Portfolio Printing

Print a self-promotional portfolio at Ex Why Zed and secure your dream job!

We'll get your creative idea into print.

Hi, we're Ex Why Zed! We are the creative print company you have been looking for. Day in, day out, we help transform people’s ideas in to print!

So, what does that mean? Well, from the first contact with us we will give you a wealth of resources, knowledge and friendly advice to broaden your understanding of the print process. We help everyone from the complete novice to the print rockstar.

We don’t believe that you should have to settle for the bare minimum from your print company. You have spent hours, weeks and months preparing your stunning artwork so why would you now go and give it to a printer where you can get an instant price, upload a pdf, then the files disappear and you have to keep your fingers crossed that what turns up is what you expected?

Choose from a large selection of paper, size and binding options.

What sizes can we print?
The largest portrait size we can print is an impressive A3 (420mm high x 297mm wide).  Our maximum square size is 297x297mm.  The maximum landscape size is 210mm high x 297mm wide (A4 Landscape). For cost-effective sizes keep your catalogue within A4 portrait, A5 landscape or 210x210mm square - these are the cheapest sizes to print but do choose the size that best fits your publication.

Not sure about which paper will work best for your project?
Check out video guide here and we’ll talk you through the options with examples printed on each of the finishes. Still uncertain? Jump on our sample pack form and we’ll get some paper choices in the post asap.

For engaging video guides on how to style a booklet for print, do spend a few minutes enjoying these:

Styling a booklet for print

Paper choices for printing


Graphic Art Student Portfolios

Well that flew past didn’t it, University? Now it’s time to spread the word about your talents, cause some ripples through the art & design oceans and land that dream position in the industry!

With your Portfolio being the first contact between you and potential employers let’s make sure of two things: the Portfolio looks the best it possibly can and that it arrives before your deadline. At Ex Why Zed we are Portfolio printing specialists and will print your work using the highest quality digital presses to ensure it does maximum justice to your excellent work. We just need you to give us enough time to produce it!

Submit your files early and we’ll deliver in plenty of time for your deadline!

As a helpful leg up, we wont charge you for adding extra pages! If you are printing 1 or 2 copies then you can have a wire stitched booklet with up to 36 pages for the same price as we charge for just 12 pages. Choose any number of pages upto 40 and it will be the same price.

If your portfolio is perfect bound then you can print 96 pages for the same price as 40.  Any number of pages up to 96 for the same price on print runs of 1 or 2 copies.  No, that's our pleasure 🙂

Hopefully that gives you a bit more freedom when designing without having to worry about the cost? If you have 40 pages then add as many as you like up to 96 pages and it wont cost a penny more!

If you are printing 3 copies or more then we do charge per page for those.


Portfolios for graphic arts professionals

It's super competitive out there right now but you know YOUR work is better than your peer group so let's tell everyone! Printing a professional portfolio to showcase your work is a great step to winning more business, promoting your brand and creating a memorable impression on potential employers and clients.

Why not produce a book or portfolio which celebrates your career's work and will form an impressive retrospective. Most portfolios will be 12-40 pages to keep the cost of postage down but there is nothing to stop you really going for it and printing a tome of hundreds of pages to capture all your finest moments within one publication.

Enthusiastically pack the pages of your portfolio with your best and most iconic work. Maybe accompany the visual pieces with an essay or two about your working methods, your ideal job and how you became so passionate about your trade.

You could also challenge convention and print a portfolio as a folded leaflet. A3 folded to A6 or A2 folded to A5 both give you 8 panels of content both sides. The larger size which works well as a poster to remind the recipient of your work and it subsequently folds down to a handy size to put in an envelope and post.

Printing winning portfolios

We showcase three styles of portfolio

We have been doing this a while now and have seen a lot of impressive publications come off our presses.  To give you a head start with your portfolio printing, here are three print specifications which work well (and photos of them, see right).  Each has its own characteristics which have proven to be winning combinations and will be sure to get you and your work noticed.

If any of our showcase options would work for your project, take a note of the spec and jump on our quote form to receive your bespoke quotation. Or ping us an email on hello@exwhyzed.co.uk if that is easier.

Showcase 1 - a professional-looking, A4 stapled portfolio:
A4 Booklets.
4pp Cover onto 170gsm Uncoated.
Matt Lamination to outer.
24pp Text onto 170gsm Uncoated.
Four colour print throughout.
Trimmed, collated and wire stitched.
As a guide, you could print 200 copies of this for £2.51 each.

Tweaks you could consider:
• Increase to A3 for a visually imposing presentation piece.
• Reduce to A5 to help lower the costs.
• Raise or lower the number of pages depending on your content.
• The spec above is a 'self cover' portfolio with all the pages onto the same weight but you could print the cover onto a card instead.

Showcase 2 - a neat, compact, square format:
148x180mm Landscape Books
4pp Cover onto 300gsm Uncoated
Matt Lamination to outer
40pp Text onto 120gsm Uncoated
Four colour print throughout
Trimmed, collated and perfect bound
As a guide, you could print 1000 copies of this for £1.20 per copy.

Tweaks you could consider:
• Increase to as wide as A4 landscape for an impressive double-page spread size.
• Increase the number of pages depending to fit in more work.
• Pick out some content on the cover and add Gloss Spot UV varnish to make it shine (this is an additional £280).

Showcase 3 - a cost-effective, A5 stapled portfolio:
A5 Wire Stitched Portrait Books
4pp Cover onto 300gsm Silk
Matt Lamination to outer
24pp Text onto 130gsm Silk
Four colour print throughout
As a guide, you could print 200 copies of this for £1.20 per copy.

Tweaks you could consider...
• Reducing the cover to 200-250gsm which also makes it easier to open.
• Switching to gloss lamination for a shiny aesthetic.
• Increase the size to A4 for more room OR decrease to A6 for a pocket sized solution.

Get your print quote

Get inspired by the solutions we have printed for our talented previous customers.

We hope you have enjoyed looking around our website. Here are some extra reasons to trust Ex Why Zed with your next project:
Accessible friendly team
You don’t open your creative pencil case at 9am and put it away at 5pm so email us 24/7 for a quote or with an order and we’ll come back to you with a fast response.
We are all graphic designers and creative too!
When you get in touch with us, you will speak to someone who knows about your project and is super knowledgable about the print process.
UK & Worldwide delivery
Delivery within the UK is free. Yes, FREE! The portfolios will arrive the day after they leave us. We also deliver work around the world too and just charge the shipping at our cost price from the cheapest courier on the day.
Free Paper Samples
While we’ve done our best on our paper choices page to make one sheet of white paper look different to another sheet of white paper, there’s nothing better than seeing them in reality so you can stroke, sniff and examine them in close up. Jump on our form and we will send out a pack out asap.

Confused by all the options?

Request a sample pack

Become an artworking legend!

Dive into our file set-up help guides
Here is what some of our previous customers have said
10. January, 2021.
Ex Why Zed is an efficient company with very friendly and helpful staff. I was extremely happy with the effort they made printing out my children’s book and I would highly recommend their services for anyone looking for top quality printing.
18. December, 2020.
Despite it being a busy time of year, exwhyzed always got back to my emails promptly, they were very helpful and the turn around of the finished books was amazingly fast, Mike is really friendly and I would highly recommend them!
Esther Kersley
Esther Kersley
15. December, 2020.
Brilliant service. Thank you for doing such an excellent job and for such great communication.
Joe Skillington
Joe Skillington
15. December, 2020.
I was working to a very tight deadline but Ex Why Zed went the extra mile and turned my Children's book around in a matter of days. Really happy with the quality and the price is the best I found. Really happy customer!
Dele and Louisa
Dele and Louisa
15. December, 2020.
As a first time author, working with Ex Why Zed made the entire process really smooth. They not only served our printing needs but also served as consultants by guiding us on how to format our books to ensure the best possible quality. Our books came out really beautiful, the price was great and production time was super quick. Thanks Ex why zed, can’t wait to come back for my next round of books.
11. December, 2020.
I had 2 postcards made by exwhyzed and the communication,quality and price were very good. Would 100% use again
Mat Rumbelow
Mat Rumbelow
11. December, 2020.
From the outset, ExWhyZed provided fantastic support and customer service. As a first time self-publishing author, printing was a bit of a mystery. Their long and detailed explanatory video was a hugely helpful start, which enabled me to understand the process. Mike then followed up with templates, suggestions and email help to make sure my book was printed to the highest standards. They also worked hard to fulfil my order before Christmas, which was extremely important! I can't rate their service highly enough. Everybody who has seen the finished product is hugely impressed by the quality
11. December, 2020.
Exwhyzed is the best digital printer I have found for photography books in colour. The print quality is excellent, the colours exceptional and their 170gsm silk house paper superb. What makes Exwhyzed even more special is the personal service. Mike who runs the company is always willing to help with solid advice and information. I ordered a proof copy first to make sure that both of us had got it right. I was so pleased that I ordered 120 books which were printed, bound and delivered to my door with a week. I couldn’t recommend them more.
3. December, 2020.
Working with Mike at ExWhyZed was a joy! I am based in the US and wasn't sure how getting a print job done in the UK would go, but I needn't have worried. The attention to detail, patience and willingness to help - all backed up by a fantastic website loaded with excellent information made the project easy, quick and painless! Thanks Mike!
View all our testimonials


Our helpful section of FAQs to guide in the final stages of your print journey

We have done our best to give you a huge wealth of information on this page and in our guides but if here are some frequently asked questions to help you get your work into print.

View all our FAQ's
How long does it take?

Four working days is a good turnaround time to work towards for printing after we receive your PRINT READY pdf. However, it is rare that files are supplied completely ready for print and usually need the odd tweak or two so allow an extra day for a bit of back and forth with this. We’re always happy to help but just please allow extra time for this in addition to the 4/5 days we need for the printing.

How do I place my order?

Ready to place an order? Brilliant, you'll need to upload the files using www.wetransfer.com sending them to hello@exwhyzed.co.uk and in the comments box let us know the number of copies you're going for and the best address for delivery. We'll then give your artwork a free preflight check to highlight any potential issues and will email with any advice or recommendations before going to production.

Once we receive your print ready artwork, we'll aim to deliver in 5/6 working days (we do get busy at degree show time). If you are working to a crucial deadline PLEASE allow more time - there's no harm in getting the artwork to us early so we can deliver a few days before the show starts 🙂

How do I add 3mm bleed to my artwork?


Setting up 3mm bleed on artwork for print

We will need 3mm bleed on all the edges, you'll notice at the moment that the artwork stops at the crop marks - it needs to extend 3mm beyond this to avoid any chance of a white border.

The following page includes illustrated and video guides on how to set up bleed correctly:

Setting up 3mm bleed on artwork for print

You might have set this up correctly in InDesign but when you export to PDF just make sure that in the 'Marks and Bleeds' menu you not only tick 'Crop Marks' but you also add '3mm' in to the four bleed boxes - top, bottom, inside and outside. This will add the bleed to the exported PDF.


It's one of two things:

Have you dragged the background image out 3mm beyond the black line on your Indesign file into the bleed area?  Try that then export again.

OR you have done the above but then when you're exporting you need to click the Marks and Bleeds menu, then type '3mm' into the four bleed boxes.  This will add the bleed to the pdf.

How will it take for my portfolio to arrive?

We will aim to deliver the finished books in 4/5 working days after receiving your print-ready artwork.  If you are working to a crucial hand in deadline then we strongly advise leaving more time in case there are any artwork issues with your files or courier problems with delivery.

Additionally there can be a day or two of amends required to the artwork before it's print ready which we're more than happy to help with but you'll need to factor that in to timings.

Remember, we’ll need a hi res pdf file with 3mm bleed and crop marks on each edge to go ahead please. Sending it over correctly first time means we can go straight to print. Do have a last check through our file set up guides to make sure all the boxes are ticked. <link>

What is a page?

For the purposes of our quoting, we call a page one side of content.  So, a sheet of paper has two pages - a front and a back.  If you ask for a quote for 40 inside pages, that will be 40 pages of content, 40 pages in your artwork file / pdf and in the book 20 leaves printed on both sides.

Why do you call it ‘text’ pages? Can I have images?

Yes, ‘text’ pages is our common term for the inside pages of your publication. They can be filled with illustrations, photography, full colour artwork…or just text if it’s a poetry book.

What is cover lamination?

Lamination is a thin layer of protection which prevents the ink cracking.

Matt Lamination works best with silk and uncoated covers. We would suggest using gloss lamination if you are aiming for a super shiny, high impact cover. Soft-touch has a velvet, illustrious feel but does attract finger marks REALLY quickly so best not eat your lunch before reading

Do I need lamination on my cover?

The short answer: when paper is printed, the ink sits on the surface. When it is then folded to make your cover the ink can crack. While you should never judge a book by it’s cover, this cracking will look unprofessional. It comes in matt, gloss, soft-touch or anti-scuff.

What is wire stitching?

Wire stitching is a little bit of print jargon for ‘stapling’. If you have an A5 booklet then we print it onto A4 sheets, fold them in and put staples along the left-hand edge to bind the sheet together. In some quarters, this is also known as ‘saddle stitching’. Let’s stick with stapling though if that’s easier 🙂

Needs to be a multiple of four pages to work as a stapled booklet. Why? Because when you fold a printed sheet in half, you get four pages of content - try it there and you’ll see what we mean 🙂

What is perfect binding?

The perfect bound method of binding will give your publication a square spine and professional looking finish.

For further advice follow our perfect binding set up guides.

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