We are delighted to answer your questions in person & encourage you to call or email us directly. If we are not immediately available, you can look for answers here as well. We hope you find our growing f.a.q. section to be a helpful resource!
A: CMYK is an abbreviation for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, & Key (Black); the primary colors in a printer's palette.
A: Resolution indicates image & text quality. For print, resolution is measured in dpi, or "dots per inch." Bitmap images (e.g. .TIF, .PNG, .JPG, .BMP) should be no less than 300dpi in order to ensure print quality. The resolution for bitmap images increases as scale decreases, while enlarging results in loss. Although not generally rastered for print until the pre-press stage, text, & other vector art must raster for print at no less than 600dpi to ensure the human eye perceives crisp, clean edges. Images & text that are rastered below standard lose fidelity, resulting in a blurry, grainy or pixelated print. Good print quality cannot be ensured for images & rasterized text that fall below minimum resolution.
A: Bleed is printing that extends beyond the trim of a printed piece. If your artwork involves colors or elements that run up to—or extend past—the edge of the page, you will need to incorporate bleed in your layout. Your piece will be printed on a larger sheet & then trimmed down to its finished size.
A: Finishing services follow printing & can include; binding, collating, cutting or slitting, die cutting, stamping, drilling or punching, folding, stitching, tabbing, numbering, packaging & shrink wrapping.
A: Binding refers to assembling & securing multiple sheets together. Bindery services include stapling, padding, saddle-stitching, perfect binding, spiral binding, twin loop binding, comb binding, ringed binders & more.
A: A Die is a tool used for custom cutting, custom scoring, embossing & debossing, & foiling. Dies are crafted from zinc, magnesium, or copper—depending on the purpose & level of detail required for the piece—by specialized machinists.
A: Scoring refers to applying a crease to paper to ensure a clean & correct fold.
A: Embossing & Debossing are processes used to add three-dimensional effects to a printed piece. These processes usually involve a die & complementing counter-die. The Embossing process provides a raised aspect, while the Debossing process provides a depressed, or lowered, aspect. Heat & pressure are applied to the paper, or stock, to raise—or lower— design elements from the paper's surface level. Blind Embossing (without ink), Color Register or Ink Embossing (with ink), & Combination Stamping (embossing with a foil) are some options available to enhance your printed piece.
If you have a color desktop printer, you are probably already familiar with four basic Spot Colors; Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, & Key (Black). Each, individually, is a pure Spot Color; but, these four colors are also referred to as "Process Colors" when they are used in 4-color process printing. At present, your desktop printer—as well as digital presses— print by process exclusively. This means that—on every sheet printed— C, M, Y, & K are applied to the paper in varying percentages to effect a full color pallete.
By definition, a Spot Color is an ink color, pure or mixed, that is printed using a single run. Put simply, the color is allowed—Nay! Required!—to be itself. A Spot Color is not permitted to mingle—process—with other ink colors on press during the run.
A Spot Color can be pure, or it can be mixed. Unlike process printing, Spot Colors are not mixed on press during the run; rather they are pre-mixed according to specific formula & require their own separation, or plate. This ensures consistent color matching & color accuracy throughout a press run. Currently, offset presses alone are able to truly accommodate Spot Colors. Contemporary digital presses—& their associated software— have come a long way in simulating Spot Colors; however, as they remain limited to process printing, matching consistency & accuracy can never reach 100%.