Multi-Level Stamping Dies

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Multi-level stamping dies are used for several types of embossing and for combination dies. Multi-level refers to the dimensional quality of the die. 

Die Types

In the case of a logo there may be details that are more pronounced that need to be raised above the rest of the embossed area. Think of this type as a stair step. Other times the emboss may require a rounded bevel or in some cases a sculpted die is called for, an example of which is in the photo above.

Another type of multi-level die is a Combination Die or “combo die”. This type of die can emboss and foil stamp in one pass. 

Combo Dies

A combo die is almost always sculpted to give great dimension and detail to what you are working on. They are made from brass which is the hardest metal from which stamping dies are made. Brass dies are also long lasting. This enables you to use the same dies time and time again without the die wearing down. Typically used for high end letterhead and business cards, invitations and holiday cards. They help you achieve that greater depth and detail that you are looking for when foil stamping and embossing.

Call for Details

Give us a call to see if a multi-level die is right for your project. Our staff are always here to guide you through the process, 770-542-0667. Or email us at

What is… Trap?

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The Problem

The lower half of the graphic above represents an exaggerated example of misregistration. This is a problem that can exist in any multi-color printing process. 

Printing presses lay colors down one on top of the next. As the paper moves through the press there can be slight variations in registration – or the alignment between colors. Much of the time this is imperceivable to the reader but under certain circumstances it can be seen as gaps of white between two adjacent colors. 


The solution to the problem is called Trapping. With this technique we create a hairline overlap where distinct colors meet. The top half of the graphic above shows an again exaggerated version of trap. The dark outline around the letters in the word “Trap” is an example of the solution. When done correctly, the trap is not noticeable and gaps are eliminated. 

Our Solution

Advanced Print & Finishing has invested heavily in our production workflow. Part of that investment is in sophisticated software that evaluates the contents of each page and adds trap as needed. 

Too little trap will result in the problem still being noticeable in certain areas. With too much trap the trap itself will become noticeable. So how do we ensure that the exact amount of trap needed will be applied? Our skilled pre-press operators review the parameters of each job and dial in the software settings. Once dialed in, the RIP takes care of the rest. We are then able to review the trap after the RIP stage and before the job goes to press. 

Our Experience is Your Experience

Always remember that our pre-press experts are an indispensable resource available to you on any project. We are only a phone call or an email away: 770-664-8199 /


Up next… What is a “RIP”?

Pocket Folders

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Keep it Together

Not only are pocket folders a great way to stay organized, but they are a wonderful way of displaying your company’s branding and print collateral. 

The standard pocket folder is 9”x12″ with 2-4” pockets with or without business card slits. We also offer custom printed folders on the paper of your choosing. 


If you need plain folders with a die cut window like those used for tax preparation we produce those too. But, if you want your folders to be a bit more unique, get creative with:

• Custom Shaped Pockets
• Embossing and/or Foil Stamping
• Business Card Slits
• Printed Stepped or Stitched Inserts
• Unique Sizes
• Velcro Dots 

And the paper options are endless!

Need Help?

Call or email us to discuss how our team of designers and craftsmen can assist with your pocket folders : 770-664-8199 /

Index Tab Dividers

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Advanced Print & Finishing custom die cuts each index tab order to your specifications. For extra durability, add mylar reinforcement to the tab and/or binding edge. Keep in mind that there is an array of mylar colors available for the tabs.

Custom Tabs

The majority of tab jobs are for a 9” x 11” sheet size and typically require anywhere from two to ten tabs per bank. The standard tab height is 1/2” with a minimum width of 1”, but we can create custom index tabs if needed.

We of course offer a much greater capability. Please don’t hesitate to contact us about your special requirements.

Tab Finishing

After the tabbing process is completed, we can also hole punch the dividers in various sizes and placements. And don’t forget that we can collate, assemble or kit your project as well.

Watch Out

Keep an eye out for future posts that will dive deeper into tabs. We will include information about our printing services, available dieline images, our tabbing equipment, tab file preparation and more.

Call or email us to discuss your next index tab project: 770-542-0667 /

Die Cutting Tips

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There are things you can do prior to sending a job to us to be die cut to ensure your project goes off without a hitch. Here are a few suggestions to help you achieve this.


Always make sure there is enough gripper on the sheets you are sending over to be die cut. The minimum gripper needed for our equipment is 1/2”, if there is room it should be 3/4”. This especially applies when multiple up sheets are being trimmed down to be cut 1 up.


Letting us know what stock you are going to use prior to printing helps us when building a die, especially if it’s going to have folds in it. Creasing rule (score) height plays a big role in making sure the scores don’t crack and the piece folds properly. The rule heights that go into a die are determined by the stock you plan to use. 


If you decide to build your own die to send to us, please contact us prior to doing so. We can proof your die line for you and make suggestions that will save you time and money throughout the process. This will also ensure that the die will be suitable to run on our equipment.


These are just a few examples things you can do, feel free to give us a call to help make your die cutting project a success, 770-542-0667. If you prefer, send us an email with any questions.

What Is… Prepress?

advancedpf Prepress, Tips & Pointers

Prepress is the term used in commercial printing for everything that happens before print production. Prepress procedures include: 

  • Preflight of supplied files
  • Typesetting and copy changes
  • Color correction of images
  • Creation of high quality, press ready PDF files
  • Dieline layout
  • Proofing
  • Imposition
  • Trapping
  • Screening

Preflight can also include planning and preparation for print jobs that require finishing work.

Prepress is a necessary function that helps coordinate the needs of the printing, finishing and bindery departments with the files supplied by the customer. 

Have a Plan

The Advanced Print & Finishing prepress department has decades of experience in file preparation and work closely with customers to streamline the production process. Be sure to contact us early to discuss your next project. Chances are we can provide advise on how to save money or streamline the production process. As we say in Prepress, “a little planning can go a long way”.

Stay Tuned

Check back for additional “What Is…” posts that will describe other terms such as RIP and Trap. 

Menu Print & Finishing

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Advanced Print & Finishing Menu Options

Create a unique experience for your guests with custom printed menus from Advanced Print & Finishing. 


We offer a wide variety of paper and finishing options to make your establishment stand out from the rest. Even a simple black and white menu can easily be enhanced with textured paper and finishing options like round cornering. 


Another popular option for some eateries is to add a laminate. We offer gloss, satin and soft touch laminate in sealed edge or flush trim in a variety of thicknesses: 1.5, 3, 5 and 10 mil. 

Those wanting the most durable and long lasting option, 10 mil Gloss Sealed Edge Laminate is definitely the preferred option. And don’t forget about To-Go and Kids Menus; we can assist with those too! 

Instant Quote

Many of our options are presented in our instant online quote form. This pricing guide was created to simplify your options based on menu types. Keep this in mind if you don’t see paper, lamination or other finishing options that you desire. If this is the case —

Give Us a Call

No two restaurants are alike and your menus shouldn’t be either. Call or email us to discuss how we can help you with your next menu printing: 770-542-0667 /

Advanced Lamination Options

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Whether you are wanting to add a layer of protection to your printed piece or create a graphic effect, Advanced Print and Finishing has multiple types of laminate to achieve your goals. We offer gloss, satin, soft touch and even dry erase laminate. 


Depending on the end use of your project, we can recommend the correct thickness to meet your needs as well as if it needs to have a sealed edge or flush trim. Thicknesses range from 1.5 to 10 mil in one and two sided laminate. 

One sided laminate is used primarily for book covers and marketing pieces. Two sided laminate is more popular for menus and items that need to be water resistant. 

Other Options

Other finishing options for laminate projects include: round cornering, plastic coil binding, grommeting and foil stamping.

Since there are quite a few twists and turns to laminate projects we are always happy to discuss your project with you. Call or email us to discuss how we can help: 770-542-0667 /

File Setup for Perfect Bound Books

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File setup for perfect bound books can be a bit tricky at times. Accounting for all the variables such as paper thickness, page count, bleeds and hinge scores is necessary to have a quality end product. Here are a few tips to prepare your files:

Set Up Tips for the Cover:

  • We require a 3/8” trim on the top and bottom of the book cover.
  • We require an 1/8” trim on the face of the cover.
  • Keep critical text and graphics clear of the trim edges; pull in 1/4” (.25″ margin).

If you have any questions about determining the spine thickness feel free to email our prepress department at with the type of cover paper, text paper and page/sheet count to get an exact measurement. 

Set Up Tips for the Inside Pages:

  • We require 1/8” trim on all sides of the book.
  • Send collated slip sheeted sets if printing digitally.
  • Keep critical text and graphics clear of the binding edge and trim edges; pull in 1/4” (.25″ margin).

We are always available to answer any questions along the way. Simply call or email our prepress team and we’ll walk you through the process: 770-664-8199 or

Print Today: Measuring Advertising Effectiveness

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It’s news to some people: print advertising is sticking around. But methods of measuring the advertising effectiveness of print is changing. Or, it should be.

Studies show that we consumers are neurologically disposedto respond better to print ads in certain situations – and this is not just true of the old folks, either. Studies showthat while Millennials are more influenced by digital ads than other age groups, they pay more attention to traditional ads.

Recently, the Wall Street Journalreleased the following chart, and it’s no surprise that ad spending on print has dropped in recent years while spending on digital ads has accelerated. But look at what happens to print in the next few years: print spending will remain around the same level where it is today.


Total Media Ad Spending - WSJ Chart

Print clearly will remain a major advertising player. For it to complement digital and other types of advertising we must focus on better ways of reporting the effectiveness of print advertising. Particularly, we must be able to measure the ROI of print not only on its own, but also in relation to other advertising platforms. Of course, this is easier said than done.

One of the clear advantages of digital advertising is how easy it is to gather data about the performance of ads. When a potential customer clicks on your ad, you can see not only exactly where they came from to get to your site, but also how they then interact once on your site. When enough data is collected you can adjust your marketing plan accordingly.

The Difficulties in Measuring Advertising Effectiveness in Print

Print advertising, however, is not always so simple to quantify.

The use of a QR code once seemed like the answer; the natural link between print and digital. Just like a click on the digital ad, the information transferred from a QR scan provides a wealth of information about where the consumer viewing the ad came from.

But the codes have never taken off with the public as much as marketers might like. Even the inventor of the code recently said it (the code) only has a decade or so left to live. Though he was referring to the original use of the codes in warehouse and manufacturing settings, it is likely that the same is true for advertising.

So we are left to focus on creating better methods to measure the performance of print advertising.

A New Kind of Measurement Tool

A new tool that aims to offer new insights into print advertising effectiveness is the Magazine Audience Performing Predictor (mapp), which delivers performance data of magazine ads within 14 days of the issue’s on-sale date. This is as close to real time performance results for magazine ads as we currently have available. A collaborative effort of Magazine Publishers of Australia (MPA) – and thus far only available for Australian magazines – the tool recently received a global award at the FIPP Research Forum.

Magazine Audience Performance Predictor (Mapp) Logo

Here’s the description of the tool on the MPA website:

Using mapp advertisers can now access timely, real-time measures of current magazine issue performance and magazine audience build over time. [It] enables magazines to be evaluated more accurately in advertisers’ marketing and media models, using a weekly timeframe of performance, alongside other media and key indicators, such as sales. mapp provides, within a week or two after the on-sale date, estimates of the total ratings that specific magazine issues will achieve over their lifespan.

“mapp is a truly innovative project, which quantifies the contribution of magazines to the media mix in a manner that is in line with the forms of data available for other media,” said FIPP’s judges, according to “It involves forecasting how advertising messages in magazines will be spread through time, issue by issue.”

What’s Next?

The service is still relatively new, so its effectiveness remains to be seen. Still, it’s great to see innovations coming to magazine ad measuring techniques.

As print spending stabilizes, advertisers will have a better idea of how much they need to spend on print, but the new question will be what print venues will be the best investment. And they will be looking to new tools like mapp to help them make these decisions.

The Future is Cross Platform

As mentioned above, print advertisers not only want better ROI measurements, but also want to know how these ads function in context of their other advertising platforms. Forbesemphasized the importance of measuring multiple platforms at once with the article, “2014: The Year of the Cross Platform Measurement.”

Much of the article is focused on traditional television vs. digital video consumption. But the parallels to the print medium are many. Television advertisers are still relying heavily on the traditional ratings measurement tools, while the rise of digital television consumption is sharp (a 30 percent rise from the final quarter of 2012 to the final quarter of 2013). Needless to say, it is now imperative to not only be able to measure both traditional and digital TV viewing, but to be able to be able to combine that data to get an accurate picture of the viewing audience.

Similarly, print advertisers still rely primarily on circulation numbers that are becoming more and more unreliable as reading habits change. While it is easier to measure digital reading habits, being able to discover what reader is reading one article in a magazine and then another (in the same publication) online will put advertisers in a much better position. It will also be a great way for publishers to give advertisers a better representation of not only how many but howreaders are reading the material. Of course, this will allow them to better optimize advertising rates.

What Does it Mean Now?

The good news: print advertising is sticking around and the previous decline in print ad sales will level off. This means advertisers are realizing where the advantages of print advertising lies in relation to digital ads and how the two can complement each other.

The bad news: we don’t yet have a great way to measure the results of this cross-platform approach.

However, it is likely that new tools similar to mapp will continue to emerge to fill this void. It remains to be seen just how effective they will be, but we’ll be looking forward to seeing more effective print advertising measuring techniques emerge as we move forward into this new era of advertising.


“Think Different” image source: Wikimedia Commons