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  HELPFUL TIPS

 

Browse our Helpful Hints to answer common questions about printing and file design:

Sheetwise vs. Work-and-Turn and Work-and-Tumble
Barn Doors vs. Gatefolds
How to Size Up an Envelope
Handling Hints
Anatomy of an Envelope
Should You Consider a Custom Envelope
The Bright Ideas Come Out in Print
Tips & Tricks
Preparing Your Digital Files
Accurate Document Size of Electronic File
Fixing The Problem of Four Color Blacks
Sending Fonts
Compression Software
Common Printing Terms

Coming Soon:
Receiving Files from Us
The Ten Rules of Printing
Printing Trade Customs
Printing & Direct Mail Services
Why You Benefit From Printing Services & Direct Mail Together
Cost Effective Graphic Design and Web Design!
Full Color Printing Specialists
Printing Press Options

HELPFUL TIPS:

SHEETWISE VS. WORK-AND-TURN AND WORK-AND-TUMBLE

Sheetwise, work-and-turn, and work-and tumble sound like so much gibberish, but grasping their meaning can save you money buying printing.

When we print your brochure (for instance) sheetwise, we'll lay out four copies of the front of your brochure to print on one side of a 28” x  40” press sheet.  When this side is dry, we can change plates, turn the stack of press sheets over, and print the opposite side of the sheet (the backs of the brochure), then trim down the stack of paper to produce four brochures from each press sheet.

Another approach would be to print the job work-and-turn or work-and-tumble (the only difference between these methods is how the sheet is turned over: either from side to side or end-over-end).  In these two options, the four brochures would still be laid out on the sheet, but two front sides of the brochure and two back sides of the brochure would print on the same side of the 28” x 40” sheet noted above.  This would allow us to turn the sheets over (once they are dry) and run them through the press a second time exactly the same way on the opposite side of the sheet (“backing up the job”) without changing plates.  The same plates would print the back of the sheet (two fronts and two backs of the brochure), creating four brochures (called “four-out” or “four-up”) prior to cutting and folding.
 
Of course, work-and-turn and work-and-tumble jobs save time and money by not requiring a plate change before printing the second side of the sheet.  However, if you were to print the same job sheetwise, you could print (for instance) two colors on one side of the sheet and two different colors on the other side of the sheet without needing more ink fountains on press and without requiring extra passes through the press.  In this way, you could increase the complexity of your design without paying a premium.

BARN DOORS VS. GATEFOLDS

There are three complex folding formats that are often confused with one another. They are gatefolds, barn door flap folds, and letter folds (wrap folds).
 •   “Gatefolds” are two parallel folds on at least a six-paneled sheet (three panels on each side), with the center panel twice as wide as either the left flap or the right flap. The left and right flaps touch at the center when the job has been folded. Be aware that this is the term all printers use for this folding format. However, advertising executives and designers often refer to this exact same format as a “barn door” fold, particularly when used on the cover of a magazine. Therein lies the confusion.
 •  The “barn door fold” is a term coined by, and understood by, advertisers and production artists. This fold is created when two differently sized sheets (different in width but both equal to the magazine’s vertical dimension) are folded and attached to each other and then bound around the inside signatures of a magazine such that the reader initially sees the front cover image but can open the left and right “barn-door” flaps to expose a second cover underneath.
 •  The terms “letter fold” and “wrap fold” refer to a folding format often used for magazine covers in which the front cover is double the width of the normal front (or back, for that matter) magazine cover (when bound onto the nested signatures that comprise the magazine).  This cover includes a partial or complete flap that folds inward toward the gutter and page one and obscures (or partially obscures) the normal inside front cover. Be advised the terms cited here are what all printers call this folding format; advertising executives and designers, however, often call this a “gatefold” cover.  Seeds of confusion are clearly sown due to these name differences.
 •  If you are unsure of how to describe your job, you can send us a sample of exactly what you want.  Sometimes a sample in hand can avoid a miscommunication over folding format terminology and determine whether we can do the job.

HOW TO SIZE UP AN ENVELOPE

Save time and money by ordering standard size envelopes. For best results, they should be at least 1/2" longer than the longest insert. Recommended clearance from top to bottom is no less than 1/4". However, when the inserts are thick or bulky, extra allowances must be made. Minimum size envelope as specified by postal regulations is 3-1/2"x5". All must be rectangular. Odd shapes are non-mail able.

HANDLING HINTS

1. If address is to appear on the envelope, a regular, full-face envelope should be used.
2. For enclosure addressing, use a type of window envelope.
3. If insertion is to be done by machine, use an open side envelope.
4. When enclosing is done by hand, use and open side or open end.
5. Handwritten or typewritten letters require first-class mail.
6. Processed or printed letters or circulars, simple printed matter, and merchandise may travel by third-class mail.

ANATOMY OF AN ENVELOPE

A standard diagonal seam envelope is the most common style envelope in use today. Its parts are basically the same regardless of its size or name. The corners, flaps, shoulders, throat, seal and seams may vary slightly in size, curvature or shape in different makes and models. To help you understand the terms used by envelope manufacturers, we have illustrated a basic diagonal seam envelope showing the most common terms applied to its parts. These terms are used regardless of its style - diagonal, side or center seam - open end or open side.

SHOULD YOU CONSIDE A CUSTOM ENVELOPE?

Where a particular enclosure need exists, or when a routine job requires special handling, a custom envelope may be indicated. Or perhaps choosing one of a dozen specialized envelopes would be more suitable. For a completely new design, or the adaptation of an existing envelope, there is virtually no limit to the variety of styles that can be produced in any size for any purpose. In addition to standard envelopes, most converters usually have hundreds of non-standard dies on file, which are adaptable to new applications at surprisingly little cost.
Types of Specialized Envelopes
Business Mailer ................... Hitch-Hiker #1 & #2
Drive-in Banking .................Latex Seal
File-elope ............................. M-1 Coupon
Squares ................................  Peel & Seal
Jumbo ..................................  Flip n' Stic

THE BRIGHT IDEAS COME OUT IN PRINT

The envelope in any mailing always makes first impressions. No wonder research shows that the success of any direct mailing campaign depends greatly upon the type of envelope used. To make that first impression a favorable one, there are important guidelines. Printing on envelopes is a good way to increase awareness and response. For instance, teaser copy is often an excellent way to command attention. Interesting graphics can set the scene for the message inside. Color printing is another consideration. It's worth remembering that the use of colored paper stock achieves a two-color effect with the economy of one-color printing. Certain envelope styles, like side-seam, lend themselves to addressing on what would normally be the back of the envelope, leaving the entire face free for eye-catching graphics. It's important to remember that the inclusion of a paid postage envelope markedly increases returns. Sometimes it's a good idea to have envelopes printed in flat sheets, then die-cut and folded. Offset quality envelopes are available in commercials, officials, coins, catalogs, booklets and specials. In one, two and three colors. Sizes: 3x5-1/2 up to 12x15-1/2 in one and two color inks Entire face or entire block (4-side bled if required) Up to and including 150-line screen Hairline register assured excellent color control (original artwork and negatives required to produce quality offset envelopes).

TIPS AND TRICKS

What types of images work best?
TIFF or EPS formats best preserve the color and sharpness of your pictures. If you are scanning the images yourself from photos, save them in one of these formats.

What about the resolution?
Scan your images using a resolution of 300 dpi at the final dimensions you intend to use. A 300 dpi resolution makes colors look smooth and hard objects look sharp.

What about JPGs from my digital camera?
Yes, JPGs from digital cameras are fine. Be sure that when you do the math your pixel resolution is high enough. For example, if your camera puts out a typical image of 1280 x 960 pixels at 72 dpi, you get about 17" x 13" of photograph (at 72 dpi) -- the same amount of detail as an image that is 4" x 3" at 300 dpi. That means it's safe to reduce or enlarge that image in the layout program up to around 4" x 3" in dimension. You should open the photos in your computer and convert them to TIFF or EPS before you do any change or color correction (never go back and save as JPG again).

How can I tell what resolution the image from my digital camera is?
If your camera tells you what the pixel dimensions of your images are, you can do a little math to determine the resolution and the size to print.

Here's how:
1. Write down the pixel dimensions of your image.
2. Divide that number by 300 (if the image does not include text), or divide it by 400 (if the image does include text). For example, an image without any text has a pixel dimension of 600 x 900 pixels. Once each dimension is divided by 300, the result is 2" x 3". This means that you can use this image at 2" x 3" or smaller in your layout and get quality printing results.
3. If your image editing software does not tell you the pixel dimensions, but it does tell you the resolution, then you know the maximum size you can use that image in your layout. We suggest images be at 300 dpi in final layout size, and 400 dpi if images include text.

Can I enlarge the photos after scanning them?
One thing not to do is scanning at 300 dpi and then enlarge the picture by 200% in your layout program! It's also not a good idea to simply lift an image from a website and use it in your layout. Typically the resolution is only 72 dpi, and will look very blurry once printed. File formats like GIF or JPG compress the color and pixel resolution, causing color shifts and fuzziness. Since these image formats dominate the web, it's best not to use them for the aforementioned reasons.

Please keep in mind that resolution and physical dimensions are in direct proportion to each other. That means that if you have an image that is 2" x 2" at 300 dpi and increase its size in the layout to 4" x 4", the new resolution is now 150 dpi. Keep in mind that when you bring an image into your layout, shrinking it in up to 20% increments is acceptable, but not recommended (because the resolution will increase). You will be limited to how far you can increase it in size.

Do I need to send you my fonts?
Yes, you will have to gather copies of all the fonts you used and send them to us with your layout file. It is very important in order to avoid any reflow in the text that you do not add any style to the fonts from the "Type Styles" option in either Mac or Windows formats (don't use BOLD or ITALIC from the font style). Instead use fonts from the original font family (i.e. Helvetica Bold or Helvetica Italic).

Will my printed piece look exactly like it does on my computer monitor?
There are some small differences. Scanners and digital cameras use combinations of three colors: Red, Green and Blue (called "RGB"), which are also the colors computers use to display images.

Printing presses however, use a different process and set of colors: called "CMYK". CMYK refers to the primary colors of pigment Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, which are the inks used on the press, also known as full-color printing. The combination of RGB light creates White, while the combination of CMYK inks create Black. It is therefore, physically impossible for the printing press to exactly reproduce colors as we see them on the monitor. This means that your RGB file must be translated to CMYK in order to print it on a printing press. This is easily done using a photo-editing program. Many image-editing programs, such as Photoshop, have the capacity to convert the images from the RGB color space to the CMYK color space.

We request that you convert your colors from RGB to CMYK if your tools permit. When you do this conversion yourself, you have maximum control over the results. You may notice a shift in color when converting from RGB to CMYK. If you don't like the appearance in CMYK, we recommend that you make adjustments while working in CMYK (usually lightening). You should specify CMYK color builds that look lighter than you want, since the dots of ink "fatten up " on press, giving you more pigment on paper than you see on your monitor. It helps too, to be especially careful to keep backgrounds light if there is black or dark colored text in order that it can be read.

Why should I do the RGB to CMYK conversion before sending your images?
Why? You will have more control over the appearance of your printed piece. If we do the conversion it is a standard-value conversion, which means the results may not be perfectly to your liking. In addition, there is a $15 charge for any files that are not converted. Please take the time to prepare your file properly, and be sure not to furnish low-res or RGB images because we cannot be responsible for sub-par results if you do.Be aware too, that it is possible to create colors in RGB that you can't print in CMYK, (said to be "out of the CMYK color gamut"). What happens is the translator gets as close as possible to the appearance of the original and that's as good as it can get. Therefore, it's best to select any colors you use for fonts or other design elements in your layout by using CMYK definitions instead of RGB.

Can I use colored text?
We don't recommend it in small (less than 12-point size) because the words appear hard to read and it tends to look unprofessional. Also don't use knocked out type (white on dark background in small size and thin fonts). When you colorize small text, the variance in the color consistency, that is the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black portions of the characters don't line up exactly. This is called miss registration, which result in little colored halos around the characters.

Can I put text over an image?
Yes, you can use text with a light color in the dark areas of the image, or dark text in the light colors of the image. Keep in mind though, that text of any color, especially on top of a photo can be very hard to read. The secret is to lighten the photo much more than you may think necessary when you use Photoshop or other photo-editing program.

What are bleeds and do I need them?
"Bleeds" refers to the saturation of color that goes to the very edge of the paper in your printed piece.

How to achieve this effect:
In the image-editing program (i.e. Photoshop), make sure that the image size is larger by .25 inches in the width and height. That is, it should be larger than the final (trim size) of your printed piece. In the page layout program (i.e. Quark) make sure that the document size is your final trim size and extend the photo background to 1/8" outside the edge of the page where it will be trimmed after printing.

Will you match the colors from a sample I print out from my printer, or a previously printed sample?
Due to the widely varying results from the different output devices (i.e. inkjet, laser printers, continuous tone proofing devices and different than true offset printing), there is no guarantee that your finished piece will mirror your printed sample. There can be significant differences in results, even from one commercial printing firm to another. We will send you a color proof before we begin printing your job (Epson, etc.). If you require precise color match, please contact us to arrange for a film-based Press-Match proof. Once you approve the additional fees, we will produce and send you a hard proof via overnight delivery. Once you approve and return the proof we will match the color of the proof (as close as technically possible) when printing your final piece. Please call us for a price quote for this service. Also, be aware that if you request color correction or other changes (after you've seen your proof), there will be additional charges to create a new proof set.?

PREPARING YOUR DIGITAL FILES

Before you send your electronic design files, please review the quick checklist in our section "Preflight Checklist." We want to ensure that your project is completed correctly and on time. Please consider this information as important and crucial for the proper production of your file. It can save valuable time and money.

When you send a digital file out for film or printing there's more that needs to go along than just your Quark Press document. You may need to send fonts and graphics too. These are some of the basics you need to know in order to give us what we need to process your job. Please also reference our Acceptable Software list to be sure we can support your application. A laser copy of the latest version of your file at 100% of original size. If your final size is larger than your laser printer size, mark your printout as REDUCED. Also make sure any final changes are marked as "'Fixed on Disk".

ACCURATE DOCUMENT SIZE OF ELECTRONIC FILE

Folding panels are accurate and Bleeds (minimum 1/8 inch) are pulled out. Call us for more specific information about size of panels before sending your file to us.

* It is best if your file is set up as single page format. If using facing pages, or spreads, please lay it out in reader's spreads (i.e. Page 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.). Do not use printer's spreads.
* Be sure ALL used fonts are included. Provide all fonts used in the project, including fonts used in eps images (illustrator, etc.).
* Even when you use common, classic typefaces you'll need to send the copies of the actual font files that your document contains. Fonts can vary from vendor to vendor and there are differences between the TrueType and Type 1 versions of fonts. If you don't supply your own fonts, we may substitute our own version. This might work or it might result in subtle or obvious differences in your document, including text reflow. Send both screen and printer fonts (for Type 1 fonts).
* If you have embedded EPS files that include text that is not converted to curves, be sure to send the fonts for those images as well.
* Avoid mixing TrueType and Type 1 fonts in the same file.
* Send the same version of the font (that is, if you used TrueType fonts but send the Type 1 version of that typeface you may see errors). Do not use the applications "type styles." Another words, DO NOT apply BOLD or ITALIC stylizing to typefaces. Choose the actual typeface to accomplish this (i.e. BTimes Bold, ITimes Italic).

Additional Notes:
- Our RIP does not support the use of wing dings or web dings font. Please use zapf dingbat's font instead.

- For full-color images, use CMYK format. DO NOT USE RGB FORMAT FOR SCANS! If your job is printing in four-color process, be sure that all scans you supply are in CMYK format. If you supply files in RGB format, they will not separate at the image setter, resulting in wasted film, costing you extra time and money. RGB images may look great on screen or printed on your inkjet printer but they usually don't print well to PostScript output devices. Convert your images to CMYK. While RGB has its place (on the Web, for example) it isn't suitable for most PostScript color printing. Save your original RGB file for later use or modifications. In your graphics application convert a copy of the RGB graphic to CMYK then place it in your page layout program. Send the CMYK version of your graphic to us.

- Avoid complex images. If you have a file that contains complex images such as gradient fills or nested EPS graphics, planning ahead may avoid surprises. Our PostScript device may be unable to handle the image and if you know in advance you can try simplifying your file or converting it to a bitmap. One test of your file is printing it to your own printer. If your file won't print to your laser printer it probably won't be output correctly on an image setter. Even invisible parts of an image add to the complexity and can cause output problems.

- Delete unnecessary nodes, paths, and channels from your graphics.

- Do your scans contain sufficient resolution for production? Scanning your image at 300 d.p.i. At the size you will be using will ensure good results. Never increase a small image beyond 120% when placing it in your document file. (72 d.p.i. is for web use only, and will not reproduce well.). Please be aware that digital cameras are great for taking pictures to show friends and family but an inexpensive 1 or 2-mega pixel digital camera may not create an image with enough resolution for high-end production purposed. Also, digital camera images are saved in RGB format. Be sure all used images are included.

- Provide all images and graphics used in file (even if the image is embedded instead of linked). Don't change graphics file names unless you first re-link them in your application file. Missing graphics can result in delayed printing or if you don't proof carefully enough it can be an expensive error when you find out later that the image is missing or a low-resolution screen version was printed instead. Graphics may appear to be missing if you change filenames after linking. If you find that you need to change the name of a graphic file, re-link it in your page layout program before sending the graphics and application file. Save scanned images as either TIFF or EPS formats. There are dozens of graphics file formats but only two - EPS and TIFF - are the standards for commercial high-resolution printing. Beyond file type other graphics issues that can jeopardize your printing project are color, compression, complexity, and completely missing images. When you send your document to us, we often can and do take the time to fix some of the common problems listed below. However, there may be instances in which we would have to charge for any additional time spent. Save time, money, and frustration with proper preparation and submission of your graphics for printing. If FPO images are used, be sure they are clearly marked in file and on laser copy. Provide us with ONLY the most recent file.

- Remove unused colors from your file and from the color palette as well. Be sure you do not have multiple colors that are similar but slightly different in name (such as using PMS 185 CV and then another color named PMS 185 CVC.). Also confirm that the colors used in the file are the same specified for final production - if not, please note on file or hardcopy.

TIP: To see how your job will separate in production, try printing separations to your laser printer first.

FIXING THE PROBLEM OF FOUR-COLOR BLACKS

Although PDF files have many advantages, the major problem is that they cannot be easily manipulated by most printers. When asked to make corrections to the files so they will be usable, clients more often than not complain.  Rather than call the ad agencies or advertisers and ask for a new ad or a correction, many clients would rather "shop around" for a printer that will accept four-color black type. This is unfortunate because it often involves excessive paper waste and extra press time when a printer does actually attempt to print four-color black type.
 
PDF files can be produced directly using Quark or InDesign software.  An alternative method is to distill a PostScript file to a PDF file using Adobe Acrobat. The difficulty with handing off native Quark or InDesign files without distilling them into PDF format is that the computers used by the designer and the printer must be configured in exactly the same way to avoid such problems as altered line-endings.  In addition, a native file can easily be inadvertently altered.  The benefit of a PDF in printing is that you can transmit to the offset printer a small, complete file that is essentially uneditable. This creates a double-edged sword, however. If the application file from which the PDF is distilled (Quark, InDesign, etc.) is accurate, complete and usable, the PDF will be print-ready.  If the application file has flaws, however, such as using the wrong color space for the job, the PDF will not be usable or editable, or will be only marginally editable by the printer.
 
To solve this problem, we suggest our clients use Adobe Illustrator. The program is essential for changing CMYK black or RGB black to 100  percent black within a PDF file. 

SENDING FONTS

Our Prepress Department's number one problem when outputting files is the fonts. Files are received with missing fonts, corrupt fonts, or the wrong fonts. If you want to avoid delays and errors on your next project, take the extra steps to ensure that you send the right fonts with your file. If you don't supply your own fonts we may substitute our own version. This might work, but it often results in subtle or obvious differences in your document including text reflow.

Even if you only used a single character from a certain font, you'll have to send that font along with all the others. Don't forget to include the bold, italic, and other versions of the font as well if you used them. Not all fonts are text. Did you use a dingbat symbol for bullets or end-markers on articles? Include those fonts too.

* Missing fonts in EPS graphics

If you have embedded EPS files that include text be sure to send the fonts for those images as well. Generally it is best to convert the text to curves but sometimes this can alter the image in unwanted ways. If that's the case, you must send the font files for that text.

* Missing screen or printer fonts

Type 1 (PostScript) fonts have two files that must be sent -- both a screen and a printer font. When you send only the screen font the file may look fine on screen but when printed you'll see font substitutions. Be sure to include both screen (bitmap or .pfm) and printer (postscript outline or .pdf) files for each Type 1 font.

* Wrong version

While we prefer Type 1 fonts, we can and will use TrueType as well. Some designers who use TrueType fonts in their designs may mistakenly send the Type 1 version thinking that's all the we can use. TrueType and Type 1 differ in how they handle kerning and other spacing matters. Sending the wrong version of the font can result in differences in text flow and alter the appearance of kerned headlines. If you have both TrueType and Type 1 versions of the same font installed (which is not a good idea) you may inadvertently use one in your file then send the other version for printing. Avoid this by only installing and using one version of the font.

* Automated Font Collection

One way to insure that you include all the fonts used in your project is to use the utilities of your page layout program or third-party utilities that gather all the files needed for output or provide lists of the fonts used in a particular document.
- Adobe InDesign's Preflight and Package features also gathers the fonts used in your document as well as gathering all graphics being used.
- The Collect for Output utility in QuarkXPress creates a list telling you which fonts were used.

* Manual Font Collection

Whether or not you use helper software, it's still a good idea to know how to manually locate the files for each of your fonts. The following includes steps to help you locate your Windows or Macintosh TrueType and Type 1 fonts and troubleshoot other font problems.

* Macintosh TrueType Fonts

- The default location for all fonts in System 7.1 and later is the Fonts folder inside the System folder.
- For a system older than 7.1 your TrueType fonts and bitmaps would be in your System file.
- There is only one file for each TrueType font.
- A TrueType file icon appears as a dog-eared page with three letters "A"s in progressively larger sizes. The filename does not include a point size.

* Macintosh Type 1 Fonts

- The default location for all fonts in System 7.1 and later is the Fonts folder inside the System folder.
- In System 7.0 and 7.0.1 the PostScript outline files are in the Extensions folder and the bitmaps are in the System file.
- For System 6, PostScript outline files are in the System Folder.
- The bitmap font icon appears as a dog-eared page with the letter "A." Each bitmap filename includes a point size (Times 10, for example). All the bitmap files for a font are in a suitcase (in the Fonts folder under System 7.1 or later).
- The outline file icon appears as a letter "A" in front of horizontal lines. Most Type 1 outline files are named using the first five characters of the font name, followed by the first three characters of each style (HelveBol=Helvetica Bold, TimesBolIta=Times Bold Italic). An outline filename does not include a point size.
- Be sure you send both the bitmap (screen) suitcase and outline (printer) file for each Type 1 font.

* Windows TrueType Fonts

- The default location for installed TrueType fonts under Windows NT and above is Windows/Fonts although actual files may be anywhere.
- Go to your Windows/Fonts folder (My Computer > Control Panel > Fonts). Select View > Details. You'll see the font names in one column and the actual file name in another.
- The icon for TrueType fonts is a dog-eared page with two overlapping "T"s.
- For installed fonts that have only a shortcut to the font in your Windows Fonts folder (the icon will have a little arrow in the corner), right click on the font name and select Properties to find the path to the actual file.
- In directories other than the Windows Font folder the Details View won't show you the font name, only the filename. You can double click a file to view the name of the font.
- All Windows TrueType fonts have an extension of. Tiff

* Windows Type 1 Fonts

- The default location for Type 1 fonts is the psfonts and psfonts/pfm directories but they can be located anywhere.
- Use Adobe Type Manager (ATM) to locate both of the needed files for a Type 1 (PostScript) font.
- With ATM open highlight a font name in the Fonts window then choose File > Properties.
- A pop-up window displays the complete path to two files.
- Each Windows Type 1 font will have a .pfm (Printer Font Metrics, your screen font) and a .pfb (Printer Font Binary, your printer font) file. 
- The icon for both the .pfb and .pfm files is a dog-eared page with a lower case script "a" (for Adobe).

COMPRESSION SOFTWARE

What is "Stuff It" or "Zip It"?

Stuff it and Zip It are two programs that compress files. Compression software reduces the data size of an image of a file. In its simplest form, similar "elements" comprising the data of the file are eliminated upon compression, and then recaptured upon decompression. This process is a lossless process, and as such, no image quality is lost.

For Mac Users, there is Stuff-It and for PC Users, there is ZIP-IT. These two programs enable faster file transferring on the Internet. By compressing files, the file size decreases, and that in turn decreases the file transfer time.

For Mac users there is both STUFF IT. And Zip IT
Click here to download STUFF IT.
Click here to download Zip IT.
For PC Users, there is WINZIP (ZIP IT).
Click here to download WINZIP.
If you have a slow connection and/or your files are relatively large, these programs will allow you to send your files faster and protected.

COMMON PRINTING TERMS

BLEEDS: The ink prints to the very edge of the paper. When using "bleeds" you must allow for the art to extend 1/8" beyond the page border.

BLUE LINES: A contact proof from the film used to verify that the film is correct. The word comes from the blue paper used.

CAMERA READY ART: This is art or copy on a layout board or paper output to be photographed.

COLOR KEY: A contact proof from the film made from acetate. There is one sheet per process color, which is overlaid with each other to verify that your color film is correct.

COMPOSED FILM: Film, which is ready to be "stripped" (pieced) together with other pieces of composed film to make "plate ready" film.

COVERAGE %: The amount of ink covering the printed page. Always let the printing service know if large solid areas of 100% ink exist on the page.

COVER INK: Same as the above, but for the cover portion, if it differs from the text.

COVER STOCK: Heavier card type stock and also used for the outside 4 pages of your printed item, should it be different from the text. If it is not, then your printed item is a "self cover".

DESCRIPTION: The name of the printing item you need the quote for (e.g., printing books, brochure printing, catalog printing…).

DESIGN: Combining your type, images, colors logo and other items into a finished eye-pleasing piece.

DIE SCORE OR CUT: A "steel rule" die is manufactured, which is composed of thin pieces of steel that will be used to stamp a line or rule on the printed materiel. To die cut is to cut the printed piece almost like a cookie cutter. An example of this is a "pocket folder".

EMBOSS: To die stamp the paper from the rear in order to create a raised effect.

FLAT/SPREAD SIZE: This is the flat and final trimmed size of the printed item before folding. (Example: an 8 1/2 x 11" 4-page brochure spread out, as a 2-page "spread" would be 17 x 11".)  Printers require the width as the first dimension given.

FOIL: To stamp with a metal die a material onto the paper. If the foil touches ink on the piece or is raised by embossing, it is called "registering".

FOLD TYPE: The type of fold used to complete your printing job. A letter fold is a paper folded in thirds. A "z" fold differs in that the parts do not overlap but form a Z at the end. A parallel fold is a half fold, double parallel folds in half and then half again vs. a right angle where the second fold is done on a 90-degree angle from the first. Accordion fold is just more panels than the Z and similar. A gate fold is where the two end panels meet in the center with the center panel being the width equal to both end panels and a double gate folds in half towards the center after the initial gate fold.

HALF TONES: A black and white photo shot with a camera.

HOLES: Punching or die cutting holes to allow for binder or other use. Typical is 3 holes, automotive style is 5 holes.

MATCHPRINT: A multiple piece of contact proofing that is pieced together and laminated as a single piece.

NUMBER OF PAGES: This is different from how many sheets of paper. A single piece of paper has two sides and therefore is two pages.

OUTPUT READY DISK: A complete disk not requiring further production other then to "rip" to film or plate if on a digital press. It should also contain folders for all of your images fonts used.

PERFECT BIND: A squared off edge and glued pages define this bindery type. An example is your typical "pocket" book printing.

PERFORATE: Creation of holes either by die or a bindery rolling process for tears outs or coupons in coupon book printing.

QUANTITY: How many do you need? It is a good idea to list 3 quantities, as the unit pricing is better once the printing press is running.

SADDLE STITCH: Two staples added to the center of the piece on the fold line. This is a typical magazine bind.

SCANS: Scanning is the process that records your images as a digital file from your photograph.

TEXT INK: Ink that is used for the inner pages of your printed item. This is described by the number of inks you require and the two numbers used are separated by a slash sign /. If the front of your piece has 4 colors and the back has 1, then your piece would be described as 4/1 or "four over one". CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) is for process printing, such as color photos and Pantone inks also known as spot color, or PMS stands for Pantone Matching System. (Note: always count on a slight variation of color from paper to paper and press to press.

TEXT STOCK: A lighter weight stock. If there were not a separate cover, then would be the only paper used (i.e. a "self cover") or if there is a separate heavier cover printed then this would refer to the inside paper.

TRIM SIZE FOLDED: The size of the printed item once folded. (Example: if you fold a letter to fit an envelope, the folded size is the "trim size" folded, or 3 2/3 x 8 1/2" from the 8.5 x 11" original size.)

 
   
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