Tag Archives: Monster Print

Save On Printing By Choosing The Right Options!

save on printing


Save On Printing – What Can You Do?


1. Direct Mail

This can help you save on printing if you make sure everything is correct and accurate. This will need to be done before you ask a printer to print your letters off for you. If you had a database of 1000 people and for 650 of those you had an outdated address, you could have wasted money on 650 letters that didn’t even arrive to the intended people. Maintaining and updating your database is vital to save on printing when it comes to mailing your customers.


2. Paper

Choosing the right paper stock for your project can make the difference between how much you can save on printing. If you’re looking to mail as mentioned above, you wouldn’t need expensive paper, you could use inexpensive and uncoated paper. It would be best asking your printer which paper would best suit your project. It’s always great to save on printing, but if you end up using low cost paper on a project that you want to look good, you won’t give your print the ‘wow’ factor. This would most likely lead your target audience to ignore your print.

3. Colour

Using colour will increase the price of your printed product/s. It can impact on how much you save on printing, but using colour for your print where necessary would make it more appealing to your target audience. If you needed business cards or posters, colour would be needed. This is because it would attract more people to your piece of print. If it didn’t have colour, chances are people wouldn’t even take a second look at it. On the other hand, when it comes to print products like newsletters and daily menus, they could easily have no colour which would help you save on printing prices.

4. Digital Printing

Digital printing has a higher cost per piece of printed material compared to lithographic, because of this you may assume that the lithographic printing process is cheaper to use and allow you to save on printing. The truth is, it might not be. Digital printing takes a lot less time to set up as the printing plates do not have to be made. Making the printing plates is a lengthy and expensive step within the lithographic printing process, which would be unsuitable for short print runs as the setup cost would make Lithographic more expensive. Digital printing would help you save on printing if you’re looking to run a short print job. It offers a faster turnaround, faster setups, variable data printing and much more. If you would like to learn a little more about digital printing, please click on the header.

5. Lithographic Printing

In short terms, the lithographic printing process is excellent for the longer print runs. It will help you save on printing when compared to running a long print run using the digital printing process. This is because each printed piece is more expensive using the digital printing process, but you have to take into account the time and money involved in the setup for the lithographic process, before you can make any judgements on which process offers you the better value for your project. Longer print runs on the lithographic printing process are perfect and will help you save on printing. This is because once the setup costs have been surpassed, it will be more expensive per piece of print from there on out for the digital process.

We hope these easy to follow tips help you select the right options for your project, whilst also helping you to save on printing.

VAT And Printing! Which Printed Products Have VAT?

VAT And Printing!

Printing And VAT!

 What is VAT?

(Value Added Tax) is charged on things like:

  • Sales – Sold goods and/or services
  • Commision
  • Items sold to your own staff, such as drinks or food
  • Business assets that are being sold
  • & More

There are three rates of VAT (Value Added Tax) and they are standard rate, reduced rate and zero rate.

Almost all services and goods are charged at standard rate, unless they are classed as reduced rate or zero rate.

Zero rate means that the goods and services are still vat-taxable, but you charge your customers 0% VAT (Value Added Tax), meaning they receive no charge.  Some examples of items that are zero rate are:

  • Comics
  • Colouring books (Children’s)
  • Bulletins
  • Brochures
  • Books

You can find out more about VAT (Value Added Tax) via the Gov.uk website here – https://www.gov.uk/vat-businesses/how-vat-works

Standard Rated Print Products:

  •  Business cards
  • Calendars
  • Compliment slips
  • Envelopes
  • Folders
  • Greetings cards
  • Labels
  • Letter headings
  • Menu cards
  • Postcards
  • Printed pictures
  • Stationery
  • Stickers
  • Vouchers

You can find all of the standard rated print products listed in this attached file >>> VATable Printed Products

Zero Rated Print Products:

  • Advertising leaflets
  • Antique books
  • Antique maps
  • Appointment cards
  • Booklets
  • Brochures
  • Catalogues
  • Leaflets
  • Magazines
  • Mail order catalogues
  • Maps
  • Orders of service
  • Recipe books
  • Travel brochures

You can find all of the zero rated print products here >>> VATable Printed Products

 VAT Confusion!

Sometimes it can get a little confusing in regards to which VAT rates printed products have attached to them. An example of this would be diaries.

Diaries that are completed are zero-rated, meaning no VAT is added onto the price. Whereas Unused diaries are listed as standard rated. There are quite a few printed products that have this confusing rule attached to them, but thankfully you can find them fully explained here >>> VATable Printed Products

Thank you for reading our blog post about printing and VAT, we hope we have helped you to understand which VAT rating each product has. But don’t worry, at Printmonster we always add this on to the final price, so you aren’t left stunned and confused.

Digital Printing & Lithographic! What’s The Difference?

What Are The Differences Between Lithographic & Digital Printing?

Lithographic Vs Digital Printing

What Are The Differences Between Lithographic & Digital Printing?

Digital Printing is excellent for short runs and eliminates the need to replace the printing plates. Compared to the more traditional methods of printing where the plates would need to be continually replaced. The digital printing process also enables printers to print straight from a digital image such as a PDF file. This reduces time by taking away the need for any mechanical steps to be taken in between, such as creating the printing plates.

On the other hand Lithographic Printing is brilliant for the longer print runs. The Lithographic printing process is based on the process of repelling water and oil. When the plate is exposed to a water and ink mixture, the parts that do not require ink will attract water whilst repelling any of the ink. The parts that do need the ink will attract the ink and repel the water.

What Are The Benefits Of The Lithographic & Digital Printing Processes?

 Digital Printing:

  • Due to the reduced number of mechanical processes required, digital printing offers faster turnaround times.
  • Shorter print runs are cheaper compared to running short print runs on lithographic printing equipment.
  • Easy customisation. The digital printing process enables easy changes to be made to the artwork without slowing down or stopping the printing process. This works especially well for personalised invitations, letters, cards, letterheads etc. For example, cards can be printed with different names and messages without impacting the production of the cards. This is referred to as Variable Data Printing.
  • Less waste, more consistency and there is no need to balance the ink and water levels resulting in less variations to the printing process.

Lithographic Printing:

  • High image quality.
  • Can be used on a range of surfaces such as wood, metal, leather, plastic and paper.
  • Cheaper costs for longer print runs, compared to producing long print runs using digital printing.
  • The quality and cost effectiveness of the process during longer print jobs is unmatched by the digital printing process.
  • Increased quality due to the modern offset presses computer-to-plate systems, compared to older computer-to-film systems.

How Do You Decide What’s Right For You?

  • Digital is the way forward if you’re looking for a fast turnaround for your print.
  • If you’re looking to print on an unusual printing surface, although the digital printing process does have options, the lithographic printing process still provides more flexibility.
  • Shorter runs? The digital printing process would be the best for you.
  • Longer runs? The lithographic printing process would work best for you.
  • If you’re looking to see what your print will look like before it’s printed, digital is the right choice for you. Also if you’re looking for easy customisation, digital would again be the best process for your needs.

CMYK Explained!

CMYK (Cyan – Magenta – Yellow – Black)


CMYK is a color model in which all colors are described as a combination of  Cyan-Magenta-Yellow & Black.

RGB (Red-Green & Blue) & CMYK

CMYK is the colour model used for printing and is displayed on products like brochures and business cards. RGB (Red, Green & Blue) is the colour model used for devices such as a computer monitors or screens as they can only be viewed with natural or produced light.

 Additive Colour & Subtractive Colour:

The RGB colour model is based on projecting light to create colour, this is referred to as additive colour. When all three colours are combined (Red, green & blue), it creates white. This is the case for devices such as your computer and TV screens. This means that for the RGB colour model, black is the absence of all colour.

When CMY (Cyan, magenta & yellow) are mixed they create black. This is the case for most printed media such as business cards, brochures, posters, etc, as CMYK displays better on paper. The pigments of CMYK are printed in small dots and if you were to take a magnifying glass to the paper, you’d see that it would mainly be just a bunch of small dots spread out across the print. Opposed to the RGB colour model, for the CMYK colour model white is the absence of all colour.

Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign all provide presets recommended for CMYK press setups which is very useful. You can also find out how to convert RGB to CMYK very easily with a quick internet search.

In conclusion, whenever you are designing for print, make sure that it’s in the CMYK colour model. Otherwise the final printed product will not look as it did when it was being displayed in RGB on your computer screen.

Why Does K Stand For Black?

This may sound like a very simple thing to solve with a quick Google search, but the actual answer has an element of the unknown to it. There are two common answers for why K stands for Black and here they are:

1. Wikipedia’s description of why K is Black is “The “K” in CMYK stands for key because in four-color printing, cyan, magenta, and yellow printing plates are carefully keyed, or aligned, with the key of the black key plate.” This is because the black plate in four-colour printing pushes the contrast and creates detail.

2. The second answer that some will give you is that it was to prevent blue being easily confused with the B for black term. This answer is considered a myth, but there is some logical reasoning behind why printers would change B to K because of the confusion between blue and black.  The reasoning behind this is if the press was loaded with blue ink at the end of the day, the entire job would have to be started over. Which, as you can imagine would cause quite the frustration amongst the printers. So it could be that key was a random word picked out of no where to stop the confusion between blue and black.

Maybe the real answer will never be known, but it certainly is a mystery for the printing industry.


Black Country Chamber Of Commerce Showcase Event – Our Experience!

Our Highlights Of The Black Country Chamber Of Commerce Showcase Event!


Standing outside of the GTG Training Academy as we arrived in the early hours of the morning. We were excited to setup the stand and take the first step to a brilliant day of networking.

GTG Training Academy

Once we entered the building, we located our space and started setting up our stand straight away. Ready and waiting for anyone who would like to speak to us throughout the day.


Just before the show, we had a great breakfast and we got to have a brief chat with some of the other exhibitors. At this point we were still looking forward to the busy event ahead of us.

Black Country Chamber Of Commerce Event

As soon as the delegates arrived and the event started, the pace soon picked up and the atmosphere was electric! There were people and businesses having friendly conversations all around us. It was great to be able to get involved and meet them! We enjoyed chatting to each and everyone we spoke with and the event was a great opportunity to learn about surrounding businesses.


(Our team, Autumn and Gavin)

Gavin became friends with the PG Tips monkey, courtesy of Coinadrink. They also managed to win some champagne from Autoguard Alarms, many thanks to them for our brilliant prize! Speaking of prizes, congratulations to the winner of our £250 worth of free print giveaway, well done Ramada Wolverhampton!

For everyone who attended please feel free to connect with our team on LinkedIn, if you spoke to them in person or wish to otherwise.

Black Country Chamber Of Commerce

Overall it was a great event and we had a lot of fun and got to meet some great people. It was a great event for networking and to gain an understanding of other businesses. A big thank you to the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and to GTG Training for providing us with a brilliant event. We are already looking forward to the next one!

Bleed and Crops Explained By Printmonster

Bleed and Crops

What are they and why are they needed?

Bleed for print



In this blog post we will be explaining what bleed is and why it is needed. We will also be looking at what crop marks are and why they are also important. Lastly we will be going through what a safe zone is and how all three of these come together to create a group of precautions when designing print.

What is bleed and why do I need it?

When designing your document, if you intend background elements to touch the edge of the document, then bleed is required. This is because if bleed isn’t added to a document, due to tolerances within the printing process, when the document is trimmed to size, small movements can result in small white strips showing on some edges of your print. Therefore any document that is being professionally printed will need bleed adding, that is if you intend the print to run to any or all of the edges. Your document will then be printed onto a larger sheet and this excess bleed will be trimmed off, so your document end ups at its required size with the print straight to the very edge.

The amount of bleed required is 3mm on each side. If the programme you are working your artwork in allows, set the bleed limit to 3mm on all sides. Alternatively if the programme does not allow you to set a bleed limit , you will need to extend the page to have an extra 6mm for both it’s width and it’s height. An example of this would be on an A4 document which is 210mm x 297mm. As mentioned before if the elements touch any and/or all sides of the document then the bleed will be added which will extend the sheet to 216mm x 303mm. The excess will then be trimmed off afterwards back to its intended size of 210mm x 297mm without any white strips appearing on your print.

What are crop marks and do I need to add them?

Crop marks or trim lines are small lines at the corners of your document that inform the print finisher where to trim.

Crop marks are essential for any document that will be trimmed after the initial printing process, especially if bleed has been added.

When a printer receives your artwork, it will be imposed onto oversized paper, sometimes, depending on finished size, there will be multiple copies of your artwork printed on the same sheet.

Once printed, the Crop Marks are used as a guide, informing the print finisher where to trim, enabling them to bring the document down to it’s final size.

What is the safe zone?

The safe zone is the 3mm zone inside of the cutting edge where no important information should be placed.

The printing and finishing process has tolerances. At Printmonster we always aim to be 100 percent accurate.

Machines and people, however excellent, can be variable. This variation is tiny, but information contained very close to a cut edge can give a poor looking finish.