Category Archives: Printing Know-how



As of October 1, 2015 we will be making changes to pricing for some of our pre-flight and file handling charges. This will not effect a majority of our trade customers but we feel it’s important to highlight it to all of our valued customers and have it on our website for all to see.

We like to look at this as your insurance policy in some ways. It will give you a guideline of possible ways to cut your own costs, if you are confident your files are in print ready condition. Also it gives you a clear reference of what will be charged when choosing any pre-flight / file handling option.

During the 2nd phase of the order process where you upload your file, there is a 3rd step that requests what kind of file check you would like. These are the options below and the changes that will be made October 1, 2015.


No check necessary. I’m using an existing file or I’ve supplied a .pdf file as per the File Checklist. Any setup errors I acknowledge are my responsibility
(currently Free of Charge and will remain Free of Charge)

The small print….
Where a file has not been supplied to our specs, and we catch it, we reserve the right to, at our own discretion, either:
i) Where possible fix the file and proceed with production. A minimum $35.00 service fee applies.
ii) Delete the file from production and request a new file to be supplied. A minimum $15.00 new file service fee applies.

Where we do not catch a file supplied incorrectly, and it goes through production, the client is still responsible for any errors and full payment of production will be required.

Should you have any concerns, we recommend having your files “preflight”.
Your job may be EITHER ‘Auto approved’, requiring no proof, OR an email proof sent out for you to double check.


Yes, please check my .pdf file – but email me if something’s wrong and I will fix it and re-upload
(currently $8.50 will increase to $15.00)

The small print….
For this we will check the following during the preflight process:

Correct page size setup
Keyline on artwork
Correct bleed setup
Colours and images are CMYK (for 4 colour print) or spot (for specials)
For any unsafe text/print areas

Note: We do not check for incorrect spelling, typography errors or wrong numbers, or anything else over & above this list. This is the client’s/designers responsibility. If you have selected ‘auto’ approval – and if the preflight check is error free, your file will be automatically actioned for production. If any error is detected we will advise you of the fixes required, for you to upload a new file. *Please note: Files containing multiple pages (ie books, magazines etc.) will take longer, and therefore incur an additional cost, which we will advise prior to preflight. Files must be supplied as a pdf on one of our templates and setup ready for print to our specs.


Yes, please check my .pdf file, and if possible, fix it for me
(currently $14.95 will increase to $23.00)

The small print….
NO ‘FIX’ CHARGES APPLY if the file is supplied correctly – You will ONLY be charged for the ‘Preflight’ * Please note: Files containing multiple pages (ie books, magazines etc.) will take longer, and therefore incur an additional cost, which we will advise prior to fixing.

Preflight + Fix $23.00 service fee applies per file* IDEAL FOR NEW CLIENTS WITH PREDESIGNED FILES. Same as the Preflight Upload, except if an error is detected during ‘Preflight’, we will simply fix the error and send out a proof for you to check.
Files must be supplied as a pdf on one of our templates and setup ready for print to our specs.


Yes. I am supplying another type of file (not a .pdf) so please make it ready for printing
(currently $19.95 will increase to $30.00)

The small print….
Please note: Due to the wide scope of file formats available, some files supplied may require additional work to get them print ready. We will advise you if this is the case, and any extra cost associated, prior to work commencing.

We will set up the following:

Correct page size setup
Keyline on artwork
Correct bleed setup
Colours and images are CMYK (for 4 colour print) or spot (for specials)
For any unsafe text/print areas.

Note: We do not check for incorrect spelling, typography errors or wrong numbers, or anything else over & above this list. This is the client’s/designers responsibility. * Please note: Files containing multiple pages (ie books, magazines etc.) will take longer, and therefore incur an additional cost, which we will advise prior to preflight.
Any File $30.00 service fee applies per file* IDEAL FOR CLIENTS WHO PREFER US TO JUST MAKE IT WORK! Supply virtually any file. We will get it set up ready to print, and send you a proof to double check, or contact you, in the unlikely event, that we’re unable to make it print ready.*


We hope that the above has been communicated clearly for you. We’ve based the above pricing to reflect our standard $90 per hour artwork/design charge, and believe it is a far representation of the industry standard for these services. 
Of course if you’d like some more clarification feel free to pick up the phone and freephone 0800 533 677. We’ll be happy to guide you towards the best and most cost effective pre-flight option for your jobs. As always our goal is to get your jobs produced to the highest quality while making it easy for you and your customers.

The team at TPH.

Digital Printing


This month we are putting the spotlight on digital printing. Within the last few years, technical advancements in digital printing has seen the quality and control of digitally printed jobs stand toe to toe with the traditional offset printed projects.

In the past when choosing to digitally print your project as apposed to offset print, you would be controlled by limitations such as paper stocks and thickness, quality on the printed image, cost, size of the worksheet and the inability to apply finishing processes to the printed piece. All of these, and more, are now diminished with today’s digital print technology.

Of course there are benefits limitations to both print processes, and thankfully our knowledgeable staff at TPH can help guide you to which best suits your needs. For example, for high volume jobs offset printing will make your unit cost more effective. The larger sheet sizes allow us to ‘gang’ up many jobs, but this is nothing new really. At a later date we will walk you through more benefits of offset printing. For now however, we’d like to put a spotlight on digital print and its benefits. It may give you more of an insight into digital printing and help guide you which process is best for your next job.

Short turnaround times
The digital print process has an extremely quick setup time. Jobs can be approved and printing in a matter of minutes or hours as opposed to offset printing which takes time to imposed jobs, produce printing plates and allow for the printing press setup time. It is the answer for urgent projects with short turnaround times.

New Increased Sheet Size
Recent advances in technology allow us to now print on an oversized sheet measuring 330mm x 660mm. This allows us to now digitally print A4 landscape covers, 3 panel A4 portrait brochures and short run presentation folders, to name a few. What would have previously been forced to be offset printed can now be affordably done in low quantities, with the same high quality finish.

Personalised Printing
Variable Data Printing is a form of customisable digital printing. Customised marketing collateral is now easily achievable and often now expected to achieve results. Using information from a database, text and graphics can be changed on each piece without stopping or slowing down the digital press.

Cheaper Low Volume Printing
Digital printing provides lower per unit costs for small print runs. Minimal setup and run costs allow for this.

Envelope Printing
Digitally printed envelopes are now achievable. Perfect for weddings, corporate events and mail-out campaigns. Previously the setup costs of offset printing limited envelope printing to larger runs to be cost effective, now digital print technology makes small envelope print runs viable.

Quality Short Run Books Now Achievable
High-quality, low-quantity books are now achievable through digital printing. Whether they are stapled or perfect bound, small runs of publications can now be produced in a cost-effective way, in a fraction of the time, to the exact quantity you need.

Check out some of the following digital print products we can offer you; business cards, banners, brochures, calendars, flyers, posters, presentation folders, rackcards and stickers to name a few.
If you have any questions about which printing process would best suit your project email us at or drop us a line at 0800 533 677.


DO’s and DON’TS of Typesetting

The correct use of typography for your project is important. It is vital to make it clearer for your audience to read and takeaway the most important parts that you want to communicate. We’ve put together some simple DO’s and DON’TS for Typesetting to give you some guidelines to stick to.


Make Body text a legible size
Body text should be between 10 and 12 point. 11 point works best when printing at 300 dpi. It makes little point in choosing the ‘perfect” font for your promotional material if the print is so small that nobody can read it, except with a magnifying glass!

Watch your spacing
Use only one space after the end of a sentence instead of two.

Use italics instead of underlines
Don’t underline anything, not even headlines or subheadings. Underlines cause a separation between the text that belongs together.

Be consistent
Use the same typeface in the same size and with the same leading for all of your body copy throughout your project.

Tweak your leading
When adjusting your leading (the line spacing), ideally add 1 or 2 points to the type size. Say if you’re using 10 point type, use 12 point leading. Rule of thumb – never use less than that or your text will be difficult to read (unless that is what you intend for your design).

Watch the punctuation and line flow
You may have a great font – and at an appropriate size – but if it has hyphenation or uneven spacing – it’s not going to be enjoyed by the reader. Make sure to re-read everything and change it why necessary.

Choose the required font size
If your reader glances at the advertisement, brochure or packaging – what do you want them to read first? Determine what the hierarchy of your project is by choosing the most important elements and make sure they have more impact through sizing, bolding or use of an alternative font.


Overuse of Fancy Fonts
Script or fancy fonts with lots of tail flicks are just hard to read for Body text. Don’t do it – unless you’re wanting to strain your readers eyes.

Use Comic-sans
This is the font you use when you’re maybe sending a note to your craft group – but that’s where it ends. There are plenty of other handwritten style fonts that work much better. For that matter, stay away from Papyrus too!

Make your text harder to read
Avoid using all caps, italics, or bold for long blocks of text. These are more difficult to read.

Use all of your fun fonts at once
Less is more. Some of the most powerful pieces of design or advertising literature use one or two fonts only. Remember that, and you’re on the right track to clean, effective design.

We’d love to hear if you have any more DO’s and DON’TS of your own. Remember these are a guide, and as always, once you know the rules then you can definitely break them if your design calls for it!


8 ways to spark creativity this winter

Don’t let your creativity go cold this winter, we’ve put together some ideas to spark them into gear!

1. Learn Something New
Have you always wanted to learn the guitar, enrol in a cooking class or take up yoga? Besides having more indoor time than in other seasons of the year, learning new things stimulates the winter brain and an active brain is a creative brain.

2. Get Cultured
Stimulates those creative thoughts by enjoying the work of other creative people. Winter is a great time to watch a production, visit a museum or take in an art exhibition. Even go to a concert, except stretch yourself a little and see someone new or a genre you don’t always listen to.

3. Get Active
There really is something to the old adage, sound body, sound mind. Exercise releases endorphins that instantly make you feel better and can stimulate your mind. So rug up and hit the pavement for a run or walk, or even try your local indoor pool on those cold days. Clearing your head could make way for those creative ideas.

4. Get Your Social On
And no that doesn’t mean Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. We’re talking actual social activity. You know – with real human beings? You don’t need to hit every Saturday night party or spend weeknights at the pub. A coffee or two a week with a good friend or a work colleague should be enough to keep your brain open to new ideas and get that creativity flowing.

5. Tidy Up
Why wait until Spring for that workspace cleanup? Mess is stress and may be cluttering those creative thoughts. So take 5, or 25, and clean up your workspace, it may make all the difference.

6. Get Outside
We know it’s freezing outside, but perhaps your best ideas might happen when you’re walking around in the fresh air. It’s said when things are moving around us, our brain responds with ideas and creativity. Whether that’s true or not, when you’re stuck for creativity, get outdoors and get amongst it all.

7. Read More
Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up with a good book and a cuppa and spend some time being transported to a creative place. Whether it’s fiction that does the trick or taking some inspiration from a design related book, a good read can’t be beat!

8. Accept The Down Time
In whatever creative field you work in, there has to be some downtime. Creative blocks are guaranteed if you don’t give yourself some time to breathe. So if all else fails, accept the time off, you can’t force creativity. You never know, you may get that lightbulb moment when you least expect it!


Do you know how printing started? Check out this quick video.

The History of the Printing Press

Johannes Gutenberg revolutionized printing with his invention of mechanical movable type. It wasn’t that long ago that jobs were being printed using this very method… and it’s still a technique used for specialty jobs and covers. At TPH and Caxton, we have moved with the times but the Caxton story started back in the days when setting text the way Johannes developed, was common. It hasn’t been until the last 20 years that technology has changed the face of printing, allowing virtually anyone to set up a publishing house. Today Caxton is one of NZ’s leading printers with a reputation for excellence in print and service, and TPH Print has revolutionised this service by providing small to medium sized businesses with high quality, cost effective print via a proven online system.

Check out the  ’Johannes Gutenberg’ 4 minute story at this link below.

The History of the Printing Press

or watch Stephen Fry’s teaser vid on the story – here.


top tips for making PDFs


One of the most important assets you can have as a designer doing print work is an understanding of how to correctly set your PDF file up for printing. With the help of this checklist below, you can save yourself or your company money and ensure your jobs come out as you had wished.

  • All fonts converted to outlines/paths
  • Image resolution a minimum of 300dpi
  • Any RGB images converted to CMYK
  • Black text is made of 100% black only
  • Document has a minimum of 1.5mm bleed on each edge (preferably 3mm)
  • No cropmarks needed. Document size is page size plus bleed on each edge
  • All important elements at least 3mm in from the edge of the page, to allow for possible movement while trimming
  • PDF pages in correct order (Page 1 is ALWAYS front, Page 2 is ALWAYS back)
  • Jobs with additional finish ie. foiling, embossing, diecut etc. MUST be on separate pages after the back page. For example pg1-FRONT; pg2-BACK; pg3-FOIL; pg4 DIECUT. These each must be in a separate spot colour (we recommend making it from 100% magenta or 100% yellow) to stand out.

For an extended version of these guidelines visit the ‘File Preparation’ tab in the navigation bar above. Also freephone 0800 533 677 to talk to one of our team, we’re more than happy to help.