Book Printing – Choose the Right Company

Virginia SelkeyPrinting

You finish writing the last chapter of your book and click save. Over the next several months you proofread, proofread and then proofread some more. Years of compiling your story has finally come to an end and you let out a sigh of relief that you’re finally finished. But are you? Now you must decide on which book printer is best suited for your needs. This is after all your baby that you’re handing off to a complete stranger. You need to feel at ease that the book printer will take extra care and attention to your hard work. Below are a few tips to consider when selecting a book printer:


Nothing is more frustrating than trying to call a company and being greeted with an automated attendant making you press 1 to speak to a real person only to go to voicemail. Expect more from your book printer! At Advanced Print & Finishing, we do not have automated recordings; you will always be greeted with a friendly voice. Our customer care team is happy to help you choose which binding style, paper, etc. best suits your book. You will also work directly with the graphics department making the proofing process a breeze.


What’s the difference between a run-of-the-mill book and high quality book?… Materials? Sure. Quality equipment? You bet. Top notch craftsmen with decades of experience? Absolutely. 

Only customers happy with the quality of their books will stick around. Our suggestion is to call your top candidates and ask what percentage of repeat customers they have and the average length of employment for their staff. If 50% or more of their revenue comes from repeat business and their average employee has been on board for more than 10 years I’d say you have found a winner. 


We’ve heard over and over again that other book printers can’t

Deadlines exist for a reason and missed deadlines destroy customer satisfaction, as do excuses. A reliable and trustworthy book printing company will always meet their deadlines. Period. 

Customer satisfaction takes more than meeting deadlines though. It takes attention to detail throughout the entire printing process. Finding a book printing company that prints and finishes in house is certainly a step in the right direction. Finding one that also commits to customer satisfaction right on their website is that giant leap you should be looking for. 

Visit to get started on your book quote today! If you have any questions, give us a call at (770) 542-0667

5 Reasons Print is Making a Comeback

Virginia SelkeyPrint Industry

a person looking at a stack of tab dividers

What do notepads, newsletters and books all have in common? They are all printed on paper!

Printed advertising materials are a powerhouse in your marketing arsenal, especially when used strategically as part of an omni or multi-channel marketing effort. As a print provider with over 28 years of experience, we are quite confident that print is making a comeback in the hearts and minds of consumers.

Here are our top 5 reasons that print is making a comeback.

Consumer Preference

90% of consumers agree that there will always be a need for print. Furthermore, consumers say that professionally printed materials have helped 4 out of 5 small businesses stand out from their competition.

Diagram of percentage of readers prefer printed magazines and books

Higher ROI

Printed materials have a higher return on investment than digital channels.

Diagram of Return on Investment in advertising types. Printed material ranks the highest throughout

Deeper Understanding

Most consumers think they understand something better after reading it in print form.

71% of consumers believe they gain a deeper understanding after reading a printed newspaper over an online news source and 64% of consumers would be very concerned if printed newspapers were to disappear in the future.

Catalogs Rising

Print catalogs are making a comeback. Amazon splashed headlines again in 2020 with its 2020 Holiday Toy Catalog. Rather than include prices, the 92-page catalog included scannable QR codes and website addresses on almost every page. The catalog was designed with a retro look.

Other retailers like IKEA offer print catalogs as well. They have an impressive reach. Half of all Americans order from catalogs that they receive in the mail. Consumers spend an average of $850 on catalog purchases every year.

Digital Advertising Annoyance 

Print is a tangible way to break through the digital noise. Consumers are not fond of digital advertisements. 71% of U.S. consumers don’t pay attention to online advertisements, 69% say they find online ads annoying and 63% do their best to block online ads.

By contrast, 63% of U.S. consumers read printed advertising mail at least once a week that’s addressed to them and delivered to their homes.

Let us help you with your next printing job!

Call or email us to discuss how we can help you with your next printing project: 770-542-0667 /


Ultra-Shield™ Laminate

Laura SchmidtFinishing, Menu Printing

Ultra-Shield™ Laminate

Have you ever looked at your grocery store rewards membership card and wondered what it’s made of?

Most likely, it’s printed paper that was laminated. If you have a project that demands resilience for continued use, then look no further than Ultra‑Shield™. With Ultra‑Shield™, you’re guaranteed protection with one of the most prevalent and durable plastics known to man, PET.

What is PET?

PET, or Polyethylene Terephthalate, is a lightweight and durable plastic in the polyester family of polymers. You may have seen it used for:

  • soda bottles,
  • peanut butter jars,
  • salad dressing containers,
  • clamshell containers for fruit,
  • clothes, spun as polyester fibers,
  • film for cameras + x-rays,
  • and some to-go food containers.

It’s a hard, stiff, strong, and stable material that absorbs little water – making it virtually waterproof. It was first synthesized in the US in the 1940s by chemists attempting to make new textile fibers. It’s used today in a variety of common household items and goods, and according to the FDA, PET is safe for food and beverage contact.

What projects is Ultra‑Shield™ best suited for?

Our laminate is capable of handling a wide range of special projects. Ultra‑Shield™ can be used for:

  • menus,
  • signs,
  • equipment tags, 
  • parking permits, 
  • loyalty/membership cards,
  • or reusable education materials.

When you need an impenetrable masking, Ultra‑Shield™ offers intrusion resistance for the heaviest duty of jobs. It’s strong construction removes the concern of failure, while providing good optical clarity and high gloss for a polished, finished look. 

Features of Ultra‑Shield™

Offering UV technology, your outdoor or frequently used goods are encased in protection, preventing graphic fading and color shift. Designed with your project in mind, Ultra‑Shield™ is available in different thicknesses, from 1.5mil to 10mil. It’s a fortified binding agent that withstands harsh environments and conditions, resisting failure or delamination.

How is Ultra-Shield™ different than standard laminate?

If you think of laminate in tiers in terms of thickness, then Ultra-Shield™ is a step above your typical laminate when it comes to rigidity. The plastic used in Ultra-Shield™ works by using a stronger than average composition compared to most laminates. The two also differ as Ultra-Shield™ offers a thicker layer of adhesive, ensuring a better look and bond than other generic binding agents.

Where can I find Ultra-Shield™?

At Advance Print & Finishing, we offer the sizes and styles of laminate that you need for your project. Along with Ultra-Shield, we also offer a bacteria resistant laminate, Health-Shield™, as well as our line of premium gloss and matte laminates.

Protect what’s most important to you: your quality and your brand with Ultra‑Shield™. When you’re ready to make a lasting impression with Ultra‑Shield™, contact Advance Print & Finishing for your lamination and finishing needs.

Health-Shield™ Laminate

Laura SchmidtFinishing, Menu Printing

Antimicrobial Lamination from Advanced Print & Finishing

Looking to lessen your exposure to harmful germs? If you or a loved one work in healthcare, childcare, food service, or another essential business then you’ll benefit from learning about the most recent innovation in protective lamination technology: Health-Shield™ by Advanced Print & Finishing.

Until now, film laminate was limited to enhancing durability and the look & feel for printed materials. With the introduction of Health-Shield™ by Advanced Print & Finishing, lamination now has the added ability to protect us from disease. This is made possible by embedding the film surface with an effective and durable antimicrobial solution. 

What is an Antimicrobial?

An antimicrobial is designed to reduce the presence of microbes. Microbes are germs, such as:

  • bacteria,
  • fungi, 
  • rusts, 
  • molds, 
  • and mildews.

Limiting the spread of bacteria through Health-Shield™

Health-Shield™ works by

  1. permanently incorporating a silver based antimicrobial agent with the laminate film
  2. the antimicrobial laminate encases your printed goods, 
  3. growth and reproduction of germs is inhibited by the silver based agent.

Slowing the spread of microbes like bacteria through an antimicrobial is critical in essential settings. Along with hand hygiene, touching shared surfaces should be as limited as possible, since bacteria can live on surfaces for months.

When it’s absolutely unavoidable, and there is a surface that’s shared, it’s best to reduce the likelihood that germs are spreading to others by using an antimicrobial. Since Health Shield™ is enhanced with an antimicrobial agent on the surface, it helps to protect both the content within and the person interacting with it. 

For the safety of all

In studies, the active agent in Health-Shield™ technology has shown to be less toxic than table salt. The antimicrobial used in Health-Shield™ is listed as

  • an FDA food contact grade substance and
  • an EPA registered product that is safe for water and food contact.

For those who are continually exposed to higher concentrations of bacteria, Health-Shield™ provides an extra defense against the permeation of unwanted microbes. It is shown to be effective against the broadest spectrum of bacteria typically found in

  • food,
  • healthcare,
  • and school environments.

Where to find Health-Shield™

To reduce the likelihood that bacteria will be transferred to others, frequently handled documents should be laminated with Health-Shield™ by Advanced Print & Finishing. We carry a wide variety of finishes including gloss, matte, and our super durable, Ultra-Shield™. When you need Health-Shield™ to protect your co-workers, customers and your loved ones, contact Advance Print & Finishing for your lamination and finishing needs.

What is… Finishing? (part 2)


Part Two…

If you missed it, you can jump to Part 1 for an introduction to finishing and for some of the particulars of Decorative Finishes. Click here for Part 1.

Otherwise keep reading to find out more about Conversion options in Print Finishing. 


As stated earlier, conversion processes enhance usability of a product. In some cases, such as lamination, conversion may also enhance the look and feel of a product. 

In no particular order let’s explore some of the more popular conversion options…

Lamination – When it comes to durability, lamination should be your go-to choice. And the number of choices for material is both wonderful and intimidating. 

A quick look at our materials inventory and I see gloss, matte and soft touch finishes, standard and super stick adhesives and a myriad of options of each with different thicknesses of lamination and adhesion layers. And we can laminate just one side of the sheet or both sides depending on the product’s needs. Plus there’s flush trim and sealed edge options, 

My advise is to give us a call to discuss your project and let us make an informed recommendation. 

Index Tabs – Although more straight forward than lamination, Index Tabs can be created in a number of sizes to accommodate the number of tabs per bank required. You also have the option of using mylar on the tab to add protection and mylar on the spine edge to enhance strength. 

Mylar is a good idea if you intend to mechanically bind the tab sheets. And don’t forget to specify if your tabs need to be drilled or punched for comb, spiral or ring binding. 

Die CuttingDie Cutting can enhance both usability and aesthetics. Die cutting allows us to create custom shapes such as curved pockets on a folder, a round window on a cover, a gusseted pocket or special index tabs.

Scoring – Lightweight stock typically doesn’t require a score in order to fold well. Heavyweight stock though will rarely fold well without a score. A score can help to prevent surface or image cracking at a fold. And if the piece is to be delivered flat for later assembly, a score takes the guess work out of how to fold the piece. 

Perforating – A line of small, thin cuts in the paper that allow for easy separation. Perfing can also aid in assembly of a dimensional piece or used in the binding process to help purge air when a larger press sheet is machine folded. 

Pocket Folders – As hinted under die cutting above, converting a pocket folder from a flat printed sheet is a multi step process. First the press sheet needs to be die cut and scored in order to account for the panels, pockets, gussets and glue tabs. A trip to the guillotine cutter to finish the prep work and then to the folder/gluer to convert the flat sheet to a pocket folder. Many custom features are available to include media sleeves, die cut windows, embossing, foil, etc. In fact, most of the options listed on this post are available on pocket folders. So don’t hold back… go wild!

Drilling – A little mundane compared to pocket folders but drilling is the most cost effective way to put holes in paper. Whether its for a three-ring binder, a wall calendar or an eyelet, drilling is a staple in the print finishing department. 

Grommets / Eyelets – Not just for banners, grommets can serve as a mechanical binding method. Think of a set of sample sheets that are grommeted in the corner to allow easy fan-out. Or a set of laminated instruction cards that will be hung from a hook on the wall. Grommets ensure long term durability no matter what their purpose. 

Cutting – Cutting is mostly a support process in printing. In commercial printing we almost always print multiple up on a larger sheet. With perfect binding we cut the book blocks oversize before binding and then final trim the top, bottom and face after binding. There’s nothing glamorous about cutting operations but it is the back bone of finishing.

Numbering – The original form of variable data, numbering requires that we first print the piece for all other content and then come back through to apply sequential numbers. This can be done multiple up so products like raffle tickets that require the same number be printed in different locations on the sheet can be done so in one numbering pass. 

Folding – There are many types of folding for many different products. Suffice it to say that whether we need to fold a press sheet for perfect bound collation, a pocket folder with glue tabs or letterfold a mailer, Advanced Print & Finishing can accommodate your folding needs. 

Gluing / TapingPocket folder conversion and other similar products require glue or tape to form pockets. Most pocket folders can be glued inline during conversion. Gusseted pockets (dimensional pockets) or other complex shapes often require hand taping and manual assembly. Either way we have you covered. 

Our finishing experts are an indispensable resource available to you on any project. We are only a phone call or an email away: 770-664-8199 /

What is… Finishing? (part 1)


Part One…

Finishing, or Print Finishing, encompasses all processes that occur between printing and shipping. Finishing steps can be broken into three general categories; Binding, Conversion and Decoration. Although Binding is a finishing category, we typically exclude it (collating, saddle stitching, wire-o, etc.) when referring to finishing. Binding is complex enough to deserve it’s own consideration. 

What’s left are the decoration and conversion categories. Decorative process typically will enhance the look or feel of a printed product but can also increase durability. 

Conversion processes may also enhance the look and feel of a product but the primary purpose of this category is utility. Whether we are laminating for extra durability or index tabbing, conversion makes a printed product more useable. 


Foil Stamping – Everyone is familiar with gold and silver foil but don’t stop there. There are hundreds of foil colors and sheens to choose from along with options such as clear foil that can enhance a specific area of the printed sheet.

Embossing – Embossing raises an area of the paper giving physical dimension to your product. This is often combined with foil stamping or with the printed image of the sheet to add impact. Another option is to raise an area without print or foil – referred to as a blind emboss – and is most often used to smooth or flatten papers with textured finishes such as linen or laid. Click here for an example of a multi-level blind emboss.

Debossing (image above) –  The opposite of embossing, debossing pushes the affected area down instead of up. This process is often combined with die cutting to create a frame around an area that is punched out of the stock. Think of a die-cut window in a book cover that reveals an image on the first page of the book.

Coatings – There are a few different options when it comes to coatings that offer different levels of visual impact, protection and cost. Aqueous, Varnish and UV finishes each will help to protect your image from bumps and scrapes to varying degrees. The following options are listed in the order of additional cost. 

  • In the case of Aqueous coatings, this is a thin water like coating that is applied in-line during the press run. It is only available as a flood finish, one that covers the entire sheet. It can help tame uneven sheen between heavy and light cover areas of the sheet. 
  • Varnish coatings are also applied in-line and can flood the sheet and tame sheen like Aqueous coatings. Varnish also offers the option to apply a different sheen to specific areas of the sheet. A hit of spot varnish can subtly enhance your logo or an important image or even a headline. 
  • UV, or Ultra Violet finishes can be applied in-line like the others but are often done after printing. UV finishes are most commonly used as a spot finish and is applied much thicker than the other two options. The only other finishing option that rivals the glossy reflective finish of spot UV is Clear Foil mentioned above under Foil Stamping. In addition to UV coatings being more expensive than the other options, UV typically requires additional production time.


Part two of this post will cover conversion options such as die cutting, lamination and pocket folders.


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 /

Plastic Coil and Wire-O Binding

advancedpfFinishing, Printing

Among the many ways to bind sheets of paper together, two of the most popular are coil and comb binding. To make things confusing there are coil and comb options for both metal and plastic materials. 

Of those options, the two that have risen to the top for professional purposes are Plastic Coil and Wire-O (metal comb). Although these methods are similar there are a couple of distinctions that can help you decide which method will be best for your project. 

Durability vs. Appeal

Generally speaking, Wire-O is considered to be a better looking product and Plastic Coil is considered more durable. Both are very durable and will almost certainly keep those pages together. However, if really smashed the plastic option will spring back to its original shape where the metal coil may remain deformed. 

Because of this durability, Plastic Coil binding is often employed on volumes that will see repeated use. Cookbooks, children’s books, shop manuals or parts manuals and so on. 

Wire-O’s more refined look makes it better suited to formal reports, proposals, family histories and the like. Don’t discount either option based on these examples. These methods are still very similar and will work for any type of book. 


Another point to consider is usability. Although both options lay flat when laid open on a surface, the Wire-O version will line up directly between the two halves of the book. This can be important for critical crossovers such as a table or graph that extends through the binding. 

Plastic Coil’s advantage is when wrapping the cover completely around to the back. The coil binding will offer no resistance, laying completely flat when doubled over. Wire-O will also open this way but there will be a section on the bound edge that will not lay completely flush. 

Color Options

A wide variety of colors are available for both Plastic Coil and Wire-O binding methods. Choosing a custom color is a great way to make your project stand out from the rest generally at no additional cost (some minimums may apply). Below is a list of colors available for each option:

Plastic Coil: Clear, White, Black, Grey, Blue, Green, Gold, Tan, Brown, Yellow, Orange, Red, Pink

Wire-O: White, Black, Silver, Pewter, Gold, Blue, Red, Green, Grey

If choosing either binding method remember to move any critical graphics and text away from the binding edge approximately 3/8” to accommodate for the binding. 


Call or email us to discuss how we can help with your plastic coil or wire-o bound book project: 770-542-0667 /

What is… Rich Black?

advancedpfPrepress, Tips & Pointers

The color black – simple. Right?

In the world of print the color black is anything but simple. There are points that should be understood when putting black ink on paper. Read on to find out more about the whys and hows of black ink. 

Process Color / CMYK

The problem of black ink is rooted in color theory. That’s boring though so let’s skip ahead.

The colors of Cyan, Magenta and Yellow when combined should arrive at the color black. In the real world though they add up to a muddy brown. And even if 100% CMY equalled black we would be stuck with 300% total ink density and the resulting drying issues. 

So CMY loads up the ink while not making black. Thanks CMY. Then how can we cut total ink density and arrive at a true black? You guessed it – use black ink (the ‘K’ in CMYK).  

Black, black or black?

Ok, great – now we know that we need to use black ink. But how much should we use, when should we use it and what new problems do we introduce?

In the case of photos, design software or the RIP will take care of blending in the proper amount of black when needed. That leaves us to only worry about objects and text. In both cases we need to understand the difference between different definitions of black. Namely; Black, Rich Black and Registration Black. 

Black, Rich Black, Registration Black

Registration Black is easy so let’s get it out of the way first. Don’t use it. Ever. Seriously.

Its only purpose is so that printer’s marks can appear on all printing plates regardless of what separation the plate represents. If you’re responsible for press imposition then you already know everything that this article will discuss. Thanks for checking it out but stop reading and go impose something. The rest of us can keep reading. 

With Registration Black out of the way we only have to worry about Black and Rich Black. 

Rich Black is no more than black ink reinforced with percentages of the other colors being used to print your multi-color product. For instance, if we are using CMYK (process color), in the areas that are to appear black we will add some cyan, magenta and yellow behind the black ink. If you look at the photo above, the black bar at the top is representative of overprinting a solid bar of black ink on top of the image. See how the image tends to show through the black? Where the image is darker so is the black bar. And the lighter areas still look black but not really black. 

At the bottom of the photo, the black bar isn’t overprinting the photo, it is a solid object with a Rich Black build. There’s no chalky gray or image show through. It’s just black. But only because it’s not just black, it’s Rich Black.

The other colors combine to produce a medium gray on which we printed solid black. That’s the magic of Rich Black – we are printing all four colors to achieve a deep, dense black color but we are keeping our total ink density to a manageable level. Take that CMY. 

When to Use: Photo effects, CMYK printing, large areas

So here it is. Rich black can, and often should be used for large solid areas of black when using process color. It can also be used to match the hue of black in a photo for something like a photo border. 

Have you ever noticed that B&W photos in color books, instead of appearing a neutral gray often appear either cool or warm? Remember, your B&W photos are being printed with CMYK. Too much cyan or magenta density in the mix can color shift your grays. 

This can be used to great effect when done intentionally. If you have a B&W photo of a desert sunset you can add a little Magenta to the curve to give the photo a warmer tone. Or a little Cyan can be added to a winter scene. It will still appear B&W but will add a subtle suggestion to the viewer about the image. 

When not to use: Neutral B&W photos, small type or logos, spot color jobs

It’s tempting then to used Rich Black everywhere. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. 

Take for instance lowly 10pt black text. If we used Rich Black here the Pressman would say very bad words. That’s because he now has to try and hold perfect registration across the entire press sheet. And there’s no such thing as perfect registration. The least little bit of misregistration will be obvious to the naked eye. The text will look blurry and difficult to read. The same is true for fine details in knockout areas – white text on a solid black area for instance. Or fine details in a multi-color logo.

Neutral B&W photos almost always look better when printed with black ink alone. Registration is less of an issue here but another printing press reality comes into play. Ink density and coverage can work against each other on the press sheet. In a heavy coverage area we have to increase the delivery of some inks. If your B&W photo is using Rich Black, it can color shift as described above. Adjusting for this then can throw off other elements on the sheet. 

In these cases the advantages of Rich Black are outweighed by practical issues. Some of which can be overcome with trapping but that’s something for prepress to sort out. The layout artist is better off using straight black to avoid printing themselves into a corner. 

As a general rule Rich Black should not be used when printing with spot colors. Spot colors are rarely a neutral color so they will color shift your black. And even if this is the desired effect, spot colors are more opaque than process color inks. You won’t know what you’re getting until it’s too late. For instance. you might be trying for a slightly blue cast Rich Black by adding some of that Reflex Blue into the mix. Won’t you be disappointed when it ends up being a deep purple instead. 

What build? (hint: 55 / 44 / 41 / 100)

Warnings aside, you’re stoked to use Rich Black on your next project. Awesome. But how much is too much and what’s not enough? 

Ask several prepress operators what build to use and I guarantee you will receive a different answer from each. There is no industry standard to follow and often these builds are bourn from experience in their own shop with their own particular mix of equipment and materials. The goal is to find a balance between the CMY build that results in a medium gray. One that’s strong enough to reinforce black ink but is light enough to keep your total ink density in check. 

The build that works for me in most cases is 55% cyan, 44% magenta, 41% yellow and 100% black. This will give you 240% total ink, produces a very neutral gray in the event that you use transparency effects in your design and will still arrive at a solid Rich Black. 

Rich Black for the Win!

The color Black is a little more involved than it seems up front. With this knowledge though you can now avoid some pitfalls and punch up the density of black on your final printed piece. 

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 /

100% Recycled Coated Paper : Cocoon

advancedpfPaper Information

For years the only recycled sheets available were uncoated. Finally there is an option for a 100% recycled coated paper: Cocoon. Arjowiggins Graphic based in France has developed technology and procedures to ensure a high level of whiteness without compromising printability or the environment.

Certified Options

Cocoon is available in gloss and silk finishes along with an uncoated option in a variety of text and cover weights. Unlike other recycled sheets, it boasts a 100% whiteness rating all while achieving the following certifications:

  • FSC
  • Ecolabe
  • Food Safe
  • Process Chlorine Free

Earth Conscious

Cocoon is certified for both offset and digital formats so it is great option for those wanting to choose an earth conscious option for short and long run projects.


For this and many other paper options, give us a call at 770-542-0667. Or send us an email at

Gusseted Pocket Folders

advancedpfFinishing, Printing

Standard pocket folders are great for general presentation. But what about those times when you have bulky materials such as a perfect bound catalog or if you have a large volume of materials to include? Maybe you need to include digital media, a folded poster or a book of samples. 

A Box for All That Stuff

Gusseted Pocket Folders are the answer. A gusset is simply an extension of the pockets and flaps. We add scores to create a boxed area to accommodate those thicker contents. 


While we’re at it, why not include a custom diecut shape on those pockets or flaps. How about a velcro dot to keep everything together? Or to really stand out, consider embossing or foil. Whatever your requirements, Advanced Print & Finishing can create a custom gusseted pocket folder to meet your needs. 

A Lasting Impression

By tailoring your pocket folder to the intended contents you demonstrate your attention to detail and concern for quality. It may be a rather small detail but you only get one chance to leave a lasting impression. Make your best effort with thoughtfully designed materials. 


Let Advanced Print & Finishing help you with your next pocket folder project. Give us a call at 770-542-0667. Or send us an email at