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Print Shops

There are plenty of local high street print shops but in my experience, whilst convenient they are not the cheapest option. There are some excellent online print shops to which you can upload your artworks and receive the printed material by courier. Turnaround varies between a few days to a week or two, and some shops offer rapid services and/or delivery for a premium. All online print shops accept PDF format artworks but nevertheless different printing equipment has different technical requirements. For our purposes the most important such setting is the bleed margin—the amount of paper that is trimmed from each edge to yield the finished paper size. Common bleed margins are 1, 2, 3 or 4 mm, so the artwork needs to be oversized bydouble this amount on both axes—we provide separate artworks with 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 mm bleed margins to suit different printers. One thing you'll have to specify is the paper weight and quality—for leaflets I recommend 135 gsm gloss coated as a reasonable trade-off between cost and quality. Business cards should be 300 gsm card or heavier.


The cheapest online print shop I've found is PrintCarrier, whom I have used for many years for political campaign publications. PrintCarrier accepts PDF/X-1a artworks with a 1 mm bleed margin.


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