Paper Sizes
VAT on Print
Artwork Guidelines
Terminology Glossary


What file types can you accept?

We can use a number of file formats. These include pdf, InDesign files (.indd), Illustrator files (.ai) and Photoshop files (.psd). We can also process Word and Excel files if need be. To make a file print ready make sure that all the fonts used have been embedded or outlined and that you have included 3mm bleed and crop marks on your pdf, these are settings that can be ticked when you save a pdf.

What’s the best way to supply artwork?

A print ready pdf file or native files (all the files you used to create the artwork with e.g. InDesign file with all the linked images and fonts).

What design programs do you use?

We use the Adobe Creative Suite for design and processing artwork. We have the latest creative cloud artwork so have no problems processing InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and pdf files with ease. We no longer support QuarkXpress but a print ready file can be output from this program.

Are you Mac or PC based?

Our studio is Mac based but we can accommodate PC files.

Do you charge for proofs?

No we dont charge for standard proofs. If you require a 'WET' proof (A proof that is ran through an actual printing press which requires ink, and plate/screen setup) this will be chargeable.


How do I use my Promo code?

You can add your promotion code in the promo/voucher code box located when you have entered the shopping cart process.

What do you offer on the MRC?

All things print and marketing. We offer stationery items which include letterhead and business cards, marketing collateral such as leaflets and brochures. Also available are advertising items such as posters, banners and even flags, along with promo items such as mugs, bags, pens, balloons and even toy lorries, all branded to your company.

My details are incorrect on my proof

Email through your correct details to solutions@birchprint.co.uk and we will update your account, so that the correct details are pulled in. Please include your name, address, company name and the details to be amended so we can be sure we are updating the correct account.

Can I change my delivery address?

Yes, it is possible to change your delivery address. You can do this at the shopping cart stage when you process your items.

Can I change my billing address?

Yes, you can do this at the billing stage, once you have processed your order.

Can I split my delivery?

Your delivery is usually sent as one item so that the shipping charge is as low as possible. The delivery will be sent when all the items ordered are complete and ready for despatch. The items available on the MRC do vary in their production lead times and so an order will in general be sent out when all items are completed.

If you need some items quicker than others, you can either order your urgent items separately, or you can place your complete order and then contact the support team who will be more then able to accommodate your needs. Please note that should you request an additional delivery, an extra carriage charge will be applied.

Can I use my credit card?

Yes if your head office has allowed this feature. We process all payments through Paypal which is safe and secure. You don’t need a Paypal account either as your credit card can be processed without an account. If you already have registered a credit/debit card to a PayPal account, you will need to log into that account but the process is very fast and easy.

Is the site secure?

We take every measure to make sure your experience is as safe as possible and as such we use 128bit encryption on our site. Check for yourself you will be able to see the padlock symbol when you are logged in to the site.


When will I receive my delivery?

Our standard lead times are 7 - 10 working days from proof approval, however this is very much dependant on the item in question. If a product is a generic item and in stock, we aim to despatch within 24 hours. If your item is bespoke, the standard lead time would apply (subject to quantity, stock printed on etc). We can be flexible so always check with the support team if your item is required for a specific event.

Which courier do you use?

In most instances we use Interlink/DPD. The DPD network provide 'One Hour Window' notifications of delivery via email or text, so you can know within a specific hour when your delivery will be made. If this slot is not convenient you can also change the delivery or arrange to use one of their many Pick Up locations across the UK.

Who do I speak to in relation to my artwork, my job in general, payment?

Visit our team page and see exactly who's who

Who do I speak to if I’m dissatisfied with my job?

Do speak to us. We want you to be totally happy with the work we have done, so call and speak to your support team who will talk through with you what the options are.

Who else do you work with?

We work with many different businesses from all sectors, blue chip to much smaller companies (see our case studies and testimonials page on our website).

I need my delivery for a specific time; is this possible?

Yes it is, our courier offers several timed deliveries through the morning up to 12 noon, so just ask your support team for details of the additional cost for this.

Can I be invoiced to a different address?

Of course, just confirm this in writing to your support team and they will advise our accounts

I approved my proof but it’s actually incorrect, what do I do?

The purpose of the proof is for you to check all aspects prior to going to print. If you have missed something we can obviously correct this for you and reprint, however there will be a charge to do this.

How do you quality check your suppliers?

Quality is a given in all we do. Each supplier we use has to offer the highest standards in all aspects of their production techniques and to continually demonstrate this. We formally quality check each supplier before accepting them for production. We also have an ongoing job by job evaluation and non-conformance process to ensure the quality and standards are maintained.

What paper should I use?

This very much depends on the item of print you want. There are numerous options from uncoated stock to silk, gloss, matt papers, vinyls, PVC. Speak to your support team to discuss the options.

Can I see my job in production?

Of course, contact your support team to discuss this in more detail. Some of our suppliers work 24 hour shifts, so we would need to check time slots to ensure a convenient time.

When can I speak to one of the support team?

Our opening hours are 8.30am – 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays. Alternatively you can email your request and our team will respond as soon as possible.

I’m missing a parcel, what do I do?

Speak to a member of the support team, giving details of your order and they will check with our courier or speak to our van driver

What are your standard payment terms?

30 days from date of invoice.

What are your environmental policies?

Print has greatly stepped up its environmental awareness over recent years and Birch are no exception. Our courier is the leader in the industry on reducing its carbon footprint and as such every delivery we send out is carbon neutral.

In 2014 we installed a biomass boiler to replace our gas blowers throughout our warehouse and reduced our carbon footprint by over 48,000 kg of Co2 per annum.

All our papers and boards are from sustainable sources as a minimum, many are from FSC accredited sources. Cheap imports are not considered as there is no chain of custody. Although purchasing print from overseas can often appear to provide some cost savings, the environmental effects can often be much greater as there are often not the same level of checks and scrutiny as in the UK.

ISO A Paper Sizes

A-sizes are used to define finished paper sizes in commercial printing. The height/width ratio remains constant at 1:1.41 for all sizes. This means you get the A1 size by folding an A0 paper in two along its shortest side. Then fold the A1 size in two to get an A2 size paper, and so on…

Size Width (mm) Height (mm) Typical Use Our Typical Papers
A0 841 1189 Posters 195gsm Gloss, Silk & Matt, Polyprop (water resistant)
A1 594 841 Posters 195gsm Gloss, Silk & Matt, Polyprop (water resistant)
A2 420 594 Posters 195gsm Gloss, Silk & Matt, Polyprop (water resistant)
A3 297 420 POS 115gsm – 350 gsm Gloss, Silk & Matt
A4 210 297 Letterheads, forms, brochures, POS 115gsm – 350 gsm Gloss, Silk & Matt
A5 148 210 Flyers, notepads
A6 105 148 Postcards 250gsm – 350gsm Gloss, Silk & Matt

ISO C Paper Sizes

C-sizes are used for envelopes to match the A-series paper sizes.

Size Width (mm) Height (mm)
C2 648 458
C3 458 324
C4 324 229
C5 229 162
C6 162 114

Other Sizes

C-sizes are used for envelopes to match the A-series paper sizes.

Size Width (mm) Height (mm) Typical Use
DL 210 99 Comp slips
DL Envelope 220 110 Comp slips
Business Card 85 55

VAT on Print

As a rule VAT is payable on printed items at the standard 20% rate.

However, there are a few exceptions and if you know the rules you can be VAT smart, thereby reducing the VAT impact on your business.

The official notice on the GOV.UK website has a rather eye catching title of: VAT Notice 701/10: zero-rating of books and other forms of printed matter You can find the page by clicking on the following:

Some key points which may be of use though are as follows:

1) General books are zero rated for VAT
Literary work, reference books, manuals and amendments to manuals are zero rated. A point to note here is that if you have an amendment to a manual which in its own right would be standard rated, because it is part of a manual it can be zero rated.

Also, if you are putting together a manual for Health & Safety for example, if you compile the manual as individual components, each part would be considered in its own right, so the binder element would be charged with VAT. However, if you compile the parts as a collective then all of the elements together are considered a manual and therefore classed as zero rated.

2) Brochures
There is no absolute definition in law of what a brochure is, however, we do have guides. Brochures usually consist of several sheets of reading matter bound together.

The key features of a brochure are that they must convey information, contain significant amounts of text relating to a company or products of a company, are not designed to hold other items (i.e. folders) and are supplied as complete finished products. If a brochure complies with the above they can be treated as zero-rated.

3) Leaflets
As with brochures, there is no absolute definition of a leaflet, but we are given some characteristics. A leaflet normally consists of a single sheet of paper no greater than A4 when folded. Is intended to be held in the hand for reading by individuals and is not for display use.

It is complete and not part of a larger collection of work and is generally printed in sufficient quantity to permit general distribution. It is usually designed to be read a few times and then thrown away (i.e. its not a permanent reference document) and is printed on limp paper (very tenuous, but we assume this denotes the limited life expectancy of a leaflet). Any leaflet that fits the above description would be treated as zero rated.

4) Items with areas for completion.
One of the most confusing parts of the VAT rules is where an item that could fall into a category of brochure or leaflet but which has the primary purpose of having areas for completion or detachment.

If an item has such a purpose the item is standard rated for VAT. However, there are allowable tolerances. It is granted that as long as the area for completion and/or detachment is less than 25% of the total area of the document, the item can be treated as zero rated for VAT purposes.

One final helpful hint, be careful what you call an item. Although an item in your use may be called by a specific name, it needs to be reviewed for VAT purposes. For example, we have clients that call items postcards mainly because they are postcard sized. They are however, from a VAT perspective a leaflet, as there is no area for completion and are merely a giveaway to advertise a service or event. They are generally printed on lighter weight paper, so actually fit the description of a leaflet perfectly, even though in size they remind us of a postcard. A postcard would attract VAT at the standard rate, a leaflet is zero rated.

Click here to view a list (not exhaustive), taken from the GOV.UK website of items and their liability for VAT:

Artwork Guidelines

Mac or PC
Primarily Mac but we can work with PC files.
Adobe CC 2018. Microsoft Office.
Supplied Files
We prefer the original artwork files with all links and fonts (packaged). You could also send us a print ready PDF file.
Print ready PDFs should have bleed and trim marks. Make sure all fonts are fully embedded or outlined.
3mm all round up to A2, 5mm up to A0. For large pieces of artwork such as pull-up banners 10mm.
Trim Marks
Indicate the finished size of the printed item. We need them on supplied PDF files.
Cutter Profiles
If your printed item is die cut we need the shape indicated on the artwork with a keyline. It should be shown as a spot colour labelled ‘cutter profile and set to overprint.
All print files should be CMYK.
Any special colours should be clearly labelled and made a spot colour. If you assign a profile we use ‘Coated FOGRA39 (ISO 12647 - 2:2004) as our standard. If you require an exact colour match you will need to supply a hard copy for us to match to.
For small black copy set to 100% K only. If it is placed on a background design or image set it to overprint. Any large black areas would benefit from a 40% CMY boost.

Terminology Glossary


Get In Touch