Frequently Asked Questions


Products and Ordering

How much do you charge for designing a business card?

Can I order PMS color printing from you?

Is there an extra charge for bleeds?

What kind of paper will my job be printed on?

How well will my job match what I see on my monitor?

How long does it take for me to get the first proof of my order?


Shipping Services

What if I want to change something on my order after I've placed it or approved the proof?

How do I view my proof?


File Preparation

Can I send you documents created in MS Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, or other desktop software?

What other file formats can you take?

What is the difference between the RGB and CMYK color and why does it matter?

How should I take pictures with my digital camera?

How can I tell what resolution the image from my digital camera is?

What is your turnaround time on business cards or postcards?

What is meant by bleed?

I already have design, I just need my cards printed. Are your prices competitive with Kinko’s, Office Depot, and store front printers?

What is meant by CMYK?


Products

and

Ordering


How much do you charge for designing a business card?
We charge $50 to design a one-sided business card and $75 to design a two-sided business card. The design fees include up to 3 proofs…the initial design proof plus two sets of changes. Additional changes beyond the first two are billed at $15 each. These are one-time design fees. When re-ordering cards, text changes such as phone numbers, titles, addresses, etc. are made at no additional charge.
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Can I order PMS color printing from you?
We suggest you get the best value for your dollar and go for full color. High quality 4-color process printing starts at $59 for 500 business cards plus $3 shipping. If your card is currently set up using PMS colors then we can convert the file to Process Colors (CMYK). However, colors tend to shift when converted from PMS to Process (CMYK) and you will not be able to get an exact color match. If color matching is important to you, we can produce a short run of 250 cards for $39 so you can see what the converted colors will look like.
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Is there an extra charge for bleeds?
No. Unlike many other companies, all our prices include full bleeds free of charge.
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What kind of paper will my job be printed on?
Standard paper choices include 14pt and 16 pt card stock. When ordering 1000 cards or more, you get optional free UV gloss and second side printing. Our short runs of business cards (100, 250, 500) are available only in 14 pt. card stock with UV gloss on each printed side.
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How well will my job match what I see on my monitor?
Most people are surprised at how well their job matches what they see. But because of wide differences in monitor calibration, personal preferences and the different technologies used, some printed colors (especially browns and reds) may not exactly match the colors on a specific monitor.
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How long does it take for me to get the first proof of my order?
You should receive a PDF of your file in 1-3 business days after we receive a 50% deposit on the design charge.
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Shipping

Services

You have the option of picking up your order at our office or having the cards shipped via UPS Ground to your office. UPS ground fees are included in our standard stock pricing for business cards and post cards.
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What if I want to change something on my order after I've placed it or approved the proof?
We require an electronic paper trail for all changes made after your initial order is placed. You may make changes to such things as quantity, shipping method or shipping address. Please note that some changes cannot be made after certain stages in the production process -- for instance, once your job has been approved and sent to production, you cannot change text or quantity. If you discover an error after you have approved the proof - CALL US immediately. We will make every effort to contact the production department and upload new files. We cannot guarantee success in this. We recommend that you print all proofs and look at them several times before approving the final proof.
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How do I view my proof?
We email a PDF proof to you so you can view it to be sure the design meets your approval. We ask that you respond to the proof email with the phrase OK TO PRINT or let us know any changes you wish to make. We cannot guarantee that the color is going show correctly on your monitor. Therefore, if that is an issue we recommend that a sample run of 250 cards be printed at a charge of $39.
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File

Preparation


Can I send you documents created in MS Word, PowerPoint, Publisher or other desktop software?
NO! If you have created documents in Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, and other desktop publishing software that contain photos, clip-art or other color images, they still require our design time in order to make them “press ready”. We use professional design software called Adobe Creative Suite 3. Desktop publishing software is not designed for high-end printing. These programs were intended for office use on an inkjet or laserprinter. We are happy to use the documents you create as a reference when creating a design.
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What other file formats can you take?
We can take any Mac or PC version of Quark, Illustrator, Photoshop, Word (for text only) and PDFs. Files ending in AI, EPS, PDF, PSD are best. Be aware that some PDF files cannot be used if they were produced by a desktop software program. Also, if you send us a PDF file that represents a proof from another graphic designer, it may be in optimized format (meaning it is low resolution). We will call you if there is a problem with the file.
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What is the difference between the RGB and CMYK color and why does it matter?
RGB refers to the primary colors of light: Red, Green and Blue, that are used in monitors, television screens, digital cameras and scanners. CMYK refers to the primary colors of pigment: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These are the inks used on the press in 4-color process printing, commonly referred to as full color printing.

The combination of RGB light creates white while the combination of CMYK inks creates black. Therefore, it is physically impossible for the printing press to exactly reproduce colors as we see them on our monitors.

Many programs have the capability to convert the layout/images from the RGB color space to the CMYK color space. PLEASE convert your colors from RGB to CMYK if your tools allow you to. By doing it yourself, you have maximum control over the results. You may notice a shift in color when converting from RGB to CMYK. If you do not like the appearance in CMYK, we recommend that you make adjustments while working in CMYK (usually lightening).

Generally, you should specify CMYK color builds that look a little 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. Be especially careful to keep backgrounds light if there is black or dark colored text over it so that the text remains readable.
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How should I take pictures with my digital camera?
Digital cameras are wonderful tools that allow us to capture our images in many different ways. The camera is designed to actually take three pictures; one in red, one in green and the other in blue (similar to the way a projection TV works). It then combines the colors together and saves the image onto the picture card. It is very important to make sure that the camera is set to the highest quality setting possible. This means that if you can only save one image on the picture card instead of 12, 64 or 128 images, that is a GOOD thing! You want to create the best quality picture that the camera can make. This will mean large file sizes and slow downloads from the camera itself, but it will get you the best possible results from your camera. Remember, images should be at 300dpi in their final size in the layout! Most high resolution images are 500k or larger.

More often than not, we notice that images coming from digital cameras print darker than expected on a 4-color press. Check to see if you have a brightness option in your image editing program to lighten the entire piece. If you have the opportunity to change the color space from RGB (red, green, blue) to the printing press colors of CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black), then do so! It is always better to have you change the color space if you can than for us to do it. Remember, not all colors you can see that are created by elements of light (RGB) can be created by the elements of ink (CMYK) on press. If you do not have this capability with your software, do not worry about it. We can change it for you. Finally, we recommend that you apply a little sharpening to the image. This will make the image a little crisper and will print better on press.
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How can I tell what resolution the image from my digital camera is?
Some digital cameras will let you know what the image resolution is while others will tell you what the pixel dimensions of your image are. If you know what the pixel dimensions of your images are, either from the camera itself or through the image editing software, you can do a little math to determine the resolution and the size you can print the image at for clear and crisp printing.

Simply write down the pixel dimensions of your image and divide those numbers by 300, if the image does not include text, and 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 inches. This means that you can use this image at 2 x 3 inches or smaller in your layout for quality printing results.

If your image editing software does not tell you what the pixel dimensions are but it does tell you what the resolution is, then you know the maximum size you can use that image in your layout. We recommend that images be at 300dpi in their final size in the layout and 400dpi if the images include text. Please keep in mind that resolution and physical dimensions are in direct proportion to each other. If you have an image that is 2x2 at 300dpi and increase its size in the layout to 4x4 the new resolution is now 150dpi. So remember, when you bring an image in to your layout you can shrink it down in size (because the resolution will increase) but you will be limited as to how far you can INCREASE it in size.
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What is your turnaround time on business cards or postcards?
Usually you will get your jobs 5-7 business days from date of approval and payment. To keep our prices low, we ask you to pay in full at the time you approve your proof. UPS ground is included in the price of most jobs and we do not have control over when they deliver so you should order at least 10 business days prior to when you must have the product. If you need the cards more quickly, you can always upgrade the shipping. Call us for quotes on rush jobs and faster shipping options.
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What is meant by bleed?
Bleed is the area outside the trim area of a document in which graphical elements are printed. This area is then trimmed off, resulting in color going all the way to edge of the piece. If you didn't bleed elements and instead placed them up to the boundaries of the trim area, irregularities encountered during cutting might produce a piece where a thin line of unprinted stock shows along one or more edges. And that could ruin the overall effectiveness of the card's design. Standard bleed is 1/8 inch.
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I already have design, I just need my cards printed. Are your prices competitive with Kinko’s, Office Depot, and store front printers?
Our prices are extremely competitive and are usually at least 20% lower than what you are currently paying.
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What is meant by CMYK?
Full color printing is generally done with only four colors; cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. CMYK is just another way to say process, or full color, printing. All elements to be printed must be separated into the four color channels. Scanned color images are RGB. At some point , they must be separated; either automatically on the scanner or manually in an image editing program.
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