FAQ2017-07-17T13:40:45-07:00

FAQs & Answers

Adobe PDF Presets 🆕2022-10-25T12:32:15-07:00

Adobe PDF Presets and Conversion Settings

DOWNLOAD OUR PDF PRESETS
PDF CONVERSION SETTINGS
Indicias File2017-05-17T16:16:22-07:00

Download the Indicias file here:

Indicias file
Mailing Guide2017-05-17T16:18:32-07:00

Download the mailing guide here:

Mailing Guide
What Fonts Should I Use?2022-10-21T14:40:17-07:00

FONTS & TYPOGRAPHY

If you have ever attempted to create the perfect project, we’re certain that a larger selection of fonts would have been useful. Whatever fonts you use, be sure to include them with your artwork. If you supply native documents, even if you package the project, make sure all the fonts are included.

Adobe Creative Cloud / Cloud Fonts

Adobe products have access to their font service. If you have activated Cloud fonts on your computer, make sure they are still available from the service. Occasionally 3rd parties change or remove their fonts from the database. They may still be available on your computer, but they may not be available to be added to ours.

Font Formats

There have been a number of font formats through the years.
Currently Opentype (OTF) is the most widely accepted format, followed by the older Truetype (TTF).

PostScript / Type 1

Formerly a dominant font format is PostScript (also known as “Type 1”). These used to be the universally preferred format in the print/publishing arena, as PostScript was the dominant page description language. As compatibility across multiple platforms has become a higher and higher priority, the fact that the format is platform specific has made it less desirable. PostScript as a page description language has essentially been replaced by PDF.

  • Support for PostScript/Type 1 fonts across Adobe’s product line will end in January 2023.

 

We’ve compiled a list of online font libraries for you to get just the right look for your next project.
Note that this list is not maintained, nor has it been updated recently.

Commercial Font Libraries

Free Fonts & Shareware Libraries

How Do I Compress Files?2022-10-21T14:11:38-07:00

FILE COMPRESSION

When downloading items or sending artwork to us, you’ll need a utility to compress and decompress your files. Compressing and archiving files together can make them substantially smaller in size, resulting in saved disk space, quicker transmission times and easier file management. If you’re looking for a specific file compression utility, chances are that it appears below. Compression also provides a level of security against file corruption and/or loss of OS-specific data. If you add password protection to a compressed archive, remember to provide the password separately so we can open the files.

Please do not upload uncompressed/loose native artwork files through online file-sharing utilities such as Dropbox, Google Docs, YouSendIt, etc. That doesn’t protect files from corruption, or worse. Often these utilities compresses the files for download on the recipient’s end. Their compression utilities are general purpose, and don’t preserve file data the way a utility on your computer should. Best case scenario, it will cause any link images to need to be updated in the layout document. Worst case… they can destroy OS-specific file data, making the file unusable.

macOS / Mac OS X

  • The most reliable way to compress files in macOS is the built-in Archive Utility. Select the file(s) or folder(s) to be compressed. Right-Click (or select from File menu) “Compress ‘(selected items)'”
    Older versions of Mac OS X, the same function is “Create Archive of…” or other similar variants.

  • The Mac version of the popular cross-platform compression utility, StuffIt Deluxe supports all popular compression standards, including Zip, RAR, SIT and many more. The utility features lossless compression, 512-bit data encryption, password protection, advanced archiving and catalog capabilities and archive splitting for ease of file transfer.

Windows

The following list of Windows (and Linux) utilities have not been verified or updated recently. Please note that – as with the majority of this industry – our prepress department is primarily macOS based. If your preferred compression utility is relatively obscure and/or proprietary, we may not be able to decompress the file, even on one of our Windows machines. (We cannot be expected to install every utility out there, so keep to  reasonably universal and/or open formats, and everything should flow smoothly.)

  • ALZip is a freeware archiving and compression utility designed for speed and ease of use. It supports 36 archive and compression file formats including Zip, opens CD image files (ISO, BIN), opens virtual CD files (LCD), creates eight archive and compression file formats, creates self-extracting files and splits compressed files for easy transfers.

  • The Windows version of the popular cross-platform compression utility, SuffIt Deluxe supports all popular compression standards, including Zip, RAR, SIT and many more. The utility features lossless compression, 512-bit data encryption, password protection, advanced archiving and cataloging capabilities, and archive splitting for ease of file transfer.

  • WinRAR is a shareware file compression utility that features the ability to process non-RAR archive formats including Zip files, support for long filenames, self-extracting archives, the repair of damaged archives, authenticity verification and encryption.

  • WinZip is the popular compression utility for the Windows environment. Its tight integration with Windows and its optional wizard interface makes file compression quick and easy. In addition to support for the Zip standard, WinZip features support for RAR, CAB, TAR, gzip and other standards.

Linux

  • The popular GNU Zip compression utility. It is commonly used with TAR to provide an excellent archiving format.

  • The Linux version of the popular cross-platform compression utility, StuffIt supports all popular compression standards, including Zip, RAR, SIT and many more. The utility features lossless compression, 512-bit data encryption, password protection, and archive splitting for ease of file transfer.

  • An X-Forms-based compression utility that supports eight different compression formats, including Zip, gzip, bzip2, *nix Compress, tar, tar+gzip, tar+bzip2 and tar+Compress.

Is white considered a printing color?2021-11-04T16:25:57-07:00

Not typically. Because white is the default color of paper, it is simply recognized as the absence of any ink. However, when using colored paper, white ink may be used if any text or graphic requires it.

How Should I Fold My Design2017-04-26T19:07:35-07:00

This file will show you some different folding configurations.

OUR FOLDING TEMPLATE
What type of products and services do you provide?2017-04-26T19:08:59-07:00

Good question! We are a full service shop and offer a wide range of products and services. To see a full listing and description of what we can offer you, check out the Products & Services area in the Customer Service Section of our website.

How do I go about getting an estimate from you?2017-04-26T19:09:36-07:00

Well, since you are here, we would suggest you use our online estimate request form. Otherwise, the best way to ensure that we get all the information necessary to do an accurate quote is to give us a call and talk with one of our customer service representatives.

Tips on how to save your design files 🆕2022-10-25T12:34:32-07:00
Artwork should be built to the finished trim size.

If the finished piece is a shape other than a simple rectangle (round corners, diecut, folded and glued, etc.) the artwork should include a spot color ‘dieline’ showing the cuts, slits and/or folds. The page should be the size of the flat dieline. The dieline must be on the same page, on top of the printing artwork, and built as an overprinting spot color.

Bleed should be added in the document setup

(as opposed to added to the page/art board size.)

Multiple page documents should be built as pages in reading order.

They can be arranged as ‘facing pages’ in the layout (as opposed to building as ‘hard’ spreads).
Note: If the finished piece is ring or coil bound, facing pages doesn’t allow for page-level bleed on the binding edge.

 

We accept native artwork from the current and recent  versions of Adobe Creative Cloud  desktop publishing/design programs.

The best way to provide artwork files is a print-ready PDF.

There are many ways to create a PDF, and many different ‘flavors’ of PDF, and they aren’t all print-ready. Please note the ‘default’ presets included with Adobe software are very generic, and haven’t been significantly updated since the early 2000’s. A lot of things have changed since then.
Please see the our FAQ on PDF Settings.

Print Ready PDF artwork should:

  • Be compatible with Acrobat version 8 or newer (PDF 1.7 or newer)
  • Be pages in reading order (not spreads)
  • Include ⅛ inch bleed (on all 4 edges)
  • Have fonts fully embedded (not subset)
    • Specify to subset when … less than 1%
  • Marks (trim, bleed, etc.) are not necessary, but appreciated
    • Mark offset should be 0.16667 inch (12 pt) or more as to not interfere with bleed

PDF artwork should NOT:

  • Be set to any “PDF/X” standard
    • Those ‘standards’ are obsolete and/or intended for archival purposes, not print production
  • Have overly compressed (downsampled) images
    • Color photographic images should be at least 350 ppi
    • If any hard edge graphics (logos etc) are raster art, do not downsample images at all
  • Have embedded color profiles
    • Set Color Conversion to : No Color Conversion
    • Set Profile Inclusion Policy to : Don’t Include Profiles
  • Be flattened
    • If Acrobat 8/9 Compatibility is chosen, the option to flatten transparency should be unavailable (grayed out)
  • Be locked, password protected, or otherwise secured to restrict editing and/or printing
At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics? 🆕2022-10-25T12:34:58-07:00

Resolution is not a straightforward topic.

Image Resolution is quantified by Pixels Per Inch (or PPI). It is – literally – how many pixels (individual squares of a particular color) fit into an inch. As it is a direct correlation of pixels to inch, that number changes depending on what is done with the image in a layout.
What is important is the EFFECTIVE  resolution.

Example: An image shows as 4 x 5 inches at 350 ppi in Photoshop. is scaled to 8 x 10 inches (200% of its original size) in the layout, its effective resolution  becomes 175 ppi. (Double the size, becomes half the resolution)

 

Avoid pulling pictures and graphics from the internet These images are often low resolution, typically 72 to 96 ppi. As such, they will appear pixilated and blocky when printed. This is especially important for hard-edge elements, such as logos.

Photographic Images

Without going too deeply into why*, Photographic image resolution should be at least 350 ppi at final size.
Note ‘Final Size’ is the size of the image will be once it is printed.

(*If you’re interested in a bit of the ‘why’, see “The Math and History Lesson” below)

If there are hard edges or high contrast in an image (such as architecture, reproducing a painting, or a face with a lot of character), higher resolution will preserve more of those details. (Conversely, lower resolution risks losing those details)

 

Other Graphical Elements

Logos and other hard-edge elements should be vector art (such as drawn in Adobe Illustrator). Vector graphics do not have resolution, because the shapes are defined mathematically.

If you have no option but to use raster images for logos, they should be the highest resolution you have. What’s more, when exporting the layout as PDF, you should turn off any downsampling in the “Compression” section of the PDF export dialog.

 

 

The math and history lesson:
To reproduce the full range of colors/grays in an image, the resolution must be at least twice the halftone frequency (or line screen) of the output device. (Quantified by lines per inch – or LPI.)

PPI = LPI x 2

In the days of ‘burning’ printing plates using negative film and a vacuum light table, 133 LPI was typical. (120 LPI was common, and as low as 85 LPI for printing on uncoated paper.)
In those days, 300 ppi images were more than sufficient. Those days are long gone, but old habits are hard to break.

What is a proof and why is it important that I look at it?2017-04-26T19:15:25-07:00

In printing terms, a proof is a one-off copy of your document after all modifications and printing setup processes have been completed. It is your last and best opportunity to make sure that the print job comes out the way you want. By carefully inspecting the proof, you can help us assure an accurate, flawless delivery of your print job on the first run.

What is the Pantone Matching System? 🆕2022-10-25T12:36:14-07:00

The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a color reproduction standard in which colors all across the spectrum are each identified by a unique name and/or number. The 3 or 4 number code, and indeed the entire name of the spot color is important.
There are a few exceptions, but the PMS naming convention for printing on coated paper is: PANTONE ### C (where ### is the specific number, and “C” designates Coated paper). For uncoated paper, the C is replaced by U. On press, these are exactly the same ink. The C or U designation is there strictly for proofing/previewing and/or conversion purposes so you can more accurately simulate (on screen or in a printed proof) what the ink will look like on coated vs uncoated paper.

The use of PMS allows us to precisely match colors and maintain color consistency throughout the printing process. What makes this possible is the name of the swatch tells the device to look up what color to display or print from its own library.

PANTONE 213 C By Any Other Name…

Design software may allow you to adjust the name and/or appearance of a swatch, but that doesn’t change the rest of the world. If you adjust PANTONE 213 C (a rosy pink) appear green on your computer, it will print pink. The name is what is important. Similarly, if you rename the swatch so that it no longer matches the global library, it will become meaningless. You may understand that “PMS 213”, or “Pantone 213”, or “PANTONE 213 CV” is supposed to be “PANTONE 213 C”, but the computer doesn’t.

Long story short: don’t rename spot swatches, and don’t modify swatch appearance.

Why do the printed colors look different from the colors on my screen? 🆕2022-10-25T12:35:19-07:00

In short, printers and monitors produce colors in different ways.
Monitors use the RGB (red, green, blue) color model, which usually supports a wider spectrum of colors. Printers use the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) color model, which can reproduce most—but not all—of the colors in the RGB color model. Depending on the equipment used, CMYK generally matches 85–90% of the colors in the RGB model.
When a color is selected from the RGB model that is out of the range of the CMYK model, the application chooses what it thinks is the closest color that will match. Programs like Adobe Photoshop will allow you to choose which color will be replaced. Others may not.

Additionally, what you see on the screen may be a simulation of a particular output device. These simulations are driven by color profiling, and may be affected by monitor calibration (or lack thereof).

Color Profiles

Adobe products have default color profiles active when installed. These defaults aren’t generic, nor are they universal. In the North American market, the Adobe default profiles are set for web presses. While there are many other applications for web presses, what you’re probably most familiar with is mass-market “junk-mail’, such as supermarket weekly specials & coupon books. If “junk-mail” quality is the results you’re looking for, you’re set with the Adobe defaults. But if you’re looking for something a bit better, you have choices.

A good start is to switch from the default preset bundle and choose “North America Prepress 2“. That will keep many of the same settings, but activate some warning dialogs if multiple and/or mismatched color profiles are being used in the documents and/or linked images.

At Dynagraphics, all of our presses – conventional and digital – are sheetfed (not web). So further refinement would be to change the CMYK Working Space to either US Sheetfed Coated 2 (old but still good) or Coated GRACoL 2006 (ISO 12647-2:2004). Both of these profiles are included with Adobe software, and allow the reproduction of more colors than the default, particularly with neutral-dark colors. GRACoL is newer profile, and is increasingly becoming a standard in the global market.

What file format should I use when submitting my electronic document for printing?2017-04-26T19:18:55-07:00

PDF (Portable Document Format) is the most common and preferred file format for submitting digital documents. With the installation of a PDF print driver on your computer, virtually any program can generate a PDF file suitable for printing. Both commercial and free PDF print drivers are available online for download from different sources.

Once I submit the documents, how long will it take to finish my job?2017-04-20T16:04:39-07:00

Simple jobs are often completed in less than an hour. Some jobs, however, may take several days to complete depending on their complexity and size. We always strive to provide an accurate estimate of the turnaround time for each job we do. And we’ll always work with you to find ways to complete your project when you need it.

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