Frequently Asked Questions
Why don't web graphics work in print?
Web graphics are lower quality than print graphics. Formats used in web design are for delivering small file sizes that can be understood by many browsers. Web graphics almost always have a lower resolution than print graphics. The GIF format is often used for web graphics. This format is limited to 256 colors and simulates other shades by combining dots of the allowed colors. This results in a quality not recommended for commercial print. Print graphics need to be a higher resolution and are often in a RIP format.
Should I embed graphics into my layout?
No. Save all the graphic files separately so the layout size is not too large. When files are too big, they do not open fast enough, and they slow production. This will increase the cost to you for file preparation. Embedded graphics can become corrupt. When this happens there are few options for solving the problem, and it may not be able to print at all. Image Printing needs the original files for editing. Supplied graphics often need editing, and that task is impossible when the files are embedded into the layout. Sometimes the colors in graphics do not match the actual output and need to be corrected or a font is incorrect or the resolution is off. Any of these examples could cause a project to fail.
What resolution is acceptable?
A resolution of 300 DPI is generally a good goal. We flag any image below 200 DPI as low-res. The client can choose to approve the images for printing or choose to submit higher-resolution replacement files.
What is resolution?
Image resolution describes the detail an image holds, in digital images this is usually measured in dots per inch (DPI). Higher resolution means more image detail, and generally, larger file sizes. Resolution also refers to the image-sharpness that printers and monitors are capable of reproducing.
Why isn't Word good for designing my layout?
Word, Excel, Works, and a myriad of other programs, were never intended to be used as design, or layout programs. These programs, as user friendly as they are, do not give the user the control and options needed to successfully design a dynamic piece, that will be print (press) ready. These files often take longer to prep, and often times will cost the customer more.
Why doesn't the color on a printed piece look like it does on my screen?
Colors produced by a computer monitor have a different color gamut than colors printed on paper.
Why shouldn't I set up my document as reader's or printer's spreads?
We prefer that documents are set up as individual pages built to the actual trim size of each page, not as spreads. If you have an eight-page, 8.5" x 11" booklet, build it as eight 8.5" x 11" pages. Setting the pages up as spreads can create confusion, additional work and additional charges.
What is registration color, and why shouldn't I use it?
Registration color, sometimes called auto or all, is a special color swatch seen in color palettes of layout and illustration programs. Registration is a special color that instructs the application to lay down 100 percent of each separation used in the document. The only time anyone would need to use the registration color is if they were making their own printer's marks, registration marks or trim marks. There is no need to do this before submitting a document to Image Printing. It would interfere with our work.
What file format should I use when sending you a mailing list?
We can use most list formats, but we prefer Comma Separated Values (.csv), Microsoft Excel (.xls), and Tab Delimited text files (.txt).
What is NCOA processing, and how much does it cost?
NCOALINK™ (National Change of Address) processing is a service we offer at no charge when you print with us. It will update addresses of any person or business that has filed a Change of Address with the US Postal Service within the last 18 months.
How much clear space do you need for printing a bar-coded address?
We need a space that is a minimum of 1 ½" high by 3 ¾" long and at least 5/8" up from the bottom edge.
What does CASS certified mean?
Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) is a process that will standardize your addresses with the correct Zip+4 code and proper address formatting. This process allows us to mail at automation (bar-coded) rates.
When do I need to have my mail piece tabbed?
Any folded, letter-sized mail pieces must be tabbed in order to receive automation discounts. Depending on the opening of the piece and the basis weight of the paper, the piece may require one, two or three tabs.
What is the difference between first-class mail and standard mail?
First-class mail is the best choice for time sensitive mailing. It is generally delivered in two to five days nationally and one to three days regionally. Standard mail can be a lower postage rate and has a longer delivery time, usually four to seven days nationally.
How many pieces do I need in order to qualify for discounted postage rates?
To qualify for presorted standard mail rates, you must have 200 pieces or more. In order to qualify for presorted first-class rates, you need 500.