getting the most from holywell press

Benjamin Burrows

Managing Director

getting the most from holywell press

Holywell is always happy to offer customers advice on how to get the very best from print in particular, but just as commonly these days on engaging customers through multiple channels, including social media, email, and the web.

Checking printing quality with a keen eye

In this increasingly digital and concomitantly ephemeral age, the tactile nature of the printed word and image has retained its power and capacity to leave a lasting impression. Creative design, fine quality materials, and beautiful printing with professional finishing all contribute to making print a communications channel worth exploiting.

Good print starts before you even contact a printer

The pre-production stage is vital for ensuring a great-looking product. Commission the best photography, graphic design, and copywriting you can afford. Holywell Creative can help with this, our designers have the expertise and creativity to ensure your communications have the impact you want. Do not cut corners on the materials that will speak for your business when you’re not around.

Engage Holywell early

Even if you opt to use your own designs do discuss these with Holywell early in the process. We can advise you on special finishes that could work particularly well for you, or even propose solutions your designer may not have considered. If you haven’t got a good designer on board, or you have your own designs in concept, Holywell's creative design team can make the journey from design concept design to printing an enjoyable adventure.

Visit Holywell

From the many visits we have from new and existing customers, we can honestly say that most find a tour around the press an interesting experience. Any printer worth its salt would be happy to show you around their premises and give you an insight into the whole process. Visiting us will reassure you that we are very different to the faceless propositions offered by a large number of printing companies. Holywell has always been a print and design partner, not a supplier. Holywell is conveniently located close to Oxford city centre.

Samples and jargon-free explanations

Feel free to ask for plenty of samples of the material your print job could be produced on. Once you have it in your hand you will ‘get a feel’ for the finished item. We always do our best to avoid or to explain the jargon many printers use.

Mock-ups and quotes

An unprinted, hand-made sample or ‘dummy’ can be provided, so you know exactly what you’ll be getting. And as for knowing what you’re getting, ask your printer to supply a run-on quote at the same time as the job cost. A large element of the cost in lithographic printing is in the set-up of the machines, meaning a longer print run is often more cost-effective than two or more short-run jobs.

Some tips for preparing files for print

If you want to print a colour document, make sure you convert graphics, photographs, etc. to CMYK colour. This will show you how the colours may shift when moving from RGB to CMYK. For more on the complexities of colour in print and on screen see our blog: A Holywell guide to using colour in print and on screen.

If you are designing materials yourself or having them designed then we strongly advise you to use professional design software. Most commonly used are the Adobe Creative Suite applications but alternatives are QuarkXpress, CorelDraw, Affinity Designer and Sketch (although the latter is more digital design-oriented). MS Word and PowerPoint are really not up to the task of producing good print design and even Publisher has its limitations.

The best format for supplying print-ready files is PDF. When creating a pdf make sure that you include a 3mm bleed if your images extend to the edge of your page(s) and ensure that you embed all fonts. Make sure that all images are at least 300dpi at the final size at which they are to be reproduced. If you are sending a larger-format file, a pull-up banner for instance, then images can be as low as 150dpi at the final size and still look good. Why not download our instructions for creating a pdf within Creative Suite (InDesign specifically)?


The most important thing to remember when buying print is that you are not simply buying a commodity, you are purchasing a service to support you with help and advice throughout the print process. Print buying requires an investment of faith and trust, so it’s vital you find the right partner to work with; a partner that not only has the right tools for the job, but one you can genuinely relate to and enjoy working with as well.

If you would like to visit our factory in Oxford, please call 01865 242098 or contact us using the button below.

get in touch button
Sort by: