Online help & guidelines

Helping you to help us

We can give lots more advise if you pop by or call, in the meantime you may find some useful information below to help you, plus important guidelines on how to set up your artwork.


Please see the diagrams below for a quick look at the main styles for folding a sheet of paper: 1). Single fold, 2). Tri-fold, 3). Gate fold, 4). Z-fold, 5). Roll fold, and 6). Accordion fold.

Bleed and trim marks

A photocopier needs to hold a sheet of paper while it travels through the printing process so no photocopier can print edge to edge, ours have a non-printable area of around 5mm on all sides. To allow an order to be printed edge to edge Copy Express prints on paper larger than the job requires and trims down to the correct size afterwards. To achieve this we require your artwork to include crop marks and bleed (see diagram below), add at least 3mm bleed just in case, photocopiers can have problems lining artwork repeatedly, and even though our electric guillotine is also very good, the blade can very slightly spread the cut from top to bottom during trimming, although we have technics to minimise this plus can always trim by hand if required.


Copy Express can print onto any size labels and in store we stock three sizes for a same day service. A Crack-Back A4 sheet, which is handy if you require a unique size label up to A4, and two different A4 address label sheets x24 or x65 labels per sheet. We can also print on to CD / DVD labels. the smooth white matt finish circular labels have a diameter measuring 117mm, the A4 sheet includes two CD labels to a page and your file must be set up so that both are centrally placed on each half of the A4 sheet.

Paper sizes

Below is a chart showing the International Standards Organisation (ISO) A-sizes for paper, we can print smaller than A6 plus bigger than A0 and of course anything in-between! A4 is normally the standard size for letters and CVs, although we have seen almost everything at Copy Express over the years, for example CV’s printed onto business cards!

Laser Printing

Laser printing is not a product that matches our digital, offset or wide format services, but still gives a great quality reproduction at a very good price, and is still a very useful product for short deadlines or for checking proofs before sending to print. Please note colour will change from screen display to almost all printers, and will even change from laser to inkjet to digital to offset - in fact colour can sometimes change between our own laser photocopying machines using the same file, with or without the usual regular great service they receive from our engineers, unfortunately it’s just the nature of the technology. We always do the best that we can and it’s very rare a customer will be disappointed with the high quality we can produce. We always recommend printing one first before starting larger orders.

Canvas printing

When ordering canvas printing your image will need more bleed than normal to cater for the thickness of the frame you intend to mount on, we can sometimes help with this depending on the file. Our wide format service works from most types of file and we have many excellent examples hanging in store of our canvas, poster and photographic printing using our wide format machines.

Wire and thermal binding

Our wire binding product will encroach between 8 - 12mm from the side you intend to bind along depending on the size of your document. We supply acetate and board backing, if you would like to supply your own we ask that the acetate is as thick as ours (250 microns) as our machine may damage your sheet if it's not. Our thermal binding opens fully flat when complete. We recommend that you keep solid colour images or background colours away from the binding edge because it is a heat process, so sometimes the toner (inkjet printing is fine) can be reheated and stick to the page in front.

Same day business cards

Copy Express recommends you send us a print ready PDF but we can accept most types of files. If you are unable to supply a PDF then you will need to supply logos, images and possibly even fonts too. This service also includes us setting up your design too, so please feel free to pop in to discuss further and see some samples. For same day business cards we do have some colour limits, we can't guarantee that the shade of colour you see on screen will be the one you get on the card, plus the machine can struggle to produce a solid colour background with some colours, so if possible try using a white background - a colour logo or colour text generally works very well. If you have a 2-3 working day deadline why not ask us about digital printing too.

T-Shirt instructions

All our t-shirts (unless otherwise instructed) wash normally at 30 degrees, if you have a white t-shirt then you CAN iron over the image, on any other coloured garment the image CAN NOT be ironed over - please feel free to contact us if you're still unsure.

Offset & digital printing

For the best results please set all images to at least 300dpi. Files must include bleed and crop marks. You can either bring your file in to us or email it, it's a good idea to include a hardcopy file or PDF. We are happy to guide you through the process of setting up your artwork too.

Please contact us if you can not find an answer here, our order page has more tips, our Facebook page answers some common questions from customers and our A-Z guide is a fun and unique way to find out even more about what we do and how we can help.