Digital vs. Offset

What is the difference between digital and offset printing?

Digital printing has a faster turnaround and can be the ability to instantly proof. Offset is the best value and quality however cannot be proofed has a slower turn around is for bulk orders only. With that said, our digital printing capabilities are superior to and state of the art in Canada.

File formats

What type of files do you accept?

We accept all files including TIFF, PDF, JPEG, PSD, AI, PNG anything that is print resolution ready. The only time this is not the case is when using our online upload and proofing system where only JPEG and PDF files are accepted.

I’m not sure the text is right on the files I forwarded you, can you check before printing?

Softmetal Printing is not responsible for any spelling and content that is incorrect when the file is not created by Softmetal Printing. The document will print exactly as it appears when given in the highest print quality. All typographical errors are the responsibility of the creators.


What is a bleed?

Bleed refers to the printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet after trimming, it ensure that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed document.

What is full bleed?

Full bleed is printing from one edge of the paper to the other without the standard border. The paper is trimmed after printing to ensure the ink runs fully to the edge and doesn’t stop short of it.

My job uses bleed. How much space should I account for when printing?

3mm on each side.


What resolution should my artwork be to ensure the best quality print?

300 dpi or greater

What is DPI?

DPI refers to dots per inch, a measure of resolution


What form should my colours be in my design files?

Try not to use duotones or RGB, convert to CMYK for best results

What type of black should I use?

If you have large areas of solid black, you should set the black up as Rich Black

How can I prevent banding?

To avoid banding avoid large areas of flat colours or large gradation which can happen with digital print.

Why do the printed colours look different from the colours on my screen?

There are a few reasons why this may happen: 1)The colour mode is in RGB and not CMYK 2)The paper stock has it’s own colour which effects the final print 3)The screen is backlit therefore your image on the screen will always appear lighter than the printed image.

Is white considered a printing colour?

No it is not.

What’s the difference between CMYK and RGB?

RGB is the colour mode for screens cmyk is the colour for printing.


How should the fonts be placed in my design files?

Fonts must be embedded in PDF files or provided, please note some fonts have copyright restrictions and will not be embedded in PDF files. Your design fonts must be converted to paths or curves in EPS files or outlined.

What is a set?

What is a business card set?

Business cards with the same back but different fronts.

Graphic Design

Do you provide these services? If so at what cost?

Yes all of our locations provide in-house design. Our minimum design fee is 15.00.

Will you provide me with a proof?


Will you edit my artwork not designed by Softmetal Printing?

Yes. Our minimum design fee is 15.00.


Is it ok if my product has copyright material?

Softmetal Printing prohibits and is not responsible for any reproduction, trademarks, services marks or logo that are not owned by the client. Unlicensed copyrighted materials from publishers, photographers, artists, composers, writers, and other owners of original workers are not the responsibilities of Softmetal Printing.

Sample/Test prints

Can I have a sample before doing the full run?

It depends on the amount of finishing involved in the product. There will always be a cost incurred for a sample. In some cases we can do a modest proof on the final paper stock. In the case of a booklet for example the amount of set up involved in one booklet is the same as a thousand. For details about your job’s sample please call for further details. For offset products we cannot provide samples because they are printed off site.


What type of paper will my product be printed on?

We have several paper types available depending on what you are ordering at different pricing. Fear not! If we don’t have a specific paper in store we can order it for you.

Can I bring my own paper to print?


Do you carry recycled paper?


Canvas Questions

What are the different ways my canvas can be stretched?

There are 3 ways your canvas can be stretched. 1)Mirrored edges: where a portion of the edge of the print is copied and flipped so that the image continues around the stretcher bar seamlessly without loosing a part of the image. 2)Gallery Wrapped: where the edges of the image are pulled around the side of the frame so you loose that part of your image 3)Taped Edge: where you don’t lose any of your image and the sides of the stretcher bar have a black tape applied to them to hide the raw canvas.

Custom Quotes and Finishing

Why is my custom quote not instant?

For some more complicated jobs such as booklets, die cutting, special finishes/effects, and special shipping/speed requirements we require time to customize the lowest possible rate and options to forward you.

Do you do any special finishing? Embossing, Foil, Spot UV, silk laminate, Gloss UV?

We have a wide variety of majestic products. Learn more on our product pages.

Price Matching

I found a much cheaper price at another shop can you match?

Depends. Contact us for details.

Rush Jobs

Help! I need an order NOW! Can you do this for me?

Yes. There is however, a standard rush fee with jobs needing to be printed immediately. There are occasional exceptions when this can be waved dependant on workflow, please call or email us with your specific situation.


What methods of payment do you accept?

Credit Card.

Do you charge tax on orders?



How much do you charge for shipping and handling?

We have various modes of shipping available. We can ship within Canada by Canada Post. For international or North American shipping, or to discuss rates please call for further information.