Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


How do I work out a spine width

10 divided by 176, multiplied by the number of pages in the book, then divided by 90, then multiply by the weight of the paper in gsm (grams per square meter) will give you the spine width in millimetres.


(remember to add a little for the thickness of any cover, usually no more than 1mm in total)

What are the main things to check for when creating a print ready pdf?

Among the most common errors with pdf files are the following:

•   Placed images have a resolution which is too low
•   Fonts are not embedded
•   Wrong colour format used i.e RGB in a CMYK document
•   Incorrect trim or bleed settings
•   Hairline strokes and unflattened gradients
•   Spot colour incorrectly named or mistakenly converted to process
•   Over compression of images particularly in jpg formats (artifacts, quality loss)

Incorrect page sizes

Is it worth getting in contact before I start my artwork?

It can help to involve your printer early on in the project. He may suggest a more cost-effective method and advise on the choice of paper for the best end result. If you are planning to create an odd-sized piece, it’s worth checking maximum sizes as this might dictate which machinery is used and impact on price.

What do I check for when preparing the artwork?

•   Ensure all images are in the correct format, e.g. CMYK.
•   Check spot colours have been used consistently throughout the files.

•  A useful check for the above is to run out all separations, this will alert you to any additional or missing colours or items in your files, to save materials you can print separations directly to a pdf file.

When sending the artwork it always helps to include a brief instructional READ ME or similar. Even the most straightforward of jobs can benefit from a quick list of items involved, filenames, colours, sizes and anything else which is relevant to each job. You can upload your files by ftp, click here to find out more aboutsupplying files.

I create artwork in Microsoft Office on a PC, is it possible to print from these files?

Yes. Technology and improved methods have meant that for several years we have been accepting files from a variety of PC applications and producing quality printed results. Although it would be beneficial to save as a PDF file. Please also bear in mind that no bleed can be added to Microsoft files. If you have any question please drop us an email.

Print & Binding

Will colours on the final print match my monitor?

No. No matter how well-calibrated your monitor may be, the way colours are shown on a monitor using RGB (red, green, blue) is very different to the way colours are printed in inks. Also the type of stock will have an additional effect on the final result. For instance an uncoated stock will make colours look darker due to the spread or dot gain. A colour proof will be the nearest guide to the results you can expect from using a gloss art paper.

Will the printed colours match the results produced on my inkjet printer?

It is unlikely that these will match closely, however if you would prefer the colours to be matched more closely to your own proof, this may be achieved by adjustments, which may involve altering/amending the colour levels in your files. A contract colour proof will give you the best indication of what results to expect.

When should I opt for digital printing?

Digital printing is very effective for short runs and quick turnarounds. However, there are some occasions where conventional print will be able to offer advantages. For instance you may find that where you have two or maybe more individual jobs to run digitally, on conventional print these might be able to run together in one pass. While some jobs are obviously suited to digital, it is worth remembering that Litho printing is still unsurpassed for all round print quality.

What is Creep

Creep occurs where sections are folded and placed inside each other to form a booklet. As each section is added it creeps away from the spine by its own thickness. With more pages this has a noticeable effect on page-margins. Creep is calculated at plate-making to account for and correct this by gradually adding extra space in the spine (see diagrams).

Inside/Outside pages the same size
Inside pages smaller than outer pages

What paper weights can be used for printing

We can print of a variety of substrates, coated, uncoated and specialist stocks with grammages ranging from 65gsm upto 350gsm. 

What is the smallest point size you recommend for foiling

We have a selection of metal type used for foiling in a small range of typefaces. When creating a block we would recommend not using anything smaller than 10pt, but this may vary depending on you font and the foil colour

What is the sheet size can be digitally printed

The standard digital sheet size is SRA3 which is 320 x 450mm, the maximum digital sheet size is 330 x 488mm

Is Two Hole Punch and Four Hold Punch service available

Yes we can two hole punch and four punch to match standard or bespoke folders


Do I need to reserve my Thesis order in advance

There is no need to reserve a production slot or to book an appointment. We are open Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 4.30pm and  on Friday 8.30am to 1.30pm

Is there VAT on Thesis

There is not VAT on Thesis printing and binding, this is zero rated by HM Revenue and Customer. VAT is however included on packaging and delivery costs.


We like your website, who designed it for you

Thank you very much, we are very proud of it. Our friends at 52 Print Solutions offer an excellent design and web development service that is very competitively priced.

Can I call in Person

Yes of course, you can call in and bring your files on disc or memory stick

Can I park easily outside your premises

Yes and its free!

Can I collect

Yes you can collect and pay on collection also

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