Frequently Asked Questions:


1. What is offset printing?

Offset printing utilizes a printing press to apply printing ink to paper or card. It produces the highest quality printed products and can print photographic quality images.  In order to use this process the quantity of printed pieces must be enough to justify the cost to set up a press, usually 500 pieces and above. Items printed offset can be in 1, 2 or 3-colours (black and/or any PantoneĀ®* colour) or process printed (4-colour CMYK).


2. What is digital printing?

Digital printing (usually) involves the use of a commercial grade laser printer to apply toner to paper or card. Images can be printed in black and white or in full colour.  While image quality is not as high as something printed on an offset press, it is still very good and the difference may not be noticeable to the untrained eye.

The two main benefits of digital printing is the minimal time and setup cost required due to the fact that printing plate(s) are not needed, so printing small quantities is usually quite quick and and reasonable from a cost perspective .  Another benefit is the ability to print "variable" information - every sheet printed can be different from any others printed. Applications involving variable data printing range from letters personalized with a name and address for a mailing to brochures printed with different images and text based on the interest and buying history of individuals.


3. What is process printing?

Process printing utlizes a pattern of small dots to print text and images. These dots vary in size, orientation and colour depending on how the job is meant to look. The colours used are standard Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK). When used on an offset press the colours are applied using ink.  When used on a digital machine the colours are applied using toner.


4. What is large format printing?

Large format printing utilizes an inkjet printer very similar to one you might find in an office or home.  The big difference is that it is much larger, often in excess of 10ft wide. A variety of materials are used as a substrate including poster paper, banner vinyls, and fabrics.  There is also a flatbed type of printer which can print on large solid materials like coroplast, PVC, acrylic and even wood for signage applications.


5. What is "artwork"?

Artwork is the digital representation of a printed item created using graphics software on a computer. It contains the controls necessary for a printing company to properly reproduce the various images and colours in the piece and position it correctly on the material to be printed. Artwork can be as simple as a text document for a letter or it can contain all the information necessary to print a multi-page magazine or book.  Artwork for something complex is best delegated to someone famliar with the printing process so as to avoid costly errors and delays in time sensitive projects.


If Smart Printing Inc. is engaged to design/assemble an item to be printed, we will always provide a proof - a sample of the job, usually in PDF form, so that the client can carefully check all components (text and images) of the piece. Approval to proceed by a person authorized to bind the company or organization will be required before the project is sent to production.  As well, upon request, Smart Printing will provide a proof of a print ready file supplied by the client. If such a proof is requested, sign-off by a person authorized to bind the company or organization will be required.


Smart Printing will not be responsible for any errors in the final printed product once final approval to proceed has been received, whether Smart Printing Inc. designed the item or if the artwork was supplied to Smart Printing Inc. by the client.  Full payment for the project will be required regardless.


6. If I don't have any artwork, can I get help with that?

Absolutely!  Smart Printing Inc. offers in-house design services.  Under certain conditions, Smart Printing Inc. may suggest the use of an outside design professional .


7. What are your file requirements for printing?

If you are supplying artwork to Smart Printing Inc. please send a file with ALL of the following attributes;

a)  "Press Quality" PDF,

b)  All images and fonts embedded, preferably converted to outlines,

c)  Bleeds set to a minimum of 1/8"(0.125"),

d)  All images to be high quality at a resolution of 300dpi.


If you are not sure if your artwork meets these specifications, feel free to upload your file.  Smart Printing Inc. will check it at no charge and let you know if any changes are needed.


8. What forms of payment do you accept?

Smart Printing Inc. accepts cash, cheques (from approved sources) and all credit cards as payment for its products and services.  We also offer Net30 accounts on approved credit.


9. How can I receive my job?

Smart Printing loves to deliver.  If you are in our area we are happy to offer that service.  You are also most welcome to pick your job up at our location.  For orders to be delivered to more distant locations, shipping is  available to anywhere in North America at the lowest rates possible by the various commercial couriers.




* - PantoneĀ® is a registered trademark of Pantone LLC.