FAQ

General Questions

What kinds of printing services do you offer?

We offer both offset lithography and digital printing, allowing us to accommodate both short and long runs, one and two spot color printing all the way up to CMYK (full color) printing.

Do you do shirts?

We don’t currently offer screenprinting services, but are happy to refer you to our shopmates, Out of Line Press and the OWS Screenprinters.

Should I go digital or offset? I’m confused!

It depends on several factors, including the quantity, the type of job, and the application of the end product. Offset printing involves a lot of setup, such as achieving proper ink / water balance, wiping down cylinders and blankets, switching plates, cleaning between colors, and more. Because of this, short runs are very expensive. The longer your press run, however, the lower per-copy cost, because the setup costs are diminished over the course of the run.

Offset printing offers cheaper rates on larger runs, superior image quality, and a wider range of ink and paper options.

Digital printing offers cheaper rates on smaller runs and a fast turnaround time.

Both techniques have their strengths, and many more things can be said about both. At the end of the day, it all depends on what you’re going for. If you have more questions about either process, feel free to e-mail us!

What if I need help with my design?

In addition to printing, we also offer in-house graphic design services. We can do logo design, branding, page imposition, color separations, and more. Contact us about your specific project!

Placing an Order

How long will my job take?

Turnaround time can vary greatly depending on the type of job it is and when your files come in. But as a general rule of thumb, digital jobs will take anywhere from 2-4 business days, and offset jobs will take 4-12 business days. If you need your project completed by a certain deadline, we can usually (but not always) accommodate it, but a rush charge of 20% of the total cost will apply. In order to begin your job, we’ll need your print-ready files and a deposit of 50% of the total job cost.

Why do you need a deposit? My non-profit’s check-writer is out of town right now.

Collecting a deposit allows us to order any raw materials needed for that specific job, such as paper, ink or bindery supplies. As a general rule of thumb, we collect a 50% deposit on any job over $200. The remaining 50% will be due upon pickup or delivery.

Because we work with many organizations with specific processes for issuing payments, we’re happy to make exceptions on a case-by-case basis or whenever possible. Feel free to contact us with questions on this matter.

What kinds of files do you accept?

We currently accept the following file types: PDF, PSD, TIFF, AI and INDD.

For digital jobs and single-color offset jobs, a high-resolution (300dpi) PDF with the appropriate bleed margins is all you need to send us. For multi-color offset jobs, we prefer that you send us a PSD file with each color on its own layer. Files that are not print-ready will need to be fixed on your end and re-sent, otherwise a design charge will be applied.

Please note that if you send us an Adobe Illustrator (AI) file or Adobe InDesign (INDD) file, you must send all fonts and images along with your file. The easiest way to do this in InDesign is to use the “Package” option under the file menu. If you don’t do this, your job will not print properly.

What does “print-ready” mean, exactly?

The term “print-ready” literally means that your file is set up perfectly and ready to go. The file is 300dpi, the bleed margins are correct (if there are bleeds) and it doesn’t contain crop or registration marks. We are happy to advise you on how to make your files print-ready if questions or concerns come up.

What are bleeds?  Do I have to use them?

Bleeds are when a color or image is printed all the way to the edge of the sheet and in fact “bleeds” off the paper. This is accomplished by extending that color or image by 1/8” (.125) on all sides of the finished trim size. We then run your job on a slightly larger piece of paper to accommodate crop marks, then trim the sheets down to size, giving that bleed effect.

For example, for a standard 4″ x 6″ postcard that has a bleed, your file dimensions should be 4.25″ x 6.25″. We will then trim it down to 4″ x 6″ after printing.

If there is a white margin on all sides of your printed area, bleed margins are recommended but not required.

How close to the edge can my text go?

We recommend keeping all your text within ¼” (.25) from the edge of the sheet. This is especially crucial for any job that will require trimming. If you don’t keep text within that margin, there’s a chance some of it might get cut off.

I’m not sure of my paper or ink options.  Can I look at samples?

Of course! Although we stock specific “house papers,” there are a wide range of paper options and we’ve got swatchbooks for many of them. Additionally, if you’re looking toward an offset job with spot colors, you’ll need to pick them from a Pantone guide to ensure accurate color reproduction. We’ve got one of those, too! Simply ask, and we’ll schedule a time for you to meet with our pre-press person and go over your options.

Wait, I already picked colors on the computer. Will that work?

Colors will vary depending on the monitor. And there are hundreds of colors that exist on your computer that would be difficult or even impossible to mix in real life. So it’s highly recommended you pick your colors from a Pantone swatchbook to ensure accurate color reproduction. We’re happy to sit down with you to pick them together!

I think I’m ready! One last thing, though – can I see a proof of my job?

Sure. We’re happy to e-mail you a PDF proof of your job as it will print, complete with crop and registration marks, upon request only. We can also provide you with a digitally printed proof for an additional cost of $1 per page.

Please note that all proofs are for content only and are not a 100% accurate representation of color.

Pick-Up & Delivery

When can I pick up my job?

Our business hours are by appointment only. Just let us know when you want to come by, and we’ll schedule a time. The total balance owed on the job will be due upon pickup, unless we’ve made other arrangements in advance.

Can you deliver my job to me?

Sure! For a $30 delivery fee, we’ll send your job to you. Please note that your remaining balance is due within 7 business days of delivery. Of course, you can always pay before delivery, too.