Frequently Asked Questions
- What type of products and services do you provide?
- How do I go about getting an estimate from you?
- Tips on file format setups
- At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics?
- Tips on how to save your design files
- What is a proof and why is it important that I look at it?
- What is the Pantone Matching System?
- Why do the printed colors look different from the colors on my screen?
- Is white considered a printing color?
- What file format should I use when submitting my electronic document for printing?
- Once I submit the documents, how long will it take to finish my job?
- What is variable data printing?
- What do I need to provide for variable data projects?
Good question! We are a full service shop and offer a wide range of products and services. To see a full listing and description of what we can offer you, check out the Products & Services area in the Customer Service Section of our website.
Well, since you are here, we would suggest you use our online estimate request form. Otherwise, the best way to ensure that we get all the information necessary to do an accurate quote is to give us a call and talk with one of our customer service representatives.
Tips on file format setups
Many layout programs have collecting or packaging functions that will automatically collect your document, fonts, all art including and a report. When possible, it is recommended to use these functions because without any or all of these elements we will be unable to print your project.
• Enclose all screen fonts and printer fonts
• Include all placed images
• Make sure your files are set with proper bleed, trim and safety areas.
BLEED: All art trimming off the edge MUST be pulled out 1/8” beyond the trim line
TRIM: This is the guideline where the card will be cut
SAFETY: All art and text within this safety area will assure that nothing will be trimmed off during the cutting process. A 1/4” guide in from the trim should work fine.
At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics?
Resolution should be set to 300 dpi at final output size. We won't be responsible for poor output quality from lower resolution images.
Pictures and graphics pulled from the internet are often low resolution, typically 72 dpi or 96 dpi. Avoid these graphics, as they will appear pixilated and blocky when printed.
Also note that you should save all photos in CMYK mode, not RGB mode when possible. Images saved in RGB mode may not print properly. If you are unable to save your image in CYMK mode, please let us know.
Tips on how to save your design files
Make them print ready and acceptable for us to print.
Remember to include 1/8 inch bleed on all documents with art or photos touching the edge of the page, regardless of the program.
ADOBE INDESIGN: (design)
• Use the "Package" feature listed under "File" to collect all artwork and fonts, then zip or stuff-it
• Save as a Press setting PDF with 0.125 inch bleed on each side
ADOBE PHOTOSHOP: (graphics)
• Save as layered PSD file
NOTE: Not the best choice for text intensive projects. Do not use for 2 color jobs unless saving as a duo-tone or multi-channel. (Contact us for information on these formats.)
ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR: (design/graphics)
• Convert all text to curves
• Embed images or collect and send them
• Save as either native AI, EPS or PDF
Saving your Corel Draw file as an Adobe Illustrator EPS
• Embed all Images
• Convert all your text/copy to outline fonts
• Export as Illustrator EPS
• Embed all Images
• Convert all your text/copy to paths
• Export as Illustrator EPS or PDF
NOTE: Native Publisher files are not considered a print-ready format. We must use conversion software to open these files and some layout adjustment is required. To include the 1/8 bleed in Publisher you must increase the actual file size by .25" - 8.5 x 11 should really be 8.75 x 11.25.
You will need to have the full version of Adobe Acrobat PDF. If you don’t please download and use PDF PREFLIGHT. Download and follow the instructions.
If you DO have the full version of Adobe Acrobat PDF please follow the steps below.
• Under File, Print, select Adobe PDF writer
• Under Properties select Press Quality and Save your PDF
What is a proof and why is it important that I look at it?
In printing terms, a proof is a one-off copy of your document after all modifications and printing setup processes have been completed. It is your last and best opportunity to make sure that the print job comes out the way you want. By carefully inspecting the proof, you can help us assure an accurate, flawless delivery of your print job on the first run.
What is the Pantone Matching System?
The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a color reproduction standard in which colors all across the spectrum are each identified by a unique, independent number. The use of PMS allows us to precisely match colors and maintain color consistency throughout the printing process.
Why do the printed colors look different from the colors on my screen?
In short, printers and monitors produce colors in different ways.
Monitors use the RGB (red, green, blue) color model, which usually supports a wider spectrum of colors. Printers use the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) color model, which can reproduce most—but not all—of the colors in the RGB color model. Depending on the equipment used, CMYK generally matches 85–90% of the colors in the RGB model.
When a color is selected from the RGB model that is out of the range of the CMYK model, the application chooses what it thinks is the closest color that will match. Programs like Adobe Photoshop will allow you to choose which color will be replaced. Others may not.
Is white considered a printing color?
Not typically. Because white is the default color of paper, it is simply recognized as the absence of any ink. However, when using colored paper, white ink may be used if any text or graphic requires it.
What file format should I use when submitting my electronic document for printing?
PDF (Portable Document Format) is the most common and preferred file format for submitting digital documents. With the installation of a PDF print driver on your computer, virtually any program can generate a PDF file suitable for printing. Both commercial and free PDF print drivers are available online for download from different sources.
Once I submit the documents, how long will it take to finish my job?
Simple jobs are often completed the same day they are submitted. Some jobs, however, may take several days to complete depending on their complexity and size. We always strive to provide an accurate estimate of the turnaround time for each job we do. And we’ll always work with you to find ways to complete your project when you need it.
What is variable data printing?
Variable data printing is technology for printing documents so that each piece is personalized to the specific recipient. At the most basic level, this means personalizing a name and address. But for real impact, many projects include unique graphics and content that speaks directly to the recipient.
What do I need to provide for variable data projects?
We work with many types of data files, but CSV files are the safest bet. These are data files that have commas separating each field, and returns separating each line of data. To save time and hassle, make sure your data is properly formatted with each piece of data in separate fields.
Complex projects may require other files, like image files or additional data files. If you are unsure of what may be required for a particular variable project, give us a call for a free consultation.