20 lb or 100 lb? Glossy or matte?

When you choose offset printing, you also get to choose your paper. Never looked at papers before? You might be overwhelmed at what’s available. There are literally thousands of combinations to choose from, and sometimes the best way to get started is to find a sample of something you like and show it to us. We’ll tell you what it is, and how it was printed, and let you know if it will work for your project.

If you’re not working with a graphic designer, don’t be afraid to ask your print rep for suggestions, including the pros and cons of different weights and finishes. Printers can also create a “dummy” of plain paper that will show you the size and weight of your printed piece.

Digital or Offset?​

What’s the big difference? Well, offset is traditional printing. That means when you send us your file, we get to work making plates. During the creation of these plates, our expert pre-press department will check your colours, your alignment, your fonts, etc. and let you know if there are any problems or issues. Once the plates are made, your project goes to print. The whole process, from start to finish takes about two weeks.

With digital printing, your electronic file is sent to print directly to our industrial digital printers. The entire process can be done in two to three days.

So which one is better? Well, it depends on your needs. Offset printing creates a more precise product that allows for truer colours (because the ink sinks into the paper), cleaner finishes and better consistency. With offset you have more choices for paper, finishes (glossy, matte, coated, etc.) and options such as die-cutting. When you’re doing large runs, offset is still the best choice. But when you have a smaller run, a limited budget, or tight timelines, digital printing can be a great option. Your choices are more limited, but it can save you time and money.

Which finish is best?​

Sometimes a print job also requires finishing such as binding. You need to decide in advance what kind of finishing you want, and your rep can help explain the pros and cons of each. And if your project is created to fit an unusual size, he or she can outline what’s involved in having it cut to size after printing and even discuss mailing options.

One colour? Spot colour? Full-colour?

Most people understand the difference between black and white and colour. It’s when you start talking about full-colour, one colour plus black, or spot colour that it can get confusing. So what’s the difference?

One colour, plus black allows you to choose one colour to be used with traditional black ink. Full colour printing uses the same four colours of ink — cyan, magenta, yellow and black — to create all the different possible colour combinations. These are called 'process colours.' Spot colour often require that inks be specially mixed just for that job – which can be labour intensive.
Before you decide on your colours, speak to your print rep. He or she can help you look at the most cost-effective way to add colour to your job, and explain all your options.


Have more questions? No problem! Send us an email or give us a call and we can answer any other inquires you have.