From Pixels to Paper: The Fascinating Journey of Your Print Job

From Pixels to Paper: The Fascinating Journey of Your Print Job

Ever wondered how your digital designs transform into those eye-catching brochures, magazines, and business cards in your hands? The journey of a print job is a fascinating one, filled with high-tech tools and meticulous human expertise. Let’s delve into the key stages of this transformation:

Stage 1: Prepping for Print (Prepress)

Girl working of a graphic design job
Jordan from our design studio putting the finishing touches to her design.

Design and File Creation: The magic begins with your vision! Graphic designers weave text, images, and branding elements using powerful software like InDesign, Photoshop, or Illustrator.
Proofreading: A keen eye is crucial! Meticulous proofreading ensures your design is flawless, free from typos, grammatical errors, and visual inconsistencies.
File Conversion and Optimisation: Getting ready for the press! Files are converted to compatible formats, fonts are outlined, and high-resolution images are prepped to ensure stunning results.
Color Management: Accuracy is key! Colour profiles guarantee your desired hues translate flawlessly from digital to different paper types.
Platemaking: Depending on the chosen printing method (offset, digital, etc.), printing plates are produced. These hold the ink-transferring areas, ready to bring your design to life.

Stage 2: Putting Ink to Paper (Press)

Offset Printing

Press Setup and Calibration: Precision matters! The printing press undergoes meticulous calibration using ink volume settings for consistent ink flow, paper feeding, and colour registration.
Printing: The moment of truth! Plates are loaded onto the press, paper sheets are fed through, and vibrant ink dances onto the surface, transforming your digital creation into a tangible reality.
Quality Control: Every detail counts! Trained professionals monitor ink levels, colour accuracy, and paper feeding throughout the process, ensuring the highest quality standards for your print job.

Stage 3: Finishing Touches (Postpress)

Kev setting up the saddle stitcher to finish a booklet

Folding and Trimming: Taking shape! Printed sheets are folded, trimmed, and collated into their final form. Brochures get their signature folds, while books undergo intricate binding and page assembly.
Binding and Finishing: Adding the finishing touches! Your print job might receive special effects like die-cutting, embossing, lamination, or UV coating for extra visual appeal and durability.
Inspection and Packing: Ready for the world! A final thorough inspection ensures your print job is flawless. Once approved, your creations are carefully packed and prepared for delivery.

Female looking at Window Payne Flyer

So, the next time you admire a beautifully printed design, remember the fascinating journey it took to get there. From meticulous digital set-up to high-tech printing and expert finishing, the printing process is a testament to human ingenuity and technological prowess. It’s a journey that transforms pixels into paper, ideas into reality, and your vision into a tangible masterpiece to hold and cherish.

Crops and Bleeds

Crops and Bleeds

Today is the big day. After months of blood, toil, sweat and tears; you’re finally ready. This is your magnum opus, the boldest undertaking of your life, an endeavour that many called you crazy for. It has just been sent off to the printers. You spent what felt like a millennium picking out the perfect paper grammage and size, A5 with 180gsm. A cute little number with a gloss coating that reflects the light in such a way that you’d have to fight magpies for its shine. You’re proud of your work.

You receive an email from the printer. Heart racing you hesitate to open it. Could something have gone wrong? Slowly you take a peek, and the words that show will haunt you for the rest of your days.

“Please include crop marks and 3mm bleed.”

What are Crops?

In printing, crops (commonly known as crop marks) are a set of marks that define the boundaries of a printed area. Crop marks are thin lines placed around the corners of a document and they tell the printer where to trim the paper. As many print jobs need to be trimmed to exact dimensions, the crop marks indicate where the document will be cut.

The image shows an example of where crop marks can be used. A printer will trim the document to the finished size using a guillotine or, in some cases, scalpels or scissors. Once the line between the marks has been trimmed, the document will be the required size.

In general the measurements for crop marks range from 3mm to 5mm in length and are offset by 2-3mm to ensure they they are not visable on the finished product


What are Bleeds?

To have bleed on a document means that the printed design is intending to extend to one or more of the edges of the document. It ensures that when the document is trimmed, the design goes to the very edge of the page. As no printer is perfect and there are slight variations in trimming. If you were to not have any bleed on your design, you could be left with white strips along the edges of the finished project.

There is a distinction between two types of bleeds. The full bleed means that every element of your document will exceed its actual frame whereas the partial bleed means that only some elements of your document will go beyond the layout of your document. This illustration shows a full bleed on a document. This will ensure that when trimmed down, the finished project will have clean borders without white stripes.

The standard measurement for bleed is 3mm to 5mm or more when considering large format out put.

Working Together

Crops and bleeds ensure the quality of your printed documents. Below is an example of what happens when you combine crops and bleeds.

When you create a document that will be printed, crops and bleeds are essential elements to ensure that your final document retains a professional look. This is why you may receive emails asking you to add it to your files. In the above picture, when effectively used, the final finished document (shown in black) will be a nearly perfect size with zero white stripes around its edge.

Regardless if the document has bleed or not, any print job that needs to be trimmed to size will require crop marks. These can be applied using the same software used to create your design. Printers typically print on paper that is larger than the actual document size, for example paper sized SRA3 (450mm by 320mm) would be used for printing documents that aim to be A3 (420mm by 297mm) in size. This extra size allows for the printing of crops marks and bleeds.

Creating Crops and Bleeds

The following post will show you how to add crop and bleed in the commonly used design programs.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe InDesign

Quark Xpress


Step 1 – Create the document

Begin by creating a new document in Photoshop to the trim size (final size) and resolution that you need. Make sure that rulers are displayed by choosing View > Rulers, and also make sure that snapping is enabled by choosing View > Snap. Click on the ruler and drag a guide to the edge of the document. The guide should snap to the edge of the document automatically. Do this for all four sides of the document.

Step 2 – Create space for the bleed

Now increase the image size (document size) to the size of the project including the bleed. Using some basic maths, you can determine that if your desired bleed amount is 5mm on all four sides, simply add 5mm to each dimension. To achieve this, choose Image > Canvas Size and change to dimensions to the correct amount. Make sure that the anchor at the bottom of the dialog box is set to the centre to force the document to add pixels from the middle out.

When you’re finished, you should end up with a document that is to the bleed size of your final project and guides indicating where the document will trim.

Step 3 – Add the trim marks

The file that we’ve created so far is pretty much all the printer should need. However, there might be times for one reason or another, that you’ll want trim marks that go along with the file that indicate exactly where the project should be trimmed.

To do this you will need to choose Image > Canvas Size and enable the relative button. Enter 30mm in the Width and Height dimensions and click OK. This will expand the canvas by an additional 30mm in both dimensions. Create a new layer for your marks and create a selection in the corner areas of the image using the Rectangular Marquee tool. You can do all four corners at the same time.

With the selections active, choose Edit > Stroke and apply a 2px stroke to the active selections. Deselect the active selections and hide your guides to view the crop marks applied to the project.

Case Study: How Window Payne Acquired More Customers with Offline Marketing

Case Study: How Window Payne Acquired More Customers with Offline Marketing

Challenge: Business growth by acquiring more customers
Solution: Offline marketing products to compliment online presence

We really enjoy helping ambitious businesses grow by helping them with their marketing and sales strategies utilising the full range of online and offline market tools that are available.

Window Payne Leaflets

Matt Payne started Window Payne in 2011 with just a ladder on his Vauxhall Astra car and he’s thoroughly enjoyed building his business to the size that they are today. He has a dedicated team of highly trained cleaning operatives and support staff and believes that what truly makes a company is having a team or family feel within his work force.

Photo of Matt Payne

As the COVID-19 pandemic crisis took hold Matt started looking at new ways to find new customers for his commercial, industrial and domestic window and exterior cleaning business to continue his ambitious growth plans.

In 2019 he had invested in a new website to improve his online presence but he felt he needed to complement this with more offline marketing tools.

We’ve been working with Matt for 5 years now and we were really excited about working with him on this new projects, which focused on generating new business by communicating directly to his potential customers, with:

Service Information Sheets
Calling Cards
Lead Pads

Window Payne Brochures
Widow Payne Leaflets

The leaflets were distributed to individual households by the Royal Mail and staggered over a period on a few months, targeting different postcode areas as the campaign progressed.

The response was more than Matt had hoped for and he followed up his enquires with a complete exterior cleaning survey and report with full cost specifications. All presented with a printed brochure and inserts focusing on the different services he recommended in the report.

Window Payne Bin Cleaning Door Hangers

The campaign was also supported by other printed products including door hangers for his team to promote their services to adjoining properties as they went about their business.

 We helped Matt design and print these products, including van graphics which he is now rolling out across his fleet.

Working with Matt and Window Payne is what Corsham Print are all about, exploring graphic solutions, both online and offline, that can help businesses achieve growth.

Man looking at Window Payne Business Card

Find out more about how we can help you grow YOUR business, please get in touch…

If you need windows or exterior cleaning get in touch with Matt at Window Payne.

Top 10 Reasons Why Print Should be Part of your Marketing

Top 10 Reasons Why Print Should be Part of your Marketing

There is no doubt that we are living in a digital world where evolving technology and social media dominates. But the digital world is overflowing with online advertising, social media is full of salespeople and inboxes are full of unread junk mail. Digital marketing is saturated and it’s very difficult to cut through all the noise to reach and engage with your audience, this is why print should be part of your marketing mix. These are our top 10 reasons why print should be part of your marketing mix.


There is something about print that gives us a sense of legitimacy. Popups and banner ads on the web can be overwhelming and the fear of spam, viruses and your online safety is enough to make people wary of clicking. But with print there is no danger, it’s real and it establishes credibility for your brand.


It exists physical, so stays in homes or offices for months or even years, while Internet ads can disappear into cyberspace instantaneously. A printed product is tangible, it can be touched, handled and even smelt!


Print is an excellent way to consolidate your brand identity. Your logo, your values, your mission in as many places as possible, with consistency in fonts, colours and images help you to establish brand recognition


Areas of the brain that are responsible for long-term memory are stimulated by print. Especially when enhanced with sensory features, such as foil, spot-varnished and soft-touch laminates. Your message lasts for much longer in a potential customers mind with a well-printed piece.


Response rates with print can be up to 20% higher according to research carried out by the Royal Mail research (1) and printed adverts are recalled 2.6 times more than a digital advert (2).



You can really target an audience with print, personalising every piece, focusing on a specific sector. And the more specific the better, so you can really focus in on solving their problems. You can really engage with your target market with print.


57% of people say print makes them feel more valued. As long as you’ve aimed your print at the right person and that’s it’s relevant, your audience will feel more valued than sending them an email (1)


Print will sit on a clients desk, be read when they need a break from the screen or discussed with friends in the breakout area. Did you know, a door dropped leaflet stays in the home or office, on average from 17 to 38 days (1)?

A website visit is forgotten in the blink of an eye, a downloaded brochure can sit on a desktop unread for months and a flagged email is often never looked at again. Print lasts longer.

We don’t suggest that you don’t have a website, in fact, we have a whole department dedicated to designing them. But add print into the mix and turbocharge your marketing.


Digital marketing is obsessed with numbers, clicks, bounce rates, likes, follows and downloads, but what is the actually ROI? Well-targeted print campaigns can have a much higher return on your investment.


Engagement is much higher when reading printed material, unlike websites, which are often skimmed in as little as a 15-second visit.

For a business with a local reach, print is super effective, because it creates local brand recognition and guides customers directly to your premises. If you want to reach people on the streets, or target specific demographics, then you can’t beat print.

Printed items to consider as part of your top 10 reasons to use print in your marketing

  • Brochures
  • Leaflets
  • Postcard
  • Stickers
  • Business Cards
  • Catalogues
  • Price Lists
  • Posters
  • In-store Display Units
  • Exhibition Stands
  • Floor Graphics
  • Corporate Merchandise
  • Signage
  • Books
  • Flyers

QR Codes

Placing QR codes on printed pieces is an excellent way to bridge the gap between print and digital. When scanned with a smartphone, the QR code will take you to a homepage, your ap, a landing page or special offers on the web.

The irony of promoting print on an online platform is not missed on us. Don’t get us wrong, everyone should be doing online marketing, but the old is becoming new again as printed media becomes the new trend.

Designing and sharing a great printed marketing piece should be high on your list of strategic marketing initiatives. This doesn’t mean that you abandon your online marketing efforts. It’s quite the contrary. Integrating your marketing makes your campaigns stronger, more important and more resilient.

Print is powerful, ensure you include it in your marketing strategy.






Top 10 Reasons Why Print Should be Part of your Marketing

New Normal Workplace Free Guide

New Normal Workplace Free Guide

Download our FREE New Normal Workplace Guide

Everything seems upside-down, in limbo, somewhere in-between lockdown and life as we once knew it. It’s unlikely there’ll be a return to ‘normality’ anytime soon of course, but there may be light at the end of the tunnel. We want to help you with our New Normal Workplace Free Guide.

Until then, as lockdown is gradually eased, businesses will need to adapt and be prepared. Additionally, your journey towards workplace social distancing will need to carefully consider both for your Clients and your Team.


may have some reticence about a return so you need to do everything you can to help your clients to be safe and to feel safe.


need to feel that their working environment is suitable for a return and be absolutely clear about the new policies.

So, what’s your goal? It might be useful to write down in simple terms exactly what you want to achieve as a starting point. Our guide will give you some guidance on what you should consider and also allows you to record your ideas.

For example;

I want my business to reopen in a safe and practical way.

I want my team and clients to feel safe and to be safe.

I want to be clear about the business plans and policy.

What’s the journey to make those things happen?

Let’s get started.

All guidance will be uploaded to the gov.uk website and updates related to running a business during the pandemic are available here.