(FAQs) Frequently Asked Questions:
(click each question for a helpful answer.)
What file format should I use when submitting files?
Our preference is PDF (Portable Document Format). This is the standard in the print industry, and can be downloaded from Adobe. Once the print drivers are installed, virtually any program file can be converted to a PDF file suitable for printing.
What is the difference between RGB and CMYK?
Your computer screen is made up of red, green, and blue pixels. The image that you want to print can be made up as RGB or CMYK. This allows you to view your image optimally on the screen as RGB. It also allows you to print it optimally as CMYK, which is your desktop printer preference. CMYK is also the standard in the commercial printing industry. Please convert your RGB images to CMYK mode to ensure optimal color fidelity on press.
What is the best resolution for photos and graphics?
For printing, the optimal reproduction resolution is 300 dpi at the final printing size. If you have a 300 dpi original image that needs to be blown up 300%, your final dpi will 100 dpi. This resolution will be too coarse, and your image will appear pixelated. Conversely, a 100 dpi original image that has to reduce to 33% of original size will be 300 dpi at the final printing size, and your image will look fine.
Please be mindful of this when using images and graphics from the internet, which are often just 72 dpi. Understanding your sizing requirements will help you get the most from your images.
Why is it often difficult for CMYK to match PMS colors?
CMYK is cyan, magenta, yellow and black. While many of the pms colors are made up by mixing two or more colors of CMYK, there are just as many PMS colors that are made of other ink colors (like rubine red, warm red, reflex blue, violet and green). Because there are 9 base mixing colors in the PMS system, and CMYK is just 4 of those 9 colors, it is often difficult for these 4 to match the other 5 PMS base colors.
Another reason CMYK often looks different is because we print CMYK as a combination of screen values to achieve the PMS equivalent. A solid PMS color will always look richer and deeper than a screened combination of CMYK.
If matching a PMS color is important, and there is no good CMYK match, we recommend considering running the PMS color separately.
What kind of proof will I see?
On every project, you will see a pdf proof. This is an electronic proof to confirm the art you sent us is accurately depicted. For offset printing jobs of any complexity, you will see epson color proofs showing the press imposition. For projects that fold or die cut, you will also see laser proofs that are folded, and trimmed to the final size.
Please take extra care to review your proofs. It is your opportunity to make corrections or changes before we print. Corrections are made at no charge. Changes will be billed at the prevailing rates.
What if I forget my Portal user ID and password?
All portal customers’ user name and assigned passwords are kept on file. By identifying yourself, we can retrieve your information and resend it to you. For customers who have changed their assigned password, and have now forgotten it, we will need to reassign you a new temporary password. You may then change it to whatever you choose (except the one you used before).
How long does it take to get an estimate?
Almost all estimates are provided same day, many while you wait. Quotes that require outside subcontractors, or mill order paper may take another day. We pride ourselves on being fast. Every effort will be made to get you pricing as quickly as possible. You can call your nearest location or go online to documart.com and enter specifications.
What is a bleed, and why is it important?
Anytime you want ink or an image to print to the edge of the sheet, it’s important to extend the image beyond the edge so there is room to trim the paper to the correct size. While our cutters are very accurate, it is impossible to cut right on the edge of an image when cutting 250 sheets or more at one time. By extending the image, no “white space” will show along the edge. A bleed of 1/8″ (.125″) is the standard rule of thumb in the printing industry.
Why is it important to pull copy and text away from the edges?
For the same reason we accommodate for bleeds, it’s important to know that paper will move microscopically when cut in stacks. It is very difficult to minimize “blade draw” so the top sheet in the stack is exactly the same size as the bottom sheet. When blade draw happens, copy and text that is very close to edge risks getting cut off. Any variation in folding could also increase the risk if the job trims after it is folded. It is always best to move copy and text 3/16″ (.1875″) from the edge and create a safety zone.
What is the difference between Black and Rich Black?
Rich black is a technique used to underlay cyan, magenta, and yellow below the black printer to create a deeper, richer black. This is encouraged any time you have a solid black image that is 1 square inch or larger. It is not encouraged for black type or copy smaller than 72 pt.
Black prints 100% Black. We think the best combination of colors to achieve a Rich Black is 60% Cyan, 40% Magenta, 40% Yellow, and 100% Black.