Frequently Asked Questions:
- How do I go about getting an estimate from you?
- How long will it take for you to complete my order?
- What is the best file format for submitting a document for printing?
- How well will what I see on my monitor match what I see on paper?
- What is a proof and why is it needed?
- What are the different grades of paper and their respective basis weight?
- What is the difference between coated and uncoated paper stock?
- What does “print-ready” mean?
- What is color separation?
- What is halftone printing?
- What are Pantone colors?
- Is white considered a printing color?
- What are standard sizes for catalogs and booklets?
- What are the most common sizes for brochures?
- What are the most common business envelope sizes?
- What is the standard size of the address window on a business envelope?
- What requirements does the USPS have for envelopes?
- What are the standard sizes for postcards?
- What are the most common card stocks used for postcards?
- What are the most popular sizes for personalized notepads?
- What are the most popular sizes for sticky notepads?
- What different types of materials can be used for labels?
- What are the types of bindings I can use for multi-page projects?
How do I go about getting an estimate from you?
The fastest and easiest way to get a quote is by using our website, click here. This allows us to see your project, if it’s a sketch or a print-ready file, and determine the best way to produce it. If your project needs a little more explanation or you’d like to review it with us… We can be reached by email, phone or in-person during business hours.
How long will it take for you to complete my order?
Every job is different. Some jobs can be produced the same day, 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.
What is the best file format for submitting a document for printing?
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.
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.
What is a proof and why is it needed?
A proof is a your document, set up for printing on our equipment. Proofs are used to ensure the layout, colors and text of your document are exactly how they are intended to be.
Typically, we will produce a proof that will be sent to you online in PDF format or on printed paper. We proof most of our projects with our clients by sending a PDF file for review, but can also make a physical proof for you to review at our office if you like.
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 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 are 20# for basic forms, 24# as a medium weight, and 32# for flyers, stationary and nicer projects.
Text: A high-quality grade paper with a lot of surface texture. Basis weights range from 60# – 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 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#, 100# or 120#. Cover is also sometimes measured as points such as 10pt, 12pt, 14pt, 16pt and 18pt.
What is the difference between coated and uncoated paper stock?
Uncoated stock paper is comparatively porous, and is typically used for forms and items where a rougher surface is desired. 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.
What does “print-ready” mean?
Print-ready means that a file submitted for print is setup and formatted, ready to be printed without any alterations. A properly setup print-ready file will be scaled to true size, include at least an 1/8″ bleed, and include crop marks.
What is color separation?
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.
What is halftone printing?
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.
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.
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 are standard sizes for catalogs and booklets?
Catalogs and booklets are standard at a folded size of: 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″, or 8-1/2″ x 11″
What are the most common sizes for brochures?
Most brochures are 8 1/2″ x 11″, 8 1/2″ x 14″ or 11″ x 17″ when flat and can be flat or folded in halves, thirds, or quarters.
What are the most common business envelope sizes?
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″
What is the standard size of the address window on a business envelope?
The address window on a typical business envelope measures 4 1/2″ x 1 1/8″.
What requirements does the USPS have for envelopes?
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.
What are the standard sizes for postcards?
Postcards are made in many different size! But the most common sizes are: 4 x 5″, 4″ x 6″, 5″ x 7″ and 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″. In order to be mailed at postcard rate postage, a postcard must be no larger than 6″ wide x 4.25 tall
What are the most common card stocks used for postcards?
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.
What are the most popular sizes for personalized notepads?
The three most popular sizes for personalized notepads are 4.25 x 5.5″, 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ and 8 1/2″ x 11″.
What are the most popular sizes for sticky notepads?
There are four popular sizes for sticky notes: 3″ x 3″, 3″ x 4″, 3″ x 5″ and 4″ x 6″.
What different types of materials can be used for labels?
Materials for labels and their application include:
Litho Paper, Uncoated: Use where you need the label to be easily written on by hand or printed on by machine.
Litho 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.
What are the types of bindings I can use for multi-page projects?
Some of the common methods of binding books and other multi-page documents include:
Saddle-stitch binding: Using staples along the folds of the pages to bind them together.
Three-ring binding: Holes are punched into the pages and fitted into a binder.
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.
Perfect binding: Gluing the outside edges of the pages together to create a flat edge.
Case binding: Sewing the pages together and then attaching them to a hard cover.