Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are you a “green” company?
A: Yes! We take our role in preserving the environment very seriously and integrate numerous green practices into our daily operations. In addition to energy-efficient equipment and chemical-free technologies, we can print jobs with recycled paper. If you would like to use recycled paper for your next print job, let us know. You’ll be pleased with the results and feel good about helping the environment, too.
Q: What resolution should I save my photos and graphics?
A: Photos and graphics submitted should be saved at 300 dpi. Pictures and graphics taken from the internet are often low resolution, typically 72 dpi or 96 dpi. Avoid these graphics, as they will appear pixilated when printed. Also note, all photos should be saved as CMYK and not RGB. Images saved as RGB may not print properly. If you are unable to save your image as CYMK, please let us know.
Q: How do I submit a request for a quote?
A: The best way to ensure 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 (see “Estimates” on this website).
Q: Is white considered a printing color?
A: No, white is the absence of any ink and is usually the color of the paper. Typically, if a client wants white type, the paper will be flood coated with a particular color of ink knocking out the type so the white color of the paper is the color of the letters; however, when using colored paper, white ink may be used if any text or graphic requires it.
Q: Once electronic artwork is submitted, how long will it take to complete the job?
A: Some jobs can be completed the same day. Others may take several days. Production time depends on the complexity and size of the job. We will work within the tightest time constraints in order to deliver on time, every time.
Q: Tips on file format setups
A: Many graphics programs, such as InDesign or Quark, have collecting or packaging functions which will automatically collect your document, fonts and links. When possible, it is recommended to use these functions, because without any or all of these elements, we will be unable to process your job.
- Include all screen and printer fonts, and placed images
- Make sure your file has proper bleeds, trim, and safety areas
- Bleed: All art trimming off the edge MUST be pulled out 1/8” beyond the trim line
- Crop marks: These guides indicate where the job 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
Q: What do I need to provide for variable data projects?
A: Excel or CSV files are preferred. These data files 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 direction.
Q: What is personalization?
A: Personalization is another term for variable data—technology for printing documents personalized to the specific recipient. Personalizing can be as simple as a unique name and address on every printed piece, but more sophisticated levels of personalization can include text or images which vary based on data specific to the recipient, or data-driven graphics such as a pie chart illustrating something specific to the recipient.
Q: What is a "proof?"
A: A proof is a way of ensuring your job is correct before making plates. Typically, there are three types of proofs. The first is an electronic version saved in a portable document format or pdf. Overall, pdf proofs are quick and efficient. Due to color variances between RGB and CMYK formats previously mentioned in this section, the second type of proof, a hard, color proof, may be best, if color is critical, although the color may vary slightly due to the substrate used in the proofing process. For example, most proofing substrates are smooth. The colors of the proof may look brighter than the actual job printed on an uncoated, porous stock. The last type of proof, an actual press proof, is the most accurate, but also the most expensive and time consuming. A press proof is produced by actually printing a few sheets of the job itself. The colors of a press proof will be 100% accurate whereas the colors of the other two types of proofs may vary slightly.
Q: What is coated paper stock?
A: Coated paper stock is a paper which has been given a smooth, gloss or dull finish designed specifically for documents that require sharp details and vivid colors. Uncoated paper, by contrast, is porous, and best suited to the printing of black and white text documents.
Q: What is the Pantone Matching System?
A: The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a color reproduction standard in which colors across the spectrum are identified by a unique, independent number. The use of PMS numbers allows printers to precisely match colors and maintain color consistency throughout the printing process.
Q: Why do the colors of the printed piece look different from the colors on my screen?
A: The printing process and computer monitors produce colors in different ways. Monitors use the RGB (red, green, blue) color model, which usually supports a wider spectrum of colors. The printing process is based upon 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 which is out of the range of the CMYK model, the software application chooses what it thinks is the closest matching color. Programs like Adobe Photoshop will allow you to choose which color will be replaced.