Everyone has questions. We have compiled our most frequently asked questions here for your convenience.
If you have any other questions that are not listed below, please contact our Customer Service Department.
Toll Free: 1.800.535.9498 | Local: 316.945.7052
While our prepress department is geared mainly toward preparing your artwork for successful printing, we do have designers on staff who can work with you to get artwork created for print. We can recreate the logo you’ve sketched on a napkin or update the files you haven’t had printed in years. We can reformat your old catalog into a fresh new look or flow your text files into a completely new document. We will work with you to produce what you need. Any artwork beyond basic preparation for print output is billed at $80 per hour.
Certainly! We are proud of the work we produce and look forward to sending you samples and answering any questions you might have.
That depends on how it will be produced. Products that are to be pad printed (screened) need to have only solids, but virtually every other printing format allows for screens, gradients and halftones. Please be aware that blends and fades that are screen printed won’t appear as smooth on the printed piece as they appear on your monitor or from your office printer. If you have any question, feel free to send us your artwork and we can let you know if it is suitable for the type of printing you’ve requested. We can also help you come up with solutions for those hard-to-print pieces you’ve designed.
Website images are usually 72 dpi (low resolution that speeds loading of the page on the computer). In order for your printed images to be crisp and clear, we need artwork that is 300 dpi. Of course, you may choose to use a low resolution image, but it will appear jagged or fuzzy on the printed piece.
EPS is a vector format designed for printing to PostScript printers and imagesetters. It is considered the best choice for high resolution printing of illustrations because it can be enlarged while maintaining sharpness and clarity. A TIFF is a versatile bitmap graphic format that is great for high resolution printing to PostScript printers and image setters but can’t be enlarged without a reduction in quality. JPG and GIF are also bitmap based, but these formats save lower resolution files. We prefer TIFF over JPG or GIF files. Please note that saving a low resolution GIF/JPG file as an eps or high resolution file does not improve the quality of the image. Simply put, you must start with a good quality image in order for the final printed images to be crisp and clear.
In four color process printing, the four process colors (cyan – a bright blue, magenta – fuchsia, yellow and black) are blended, using tiny dots, to create other colors. Color photos must be printed as four color process. Most gradients and blended colors require 4 color process. Fine lines and tiny type are not recommended on four color process pieces (unless the fine lines and tiny type are printed in only one of the process colors, such as black) because the blending of inks – remember, that is accomplished with very small dot patterns – doesn’t give a clean appearance on fine lines.
Spot colors are inks that are premixed, so they are printed as just one color – without the tiny dots required for four color process. Halftone screens and basic blends are possible with spot colors, but are limited in range. Spot colors are ideal for materials in which a particular color (such as a logo) must be exactly the same color every time it is printed, on different types of stocks and even by different vendors.
There are a number of ways to prepare files so that they will output properly.
- PDF – The preferred method. All PDFs must be saved as high resolution files with fonts and links embedded. You will also need to include crop marks and any bleed necessary to produce the job when saving the PDF.
- Live Files – We can accept files from most layout or graphic programs. Many page layout programs have a “collect” or “package” function that gathers all fonts and graphics used in the file. If your software program doesn’t have this function, you will need to manually gather all font and graphics used to create the file and send them along with your file. Be sure to include fonts used in placed graphics. It is always advisable to compress (ZIP or STUFF) your files before sending them by either email or upload to our FTP site. This reduces the size of the files so that they transfer more quickly and also reduces the incidence of file corruption.
- If you don’t want to send fonts and links, simply convert all type to curves and embed all graphics. Once links are embedded and text is converted to curves, we can’t make changes to your files.
Missing fonts, missing bleed, undefined colors, missing links and graphics formatted incorrectly. If you have special fonts, it is always best to send those with the files. When submitting files, if you package all of your file items (fonts, images, etc.) together in a .zip file, will significantly reduce the amount of errors or missing items.