Litho Printing

Litho SwatchAbout Litho Printing: 

Lithography (or Litho Printing) is the process in which an image to be printed is rendered on a flat metal plate which is treated to retain ink in certain areas and to repel ink in others. Each colour in the artwork requires a plate and setup, which are then printed in turn onto the sheet of paper resulting in a completed image.

 Litho printing has very few limitations in terms of printing and can acturatley reproduce large quantities of affordable printing.

Litho printing is used for bulk printing. As there are setup costs involved for each print run, it is not possible to produce a single ‘sample’ print as it is too expensive.

For our standard litho printed products we print in full colour using a ‘grouping’ rack. Full colour printing consists of small dots of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black ink (CMYK) printed in turn on top of each other to produce a final colour image. Litho printing can reproduce everything from photographs to text and logos all in colour.

A grouping rack is a standard practice used in South Africa for printing business cards and flyers, and is formed when different artworks from various customers are grouped together and printed at the same time on one sheet and cut into the individual cards or flyers at the end of the run. The advantage is that the setup costs of the whole print run are shared amongst all the cards or flyers on the sheet so a typical set of 500 business cards that would normally cost around R1,200 - R1,500 to reproduce, will end us costing only a few hundred rands.

Litho Printed Items:
We offer the following items as standard.
Custom prints runs on request - please contact us for pricing.
‣ Business Cards
‣ Gloss Flyers
‣ Brochures      
‣ Bookmarks
‣ Postcards
‣ Letterheads   
‣ NCR Books
‣ Posters
‣ Folders

Lead Time:
Litho Printing requires careful planning and setup. Our standard lead time is approx. 7 working days from artwork approval for printing. Certain items with finishing - such as books or brochures - may require an additional 2-3 days for the finnishing over and above printing.

Always allow additional time for artwork, proofing and any unforseen circumstances (such as power cuts). If you need sooner let us know when you place your order and we’ll do our best to achieve this.

Litho Printing FAQ:

What  paper stocks do you use?
For our business cards, bookmarks and postcards we use a standard 350gsm coated board available with a solid UV gloss varnish finish on the colour side at no additional charge. For our flyers and brochures we use a standard 130gsm gloss paper, which allows us to print double sided without too much shine through. For our letterheads and compliment slips we use a 90gsm matt bond paper.

How long will it take for my printing to be ready?
We offer a general turnaround time of 7 working days from artwork approval.

Please keep in mind that certain items like invoice books may take a few days extra due to the additional finishing, as do business cards with rounded corners or drilled holes. Due to the nature of printing, there are sometimes factors beyond our control which may affect the turnaround time. Turnaround time is calculated from the time we receive the artwork approval, Monday to Friday are our standard working days. 

What is the minimum order?
Please have a look at our price list for minimum quantities.

I want to print 500 business cards, can I split the quantity and do a few different names?
Unfortunately we cannot.  We can however do a minimum run of 500 cards per name for each person in your company or else you can always have all the names and details on one card.

What do your business cards include?
Our business cards are printed full colour onto a 350gsm board. Unlike most other print companies we have all the print extras included in the price - such as the UV gloss on the colour side of the card as well as a black ink reverse on the back. We also do double sided full colour cards too with UV gloss on both sides.

What sizes are your business cards and flyers?
We print SA industry standard sizes:

Business card size :
50mm x 90mm

Flyers sizes :
A3 (420mm x 297mm)
A4 (297mm x 210mm)
A5 (210mm x 148mm)
A6 (148mm x 105mm)
DL (99mm x 210mm)

A4 is the size of a sheet of computer printer paper.

How many colours can I use on my artwork?
We print in full colour, so you can use as many colours as you want. It can even include photos and logos.

Can you produce artwork for me?
Yes we can, we offer a full range of design and artwork services. Give us the details of what you want and we will be happy to quote.

Can I supply my own ‘print-ready’ artwork?
Yes you are more than welcome to provide your own ‘print-ready’ artwork provided it follows our artwork requirements. Please visit our website to see how to supply your artwork, there are templates for download too.

Will you check my job for any errors?
We check all supplied artwork to the best of our ability. We always email a digital proof before print when we have produced the artwork for you.

If I supply my artwork in Word, Excel or Powerpoint, why do I have to pay artwork re-setting fees?
Unfortunately we cannot print from any of the Microsoft office products due to the way in which they create the file, as it is not compatible with our printing methods. We will have to re-create your artwork in an industry standard design programme such as Corel draw, Photoshop etc…

Do you keep my artwork on file?
Yes we do. If you require more cards or flyers in future, and the artwork is still the same, we will only charge you for the printing as we will have the artwork.

Can I use an image off my website on my printing?
In most cases, No. The resolution of artwork for printing should be at least 300dpi to create high quality printing. Most website images are only 72dpi and will print “fuzzy”. If supplying your own artwork, please ensure a minimum of 300dpi. If small text is used, we recommend a minimum file size of 600dpi.

I am doing my own artwork, what is bleed?
Bleed is the term printers’ use when the background colour or images runs off the edge of the page. By adding a 2mm all round bleed to your artwork, you ensure that there will be no white edge showing when the final printing has been trimmed.

I am not satisfied with the quality of my print job, will you reprint my job?
Please return your print job so we can find out what went wrong. If we deem the problem a manufacturing defect (ie a fault on our side), we will be more than happy to reprint your job. However Chameleon Graphics will not be responsible for design flaws on jobs not designed by us. Including but not limited to colour issues, typos, resolution issues or not enough bleed for cutting etc... 

What about privacy and security?
No information we collect for order processing is shared with any other company or website. Your information is only used to contact you when necessary...