Frequently Asked Questions
What is a bleed?
Bleed refers to artwork that goes beyond the crop marks of the printed piece prior to trimming. The bleed is the part on the side of a document that gives the printer a small amount of space to account for movement of the paper and design inconsistencies. Artwork and background colors can extend into the bleed area. After trimming, the bleed ensures that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed document.
Art printed without a bleed typically happens when a document is designed exactly to size. Documents will appear to have uneven white borders when printed. To ensure this doesn't happen, size your art with a 1/8" border on all sides before you send it to get printed. Otherwise, your final piece can have an uneven border and look off-center.
Why send PDFs?
Commercial printers find the PDF format to be an excellent choice when accepting Customer created files for printing. A PDF file includes all of the information needed to print a document or publication correctly. If prepared properly, the PDF files can include the fonts and graphic images needed by a commercial printer.
Printers can even edit the PDF file for common pre-press problems. Common issues with sending a native file include fonts defaulting, format changes, and missing graphics. A PDF proof will be necessary if a native file is provided.
What are missing fonts?
Not all computers have the same fonts loaded in their operating system. There are even font discrepancies from PC to Mac systems that can change your PC Arial font to Minion Pro when opened with a Mac, even if the Mac has the Arial font family.
If you send a file created in Adobe Illustrator, you can create outline from the text to prevent defaulting. Highlight the text and select Type > Create Outlines. You will no longer be able to edit the text, so you should save the file with a different name than your original.
How do I package InDesign Files?
Adobe InDesign does not automatically embed fonts and graphics, but instead loads a jpeg preview of images. In order to keep your links and fonts intact when you send an InDesign file, you must package it. First save your file. Then, go to File > Package and name the folder. This folder will contain your InDesign file, a folder containing the document fonts, and the links to your images. You can also choose to save a PDF in the packaged folder as well.
How do I set up a file with Crop Marks?
- Create a new InDesign document and set your page size, margins, and a bleed of .125" on each side.
- Place your file into the new document. Make sure the file is extended beyond the page edge and into the bleed area.
- Once your file is ready to export, got to File > Export. First you will be prompted to pick a location to save the file, and then the Export window will pop-up.
Click on the Marks and Bleeds tab. Under Marks you will want to check only the "Crop Marks" box. Under Bleed and Slug make sure to check "Use Document Bleed Settings" box. Click "Export", and your PDF will have Crop marks and be ready to print!
My company uses specific colors in our branding. Will these colors match when printed?
Our print experts will work with you to make sure that your colors match on every piece, every time. We can print your stationery and business cards on our offset presses using your exact spot colors. For smaller quantities, or full color jobs, we will send you a color proof before we print to make sure you are happy with the colors before we print.
What paper should I use for my project?
Matte (or Silk) paper is a stock that is coated with a finishing that is semi-reflective, but not overly shiny. Ideal for prints with text such as postcards, brochures, or rack cards. Because this stock is not shiny, it is also ideal for photo prints that will be put into frames. It is not ideal to write on this stock.
Glossy paper is a stock that is coated with a finishing that causes a shine on the paper. Ideal for photos or art prints with vibrant colors. It is not ideal to write on this stock and should not be used for documents or forms.
Uncoated paper has not been treated or coated. It can sometimes be known as "offset" paper. The raw surface of the paper can be smooth but will never have a sheen like coated papers.
On uncoated papers, ink will typically be absorbed for slightly softer colors and edges.
Cover stock is a thick, sturdy paper. It is durable enough to be used as postcards in the mail! It is typically referred to as "card stock". Available in glossy, matte, and uncoated finishes.
Text weight is thinner than cover stock. Text weights range from copy paper to brochure stock without being too rigid. Available in glossy, matte, and uncoated finishes.