Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Print Marketing
Need to know something about print marketing? We’ve got 40 years’ worth of answers! Here are a few to get started:
- At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics?
- What type of artwork do you accept?
- What file format should I use when submitting my files for printing?
- Tips on file format setups
- Why do the printed colors look different from the colors on my screen?
- Is white considered a printing color?
- What is the Pantone Matching System?
- What is a “proof”?
- Can you send samples for testing?
- Do you offer product storage?
- What is variable data printing?
- What do I need to provide for variable data projects?
- What does personalization mean?
- How do I go about getting an estimate from you?
- How long does it take for you to complete my order?
At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics?
Resolution should be set to at least 300 dpi. Pictures and graphics pulled from the internet are often low resolutions, 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. RGB images and artwork may not print properly or meet your color expectations. If you are unsure or unable to save your image in CMYK mode, please let us know.
What type of artwork do you accept? INDESIGN:
When printing from InDesign, we need all fonts and images used to be included for the highest quality possible. Failure to include these items may cause your file to print incorrectly and at a low resolution.
• Under the file menu, go to “Package.”
• It is not necessary to fill out the “instructions” pop up. Click continue.
• Make sure the boxes at the bottom of the dialog box are checked.
• Click “Save.”
• A new folder will be created containing everything we need for your file.
• Please either save the folder to a disk or zip/stuff the file and send it via email or our ftp site. ILLUSTRATOR: When printing from Illustrator, we will need all fonts and images. If you do not wish to send us the fonts, please create outlines of all text.
• Select everything on the page.
• Under the Type menu, choose “Create Outlines.”
• Including images gives us greater freedom in tweaking the color output of your file if necessary.PDF:
We accept high-resolution PDF files. For printing purposes, it is necessary that all of your fonts are embedded.PHOTOSHOP:
Although we would prefer to work with a page layout program, we will accept Photoshop files that are set to the actual print size and at a resolution of 300 with all proper bleeds and margins.COREL DRAW:
We do not work natively in Corel Draw, but may be able to use your file if it is output as an Illustrator EPS.
• Embed all Images
• Convert all your text/copy to outline fonts
• Export as Illustrator EPSFREEHAND:
Freehand is an older program that is no longer supported. We may be able to use your file if you are able to save a high-resolution PDF or Illustrator EPS file.
• Embed all Images
• Convert all your text/copy to paths
• Export as Illustrator EPS or PDFPAGEMAKER:
Pagemaker is an older program that is no longer supported. If you send us a Pagemaker file, it will open in InDesign, which may cause items to change or move around. We will also accept a high-resolution pdf.MICROSOFT WORD, PUBLISHER, EXCEL, and POWERPOINT:
Word, Publisher, Excel and Powerpoint are not professional printing programs, and tweaking may be necessary to make your files print-ready. In some cases, a PDF is a better alternative to the native file. In order to create a PDF, you will need to have the full version of Adobe Acrobat PDF. If you don’t please download and use our Adobe Job Ready Program. 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 file format should I use when submitting my files for printing?
We prefer packaged InDesign or PDF files. We are able to accept Photoshop and Illustrator files as well, however, please include all images and fonts used.If you are using a program not listed above, please make a high-resolution PDF file to send to us for printing.
Tips on file format setups.
Many layout programs have collecting or packaging functions that will automatically collect your document, fonts, all art 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 files properly.
• 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 3/8” guide in from the trim should work fine in most cases. In some cases, we are able to use a 1/4″ margin.
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 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.
What is a “proof”?
A proof is a way of ensuring that we have set your type accurately and that everything is positioned according to your requirements. Typically, we will produce a proof which will be sent to you online or printed on paper which can be viewed in our shop or delivered to you in person. On multiple-color jobs, we can produce a color proof to show how the different colors will appear.
Can you send samples for testing?
Yes. In some cases, we can print a few samples of your files for testing. In cases where it is not practical to print a few samples, we can provide samples of the blank stock to be used.
Do you offer product storage?
Yes. We offer storage of most products. In some cases, minimum quantities may apply. We also offer document management. We’ll assign your documents a form number and let you know when you are running low on a particular form. If you know you have a project coming up and need to order more, you can easily reference the form number. Call us today to see if a document management program is right for you.
What is variable data printing?
Variable data printing is a 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 Microsoft Excel XLS files work best with our systems. 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.
What does personalization mean?
Personalization is another term for variable data—technology for printing documents so that each piece is personalized to the specific recipient.
How do I go about getting an estimate from you?
To get an estimate you can click on “request an estimate” on this website, contact us by phone at 877-447-5044, or email us at email@example.com. Estimates are generally returned to you within 24 hours. A more intense project requiring specialty items may take longer.
How long does it take for you to complete my order?
Completion time can vary depending on the specifications of each job, but you can rest assured that we will complete your order in a timely manner. We would be happy to give you a timeframe estimate for your specific project, just contact us to discuss. If you have a specific deadline, just let us know – we will do everything possible to help get your product finished on time.