Here you'll find answers to common questions our clients ask. Start by selecting one of the links below. If you don’t see what you need – call or contact us online.
- What type of products and services do you provide?
- How do I go about getting an estimate from you?
- Tips on file format setups
- At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics?
- What is coated paper stock?
- What is a proof and why is it important that I look at it?
- What is the Pantone Matching System?
- Why do the printed colors look different from the colors on my screen?
- What file format should I use when submitting my electronic document for printing?
- Once I submit the documents, how long will it take to finish my job?
- What forms of payment do you accept?
- What is variable data printing?
- What does personalization mean?
- What type of return can I expect from personalized or variable data marketing materials?
- What do I need to provide for variable data projects?
Good question! We are a full service shop and offer a wide range of products and services. To see a full listing and description of what we can offer you, check out the Products & Services area in the Customer Service Section of our website.
Well, since you are here, we would suggest you use our online estimate request form, which can be found on our website's home page. Otherwise, the best way to ensure that we get all the information necessary to do an accurate quote is to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (925) 297-0100.
Tips on file format setups
Many layout programs have collecting or packaging functions that will automatically collect your document, fonts, all art including 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 postcard.
• 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 1/4” guide in from the trim should work fine.
At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics?
Resolution should be set to 300 dpi.
Pictures and graphics pulled from the internet are often low resolution, typically 72 dpi or 96 dpi. Avoid these graphics, as they will appear pixilated and bitmapped when printed.
What is coated paper stock?
Coated paper stock is a premium, high-quality paper that has been given a smooth glossy finish designed specifically for documents that require sharp details and vivid colors. Uncoated paper, by contrast, is relatively inexpensive but porous, and is best suited to the printing of black and white text documents.
What is a proof and why is it important that I look at it?
In printing terms, a proof is a one-off copy of your document after all modifications and printing setup processes have been completed. It is your last and best opportunity to make sure that the print job comes out the way you want. By carefully inspecting the proof, you can help us assure an accurate, flawless delivery of your print job on the first run.
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.
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.
What file format should I use when submitting my electronic document for printing?
PDF (Portable Document Format) is the most common and preferred file format for submitting digital documents. With the installation of a PDF print driver on your computer, virtually any program can generate a PDF file suitable for printing. Both commercial and free PDF print drivers are available online for download from different sources. Just make sure to include the bleeds and the crop marks when exporting to the PDF format.
Once I submit the documents, how long will it take to finish my job?
Simple jobs are often completed and delivered, shipped, or mailed the same day. Some jobs, however, may take several days to complete depending on their complexity and size. We always strive to provide an accurate estimate of the turnaround time for each job we do. And we’ll always work with you to find ways to complete your project when you need it.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, company check, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. We can also set up a business account for you, as well. Contact us at email@example.com or (925) 297-0100 for details.
What is variable data printing?
Variable data printing is 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 does personalization mean?
Personalization is another term for variable data—technology for printing documents so that each piece is 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 that vary based on data specific to the recipient, or data-driven graphics such as a pie chart illustrating something specific to the recipient.
What type of return can I expect from personalized or variable data marketing materials?
Studies consistently show that personalized marketing receives a far greater response than static pieces.
On average, the response rate of a static direct mail campaign is around 2%. A targeted, personalized campaign that utilizes variable data technology can increase that response rate by up to 30%.
While the cost per piece of variable imaging direct mail is higher, your cost per response is much lower, increasing your return on investment.
What do I need to provide for variable data projects?
We work with many types of data files, but CSV files are the safest bet. These are data files that 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 a free consultation.