Below you'll find a compilation of answers to questions we commonly hear from customers. If you cannot find what you're looking for,
please don't hesitate to contact us. We want you to have the information you need to get the final result you want.
Simply 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 speak with one of our customer service representatives.
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.
The Portable Document Format (PDF) is generally the preferred file format for submitting a 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. Most other file formats such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Microsoft Word are easily
converted to PDF format.
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. The process for minimizing any variance begins with adjusting your monitor
for optimal color and clarity according to the manufacturer's recommendations as outlined within its product manual or website. Doing
this will alleviate a number of potential issues.
Beyond that, for the greatest conformity in color from screen to print, there are tools available that will ensure exact color calibration.
Perhaps you have already invested in such a tool. If so, let us know what you use and we'll work with you to achieve the best results.
If you are considering investing in a color calibration tool, talk to us first and we'll be happy to offer our advice.
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. For multiple-color jobs, we can produce a proof on our output device to show you how the different
colors will appear on the final product.
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.
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#.
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, however.
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.
Color separation is the process of separating a colored graphic or photograph into its primary color components in preparation for
printed reproduction. For example, to print a full color photo with an offset printing press, we would create four separate printing
plates each accounting for one of the four basic printing inks (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) needed to reproduce the image.
As the paper is fed through the press, each single-color plate puts onto the paper the exact amount of ink needed at exactly
the right spot. As the different colored wet inks are applied, they blend together to create the rich and infinite pallet of complex
colors needed to reproduce the original image.
Halftone printing converts a continuous tone (solid areas of black or color) photograph or image into a pattern of different size
dots that simulate continuous tone. When examining the page closely, you will see a series of dots spaced slightly apart. At a normal
viewing distance, however, the spacing between dots becomes essentially invisible to the eye and what you see is a continuous tone.
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.
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.
Standard sizes for catalogs and booklets are 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", 8 1/2" x 11", and 11" x 17".
Common brochure sizes are 8 1/2" x 11", 8 1/2" x14" and 11" x17".
Business envelope sizes are referenced by a number such as #9 or #10. The chart below indicates the most common sizes in use today:
Size - Width" x Length"
#6 1/4 - 3 1/2" x 6"
#6 3/4 - 3 5/8" x 6 1/2"
#7 - 3 3/4" x 6 3/4"
#7 3/4 - 3 7/8" x 7 1/2"
#8 5/8 - 3 5/8" x 8 5/8"
#9 - 3 7/8" x 8 7/8"
#10 - 4 1/8" x 9 1/2"
#11 - 4 1/2" x 10 3/8"
#12 - 4 3/4" x 11"
#14 - 5" x 11 1/2"
The address window on a typical business envelope measures 4 1/2" x 1 1/8".
These are the U.S. Post Office requirements to keep in mind when designing an envelope:
All mail pieces 1/4" thick or less must be rectangular in shape, at least 3 1/4" high and at least 5" long.
Any mail piece less than 4 1/4" in height must be at least .007" (7 pt.) thick.
Any mail piece greater than 4 1/4" in height or 6" in length must be at least .009" (9 pt.) thick
Postcards are found in three common sizes: 4" x 6", 5" x 7" and 5 1/2" x 8 1/2".
The most common card stocks used for postcards are:
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.
The three most popular sizes for personalized notepads are 4" x 6", 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" and 8 1/2" x 11".
There are four popular sizes for sticky notes: 3" x 3", 3" x 4", 3" x 5" and 4" x 6".
Materials for labels and their application include:
Paper, Uncoated: Use where you need the label to be easily written on by hand or printed
on by machine.
Paper, High Gloss: Use when you need good printability. Keep in mind that it cannot be
written on easily by hand.
Vinyl: Use vinyl for outdoor environments, or if applying a label to a vinyl surface.
Acetate: Use when the label needs to be transparent.
Mylar/Polyester: Best for applications where the label needs to be applied to an object
with sharp, angular corners.
Some of the common methods of binding books and other multi-page documents include:
Perfect binding: Gluing the outside edges of the pages together to create a flat edge.
Saddle-stitch binding: Using staples along the folds of the pages to bind them together.
Spiral binding: Wires in a spiral form threaded through punched holes along the binding
edge of the papers. Allows the document to lay open flatly.
Plastic comb binding: Similar to spiral binding but using a tubular plastic piece with
teeth that fit through rectangular holes punched into the binding edge.
Three-ring binding: Holes are punched into the pages and fitted into a binder.
Case binding: Sewing the pages together and then attaching them to a hard cover.
Last updated: Sep. 13, 2018