What is bleed?  Do I need to include bleed?

The purpose of a bleed is to continue a color, image, or design to the edge of the product. Due to the possibility of shifting in the trimming process, a bleed is required to ensure that a white line does not show on the edges of your product.

We require ALL files to be built to the full bleed dimension specified for each trim size.  We automatically trim the bleed off of each side, which will result in the desired trim size.

For example: all business cards require a 0.1″ bleed to each dimension (or 0.05″ bleed on all four sides). Thus, a 2″ x 3.5″ business card would have a bleed size 2.1″ x 3.6″.

What are the most common card stocks used for postcards?

100# stock coated on both sides: The most popular postcard stock.

100# stock coated on one side: Well suited to mailing.

12 pt stock coated on both sides: a premium paper with a high luster finish.

What are the most common sizes?

Booklets 5 ½ ” x 8 ½ ”  8 ½ ” x  11″  11″ x  17″
Brochures 8 ½ ” x 11″  8 ½ ” x  14″  11″ x 17″
Postcards 4″ x 6″  5″ x 7″  5 ½” x 8 ½ “

Is white considered a printing color?

No. White is not generally considered a printing color as typically the paper itself will be white. If a colored paper (something other than white) is chosen, then white becomes a printing color if any text or graphics require it.

What does “camera ready” mean?

In the digital age of printing, it means that an image file submitted for printing is ready to be transferred to the printing plates without any alterations.

What is the difference between coated and uncoated paper stock?

Uncoated stock paper is comparatively porous and inexpensive, and is typically used for such applications as newspaper print and basic black-and-white copying. Coated stock, by contrast, is made of higher quality paper having a smooth glossy finish that works well for reproducing sharp text and vivid colors. It tends to be more expensive.

What are the different grades of paper and their respective basis weight?

The basis weight of a given grade of paper is defined as the weight (in pounds) of 500 standard-sized sheets of that paper. With that in mind, here are different examples of paper grades and their respective basis weights:

Bond: Most commonly used for letterhead, business forms and copying. Typical basis weights are16# for forms, 20# for copying and 24# for stationery.

Text: A high-quality grade paper with a lot of surface texture. Basis weights range from 60# to 100# with the most common being 70# or 80#.

Uncoated Book: The most common grade for offset printing. Typically 50# to 70#.

Coated Book: Has a glossy finish that yields vivid colors and overall excellent reproduction. Basis weights range from 30# to 70# for web press, and 60# to 110# for sheet press.

Cover: Used in creating business cards, postcards and book covers. Can be either coated or uncoated. Basis weights for this grade are 60#, 65#, 80# or 100#.

What is a proof and why is it needed?

A proof is a one-off copy of your printed document used for visual inspection to ensure that the layout and colors of your document are exactly how they are intended to be. A proof is made prior to sending the document to the press for final printing.

Typically, we will produce a proof that will be sent to you online in PDF format or on printed paper, which can be either viewed in our store or delivered to you in person.

Your approval on the final proof is the best assurance you have that every aspect of our work and your own is correct, and that everything reads and appears the way you intended. Mistakes can and sometimes do happen. It benefits everyone if errors are caught in the proofing process rather than after the job is completed and delivered.

What are Pantone colors?

Pantone colors refer to the Pantone Matching System (PMS), a color matching system used by the printing industry whereby printing colors are identified by a unique name or number (as opposed to just a visual reference). This helps make sure that colors turn out the same from system to system, and print run to print run. www.pantone.com

How well will what I see on my monitor match what I see on paper?

The technology of design, layout and printing has come a long way to the point where much of the work is done in a WSYWIG (What You See Is What You Get) digital environment. However, there are sometimes noticeable differences in color calibration and spatial conformity from monitor to monitor and consequently from screen to print.

If color match is critical, and you do not have a Pantone guide to refer to, you should request a hard proof.

What is the best file format for submitting a document for printing?

If you are submitting a file for sign or banner printing (large-format printing) is a vector-based file. If you are uploading artwork such as a business logo or custom design, a vector file is recommended. This will generally be an original design file such as an .EPS, .AI, or even a .PDF saved out of the original design program. Vector files maintain quality at any size.

If you are uploading an image or photo, we recommend locating the largest-size file with the highest-resolution you can find. You can check image resolution by right-clicking on the file name and selecting “Properties.” Under the “Details” tab look for resolution—we recommend at least 300 dpi.

We can print images in any format, including .JPG, .PNG, .GIF and .TIF, however please be aware that printing small images at a large size can cause quality issues. If you are incorporating personal pictures and images into the design of your sign, always provide the largest version of the picture you have. We review all files before production and will let you know via a low-resolution proof email if there are any issues.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is generally the preferred file format for submitting a small format document for printing as it works with virtually all professional printing and digital output devices. By design, a PDF file incorporates the information needed to maintain document consistency from system to system.

How long will it take for you to complete my order?

Every job is different. Some jobs can be produced in minutes while some may take several days to complete. Let us know when you need your job completed and we’ll let you know if it can be done. We go to great lengths to meet even your most demanding timelines.

How do I go about getting an estimate for my project?

The best way to ensure that we get all the information necessary to do an accurate quote is to give us a call and speak with one of our team members.