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Digital Printing Guide

Digital printing is the only way to print small quantities of newspapers cost-effectively. Find out more about how our digital newspapers are printed.

Printing for the first time?

Remember, digital newspaper printing is an industrial process, designed to be fast and economical.

  • Colours won’t look as bright and vibrant as they do on screen.
  • Newsprint is a relatively low grade of paper. The print quality is not as sharp as other kinds of paper that you might be familiar with (magazines, for example), and our 55gsm paper is not as bright white as office paper.
  • It’s not possible to print a true deep black. Blacks will look more like dark greys in print.
  • Digital printing uses a Dry Toner Electrophotography process, similar to laser printing. There may be fine lines or stripes visible on your newspaper, these can be more noticeable over large areas of flat colour, and if you’re printing on 80gsm recycled paper.

This doesn’t mean that your newspaper won’t look good, but it does help to design with newspaper printing in mind. We’ve written these guides to help you.

Pick the best colours for printing

Our digital newspapers are all printed using a CMYK process. This means that all colours are made of mixtures of cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks. We use the same colour settings for all the digital newspapers we print.

  • Exact colour matching is impossible - colours will look different in your printed newspaper to how they look on screen.
  • Most colours will look lighter in print than they do on screen, and colours under 20% ink coverage may not print at all. See our sample newspapers for examples.
  • Simple colours work best - it’s easier to predict how they will print.

Choose photos and artwork carefully

Because newsprint is thin, we have to reduce the ink coverage, so that there’s not too much ink on the page.

  • Choose photos with a good range of mid tones, and enough contrast between important details. There will be less contrast between light and dark areas in your printed newspaper.
  • Avoid artwork with large dark areas. Details in dark areas will merge together into one flat colour.
  • Artwork with lots of pale, subtle tones is likely to look washed out in print.
  • Make sure that text and details contrast well with the background, as there will be less contrast between light and dark in your printed newspaper.

Optimise your layout for newspaper printing

Newsprint is thinner than other types of paper you might be familiar with:

  • Your design will show through the paper, so avoid dark areas backing onto pale or blank areas.
  • Ink will rub off onto facing pages (and onto the reader’s hands!) to some extent, so avoid placing dark colours opposite light or blank areas, including the front and back covers.

Folding and alignment isn’t exact

  • If your design is a spread printed across separate sheets, avoid having text or important details going across the middle as there might be a gap or misalignment between the two halves.
  • Artwork on one side of a sheet may be a few millimetres misaligned with artwork on the other side.
  • Remember that digital broadsheets come endorse folded (folded horizontally across the page), so this might affect your layout.

Get a free sample pack

Get a free sample pack to get a feel for how your design could look in print.

If you're placing a large digital order, ask us about printing a free test copy. Please email with the details of your order and we'll be happy to help.