Protect Yourself With Our Personalised Face Masks

Our personalised masks come in many forms and include polyester and microfibres with flexible but resistant elastics which are reusable, machine washable up to 60°C and are available printed or unprinted. You can either use our range of face masks, or provide your own for us to print on.

View our facemask range, and the rest of our COVID-19 essentials range at

The Difference Between Uncoated and Coated Paper Stocks

All paper starts out as uncoated and is made out of bleached wood fibres, fillers, clay and caulk fillings. At the end of the papermaking machine, it‘s sometimes covered in a white clay or clay and caulk filler which covers up the small crevices, making it smoother.

This coating creates a less porous sheet than uncoated paper stocks. A coated paper, therefore, doesn’t absorb inks as much as an offset or uncoated stock during the printing process. When the inks aren’t absorbed as much into the sheet, they stay on the surface of the paper, making it look glossier which then, in turn, makes the imagery, type and photographs look sharper.

Coated paper stocks are however not always glossy and can be found in a variety of finishes including matt or silk. These finishes make it easier on the eye for reading text-heavy content and have less sheen but can look less glossy as a result.

Uncoated papers can feel rougher in comparison to coated stocks due to the fibres of the wood and other smoothing fillers. Uncoated stocks are also known as bond, offset, card and newsprint. These paper stocks are very porous and soak up much larger quantities of ink. Uncoated stocks have a tendency to dry faster to the touch, as the ink is absorbed into the porous paper. Uncoated stocks are easier to write on as the surface, which accepts the ink more readily than a coated stock. Generally speaking, you can’t write on coated stocks very well without smudging and would need to use a Biro style pen.

From a print/design point of view, we would recommend using glossy stock for brochures, marketing leaflets etc. with pictures and other eye-catching design elements that you want to draw attention to. A matt or silk stock is best for literature that needs to be read, as it is easier on the eye. That said, design style can mean using a completely opposite scenario to this and it all really comes down to your overall requirement and what you want to achieve.

Whatever your preference, Print Mule can help with any paper stock, matt, silk, coated, bond or anything else you can think of!


The Print Mule Printing Jargon Buster!

We understand that the print industry is full of jargon and specific keywords you may not find anywhere else. Not sure what we’re on about? No worries! Just use our handy glossary to help out.

Adobe – This is a collection of software tools, which are usually used to design the piece that will be printed, and can also get it ready to go to the printer.

Alterations / Amendments – Authors corrections or additions made by the customer to the artwork at proof stage

Artwork – the file that is being or has been designed, to be printed. Usually, a file made up of text, images or illustrations.

Backup – a second copy of the file, just in case one gets lost.

Binding – The process of fastening sheets of paper or other material together, usually using wire, thread or glue.

Bleed – A safety blanket for printing! Bleed is when the printed area extends beyond the trim edge of a page or sheet and leaves a neat edge once trimmed.

Bold – A thicker version of a typeface

Calibration – Using a fixed measurement to ensure accurate performance in a machine or process.

CMYK  – An abbreviation for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Keyline (black), the 4 colours which can be combined together to produce the full colour spectrum in printing.

Collating – Arranging a series of printed sheets into a desired sequence.

Colour Control Bar – A coloured strip on the margin of a sheet which enables the printer to check the printing characteristics.

Compression – The reduction in the size of a digital file, so that unnecessary information is removed, and the overall size of the file is reduced.

Crop – To cut off parts of a picture or image, using a digital trimming tool.

Crop Marks – Marks at the edges of an illustration, image or photograph, to indicate the portion to be produced. Printed lines showing where to trim a printed sheet once its completed.

Die – Metal rule or imaged block used to cut or place an image on paper in the finishing process.

Die Cutting – Cutting images or shapes into or out of paper. For example, instead of cutting a square around the image, the cut follows the shape of the outline or contour of the image.

DPI – Dots Per Inch. This measurement indicates the quality or resolution of a file. The higher the number, the better the resolution / the more high quality the file is.

Emboss – Pressing an image onto paper/card so that it will raise on the other side.

EPS – An EPS file is a graphics file saved in the Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) file format. It may contain 2D vector graphics, bitmap images, and text. EPS files also include an embedded preview image in bitmap format.

Finishing – The term used to refer to all operations after printing. For example, a gloss or matt coating on a business card.

Font – a typeface, or the visual style of text.

Four Colour Process – Colour printing using CMYK. Read our blog post on the four colour process for more information.

GIF – Graphical Interchange Format. Usually, an animated image used on the internet.

Gloss – A shiny look that reflects light.

Grain – The direction in which the paper fibres sit.

Hairline – A very thin line or gap about the width of a hair

Inkjet – A non-impact printing process in which droplets of ink are projected onto paper or other material.

Insert – A piece of paper or card laid between the leaves of a book, which is not secured in.

JPEG – Another type of graphic file format, widely used on the internet.

Kerning – Adjusting the spaces between particular letters

Keylines – Lines that show the position of photographs or illustrations in artwork

Laminating – The application of transparent plastic film, usually with a high gloss or matt finish, to the surface of a printed matter to enhance its appearance and to increase its durability.

Leading – Space between lines of text

Lithographic printing – A method using flush printing and non-printing surface which is in contact with paper or a rubber blanket.

Matte – A coated product with a dull finish.

Pantone – A trademarked colour standard, data and reproduction system.

PDF – A Portable Document Format, which was created by Adobe, which is cross-platform independent. The file itself contains all the fonts, graphics and page layout information necessary for printing.

Perfect-binding – A style of threadless binding in which the leaves of a book are held together at the binding edge by glue or synthetic adhesive and a suitable lining.

Proof – A copy of the file to check over before printing

Resolution – The level of detail retained by a printed document increases, the higher the resolution.

RGB – Red, Green, Blue. These colours make up a full-colour image on a monitor, TV screen or other digital display.

Saddle-Stitch – A binding process in which a pamphlet or booklet is stapled through the middle fold of its sheets using saddle wire.

Score – To partially cut or crease into heavy paper.

Software – The programs that enable a computer to perform its tasks.

Spine – the binding edge of a book or magazine.

Spot Colour / Spot Varnish / Spot UV – Any area that is highlighted using a certain colour, varnish or UV enhancement.

Stock – The material to be printed on.

TIFF – Tagged Image File Format. Images are saved in this format for exchange between different applications.

Trim – The final size of one image after the last trim is made after unnecessary parts have been removed.

UV Coating – Liquid laminate bonded and cured with ultraviolet light

Varnish – A clear liquid applied to printed surfaces to enhance the presentation and add protection

Watermark – A distinctive mark on the paper that can help prevent copying, or prove that a document belongs to you. Can also be used to distinguish drafts or versions of prints.

Outdoor Signs: Choosing the Right Material

Here at Print Mule, we offer such a wide selection of materials – it can seem overwhelming! As always, our team are here to help, so we’ve put together a short and simple guide to choosing the right material for your needs.


Display Boards

We recommend:

  • DiBond – Printed DiBond panels are made from enforced aluminium, and are ideal for long-term exterior signage and displays, as it’s both weather resistant and rustproof. You’ll often see DiBond boards as the material for road signs, nature trail signposts or shop-front signs.
  • Foamex – Foamex is a type of PVC foam with a smooth finish, available in many thicknesses, perfect for high-quality printing. It’s suitable for both indoor & outdoor use; and is our most cost-effective option. It’s often used for advertising outdoor signage, such as for builders, outside shops and restaurants for changing promotions. It can also be seen indoors, at exhibitions, fast food wall menus, and other uses that call for light but durable signage.
  • Corrugated plastic – lightweight, rigid and waterproof; corrugated plastic can often be seen used on Estate Agent ‘For Sale’ signs, building site cautionary signs, and street-side advertising amongst many other uses.



  • Mesh – suitable for indoor and outdoor use, mesh banners are durable and are available in strong weights which allow wind resistance. The mesh allows air to pass through the small holes, without obstructing the design, which makes it suitable for all weather.
  • PVC – completely weather-resistant and waterproof, they are printed with precision, and their block colours mean your advertisement won’t be missed – with an option to have hemmed edges, and 2 different weight choices.
  • Roller banners – the go-to choice for exhibitions, roller banners are lightweight and easy to transport. Printed on strong polymer, your design and colours will be strong and stand out from the crowd.


Other Products

With Print Mule, you’re not limited to the standard boards and banners – we also offer a variety of flags, with 12 base options to suit all weathers.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Don’t worry, Print Mule can help you find exactly what you’re looking for, whether its lamp post banners, outdoor posters, chalkboards or forecourt stands; we’re here to help. Speak with one of our printing experts today – call 0800 368 7338.

How It Works – The Four Colour Process

Like most media today, full colour printing is actually a trick played on the brain and the eye. A full colour image is in fact made up of only four primary process colours: cyan, magenta, yellow and Keyline black  – often abbreviated to CMYK.

Four colour printing is an illusion based on the mixture of the four process colours in a calculated and regimented way, which from a distance appear to produce a larger range of colours and thus a full colour image.

The full colour image is printed in a pattern of dots reminiscent of a rosette shape. These dots vary in size to give the illusion of light and dark, depending on what is being printed on specific areas of the image. Halftones can be easily seen when looking closely at a black and white newspaper picture, with dark shadow areas having larger black dots, and the light ‘highlight’ areas having smaller black dots.

In order to achieve the illusion of full colour, the dots of the four process colours are mixed in the halftone fashion laying each colour dots over the previous, with different mixtures of each coloured dot helping to achieve the desired colour outcome.

For the majority of printing carried out, the use of the four process colours is sufficient. However, it can have its limitations as only around 60% of all visible colours are achievable through it and therefore exact colour matches can sometimes be hard to reproduce.

Bright oranges are one such colour which are impossible to produce vividly out of four colour process and appear quite brown, as you can see below.

Therefore, in order to achieve some colours, special ink mixes have to be used, often referred to as Pantone, spot or PMS colours.


In addition to orange, other colours which sometimes do not reproduce accurately through four colour process are greens purples and blues.

These days, most print work is done is full colour/four colour process, but in summary, if you need a print job to reproduce to an exact colour, for example your corporate colour, then pantone is the way forward for you as the colour is guaranteed to print as expected.

Need any help or advice choosing what’s right for you? Give us a call on 0800 368 7338 or email us on

Mousemats and mugs fly out the door for Fairness Healthcare!

Did you know we offer no minimum quantity on the most popular range of personalised promotional merchandise? That’s right, you can have just one, a thousand or a million of whatever you need! Get in touch to discuss your requirements and for a quote! With highly competitive pricing and super-fast turnaround times (same day / next day) what’s not to like?

And remember, if you can’t find what you want on our website, then get in touch!

Call us on 0800 368 7338 or email us on and one of our friendly customer service advisors can help you with your requirements!

How It Works – Digital vs Traditional Printing Methods

If you’re interested about how print machinery works and the different methods and presses we use for various products, then you’re in the right place!

Digital printing equipment in the modern era differs from traditional methods that we have all known and loved. The electronic means of printing creates an image from a computer as opposed to traditional printing plates. For example, digital printing devices include your desktop laser printer, inkjet printer, office printer or high-speed digital press.

Using the digital form of printing provides cost effective prices with fast turnaround times compared to older offset printers which are not always cost effective for lower quantities. However, digital printing is not the best option for all printing requirements, and it definitely isn’t replacing the well-known litho printing! Here are some examples of digital and traditional methods of printing, and you can decide which is best for your design.





Known as the ‘printhead’, it has several small nozzles (also known as jets) which spray ink onto the passing paper to form the images you require. With the long lasting ink jet cartridge, it can print several hundred pages before the cartridges need to be changed. Within the standard printer, there is normally one black ink cartridge and one colour cartridge containing ink of the primary colours in pigments which is cyan, magenta and yellow.

  • Cost effective for short run print jobs
  • Great for products with variable data or personalisation
  • Faster turnaround times
  • Reduces waste
  • High quality on special paper
  • Accurate proofing



Desktop publishing software, for example, is a platform on which commercial and non-commercial designers can utilise the functions of being able to produce a digitally published product. Examples of these are InDesign® and Microsoft Publisher®.

These can be used to create digital electronic versions of magazines, newspapers and adverts which are proving to be extremely popular now that these media forms are readily available on many devices, even without an internet connection.


  • Cost effective for causal & professional users
  • Information can always be updated
  • More global reach




Lithography is when a printing plate with a relief image is dampened with water and then coated with ink. The ink only sticks to the parts of the plate that are not wet with water. The printing plate is fixed to a roller and the image is transferred onto paper fed under the roller. Lithography is used for medium and long print runs of products such as magazines and posters.

  • Most prolific printing process in the UK
  • Excellent for printing many copies of the same item in one production run
  • Can print onto many paper and card stocks with many finishes
  • Cost effective for high volume runs



In gravure printing, the required image is made up of small holes sunk into the surface of the printing plate. The holes are filled with ink, and any excess is removed. Paper comes into contact with the ink in the holes when it is pressed against the plate. It is used for long, high-quality print runs such as magazines, catalogues, packaging, and printing onto fabric and wallpaper.

  • Best for flexible packaging manufacturing
  • Printable on many different materials
  • Frequently used for items such as drink cans and crisp packets
  • Fairly cost efficient, but needs many copies to be profitable



This method of printing allows the ink to be squeezed through a wire mesh onto the material to print. Areas which aren’t to be printed are blocked off so the ink cannot go through the mesh. This is used to print onto a wide range of materials for a wide variety of purposes, including T-shirts, mugs and billboard posters.

  • Wide range of materials

The Importance of Print Fonts

Your font choice can often be overlooked, however they are fundamental in creating reader-friendly marketing materials, and are a major aspect of conveying your message to your clients.

There are millions of font types out there, and the possibilities may seem endless, however each font has its own unique characteristics which will influence your business’ impression on customers.

By using clear, easy to read print fonts, you’ll ensure your marketing material is reader friendly therefore unobtrusive print fonts will minimise the risk of text becoming an eyesore. The consistent use of a specific print font throughout the entirety of a business’ marketing efforts will achieve a consistent brand experience across all channels.

Aesthetically pleasing print fonts can hold the attention of your market and liven up large pieces of mundane text, which can establish an informational hierarchy as your customers can differentiate sections within the text.

Let’s break it down into four main categories:


Often used in formal contexts, Serif is the most widely used print font type. It is easy to read with physical products, on both matt and shiny surfaces. With recognizable projection at the end of each stroke of each letter, standard serif fonts include Times New Roman and Georgia, however there are many new twists on the serif layout.

Sans Serif

The words “Sans Serif” literally mean without feet, which is a good description of sans-serif fonts. Often more rounded with a contemporary look and feel, sans-serif fonts are frequently used within technology as body text as they’re easier on the eye from a screen. Standard Sans-Serif fonts include Arial and Helvetica.


Script fonts intend to resemble calligraphy, and thus is not a popular choice within print as it can be hard to read. It is used very sparingly by professional companies, though can be tasteful in small areas. Script fonts include Lucida and French Script.


Decorative fonts don’t really fit into any of the above, as they can vary massively. Often intended as headings, these fonts can be hard to read but can strongly identify the characteristics of the company using them. A good example would be the Walt Disney font.

And just a friendly and helpful reminder as we’re talking fonts… there is never a good reason or use for ‘comic Sans’ …! Which seems to be a very disliked font for something that is so frequently used!



What Print Products are Best for my Business?

It can be overwhelming to try and advertise your company when there are so many options to choose from! Do you go for an all-out parade of banners, 30-piece stationery kit with hanging flags out of your office windows? Or do you opt for a discreet strategy with a single flyer in local paper?

As a rule of thumb in our technological climate, any company should have a working website and social media platforms across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Once you have the basics in place, you can figure out how to advertise your business further using print.

For smaller businesses, we would recommend using printed advertising (leaflets etc) in local newspapers as well as having business cards and flyers. According to a survey done by The Nielson Company, 56% of shopper engagement originated from printed products compared to only 37% with digital products. The digital industry hasn’t overcome print just quite yet!

If you have a larger business, then go bigger. Customised stationery and roller/mesh banners to show off at careers events is always a good starting point, as well as company accessories like T-Shirts and tote bags. However, business cards and leaflets are still effective for your captive audience.

If you’re interested in some of the products we’ve mentioned, have a look at the products we sell online and make the decisions for your company. And if you can’t decide what you need, then order it all! As lovely as that would be, its also impractical and not very cost effective… So feel free to give us a call or drop us an email if you need any help or advice! You can call us on 0800 368 7338 or email us via

Top 5 Tips for Effective Signage

Using signage is a great way to advertise your morals and services as a business. It’s visual, therefore it’s memorable! Here are our top tips about designing your signage for your brand.

Make your typeface readable

Multiple typefaces or fancy designs can detract from your overall message. It can also make your design seem cluttered and unprofessional. Block letters and capitalisation reads much better for the human eye, therefore you should choose a clear typeface that is easily readable as well as a slightly larger font for emphasis.

Your call of action must be good

Being the largest form of advertisement, it is important that your marketing designs motivates the customer to act upon their emotion caused by your signage. An effective sign should have a simple goal with catchy instructions. This ‘call to action’ gives your customers the nudge in the right direction.

Less is more!

Your sign will be seen by thousands of eyes, therefore passers-by only have a matter of seconds to interpret your signage. Make sure your message is clear and concise, so it doesn’t get ignored. As a rule of thumb, if it takes you more than 5 seconds to interpret your sign, then shorten it.

Think about the perfect location

When planning and placing your signage, you must consider the location of your advertisement. This will help you determine how your signage should be designed. For example, street signs could be very precise and clear as it will be seen by people on the-go. However, window signs attract large audiences, therefore strong, catchy words broadly promotes your business.

Consider colours that work

The sign should distinguish itself against the background, therefore the colours you choose to include must ensure that the foreground and background do not clash, otherwise it will be difficult to read. Bright and vibrant colours that are trending currently would be a good place to start, but make sure that they complement each other and don’t clash!

At Print Mule, we offer printing services for all of your advertising needs. If you want to enquire about what we can offer for your business, give us a call on 0800 368 7338 or email us at

Why your Business Needs Quality Stationery

Stationery is one of the most underestimated products a business can have. Often overlooked by startups or businesses in a hurry to make their mark on the industry, print products can give your company the physical edge over other businesses who are focusing solely on digital.

Quality stationery remains one of the most effective marketing tools. Though it is a subtle addition, it can really prove to optimise your brand exposure – think about it, how many branded pens do you have lying around?

Your first impression matters, and your reputation is your business’ lifeblood. If you had a display of pens, with a cheap, snappable generic biro next to a high finish, logo printed soft grip pen; which one do you think they would choose? When you send a letter to a prospect or client, do you want them to look and think, cheap and cheerful off the desktop printer, or a professionally designed and printed letter that you have invested in?

Stationery and general branded print and promotional products and merchandise also help foster strong working relationships. Compliment slips for example allow business owners to personally thank their customers for purchasing products or using their service. Customers will feel a greater sense of appreciation, and this can increase their brand loyalty.

But remember, high quality doesn’t always mean expensive! And certainly not with Print Mule, we strive to provide top quality and the lowest prices so you can ramp up your marketing and print activities for minimal costs. Our stationery is cost effective, and completely customisable, ensuring you show the professionalism of your brand and that you invest in your own marketing.

Why Choose Lamination Printing

Here at Print Mule, we know how valuable a humble products like leaflets, menus and business cards can be – and we also understand how they are the go-to marketing tools for physical businesses.

We offer lamination printing on many of our products because it’s durable, won’t crease up with water damage and is easy to keep clean – perfect for being in many customers hands or wallets!

The aesthetical character of a laminated products also connotes that your business cares about your print, marketing and inherently your customers because it adds that little more value to the print, even though it’s such a simple, and cost-effective thing!

Lamination used to be seen as purely a method to protect the printed product from damage. This still rings true, as the surface is easier to clean and won’t crease up with water contact. But nowadays, lamination has the ability to add an extra-special feel to the final print. The smooth surface will give the impression of quality, as it is durable, strong and is much more satisfying to hold than an unlaminated surface. It simply adds that finishing touch and can make a product feel complete. We offer various laminate options including gloss, matt and soft-touch or velvet effect.

We’d consider lamination to be essential for takeaway menus for example, as it will last much longer and stand the test of time than its plain paper competitors which are more likely to rip, and show wear and tear.

You can also use lamination as part of your design – there is nothing more swish looking than a matt laminated page, with glossy spot UV on it to pick out certain areas of the page/s.

Whilst the key aim of lamination is to protect a printed product, you can gain so much more from the technique – they’ll last much longer, and they’ll be more visually and tactility impressive.


Print Trends For 2019

The print industry defies the naysayers every year and continues to thrive with new innovations and is undoubtedly still going to influence marketing spend massively this year. Here are our print industry predictions that we think will change the game in 2019.
TREND #1: 3D PRINTING – The new year is set to see an increase in interactivity within the print industry. To facilitate this move, we expect that 3D printing will become a prominent and widely popular tool. 2018 was an excellent year for 3D printing technology and there is no slowdown in sight!
TREND #2: WATER BASED PRINTING – Beyond 3D printing, we’ll also be monitoring the development of water-based printing in 2019. It’s a field that’s attracting much interest, especially in its applications for large-format rigid media. Thanks to water-based inks, it’s now possible to print on rigid media while maintaining superb colour brightness.
TREND #3 FABRIC PRINTING – In 2019, we’ll be further evaluating fabric printing and looking closely at the evolution of it. Digital fabric printing has opened up a new world to architects and interior designers, offering unlimited possibilities for custom furnishings. It can also be used for clothing and for manufacturing creative and even personalised gifts.
TREND #4: VOICE CONTROL – In 2018 we saw the introduction of voice recognition capabilities within a small number of smart printers. In 2019 the focus will be on offering more ‘smart’ services that are required in today’s workplace. “Alexa order 100 copies of our A5 leaflets” – Yes this will become a reality in 2019!
TREND #5: NANO PRINTERS – Portable printing devices are a massive new trend and it’s only going to get bigger with new nano and printing technology. Being able to pull out a mini printer from your pocket is ideal for photographers as it means they can print there work on the go with ease.


About Printmule:

Print Mule is your best friend when it comes to all things print! Our wide range of printed items includes business cards, leaflets, flyers, posters, banners, stationery, and much more. Get in touch with our friendly customer service team if you can’t see what you need on our site, we’re here to help! Call us on 0800 368 7338 or email us at for any enquires.

business card

What Does Your Business Card Say About You?

In a meeting with a new client or potential business partner, what is the one thing you are most likely to exchange? You only have one chance to make a first impression, an impression that can gain you more business. A lot of people overlook the value of having their card accurately reflecting their brand image, yet that little piece of card is held by your client as they evaluate your worth. Take a look below at our guide on when, where and how different types of business cards can improve your brand.

What information should I include in my business card?

Here at Printmule we believe that there are a range of key elements to a business card; the basics which are individual’s name, title, email address, phone number, and the company name, along with your logo and web address.

While physical addresses were once mandatory additions, they are becoming increasingly less relevant to many. The reason being is the fact that a physical address takes up a lot of space. You could just put your web address on the cars as this means that people can search you up online and find out any further details for themselves.

What type of paper should I use?

By choosing a particular type of paper you are making a statement about your brand. Review your brand values and make sure that the business card reflects that in both written content and paper type.

Last but not least…make sure you use them once done and give them out! We often find that a newly ordered deck of cards finds its way into a side drawer and sits there doing not a lot! The more you give out, the more chances that you’ll be contacted!


About Printmule:

Print Mule is your best friend when it comes to all things print! Our wide range of printed items includes business cards, leaflets, flyers, posters, banners, stationery, and much more. Get in touch with our friendly customer service team if you can’t see what you need on our site, we’re here to help! Call us on 0800 368 7338 or email us at for any enquiries.

tips for maintaining your printer

4 Top Tips For Maintaining Your Printer

Just like any other piece of equipment, your printer needs love and attention to stay properly maintained. We have outlined four top tips for your organisation to follow in order to make your printing device last as long as possible:

  1. Be Safe
  • Whenever you are required to open the printer for maintenance, make sure you turn off the power and keep your hands clear of moving parts and fusers inside the printer. This will not only prevent damage to the printer but also to you.
  1. Clean Printer Heads
  • Had a document come out of a printer with a line running across the paper or images that are missing areas of ink? This means that the printer heads are clogged and need to be cleaned. A lot of modern printers actually self-clean, however it’s useful to check the manual to learn how it all works.
  1. Remove Dust and Debris
  • All printers have a massive build-up of dust, toner and other debris which can cause jams and also streaks of ink that appear on the print outs. The best way to fix this issue is to vacuum out the small particles. Be sure to read any specific instructions in the manual as there are some parts of the printer you shouldn’t mess with.
  1. Carefully resolve mechanical errors
  • Even if you incorrectly resolve a paper jam it can lead to further printing issues in the future. Instead of getting angry when a jam occurs, take a deep breath and avoid pulling the paper out! First refer to the manual or instructions that come with the printer, which will have instructions on the best way to fix the problem.
  1. Invest in a maintenance kit
  • If you’re willing to spend a little bit of cash to extend the life of your printer then a maintenance kit is a good way to go. These can be ordered from your printer’s manufacturer, the kits include a range of maintenance products from cleaning to changeable printer parts.


 About Printmule:

Print Mule is your best friend when it comes to all things print! Our wide range of printed items includes business cards, leaflets, flyers, posters, banners, stationery, and much more. Get in touch with our friendly customer service team if you can’t see what you need on our site, we’re here to help! Call us on 0800 368 7338 or email us at for any enquiries.

Why Is Print Media Important?

When it comes to promoting products and services, businesses can peruse a number of different avenues for a successful outcome. Some of the most common mediums include; television, radio and of course, the internet! However, you can also make use of traditional print advertising, which has a great range of advantages over other forms of media and can also be substantially cheaper!

Unlimited exposure

Print advertising examples such as postcards, flyers, banners, magazines and newspapers allow for unlimited exposure. Print media is undeniably more versatile, unlike other forms of advertising like radio and television where advertising time is scheduled and high-cost for short bursts of exposure to a large audience. Though not all that view are relevant people that you want to expose your products or services to. A great example of this would be magazines, these tend to be left on coffee tables and they can be viewed repeatedly. Not only that, they are a much cheaper option to advertise your brand.


Another great benefit of print and promotional items is that they are less intrusive than other types of media. Television and radio adverts can be quite annoying as they often interrupt what you are listening to or watching. With print media you can have more control over when you would like people to see the ads without annoying anyone!

Target Marketing

Certain types of print media, particularly magazines, tend to be specialised and ads or inserts can be developed to appeal to a specific type of reader. A good example of this would be a manufacturer of sports clothes placing or offer leaflets/flyers in athletic or fitness magazines.

The choices are many and they all work to varying degrees, what it comes down to is what is the most relevant form of advertising and print media to use for your target market.

If you’d like to discuss your requirements with one of our marketing executives, please get in touch and we’d be glad to help and advise.

Know what you need already? Great! Please contact our friendly customer services team today! We’re currently running some great offers and lots more on the way! Keep up to date with our offers by subscribing to our emails and we’ll be in touch when the latest promo’s land!


About Printmule:

Print Mule is your best friend when it comes to all things print! Our wide range of printed items includes business cards, leaflets, flyers, posters, banners, stationery, and much more. Get in touch with our friendly customer service team if you can’t see what you need on our site, we’re here to help! Call us on 0800 368 7338 or email us at for any enquiries.


General & Magazine Print Terms

General Print Terms

Against the Grain: Folding at right angles to the grain direction of the paper being used, as opposed to with the grain. Also called across the grain and cross-grain. This can cause cracking on heavier papers unless the paper is scored or creased.

Back Up: Printing on the reverse side of a sheet already printed on one side. Back up position is critical and must be accurate to ensure consistent position throughout a folded product.

Bit: In computers, the basic unit of digital information. It is a contraction of BInary digiT (BIT).

Blanket: In offset printing, a rubber surfaced fabric that is clamped around a plate cylinder to transfer the image from the impression cylinder to the substrate.

Blind Embossing: The process of stamping an image into the paper to produce a depressed effect on the paper surface, without the use of inks.

Blind Blocked: In binding, to impress or stamp a design upon the cover. The design can be blocked in coloured inks, or metal foil, including special effects such as holographic.

Bond Paper: A grade of writing or printing paper, usually used for letterheads or business forms.

BPOP: Abbreviation for “Bulk packed onto pallets”.

Broadsheet: Any sheet in its basic size (not folded or cut).

Bulk: Thickness of a sheet of paper or board. Also used to indicate the relative thickness of a sheet in relation to its weight. Usually measured in microns (1,000th of a millimetre) or 1,000 of an inch.

Case: In bookbinding, the hard covers of a case bound book

CMYK:  Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key (black), being the primary colours used as the basis for 4-colour process printing. Also known as 4 colour process.

Coated Stock: Material coated on one or both sides with a mixture china clay, latex and other loadings to fill up surface pits and improve the printing surface. The process can be accomplished either on-line on the papermaking machine (machine coated) or as a separate operation (off-machine coated).

Colour Proofing: This term describes a wide range of techniques which have been developed allowing the client to view the “proofed” result, prior to the actual print run.

Concertina Fold: Folding each panel of a leaflet in alternate directions, so that when opened out the finished product is folded in a zigzag fashion.

Continuous Tone: A photographic image with gradient tones from black to white.

Contrast: The tonal gradation between the highlights, middle tone and shadows in an original or reproduction.

Crease: An indented line pressed into the substrate to reduce resistance and allow folding without cracking or splitting.

Cromalin: A DuPont electrostatic colour proof.

Crop: To cut a piece of copy or artwork to the size indicated on an original by cropmarks.

Crossover: When an image runs across two pages, requiring the image to be split where it crosses the spine.

CTP: Acronym for Computer to Plate, the process by which digital data is converted via a RIP device to drive a plate setter, which generates the finished printing plate.

Die-Cutting: The process of using sharp steel blades known as rules to cut a shape into paper or board.

Die-stamping: A process of printing in which the resultant impression stands out in relief above the surface of the stamped material, either coloured (using inks or foil) or blind (no inks or foils).

Digital Colour Proofs:  A colour proof produced from digital data. Digital proofs may be Pre-RIP (before rendering pixels), or Post-RIP. Low resolution proofs are generally used to check content only and High resolution to check colour matching.

Dot: The individual element in both halftones and four colour process printing.

Dot Gain: In printing, a defect in which dots print larger than they should, causing darker tones and stronger colours.

Dots Per Inch: (dpi) A measure of resolution on the printed page.

Drawn-on Cover: A paper book cover, which is attached to the sewn book by gluing the spine.

Drop-Out: Fine halftone dots or fine lines which are eliminated from the high light areas of the plate during the plate making process.

Duotone: A two-colour halftone reproduction from a one colour photograph.

Dummy: A sample of a proposed job made up with the actual materials and cut to the correct size to show bulk, style of binding etc. Also a complete layout of a job showing position of type matter and illustrations, margins etc.

Embossing: The process of impressing an image in relief into the paper to produce a raised effect on the paper surface, without the use of inks.

EPS: Encapsulated Post Script, a computer file format usually used to transfer post script information from one program to another.

Fit: Printers’ terminology for the accurate positioning of all of the elements of one colour with all of the elements of another colour on a printed sheet. Sheets  may “register” but not fit.

Flexography: A relief process in which printing is done from a rubber or plastic stereo (plate). Flexo presses can print on a wide variety of substrates including metal and plastic, but print quality is inferior to litho or gravure.

Folio: The page number.

Forme:  In die-cutting, the wooden board in which the cutting, creasing and perforating rules are mounted.

Ganging-up: Imposing different images on a sheet to save make readies. Different ratios of images can be used to create different quantities; for instance a sheet 8 images can be printed 4: 3: 1, so each 1,000 printed sheets would contain 4,000 of image one, 3,000 of image two and 1,000 of image three.

Gilding: In book printing, the application of gold leaf to the edges of a book.

Grain:  In papermaking, the direction in which most of the fibres run. Tear any piece of paper and it will have one direction where it tears in a straight line (the grain direction) and one where the tear is more ragged (across the grain). Wetting a strip paper will cause it to curl in the opposite direction to the grain.

Gravure: Printing process in which recesses on a printing cylinder are filled with ink and the surplus removed by a doctor blade. The paper contacts the cylinder and ‘lifts’ the ink from the recesses, creating a much heavier ink film than lithography. High quality results can be achieved on low-grade papers due to the heavy inking creating a high gloss surface. Generally used for long-run printing because of the high cost of the cylinders.
GSM: Abbreviation of grams per square metre. Denotes the substance of paper or board – the higher the gsm, the heavier the substrate.

Gutter: The blank space or inner margin from printing area to binding.

Hickeys: In offset lithography, spots or imperfection in the printing due to contamination on the press, such as paper particles, dried ink spots etc.

Impression: In printing, the pressure of the plate or blanket as it comes in contact with paper.

Imposition: Arrangement of pages in a sequence, which will read consecutively when the printed sheet is folded.

Kiss-Cut: Light cut into the peelable surface of a self adhesive sheet, leaving the backing sheet intact.

Laid: Finish on bond or text paper on which grids of parallel lines simulate the surface of handmade paper. Laid lines are close together and run against the grain; chain lines are farther apart and run with the grain.

Landscape: Orientation of the sheet or end-product where the horizontal dimension is greater than the vertical.

Limp Cover: A flexible book cover, as distinct from a cased-in board cover.

Lithographic printing:  Method of printing using plates whose image areas attract ink and whose non-image areas repel ink. Non-image areas may be coated with water to repel the oily ink or may have a surface, such as silicon, that repels ink. The printing and non printing surfaces are on the same plane on the plate and the substrate makes contact with the whole surface.

Loose Insert: Any item inserted into a printed product without being affixed in any way. Can be either placed (in a specific position in the product) or random (anywhere in the product).

Make-Ready: In printing, all work done to set up a press for printing, before impression count is activated and good copies are produced.

Moiré: Screen pattern caused by a clash of screen angles in litho reproduction.

Offset: In printing, the process of using an intermediate blanket cylinder to transfer an image from the impression cylinder to the substrate.

Outsert: A printed element which is usually stitched to the outside of a magazine cover.

Overprinting: Printing onto a sheet which has been previously printed. Typically used to add dealer addresses to generic brochures.

Pantone: The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a colour standard which defines a wide range of colour solids and the combination of process colours required to achieve the closest match to the solid Pantone colour.

Part Mechanical: A paper containing up to 50% mechanical pulp, with the remainder being made up of chemical pulp.

Perfecting Press:  A printing press that prints both sides of the sheet in one pass through the press.

Pixel: In electronic imaging, the basic unit of digital imaging.

Plate Cylinder: The cylinder of a press onto which the printing  plate is mounted.

Platesetter: An output device which produces a finished printing plate directly from Ripped data. Also known as a CTP device.

Portrait: Orientation of a sheet or end-product where the vertical dimension is greater than the horizontal.

PostScript: A page description language (PDL) developed by
Adobe, which defines the contents and layout of a page in electronic form. PostScript is also programming language which is interpreted by a PostScript RIP in output devices such as filmsetters or platesetters (CTP) in order to reproduce the original page.

Pre-Press: The stage of the print production process which takes place after design and before printing.

Primary Colours: Additive and subtractive primary colours can be mixed to form all other colours. The additive primary colours are red, green and blue (RGB) and can be added together to make all other colours, as is done when light is emitted from the screen of a television set or computer monitor. The subtractive primary colours (cyan, magenta and yellow) are those that, when mixed, subtract light from white to make all the other colours. This is what happens when pigments are mixed to create printing inks.

Process Printing:  Printing using the process colour set (CMYK).

Progressive Proofs:  Proofs which show the sequence of printing and the result after each additional colour has been applied.

Proof: A representation of the printed product which is checked prior to print production.

Ram Bundled: A method of packing printed products by strapping a bundle very tightly with end-boards to compress the product and keep it flat for subsequent machine insertion.

Ream: Five hundred sheets of paper.

Reel: Term used for continuous roll or web of printing paper.

Register: Adjustment of colour plates to obtain perfect super imposition of colours.

Register Marks: Cross-hair lines on mechanicals and plates used for positioning pages or images to enable accurate register on press.

RGB: Red, green, blue additive primary colours. RGB files must be converted to CMYK at the pre-press stage prior to printing 4 colour process.

RIP: Acronym for Raster Image Processor, which generates a bitmap to send to the printing device (filmsetter, platesetter or digital press). The input data is either a file written in a page description language such as PDF or another bitmap. In the latter case, the RIP applies either smoothing or interpolation algorithms to the input bitmap to generate the output bitmap.

Run-Around: In composition, type set to fit around a picture or other design element.

Scanner: An electronic device used to convert a continuous tone original into a series of halftone dots for printing.

Score: To impress or indent a mark with a string or rule in the paper, to make folding easier.

Scum: Traces of printing ink which temporarily adhere, during litho printing, to the non-image area of the plate due to its inability to repel ink.

Set Off:  Transfer of ink from one printed sheet to another.

Show through: The degree to which a printed image is visible through the paper due to the lack of opacity of the paper.

Sidelay: The datum point on the press, at 90 degrees to the grip edge, which controls the lateral position of the sheet. The same sidelay must then be used when trimming the sheet to ensure that the image position remains constant. Sidelay is the term used both for the edge of the printed sheet and the mechanical device on the press which determines the position.

Section: In printing and binding, a printed sheet after it has been folded.

Substrate: The piece of material printed (e.g. paper, board, plastic, tin).
Tint:  In lithography, the tint is achieved by creating dots to reduce the strength of the solid colour.

Tolerances: The specification of acceptable variations in a range of printing parameters to take account of the imperfections in each process.

Undercolour Removal:  Technique of making colour separations such that the amount of cyan, magenta and yellow ink is reduced in shadow areas while the amount of black is increased. Abbreviated UCR.

Up: In printing, the number-“Up” is the number of unique images on the printed sheet e.g. an A4 image fits 4- up on an SRA2 sheet

Vignette: A design or illustration in which the background fades gradually away to white.

Viscosity: The amount of tack and flow of a printing ink or varnish.

Web: The roll of paper used in web or rotary printing.

Web Press: A press which prints on a roll or web of paper.

With the Grain: Parallel to the grain direction of the fibres of the paper or board, as opposed to against the grain.

Woodfree: Paper with no mechanical wood pulp. Woodfree papers actually contain wood pulp which has been chemically treated to enhance the whiteness of the paper.

Magazine Print Terms

Magazines: A publication made up of printed and folded sections.  Part editorial for reader interest, part advertising to pay for the cost of production.

Pagination:  Magazines are made up of folded sections. How many pages?  16 pages are most cost effective, then 8 then 4. For A5 it’s 32 pages.

Saddle Stitch: Sections are gathered, inserted inside each other and stitched with Staples.

Loop Stitch: As Saddle Stitch but there is a loop in the stitch for placing in a binder.

Perfect  Bound: Sections are gathered, ground off at the bound (closed ) edge, Hot melt  glued at the spine and the Cover attached.

PUR Bound:  As Perfect Bound  but  a stronger Glue (Polyurethane React)  is used for increased life.

Wiro -O Binding:  A continuous double series of wire loops run through punched slots along the binding side of a booklet.

Barn Door Cover: Two sheets of paper are folded and trimmed to meet in the centre of a Magazine Cover. They will then open left and right from the middle.

6 Page Cover:  A normal 4 page cover plus extra 2 pages either folding from the front or back of the Magazine.

False Cover: 4 pages which wrap around in front of the original cover for Saddle stitched Magazines. For Perfect Bound magazines the original main cover becomes the outer false cover with 2 single pages bound in underneath at the front and back of the magazine to create the impression of a Main cover.

Text 6 Page Gatefold: A normal 4 page text section with 2 extra pages either folding from the left or right.

Text 8 Page Double Gatefold:  A normal 4 page text section with 4 extra pages. 2 pages folding from the left and 2 pages folding from the right.

UV Varnish: A liquid coating applied to a printed sheet for protection and enhancement, which is dried immediately by exposure to UV light.

Spot UV Varnish: As UV varnish but can be added to specified  areas rather than the whole page.

Lamination: A plastic film bonded by heat and pressure to a printed sheet. The laminate can be either gloss or matt to enhance the appearance of the print and provide moisture-resistant protection to the paper surface.

Spine: The thin area between the Front and Back Cover of a Perfect Bound and PUR Bound magazine.

Grind Off: The area which runs along the spine of each section of a perfect bound Magazine which is removed after being   gathered to allow the glue to penetrate every leaf. 3mm is normally ground off.

Trim Marks: 2 lines at right angles to each other, one in each corner to indicate where the page should be trimmed.

Bleed: If an image goes to the edge of the page it should be extended past the trim marks by 3mm. Failure to do this could leave a small gap at the edge when trimming to size.

Belly Bands: A band of paper which wraps around a magazine joining at the back cover, overlapping slightly and fixed  with tape.

Book Mark Belly Bands: A band of paper which wraps around a magazine and fixes with peelable glue dots to specific pages.

Tip On: An object fixed, usually by peelable  glue dots, to the Cover or a specific page.

Perfing: A series of indentations made vertically or horizontally on a page which allows a section of the page to be removed.

Shrink Wrap: A material made up of polymer plastic film. When heat is applied it shrinks tightly over whatever it is covering. The product and film pass through a heat tunnel on a Conveyer.

Bound In Inserts:  A single sheet bound into a perfect bound magazine. If it is smaller in height than the magazine it can be knocked to the Head which leaves a gap at bottom or knocked to the Foot which leaves a gap at the top.

Glue Dot: A double sided adhesive disk which allows a paper item to be fixed to a page and removed without damage.

Magnastrip: It is a method of ensuring that inserts do not get lost while also being a retainable item for the reader. A strip is glued to the spine of the insert using peelable glue. The insert can then be bound into perfect bound publications. It simply becomes another section of the magazine to be bound in between whichever sections the advertiser chooses and remains fixed in place until it is peeled from the magazine by the reader.

Four Colour Process:  Only 4 colours are used to create any colour of the rainbow. They are black, cyan, magenta and yellow. Images are created by a series of dots made up of percentages of the four colours and laid at different  angles. Black 45o, Cyan 105o, Magenta 75o, Yellow 90o.

Mono: Printing in Black only.

A Sizes:

A1= 594mm x 840mm

A2= 420mm x 594mm (Half A1)

A3= 297mm x 420mm (Half A2)

A4= 210mm x 297mm (Half A3)

A5= 148mm x210mm (Half A4)

A6= 105mm x 148mm (Half A5)

Print Basics – Part 2

The second part of our Print Basics article. It covers Resolutions, Bleed, Fonts and much more.

The Basics Of Print – Part 1

One of the most important assets you can have as a designer doing print work, whether you are new or old is an understanding of how to correctly set your files up for printing.

Popular Print Terms

We’ve put together a short list of popular print terms used on a regular basis by digital and lithographic printers. Knowing your print terms will help with communication between you and your print provider as well as showing them that know what you’re talking about when it comes to the industry. Hopefully, this short list will give you a taste of common terminology used in the print industry, so that the next time you’re consulting a print job you and your print consultant will be on the same page. To learn more about setting work up for print read our previous blog post.


– a term that refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet after trimming. The bleed is the part on the side of your document that gives the printer that small amount of space to move around paper and design inconsistencies.


– the final size of a product after its unnecessary parts have been cut off or removed.

Live Area

Live Area – is the area where your art and type should be safely tucked into so they are not trimmed or cut-off.


– Common file type for printing. The purpose of PDF/X is to facilitate graphics exchange, and it therefore has a series of printing related requirements, which do not apply to standard PDF files. For example, in PDF/X-1a all fonts need to be embedded and all images need to be CMYK or spot colours.


– (Portable Document Format) is a file format created by Adobe Systems in 1993 for document exchange. PDF is used for representing two-dimensional documents in a manner independent of the application software, hardware, and operating system


– (Tagged Image File Format) is a high-resolution lossless file format that is ideal for saving images for print.


– Dots per inch (DPI) is a measure of spatial printing or video dot density, in particular, the number of individual dots that can be placed within the span of one linear inch (2.54 cm). The DPI value tends to correlate with image resolution but is related only indirectly.


– Pixels per inch or pixel density is a measurement of the resolution of devices in various contexts; typically computer displays, image scanners or digital camera image sensors.

Image Resolution

– describes the detail an image holds. The term applies equally to digital images, film images, and other types of images. Higher resolution means more image detail.


– Encapsulated PostScript is a DSC-conforming PostScript document with additional restrictions intended to make EPS files usable as a graphics file format. In other words, EPS files are more-or-less self-contained, reasonably predictable PostScript documents that describe an image or drawing, that can be placed within another PostScript document.

Process Color

– referred to as process colour or four colour, is a subtractive colour model, used in colour printing, also used to describe the printing process itself. CMYK refers to the four inks used in most colour printing: cyan, magenta, yellow, and key black.


-The PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM is the definitive international reference for selecting, specifying, matching and controlling ink colours

7 Beginner Mistakes to Avoid When Designing for Print

Designing for print can be a minefield for beginners. There’s so many easy mistakes to make that can have a serious impact on the quality of your final prints. With print runs also being very expensive, these mistakes can prove very costly.

Designing for Print – Setting Up Crops and Bleed

A design destined for print requires setting up to certain specifications to ensure that the work is printed correctly by industrial lithographic or digital print firms. This often starts wit

The Ultimate Guide to Designing with Black

Whether you’re a graduate designer learning the tricks of the trade, a web designer delving into print or an accomplished graphics designer looking to broaden their knowledge, there’s always something new to be learnt

About Image Resolution

The higher resolution, the sharper the image will be. A resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch) is recommended for crisp, clear results. Lower resolution images appear fuzzy, jagged and blurry.

15 printing terms every designer needs to know – Part 2

The second part of ‘When Mick mentions saddle stitching what does he mean?’. Contains lots of terminology useful for everyone in the Print Industry.

15 printing terms every designer needs to know – Part 1

The first part in our ‘When Mick mentions saddle stitching what does he mean?’ article. You’ll find some information on the terminology used in the Print Industry.


The bleed helps the printer accurately prepare the file for printing, so that the correct area is printed, the paper is cut to the proper size and so that the color is reproduced accurately.

Pantone Color

Pantone is known as the worldwide standard of color. The company has been around since 1963 and has a universal system for understanding and matching color.


Overprint is exactly what you would think from the name. It is the process of printing one thing over another. In the printing process, it happens specifically when inks are printed on top of each other.

Large Format

Large format refers to anything that has to be printed using a specialty printer, commonly larger than 16 by 20 inches. Large format printing is used for banners, posters and even billboards.



Dots per inch is a measure of printing quality. Many printers work by producing tiny dots per square inch to create an image, more dots equal greater accuracy and detail.

Paper types

There are various types of printer paper available, but not all of them are created for the same purpose. With the right paper, colors can become brighter, black text can stand out more, and a document is able to have quite an impact on the individual reading it.

Converting colours in supplied artwork

How to avoid problems with spot colours cropping up in print documents.

Using & Converting Spot Colours in Illustrator

Sometimes a client will request you use a Pantone spot colour in their artwork. This can cause problems when setting up a print document in CMYK. You can select a Pantone swatch and convert it to a process CMYK swatch very easily. Simply double click the colour in the swatch menu and change the settings to CMYK & Process.

The next step is the important

Uncheck the Global tick box.

Until you do this, the swatch will still register as a spot colour when you put it through a pre-flight report.

* A way to notice you have pantones in a document, they will appear with a small triangle within the swatch.