FAQ

GRAPHICS & FILE PREPARATION

* WHAT ARE PRINT READY FILES?

A print ready file is artwork submitted by you the customer that can go straight into production without any changes being made by us the printer. The traits of a print ready file are the same for almost all files:

File format: Adobe PDF.
Bleed: At least one eighth (1/8" or 0.125") margin outside of the cut line on all sides.
Safe Area: At least one eighth (1/8" or .125") margin inside of the cut line on all sides.
Type: Outlined or rasterized.
Color Mode: CMYK for both four color process and PMS spot colors.
Resolution: At least 300 dpi for all raster elements.
Artboard: Larger than the entire document to accomodate printers marks.
Printers Marks: Crop marks indicating cut lines, fold lines, and perferations.

* WHAT FILE FORMATS DO YOU ACCEPT?

Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format) is the overall preferred file type and industry standard.

* HOW DO I EXPORT AN ACCEPTABLE PDF FOR PRINTING?

-from Adobe Illustrator:
From the top menu select File>Save As. A new window will open, name your file, Select the Save As drop down window and select Adobe PDF. Select Save.

-from Adobe Photoshop:
From the top menu select File>Safe As. A new window will open, name your file, Select the Save As drop down window and select Photoshop PDF. Select Save.

-from Adobe InDesign:
From the top menu select File>Export. A new window will open, name your file, select the Save As drop down window and select Adobe PDF. Select Save.

Saving to a PDF format with programs other than the Adobe Suite can sometimes have unexpected consequences. It is important to note the if you are saving from a non-Adobe program that your file may need to be "cleaned-up" after it is converted into a PDF.

-from CorelDraw

-from Microsoft Word

* WHAT IF I CANNOT EXPORT A .PDF?

If you are unable to convert your file to a print ready PDF we can convert your file for you.

* WHAT IS VECTOR ART?

Vector art is any artwork created in a image editing program based on mathematically precise bezier curves. Vector artwork is resolution independent and can be scaled larger or smaller without any loss of clarity.

* WHAT IS RASTER ART?

A Raster is a preset sized grid with color pixels placed into it to form a picture much like a tile mosaic. Raster Art is resolution dependent and created at a predetermined size and resolution and cannot be scaled larger or smaller without the image being affected in some way. In the case of scaling a Raster image to be larger the picture becomes more pixelated as the size of the grid tiles increases.

* WHAT IS BLEED?

Bleed is a printers' term for design elements that run past the edge of the cut line insuring that the finished product has art that goes to the very edge of the paper.

* WHY IS BLEED IMPORTANT?

Having a bleed is important if you want your art to take up the entire size of your product. Without a bleed there could be white space (blank paper) around the edges of your item after it has been trimmed to it's final size.

* HOW MUCH BLEED DO YOU REQUIRE?

For almost all documents a bleed of one eighth of an inch beyond the cut line on all sides is required. Example: If the finished size of your document is going to be 81/2 x 11(8.25 x 11) inches (in this case standard American letter size) your print ready file with bleed will be 83/4 x 111/4 (8.75 x 11.25) inches in size.

* HOW DO I PREPARE MY DOCUMENT FOR BLEED?

In most image editing programs you have an option in the document setup dialog to set a bleed for your project of any size you prefer. Although this is good for initial layout it is difficult to use for final printing and will need to be reformatted. The preferred way to set a bleed in your document would be to start off with your artboard (workspace) at the bleed size of 83/4 x 111/4 (8.75 x 11.25) inches. This insures that you have enough bleed for cutting, and that it can easily be seen by our pre-press team.

* WHAT IS SAFE AREA?

Safe Area is a printers' term for an invisible margin on in the inside of your document where all important text and images should be inside of so as to insure they are not cut off when your product is trimmed to it's final size

* WHY IS SAFE AREA IMPORTANT?

Safe Area is important because when your project is being trimmed to it's final size the paper can jump around from side to side. If you have important text or images that are too close to the Cut Line they will sometimes be cut off. While we do our best to ensure the highest quality of printing, this is something that afflicts the process itself and it often times out of the control of our operators.

* HOW MUCH SAFE AREA DO YOU REQUIRE?

For almost all documents a Safe Area of one eighth of an inch from the inside of the cut line on all sides is required. Example: If the finished size of your document is going to be 81/2 x 11(8.25 x 11) inches (in this case standard American letter size) your print ready le will have a Safe Area of 81/4 x 103/4 (8.25 x 10.75) inches. This is enough space to ensure that your project retains all important text and images.

* HOW DO I PREPARE MY DOCUMENT WITH SAFE AREA?

Most image and text editing programs have a system for setting margins or guide lines. These should be set one eighth inch on all sides of your document.

* WHAT IS THE CUT LINE?

Not all projects are printed on paper that is the same size as your projects nish size. The Cut Line is the designation of the nal size of your particular project. As an example American standard letter size is 8.5 x 11 inches, Standard Business Card size is 3.5 x 2 inches. These dimensions are the nish size and are usually indicated by placing Crop Marks around the document to indicate the Cut Line.

* WHAT ARE CROP MARKS?

Crop Marks are a printers' mark indicating the finish size of your project. They lay outside the Cut Line usually two at each corner (for a square or rectangular document).

* WHY ARE CROP MARKS IMPORTANT?

Crop Marks are important because they tell the printer where to trim the paper your project is being printed on. They also help our pre-press team see if you have enough Bleed and Safe Area. They are especially important if your document is being trimmed to a custom size.

* HOW DO I PREPARE MY DOCUMENT WITH CROP MARKS?

In most image editing programs (i.e Adobe Illustrator) you have the option in your print dialog to add certain printers' marks from a pre-set selection. However, it is best if your Crop Marks are put onto your actual document and not suggested by the print program. Some image editing programs have the ability to add Crop Marks automatically from a pre-set path of your choosing, which is one way of adding Crop Marks. Another is to Draw the lines manually at the top, bottom, left and right side of your document, being careful not to draw them onto any part of your project that you want printed, they should always stay outside of the Cut Line.

* WHAT IS TYPE?

Type is any text element of your document that needs to be read and understood by your customer (i.e. phone numbers, addresses', names, times and dates)

* WHAT IS OUTLINED TYPE?

Outlined Type is the text element converted into vector or raster images.

* WHY IS OUTLINED TYPE IMPORTANT?

When you add type to your project you select the font and size that your type is presented in. If your type is not outlined or rasterized the font information could be lost and may not be presented in the same manner as you had intended it to be. Outlining your type ensure that your type looks exactly they way you want it.

* HOW DO I PREPARE MY DOCUMENT TO HAVE OUTLINED TYPE?


* WHAT IS COLOR MODE?

Color Mode is the color pallet that your image editing program uses for your projects.

* WHAT IS RGB?

RGB is the display of color by mixing different values of red green and blue to produce a full color image. Your computer monitor and television screen both display color in this way. It is also the way in which your eyes perceive color.

* WHAT IS CMYK?

CMYK is the display of color by mixing different values of cyan, magenta, yellow and key black to produce an image. Commercial color printers use these four colors to produce fullcolor printed images.

* WHAT IS PMS?

PMS (Pantone Matching System) the product and intellectual property of Pantone, Inc. is a system of over 1,400 standardized, unique color swatches for use in commercial printing . The Pantone Matching System utilizes 16 base colors (14 colors plus black and white) that can be used to reproduced the entire PMS color gamut. Each PMS color is assigned a number that is used to easily identify each color swatch and it's mixing ratios. Also referred to as Spot Colors, PMS colors are used when you wish to make sure a specific color is used for your printed project. A large amount of corporate logos and some national and state flags have designated PMS colors to ensure that the consistency of their identity is always maintained.

* SO WHICH COLOR MODE DO I USE?

For any printed product you need to set your documents color mode to CMYK, the industry standard for commercial printing. Since not all colors that RGB produces can be reproduced using CMYK it is important to make sure you have set your image editing program to the correct Color Mode, otherwise there will be a shift in the color of your final product that you may not have wanted. Not all image and text editing programs give you the ability to set your documents Color Mode (i.e. Microsoft Word). If you do not have the option to set your Color Mode it is usually safe to assume that it is defaulted to RGB. In cases such as this you will need to convert your document into a format that will allow you to change the Color Mode, like an Adobe PDF. If you are unsure or unable to tell what Color Mode your document is in we are able to assist you in converting your project so it will be print ready.

* HOW DO I GET A GRAYSCALE IMAGE IN A CMYK DOCUMENT?

Just because you have what appears to be a black and white picture in your document does not mean that it will only print black and white. Images that are not greyscale will sometimes have small amounts of cyan, magenta and yellow in them. In most image editing programs you can convert your image into Greyscale, which will take the extra unwanted colors out leaving only black and white. Converting some images into Greyscale will sometimes cause unwanted color shifts as the program tries to approximate the previously colored areas with different hues of black.

* WHAT IS RICH BLACK?

Rich Black is the addition of cyan, magenta, and yellow ink to black ink in order to produce a darker black area. Process black can have the tendency to print at a slightly off shade and may not be as dark in tone as you may have wished. In theses cases, if you are printing full color you may want to change your 100% black areas to Rich Black. The CMYK values of 60%C 40%M 40%Y 100%K are a good mix for Rich Black and will ensure a properly dark tone. If you project is only printing in black ink then 100% process black is fine.

* WHAT IS THE ARTBOARD?

The Artboard is the area inside your image editing program that your artwork is laid out on.

* WHAT RESOLUTION SHOULD MY FILE BE?

For any raster images in your document a minimum of 300 dpi (dots per square inch) is mandatory to ensure the best possible quality for your project. Lower resolution images will print with a high degree of pixelation and may not be to your liking. Web sites display images at 72 dpi and are not recommended for printed materials. If you supply us images that are below resolution it must be noted that we will not be held responsible for the quality of the finished printed piece.

* WHAT IS THE ARTBOARD?

The Artboard is the area inside your image editing program that your artwork is laid out on.

* WHAT SIZE SHOULD MY ARTBOARD BE?

Your Artboard should be set at any size larger than your entire document including crop marks and bleeds.

* WHAT ARE PRINTERS MARKS?

Printers Marks are designations and guides that fall outside your document to show the printer things like the final trimmed size of your project, where your project will be folded and/or perforated, and sometimes where colors should line up in relation to each other.

* WHAT PRINTERS MARKS SHOULD I INCLUDE?

Your print ready document will have Crop Marks Fold lines and Perforation Lines. Color registration targets are not necessary, nor do we need document info.

* HOW CAN I SUBMIT MY FILES?

- By Email: Your artwork can be submitted to us by emailing it to the appropriate person.
- By FTP: If your file is too large to Email (usually any file over 2 megabytes in size [2048 kilobytes]) you can upload the file to our FTP site where the appropriate person will retrieve it.
- By using a third party web service: Also if your file is too large to Email you may wish to send it using a third party web service. www.yousendit.com & www.sendtoperson.com both have free registration and are simple to use.
- By CD or DVD: You could also hand deliver or mail your file after burning it to a CD or DVD.

* HOW DO I CREATE A ZIPPED ARCHIVE?

If you have multiple files that you wish to send all at once you can put them into a .ZIP archive that will combine them into one file.
- In Windows XP (highlight all of the files you wish to archive together, right click them and select Send To> Compressed (zipped) Folder. A Zip archive with the name of the first file you selected will be created in the same directory as the source files.

* WHAT IF I FOUND A MISTAKE IN MY ARTWORK?

If you find that there is something wrong with your document or if we find something that you had inadvertently overlooked, you may submit a new file to use as long as your project has not already gone into production.

* CAN YOU FIX MY FILE (ARTWORK)

We can fix most problems with your artwork for you at an additional charge.

* CAN YOU FIX MY FILE (TYPE)

We can fix typos and/or change wording around if needed at an additional charge.


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PRINT TRADE CUSTOMS

Trade Customs of The Printing Industry of North America

The Printing Industry Trade Customs reflect common business practices in the printing industry. This updated version of trade customs was compiled by the Printing Industries of America, the National Association of Printers and Lithographers, and the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation in 1994. Note: Trade Customs involving rates, payment terms, and warranties may be subject to modification.

1. QUOTATION

A quotation not accepted within 30 days may be changed.

2. ORDERS

Acceptance of orders is subject to credit approval and contingencies such as fire, water, strikes, theft, vandalism, acts of God, and other causes beyond provider's control. Canceled orders require compensation for incurred costs and related obligations.

3. EXPERIMENTAL WORK

Experimental or preliminary work performed at the customer's request will be charged to the customer at the provider's current rates. This work cannot be used without the provider's written consent.

4. CREATIVE WORK

Sketches, copy, dummies and all other creative work developed or furnished by the provider are the provider's exclusive property. The provider must give written approval for all use of this work and for any ideas derived from it.

5. ACCURACY OF SPECIFICATIONS

Quotations are based on the accuracy of the specifications provided. The provider can re-quote a job at time of submission if copy, film, disks, or other input materials don't conform to the information on which the original quotation was based.

6. PREPARATORY MATERIALS

Art work, type, plates, negatives, positives, disks, and all other items supplied by the provider remain the provider's exclusive property.

7. ELECTRONIC MANUSCRIPT OR IMAGE

It is the customer's responsibility to maintain a copy of the original file. The provider is not responsible for accidental damage to media supplied by the customer, or for the accuracy of furnished input or final output. Until digital input can be evaluated by the provider, no claims or promises are made about the provider's ability to work with jobs submitted in digital format and no liability is assumed for problems that may arise. Any additional translating, editing, or programming needed to utilize customer-supplied files will be charged at prevailing rates.

8. ALTERATIONS/CORRECTIONS

Customer alterations include all work performed in addition to the original specifications. All such work will be charged at the provider's current rates.

9. PREPRESS PROOFS

Prepress proofs are submitted via e-mail, fax, or copy. Proof-reading of material will be the responsibility of the customer for spelling and number accuracy.

The provider will not be responsible for undetected production errors if:

  • Proofs are not required by the customer.
  • The work is printed per the customer's O.K.
  • Requests for changes are communicated orally.

10. PRESS PROOFS

Press proofs will not be furnished unless they have been required in writing in the providers quotation. A press sheet can be submitted for the customer's approval as long as the customer is present at the press during makeready. Any press time lost or alterations/corrections made because of the customer's delay or change of mind will be charged at the provider's current rates.

11. COLOR PROOFING

Because of differences in equipment, paper, inks, and other conditions between color proofing and production pressroom operations, a reasonable variation in color between color proofs and the completed job is to be expected. When a variation of this kind occurs, it will be considered acceptable performance.

12. OVER-RUNS OR UNDER-RUNS

Over-runs or under-runs will not exceed 10 percent of the quantity ordered. The provider will bill for actual quantity delivered within this tolerance, but rather the quantity ordered. If the customer requires a guaranteed quantity, the percentage of tolerance must be stated at the time of quotation. Additional charges may be assessed.

13. CUSTOMER'S PROPERTY

The provider will only maintain fire and extended coverage on property belonging to the customer while the property is in the provider's possession. The provider's liability for this property will not exceed the amount recoverable from the insurance. Additional insurance coverage may be obtained if it is requested in writing, and if the premium is paid to the provider.

14. DELIVERY

Unless otherwise specified, the price quoted is for a single shipment, without storage, F.O.B. Plant. Proposals are based on continuous and uninterrupted delivery of the complete order. If the specifications state otherwise, the provider will charge accordingly at current rates. Charges for delivery of materials and supplies from the customer to the provider, or from the customer's supplier to the provider, are not included in quotations unless specified. Title for finished work passes to the customer upon delivery to the carrier at shipping point, or upon mailing of invoices for the finished work or its segments, whichever occurs first.

15. PRODUCTION SCHEDULES

Production schedules will be established and followed by both the customer and provider. In the event that production schedules are not adhered to by the customer, delivery dates will be subject to renegotiation. There will be no liability or penalty for delays due to state of war, riot, civil disorder, fire, strikes, accidents, action of government or civil authority, acts of God, or other causes beyond the control of the provider. In such cases, schedules will be extended by an amount of time equal to the delay incurred.

16. CUSTOMER-FURNISHED MATERIALS

Material furnished by customers or their suppliers are verified by delivery tickets. The provider bears no responsibility for discrepancies between delivery tickets and actual counts. Customer supplied paper must be delivered according to specifications furnished by the provider. These specifications will include correct weight, thickness, pick resistance, and other technical requirements. Artwork, film, color separations, special dies, tapes, disks, or other materials furnished by the customer must be usable by the provider without alteration or repair. Items not meeting this requirement will be repaired by the customer, or by the provider at the provider's current rates.

17. OUTSIDE PURCHASES

Unless otherwise agreed in writing, all outside purchases, as requested or authorized by the customer, are chargeable.

18. TERMS/CLAIMS/LIENS

Payment is net cash, 30 calendar days from date of invoice for approved credit lines. Otherwise, pre-payment in full is required. Claims for defects, damages or shortages must be made by the customer in writing no later than 10 calendar days after delivery. If no such claim is made, the provider and customer will understand that the job has been accepted. By accepting the job, the customer acknowledges that the provider's performance has fully satisfied all terms, conditions, and specifications.

The provider's liability will be limited to the quoted selling price of defective goods, without additional liability for special or consequential damages. As security for payment of any sum due under the terms of an agreement, the provider has the right to hold and place a lien on all customer property in the provider's possession. This right applies even if credit has been extended, notes have been accepted, trade acceptances have been made, or payment has been guaranteed. If payment is not made, the customer is liable for all collection costs incurred.

19. LIABILITY

1. Disclaimer of Express Warranties: Provider warrants that the work is as described in the purchase order. The customer understands that all sketches, copy, dummies, and preparatory work shown to the customer are intended only to illustrate the general type and quality of the work. They are not intended to represent the actual work performed.

2. Disclaimer of Implied Warranties: Provider warrants only that the work will conform to the description contained in the purchase order. The provider's maximum liability, whether by negligence, contract, or otherwise, will not exceed the return of the amount invoiced for the work in dispute. Under no circumstances will the provider be liable for specific, individual, or consequential damages.

20. INDEMNIFICATION

The customer agrees to protect the provider from economic loss and any other harmful consequences that could arise in connection with the work. This means that the customer will hold the provider harmless and save, indemnify, and otherwise defend him/her against claims, demands, actions, and proceedings on any and all grounds. This will apply regardless of responsibility for negligence.

1. Copyrights: The customer also warrants that the subject matter to be printed is not copyrighted by a third party. The customer also recognizes that because subject matter does not have to bear a copyright notice in order to be protected by copyright law, absence of such notice does not necessarily assure a right to reproduce. The customer further warrants that no copyright notice has been removed from any material used in preparing the subject matter for reproduction. To support these warranties, the customer agrees to indemnify and hold the provider harmless for all liability, damages, and attorney fees that may be incurred in any legal action connected with copyright infringement involving the work produced or provided.

2. Personal or Economic Rights: The customer also warrants that the work does not contain anything that is libelous or scandalous, or anything that threatens anyone's right to privacy or other personal or economic rights. The customer will, at the customer's sole expense, promptly and thoroughly defend the provider in all legal actions on these grounds as long as the provider:

Promptly notifies the customer of the legal action. Gives the customer reasonable time to undertake and conduct a defense.

The provider reserves the right to use his/her sole discretion in refusing to print anything he or she deems illegal, libelous, scandalous, improper or infringing upon copyright law.

21. STORAGE

The provider will retain intermediate materials until the related end product has been accepted by the customer. If requested by the customer, intermediate materials will be stored for an additional period at additional charge. The provider is not liable for any loss or damage to stored material beyond what is recoverable by provider's fire and extended insurance coverage.

22. TAXES

All amounts due for taxes and assessments will be added to the customer's invoice and are the responsibility of the customer. No tax exemption will be granted unless the customer's "Exemption Certificate" (or other official proof of exemption) accompanies the purchase order. If, after the customer has paid the invoice, it is determined that more tax is due, then the customer must promptly remit the required taxes to the taxing authority, or immediately reimburse the provider for any additional taxes paid.

23. TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Unless otherwise agreed, the customer will pay for all transmission charges. The provider is not responsible for any errors, omissions, or extra costs resulting from faults in transmission.


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TEMPLATES

Business Cards 10up (for cards with uncommon bleed)

Business Cards 12up (for cards with common bleed)

#10 Envelope

Tri-Fold Brochure (8.5 x 11)

Standard Letterhead (8.5 x 11)


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FOLDING GUIDES


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ENVELOPE GUIDE


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