order to open the file.  If we don’t have the font then Illustrator will give us a popup warning telling us which fonts are missing, and it will reset the font to the default system font.

Generally we will then do a brief search on the internet to see if this is a non commercial and freely available font.

If it is then we will download it and reopen your file.   Happy Days problem solved!

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Laser engraving uses lasers to mark or engrave objects. It is a very exact process and can be very technical. Often, the process requires a computer. The computer system would be used to drive the laser head.How Does Laser Engraving Work?

Most laser engraving work is done by a laser engraving machine. The machine has a laser, surface and a controller.

There are three types of engraving machines.

The most commonly used one is the X-Y table. This table is stationary and the laser moves in an X and Y fashion to do the drawing. Sometimes, there are exceptions. Then the engraving machine is used specifically for odd-shaped surfaces, in the promotional products world there are many odd shaped branded items!

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What are Origination Costs?

We get asked this one all the time so I thought I would go into finer detail about what origination costs are.  We don’t charge directly charge any of our clients origination fees or setup costs.  We prefer to give you the final unit cost of your products to save any confusion.  We do however have to pay setup/origination fees to our factories/printers when we print your job.  Therefore the charges do relate to your final unit cost from us…

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Price Match Plus 5% Discount

As a Merchandise Distributor we have access to the same UK Promotional Products Suppliers as every other UK Distributor.  However we also source a lot of our products and some larger orders direct from the far east, we have strong connections with many factories for popular items such as lanyards, wristbands and USB flash drives.

We will always get 3-5 separate quotes on each product you have requested, this is to secure you the best prices for your wholesale order.

If you have a cheaper quote than the one we have supplied, generally we will be able to price match and then discount by at least 5%

We have a huge supplier network and can usually find a better price for you. We offer a high quality sourcing service, and we are always aware that price may be a clients No1 Priority.

We may however decline to price match a quote, if we have concerns that we will not be able to supply a high enough level of quality on a product.

For instance: on flash drives we “can” supply upto 5 different grades of memory chip…

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What are Spot Colours and What is Process?

On our site we use the abbreviated:

  • 1 Col = 1 Spot Colour
  • 2 Col = 2 Spot Colours
  • 3 Col = 3 Spot Colours
  • 4 Col = 4 Spot Colours
  • Process = 4 Colour Process (or Digital Printing)

We use these mainly to save space on the screen.  But it goes without saying they might need some explaining.

When printing on promotional products the cost is usually based on how many colours you want to print.  This is because each colour is separately printed and the product has to go through the print process once for each different colour.

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How Does Screen Printing Work?

How Does Screen Printing Work?Silk screen printing is a process that dates back as far as the Song Dynasty in China (960-1279 AD). It is called silkscreening because in the 1960’s printers used silk as the ‘mesh’ which the ink came through before being transferred onto the material.

Silk screen printing has retained the name even though polyester is now primarily used instead of silk as the mesh screen. It is also known as screen printing or serigraphy. Screen printing is used for printing on various promotional products.

Some popular promotional items for screen printing are:

The process of silk screen printing consists of several steps…

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What is Camera Ready Artwork?

Although this term is a little old hat now sometimes artwork is still referred to being supplied as “camera ready”

This basically means that the artwork that is supplied is clean tidy and ready to be photographed for making either screens (screen printing) or plates (litho printing).

The artwork is photographed and then the film is exposed onto a tight mesh of emulsion using a very powerful light.

The parts of the film that are black expose onto the emulsion and break down the chemical leaving the mesh exposed so that ink can then be pushed through the holes that are left.

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Embossing is the precise process of creating a three dimensional design or image in a paper or ductile material. This is typically done with a prescribed combination of pressure and heat on the ductile; in printing, this process is done with a letterpress.

The term of “impressing” allows one to distinctly distinguish an image that it lowered into the surface of a specific material for the image to be raised out of the surface of a material; this is also known as embossing, but is regularly called “impressing.”

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