Large format, or wide format printing, is becoming one of the most popular printing methods today. As more advertising goes digital, the best way to make an impression in the physical world is to go big. You’ve almost certainly encountered examples of large format print jobs in your daily life. From banners to displays, large format is the best choice for printing bigger than the standard sheet of paper. 

What actually is large format printing?

Large format printing refers to printed pieces too large for most commercial printing presses. Generally, large format jobs can have a paper width anywhere from 18 to 100 inches, making it particularly versatile. Anything beyond 100 inches in width is considered super-wide or grand format. While the naming conventions are somewhat confusing, most good printers will know what method best suits your project. Large format printing is perfect for short-run projects that need a big impact, like event or trade show signage. Beyond paper, large format jobs can print on vinyl, fabric, wood and more, making your project standout from the crowd.

What type of projects should use large format?

With evermore marketing spend going to digital, it’s important to get the most bang for your buck on printed materials. Printing doesn’t just live on the page anymore; it’s everywhere you go and the dimensions have blown past 8.5”x11”. One way to stand out to consumers is to go for large, colorful prints that immediately catch the eye. In retail, large format printing is ideal for floor, wall, and window graphics as well as point of purchase displays. For trade shows and events, large-scale signage and posters are the way to go. Whether indoor or outdoor, banners can make a great visual first impression and draw the attention of crowds.

Calitho is a commercial printer and visual communications company serving the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Let us help with your next printing project by requesting a quote today. 

UV coated paper can add extra shine or another layer of protection to your printed materials. But not everybody knows what UV coating is or how it works.

What is ultraviolet coating?

UV (ultraviolet) coating is a thin, shiny layer of liquid coating applied to a printed sheet. The coating is then cured, or dried, using a special machine emitting ultraviolet radiation. The liquid coating hardens around the sheet and gives the paper a smooth finish, perfect for making bright colors “pop”. While the process for ultraviolet coating is more or less standard, different amounts of coating can produce vastly different results.

What are the different types of coated papers?

Uncoated

Uncoated paper is, unsurprisingly, paper that has not been treated with any extra UV coating or finishing. The result is an “unshiny” look, making it ideal for text-heavy pieces that require ease of readability above all else. Additionally, uncoated paper produces “smudge-free” writing with the widest range of pens and pencils, especially compared to glossier finishes. 

Matte Coated

Matte coated paper has a light UV coating, roughly 25% on average, that produces minimal glare and a high contrast look to make color images pop. Consequently, Matte coated paper has a smoother look than uncoated, while maintaining the “smudge-free” benefits for most pens, making the paper ideal for calendars or visually engaging journals. 

Gloss Coated

Gloss coated paper has even more coating applied, roughly 50%, giving materials a lot of shine and, as the name suggests, a glossy look ideal for colorful images that need a boost in contrast. This coating gives materials a smooth and polished professional look, but the high levels of coating make it hard to write on without significant smudging, making gloss coated paper ideal for posters or other large scale visual projects.

UV Gloss Coated

Finally, UV Gloss coated paper has the maximum amount of coating applied, achieving the most vivid range and contrasts of colors in a printed piece. Naturally, UV gloss coating has the highest amount of shine or glare, making it harder to read large amounts of text. UV Gloss coating is ideal for purely visual communications and can give an image an unmatched eye-catching quality. 

Calitho is a commercial printer and visual communications company serving the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Let us help with your next printing project by requesting a quote today.

If you look at any magazine, comic book, or brochure, you’re probably looking at an example of saddle stitch binding. It is one of the most popular book binding methods available today. In saddle stitching, folded sheets of paper are nested one within another and attached by staples through the fold. These stacks are placed over a holding apparatus, with each side hanging over like legs on a saddle. Then, long wire staples are threaded, or “stitched” through the paper, giving the method its peculiar name.  While two staples is the standard for saddle stitched booklets, larger paper sizes can necessitate more along the spine.

 How many pages can I have in a saddle stitch booklet? 

The page count of a saddle stitched booklet must be a multiple of four, including front and back covers. If you fold one sheet of paper in half, you will naturally end up with 4 different “pages”. Each additional sheet of paper added after this would increase the page count by 4. As a result, the minimum number of pages in a saddle-stitch booklet is 4. The maximum number of pages depends on factors including paper thickness, although 64 pages is considered a reasonable upper limit. With especially thin paper, you can get up to around 100 pages before the book becomes too thick to lie flat naturally. 

What are the benefits of saddle stitching?

Today, saddle stitch binding is still the most cost effective book binding method that still produces quality and professional looking brochures and booklets. Especially in cases of large quantities being shipped long distances, saddle stitching adds a minimal amount of excess bulk and weight, leaving shipping costs relatively low. While saddle stitching is generally best for lower page count projects, the method is extremely versatile and can be used for both long and short runs, as well as projects ranging in size from pocket pamphlet to road map. 

Calitho is a commercial printer and visual communications company serving the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Let us help with your next printing project by requesting a quote today.


Embossing refers to the process of making raised relief images into paper or cardstock, giving a three dimensional look. In the 19th century, the British postal service used embossing to give stamps a regal look. Embossing produces raised text or images, with the design sitting higher than the rest of the paper. Similarly, debossing produces a recessed image effect, with whatever design impressed into the surface of the paper. For blind embossing, printers apply no foil or ink to the embossed design, leaving only the slightly raised image. Consequently, blind embossing gives a simple and elegant look that can be ideal for folders or similar printed materials. 

Both embossing and debossing use two metal dies – one with a raised surface and one with a recessed surface. As a result, the two dies should fit perfectly into each other like puzzle pieces. Next, a sheet of paper or cardstock is placed between the two dies and, using heat and pressure, the raised die is pressed into the recessed die. When done correctly, this combination of heat and pressure will permanently alter the shape of the paper fibers and leave a lasting embossed or debossed design. 

Calitho is a commercial printer and visual communications company serving the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Let us help with your next printing project by requesting a quote today.

Spend any time reading about the wide world of printing and you’re sure to encounter the term “die-cut”. But what is die-cutting? And just where does it fit into the printing process?

Die-cutting has nothing to do with rolling dice; it’s actually a process for efficiently cutting paper into easily replicable shapes. If you see a piece of printing, from packaging to labels, in a non-rectangular shape, die-cutting was likely involved. Die-cutting is not limited to just printing, and can be applied to cloth, leather, or other materials as well. A die, in this case, refers to a thin, sharp piece of metal molded into a particular shape. These dies are then uniformly applied to sheets of paper, separating out the desired shape from the rest of the paper, much like a cookie cutter. 

Die-cutting is an extremely versatile process, able to shape the edges of a piece as well as cutting out holes from within the middle of a sheet of paper. Even further, perforated die-cutting can leave a sheet of paper largely intact, while allowing for shapes to be cleanly and easily removed by users later on, ideal for coupons or crafts.   

Calitho is a commercial printer and visual communications company serving the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Let us help with your next printing project by requesting a quote today.

You may have heard of the two main types of print: Offset and Digital. But what’s really the difference? And what format fits best for your printing needs?

Offset Printing

Offset Printing uses the traditional methods, in which large etched metal plates are covered in ink and then pressed onto sheets of paper, one color at a time. With each sheet requiring multiple plates for each color, Offset printing can require considerably more initial investment than Digital. These setup costs can be (pardon the pun) offset by lower costs for ink and paper than in Digital printing.

Digital Printing

Digital Printing, on the other hand, uses electrostatic rollers to apply ink, or toner, onto a sheet. Without large etched plates, Digital printing requires far less setup and can print off a sheet with ease and minimal time investment. As a result of this low setup time, Digital printing is often favored for projects with lower turn-around times or quickly approaching deadlines.

But what’s right for me?

Usually, the determining factor in choosing either Offset or Digital is volume. Digital printing is typically preferred for low volume, or short run, jobs, while Offset is better for high volume printing. In this case volume refers to number of copies rather than number of sheets of paper. For example, one copy of a 10,000 page book would be well suited to Digital printing, while 10,000 copies of a single page flier would be a job for Offset.

Calitho is a commercial printer and visual communications company serving the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Let us help with your next printing project by requesting a quote today.

Our new custom-built Komori Lithrone G40 is the world’s first truly sustainable UV press. The “G” stands for “Green” and for good reason. Its cutting-edge technology reduces power consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 80%, diminishes paper waste and noise, and boasts a quick UV powder-less drying system.

In-line UV coaters, In-line Aqueous, including Soft Touch, it prints with conventional offset inks or UV inks. Designed and patented by Komori to specifically meet the needs of energy-wise, budget-minded customers, allowing us to create products far beyond your imagination.

One of only ten in the entire country, you’ll find this Komori in just one place on the West Coast –– right here, exclusively at Calitho.

Equipment List »