FAQ's - a quick guide to your questions

14/05/2019
by Simon McClelland Morris
Creativity, Customer service, Design, Direct to media, Guides, Inspiration, Kit, Large format, Vinyl, Visual merchandising, Wall graphics, Window

Here's a helpful list of descriptions and info for the questions we get asked the most.

If there's anything else you'd like to know, just drop us a message or call in and we'll be happy to answer.

Accounts

Can I set up an account? Yes hopefully. Your first job with us must be paid for before release, then Credit Applications can be sent out after this first initial order is completed and paid for. Assuming your credit check comes up okay, then we’ll set up an account for you. The credit application process normally takes around 2 weeks.

Account customer invoices require payment within 30 days from the invoice date.

Non-account customer jobs require payment in full before release.

Payments can be received by BACS, all major Credit or Debit Cards or cash. We’d love to take products, beer or chocolate biscuits as payment, but alas, they don’t help pay our own bills.

Artwork

This is when you, or us, make your designs ready for print or production. We cover a few things below but for a full artwork help guide, visit the page here.

Bleed

The bleed is the part on the side of a document that gives the printer a small amount of space to account for movement of the paper, and design inconsistencies when trimming a print to the correct size. Just add extra image or colour from your design, usually 3mm off the edge of the design - voila, you've created some bleed. It means that when we cut along the crop marks or cutter guide, there’s a little ‘extra’ image or design outside of the artwork and we don’t supply you back a print with a slither of white paper or material showing.

Cropmarks

These are line marks made just outside the main design which allow us to cut a print out to the correct size. Most design programs allow you to add crop marks as part of their setup, or you can easily add them manually.

Cut to shape

This is typically a term used for anything that isn't a simple square or A-shape, such as custom produced props, stickers, shaped wall graphics, signage, printed and made up boxes, etc, even printed kit form furniture.

Our in-house router gets the job done quickly and to your exact specification by following a cut path much the same as when we produce vinyl decals. However, it's not just thin substrates like vinyl or card we can work with, it's almost any substrate up to 48mm thick, including wood, board, and acrylic.

Cutter guide

Literally, a guide so we can cut your design to its correct shape. A cutter guide is usually a separate layer on an artwork that a plotter follows with its blade to cut to. They're usually supplied as part of the artwork for Cut-to-shape, or Print & cut graphics.

Design

Creating ideas and layouts from scratch. It’s about ‘designing’ the best product in the most creative way, or following a set of brand identity guidelines, to implement a brand style to answer a design brief.

Digital wallpaper

A digitally printed image of your own design, a pattern, a photographic image, or company branding digitally for example. A design printed ready to be installed just as you would conventional wallpaper or produced using low-tac self-adhesive vinyl, giving you the luxury of easy removing if needed. Wallpapers would typically be used for office meeting rooms or studio walls, client receptions, communal areas, restaurant walls, retail spaces, even for your home as a feature wall in the lounge, bedrooms or kids playroom. There's more digital wallpaper information here.

Direct to media (DTM)

This is when we print directly to the surface of a substrate. Apart from the usual suspects of foamex (recyclable PVC board), acrylic, and cardboard, we’ve printed on a variety of wood including MDF, metal including aluminium, plastic and more. If it fits under the 50mm print heads, in theory, we can print onto it - we welcome all ideas, no matter how unusual sounding. You can find some further inspiration here.

Environmentally friendly printing

It is possible to print graphics using an environmentally friendly process. Most of our production printers use Latex inks which are predominately water-based. There are also a host of PVC and SVHC free materials on the market to use, as well as fully recyclable boards such as di-bond and foamex. This is, thankfully, a fast developing market so speak to us about your wants and concerns and we’ll be happy to share what we know and we can produce for you. You can find out more here.

Exterior graphics

As they sound, anything that goes outside. Using substrates designed to withstand the elements, we can deliver building façade exterior graphics, floor graphics, building wraps, banners, signage and graphics to cover everything from seating to hoardings. Visit the exterior graphics service page to learn more.

Glass manifestations

As well as livery for the environment, workplace laws stipulate safety stickers must be applied to any glass door and wall. But there are no restrictions on the type of stickers you can use. They don’t need to be the standard lines or dots, why not take the opportunity to create a strong brand impression with graphics while covering the Health & Safety aspect as well? In addition to the more standard etched or ‘frosted’ vinyl, you could use self-adhesive vinyl or cut-vinyl decals.

Imagery

An illustration or photographic image used as part of a design and artwork. Below are a few basics we need to produce a top quality piece of work.

Supply images as CMYK colour mode.

All images should be high resolution - 150dpi at the print size where possible. Double the resolution when creating half size artwork i.e. 50% should be set with a 300dpi file, 25% 600dpi, etc.

Superwide imagery works a little differently so please speak to us about the resolution needed for your artwork.

The colour profiles that are used are: CMYK - ISO Coated V2 ECI (European) / RGB - sRGB Adobe 1998

Installation

The installation and fitting of graphics, whether it's a window display, wall graphics, brickwork, pavements, boards, decals, banners, wallpapers, etc. It's sometimes possible to do this yourself if you want, but it's best to use an experienced professional we think. We have an installation service page you can visit here.

Point of sale

Point of sale display graphics are generally a specialized form of sales advertising or promotion found near, on, or next to a checkout counter (the 'point of sale'). They are intended to draw the customers' attention to products, which may be new products or those on special offer, and are also used to promote special events such as seasonal sales. Typical POS graphics would include free standing display units, strut cards, wall mounted displays, hanging signs, posters, and banners.

Pop-up shops

Shops that offer a short-term sale space, sometimes for a short period of days or weeks. They are often used to test out products, promotions, or to discover whether an area is suitable for a permanent shop space or not. We have a full help guide article to read here.

Print & cut

In many ways, this is like using pre-coloured vinyl to produce a graphic. However, instead of producing a multi-coloured design in multiple individual colours, we instead print the design. This means we have one flat graphic in a single piece that can be cut to shape on the plotter following a cut path. This method means we don’t need to potentially spend a long time installing many pieces of vinyl to produce multi-coloured graphics. With Print & Cut, we can produce a fuller range of colours, with closer matches to Pantone and other colour references. (though it is a CMYK process) It also means we can print tones, graduations, and complicated patterns. And whilst we cannot print the specials available in standard vinyl decals, such as metallic and fluorescents, in theory, if the design allows us to, we could place these in using cut vinyl or even print directly to these colours as our base material.

Superwide graphics

Anything really large. If you're thinking big, why not think really big. We can print a banner in a single sheet up to 5m x 50m in size. If you can't lift that in one piece, (and we doubt anyone can without a forklift) then we can print your superwide graphics in multiple sections before installing them together on site. Superwide graphics are used for building wraps, huge banners, billboards and anything super big. You can read more about our superwide graphics right here.

Tea

The preferred hot drink of choice around most of the studio. The odd coffee (and even plain hot water) does happen, but mostly you'll see us with a good old fashioned cuppa in our hands.

Vinyl decals

A decal is simply when letters and shapes are cut from pre-coloured adhesive vinyl. It's much like using sheets of coloured paper, except that it comes on a roll up 1.2m x 50m long and has a sticky reverse. The adhesive allows us to install the produced designs onto glass or other surfaces. Colours are selected beforehand from swatches and the design is produced on a plotter which follows the vector path, supplied to us in .ai or .eps format. You can apply vinyl on an interior, and exterior, surface. Here's a link to our full vinyl decal page.