One Colour to Full Colour printing & design. Welcome to Smiley Print
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Frequently Asked Questions:

Please click on a question to see the answer.
We hope we can answer your question here, if not please do not hesitate to contact us on (0191) 469 9949 during office hours or enquiries@smileyprint.co.uk

Q. What printing process do you use?
A. We use litho presses for our one colour printing and digital machinery for our full colour orders. We always use high quality paper and card, as you would expect from a leading commercial printing company.

Q. Do your prices include V.A.T.?
A. No, V.A.T. (where applicable) will be added at 15.00% at the payment stage.

Q. How do I pay for the order?
A. Full payment by credit or debit card is required when you order. We accept Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, Visa Debit, Visa Electron and Solo payments. We make no surcharges for using a credit card. You will be issued with a VAT invoice for the goods you order. All payments go through our secure online payment gateway (Sage Pay) and are completely safe.

Q. Do you accept cheques?
A. Payment is by Credit or Debit card only, unfortunately we cannot accept cheques or postal orders due to our online payment system.

Q. Why have you charged my card before despatching my goods?
A. Your payment is processed at the time your order is placed. As the items ordered are bespoke to our customers they cannot be resold if payment should fail for any reason, therefore payment has to be secured before the goods are produced.

Q. Will I receive a V.A.T. invoice?
A. Yes! a V.A.T. invoice will be e-mailed to you after you place your order.

Q. Can I collect my order from your premises?
A. Unfortunately we do not offer this service as we use a fully automated system in which all orders go through the same system - this is how we keep our costs so low.

Q. Can I arrange my own courier to collect my order?
A. Unfortunately all orders must be despatched by our regular courier service. We have a fully automated system for dealing with all orders - this is how we keep our costs so low

Q. Can I have my order printed using metallic inks?
A. If your order is printed in only one colour we can print in metallic ink using our litho machinery. If you require a full colour order, metallic inks are not available because we use a CMYK system. Please contact us if you require any further technical information.

Q. How do I know my printing will be of good quality?
A. Our quality control team checks every order before despatch to ensure it meets our strict quality standards. However for extra reassurance, you are also covered by the Smiley Print Quality Guarantee.

Q. How are your prices so low?
A. Because our store front is on the internet, it allows us to keep costs low and pass the savings on to you. We have no high overheads or administration costs, so you can take advantage of the best prices and superb customer service at less than the cost of your standard printer.

Q. What other items do you print, other than those listed on your site?

A. We are more than happy to quote for the following items (please contact us and we'll provide a competitive quote):

  • Posters (including large format)
  • Raffle Tickets
  • Post Cards
  • Questionnaires
  • Booklets
  • Envelopes
  • Pamphlets
  • Brochures
  • Forms
  • Continuation Sheets
  • Appointment Cards
  • Tent Cards
  • Tickets
  • Rubber Stamps
  • Ink Pads
  • Paper Supplies - We can supply a vast range of paper and card
  • General Printing

Q. Where are you based?
A. We are based in Felling, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear (just outside Newcastle upon Tyne) and we are friendly Geordies.

Q. Can I order Recycled Paper or Card?
A. Yes! you can choose to upgrade to our recycled stock which is available throughout our site (except for the NCR paper).

Q. How quickly will I receive my printing?
A. We offer 3 levels of production speed:
  1. Standard Production Speed. This means orders will be despatched within 6 working days*.
  2. Express Production Speed. This means orders will be despatched within 3 working days*. This service entails a 20% premium to our printing prices.
  3. Discount Production Speed. This means orders will be despatched within 15 working days*. This service offers an attractive 10% discount to our printing prices.

* Orders need to be placed by you (and accepted by us) by 10.00am Monday to Friday for this to count as the first working day. Once we receive your order we will email you an order confirmation and verification. All production speeds assume artwork has been signed off and ready to go straight to print.


Q. Can I track my job's progress once it’s been placed?
A. Yes! - just login to My Account and you can track the status of your order. We also e-mail you each time we amend the status of your order.

Q. How long have you been trading?
A. We have been trading since 1987 and pride ourselves on providing a quality, professional printing service.

Q. What if I am not satisfied with my printing?
A. We will always do our best to ensure you are delighted with your printing. However, if we make a mistake, we will reprint your job at no extra cost. For more details, please see our guarantee.

Q. Can you reproduce a banknote on my printing?
A. Under certain circumstances it is possible to reproduce partial images of bank notes on printed products. However, the Bank of England has regulations which printers need to follow.
You can read more about these requirements at the following link:
http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/repoappform.htm

Q. What is Bleed?
A. A design is said to bleed if the printed area extends right to the edge of the paper/card in any region of the design, (i.e. there is no continuous ‘border’ of clear space separating the inked area from the edge of the paper/card).

Q. What is a Pantone colour?
A. A "Pantone colour" refers to a colour identified in the Pantone Matching System, which is a worldwide standard for describing colour, owned by Pantone Inc. Pantone, the company, sell printed "colour guides" showing hundreds of different colours on different types of paper. Two parties in different locations who are both looking at current versions of the Pantone Guide can be confident that they are both looking at very similar colours. When a client or designer specifies a colour for a printing job they will often tell the printer what Pantone colour(s) to print it in.

Q. What is Laminating (Gloss or Matt)?

A. This process coats the printed sheet with an extremely thin layer of either glossy or matt plastic. It should not be confused with encapsulation which uses much thicker plastic, and which extends beyond the edges of the item being encapsulated.

The advantages of lamination are that it provides a highly professional, extra smooth finish, as well as protecting the paper or card surface from markings such as fingerprints and scratches caused by everyday handling.

Lamination also removes the danger (which is otherwise present) that ink in heavy ink coverage areas may come off slightly if rubbed. Additionally, lamination is especially recommended if the design in question features a dark colour which bleeds, in order to preserve clean edges where the dark ink meets any very slight roughness in the edges of the paper or card itself. (You can learn more about this by searching for "lamination" in our help centre).


Q. Are charities exempt from paying VAT on their printing?
A. Occasionally confusion arises over whether a charity has to pay VAT on printed goods. There is a provision in Schedule 8 of Zero Rate Group 15 of the VAT Act 1994 for charities taking out "advertisements" in printed matter, whereby, under certain conditions, the publisher does not have to charge a charity VAT on the advertisement.

Goods or services in connection with the preparation of the advertisement may also be VAT exempt.
Additionally, in VAT notice 701/58 Customs and Excise allow printers to not charge VAT on:

  • Pre-printed appeal letters primarily aimed at seeking money for the charity
  • Collecting envelopes which ask for donations of money, and planned giving envelopes used by religious and other charitable organisations in planned giving schemes
  • Printed envelopes which can be identified as specifically for use in sending out appeal letters or collecting envelopes
  • Printed collecting boxes
  • Lapel stickers or badges intended to be given as acknowledgements to donors

However, as can be read in VAT notice 701/1, there is no exemption from VAT for charities on printing generally, and, for items not in the above list, VAT will be charged in the same way as for a non-charity customer.

Nevertheless, bear in mind that there is generally no VAT to pay on leaflets printed on 170gsm paper or lighter, and most booklets are also zero-rated, so VAT is not normally charged on these.


Q. Is it safe to order online?
A. Yes. Once you place your items in the shopping basket, you will be directed to our secure server which will handle the rest of the order process. This will encrypt your credit card or other payment details, and is similar to the method used by other large commercial sites to protect customer data. The online payment provider (Protx) deals with all your payment details and we do not have access to them.

Q. What is your policy on printing adult material?
A. We have a policy that we do not print material that could be regarded as adult in nature. In practice this often means that we do not print material publicising adult establishments or services. We often interpret this rule quite strictly, therefore please do not ask us to print material which could be regarded as offensive or contains sexual or non family-friendly images or material, or is publicising adult services or products.

Q. Can you help me with design?
A. Yes! We can create stunning artwork for you and help with all the creative material if you need us to. The concept, the copy, the layout, sourcing the photography – it's all in a day's work to us. Please take a look at our Bespoke Design Service page for further details.