Frequently Asked Printing Questions
Digital printing is a state of the art technology utilized for short run needs.
This form of printing is often called direct to press. There are no plates or costly make-readies involved and your proof is a press proof directly off the press.
Offset Printing is the age old standard of printing all printed matter; (catalogs, product sheets, brochures, mailers etc.) With ink, paper and blanket transfer of image to paper. This form of printing requires a proof of your supplied graphics in the form of an Epson, Kodak or traditional match print proof for approval. Once approved printing plates are made and technical set-up of the press begins. This form of printing is used when quantities of 1M or more units are needed.
There are many questions to ask, first and foremost what size equipment does the shop have 40” presses, 29” presses, 26” presses etc. You want to be sure your not paying for press time on a machine larger than your project calls for. You should ask the brand of presses owned, their age and if they are maintained on a regular basis. You should also ask about the proofing system used and if it accurate to the color that can be achieved on press.
RGB - Red, Green, and Blue are "additive colors". If we combine red, green and blue light you will get white light. This is the principal behind the T.V. set in your living room and the monitor you are staring at now. Additive color, or RGB mode, is optimized for display on computer monitors and peripherals, most notably scanning devices.
CMYK - Cyan, Magenta and Yellow are "subtractive colors". If we print cyan, magenta and yellow inks on white paper, they absorb the light shining on the page. Since our eyes receive no reflected light from the paper, we perceive black... in a perfect world! The printing world operates in subtractive color, or CMYK mode. In practice, printing subtractive inks may contain impurities that prevent them from absorbing light perfectly. They do a pretty good job with light colors, but when we add them all together, they produce a murky brown rather than black. In order to get decent dark colors, black ink is added in increasing proportions, as the color gets darker and darker. This is the "K" component in CMYK printing. "K" is used to indicate black instead of a "B" to avoid possible confusion over Blue ink.
Always deliver your digital images in CMYK-mode!
One of the most common errors made by inexperienced graphic designers is submitting RGB files. As a result we must ask if they would like us to convert to CMYK before we send the files for film output. Most of the time, the color change that will occur is slight. However, every once in a while, the color range after conversion is compressed during the transition to CMYK mode resulting in a complete change in color tones. Be warned that there is absolutely no way to get that deep RGB blue using CMYK, no matter how much we want to.
Whether you have a short run project or conventional offset run to print, you will always receive a proof before the process begins. Your proof is your final representation of what your job will look like in print.
It is very important to read all proofs, for content, font style, graphic placement and graphic alignment. In many cases something in your file did not translate properly to a rip or another problem changed font or type style slightly.
This is your opportunity to proof read copy and be sure everything is in order before the print process begins. It is also important to realize that the paper you print on my or may not be as white as your proof. In this instance color will differ slightly from you approval of color.
Finding the best suited print vendor for your needs and your job can sometimes be overwhelming - especially if you've been disappointed (or worse) in the past.
The best printer in NYC? How do you know? We think there are some very basic qualities to look for, including customer support, experience and reliability.
Read our article on what you should look for in a quality commercial print service.
When sending us InDesign or Quark files, we ask our customers to consider the following:
- Your pages size should be the same as the trim size for your piece.
- Make sure the file is CMYK.
- Make sure you have a minimum of 1/8th of an inch of bleed in your file.
- Please build your file in single-pages not spreads.
- Please use the “Collect for Service Provider” (Adobe InDesign) or “Collect for Output” (Quark) function when you are gathering your files to send to us.