How long will my job take?
Turnaround time can vary, depending on the specifications of your project and our current workload. But as a general rule of thumb, turnaround times are as follows:
Digital: 1-4 business days
Letterpress: 10-15 business days
Offset: 4-7 business days
Wide Format: 1-3 business days
Turnaround times are based on your approval on either a PDF (digital) or printed proof that we supply to you. Turnaround times do not begin when you send us your files. If you need your project completed by a certain deadline, we can usually (but not always) accommodate it for a rush fee. Rush fees are a percentage of your estimate and will vary depending on the project specifications.
What kind of files do you accept?
We are happy to accept the following file types: PDF, PSD, TIFF, AI, EPS, and packaged InDesign files. Different processes may require specific file formats, so please check the File Guidelines page for more information.
For most jobs, a hi-res (300dpi) PDF with the appropriate bleed margins is all you need to send us. Files that are not print-ready will need to be fixed on your end and re-sent. In some cases, we may be able to work on your file for an additional charge.
Please note that if you send us an 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. For Adobe Illustrator, outline all type and embed all images. If you don’t do this, your job will not print properly.
What does “print-ready” mean, exactly?
The term “print-ready” means that your file adheres to our file guidelines. We recommend reading over them very carefully and double-checking everything before you send us your file. Although many of these guidelines are pretty universal, every shop is a little bit different. Just because your file worked for your previous printer does not mean it will work for us. If you are struggling to understand something, please contact us and we will walk you through it, step-by-step.
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 “bleeds” off the paper. This is accomplished by extending that element by 1/8” (0.125″) on all sides of the finished trim size. We then run your job on a larger press sheet to accommodate crop marks, then trim the sheets down to size, to create that bleed effect. Without proper bleeds, we cannot guarantee that the finished piece will come out properly, so they are very important.
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.
For a more detailed breakdown of how bleeds should be set up for different projects, please see our file guidelines.
How close to the edge can my text go?
All text must be within ¼” (0.25″) from the edge of the sheet. Trust us on this one: if you do not keep text within that margin, there is a very strong chance that some of it might get cut off during the trimming process. We also discourage the use of borders that leave a very slim margin between them and the edge of the sheet. If you’re doubtful, take a look at what 0.25″ looks like on paper. It’s much smaller than it appears on-screen.
I’ve used Canva to prepare my files, so they should be perfect, right?
Canva is a wonderful tool for people to create striking designs without purchasing expensive design software. The only problem is that neither of their two export options—a PDF with crop marks, or a PDF without crop marks but also without bleed—is print-ready. We’ve reached out to Canva to advise them on how to give their customers files that meet commercial print standards to make life easier for everyone, but they’ve been unresponsive. Until they implement these changes, the best thing to do is to really follow our file guidelines. Of the two options they give you, sending the file with the crop marks is better than having no bleed, though you may want to include extra bleed in the event that we need to make some adjustments.
My project looks great on the screen, but the colors are all out of whack when printed. Why is this?
More than likely, you are looking at the project in the RGB colorspace. This is a light-based color mode specifically for computer monitors and is not meant for printing. So if you take an RGB file and print it, either at home or through a production quality digital press, the colors will look off. A common problem is that the page will take on a pinkish hue, though it may not be this drastic in all cases.
Anything that will be printed in full color needs to be in the CMYK colorspace that is specifically for printing. Your best bet is to work in the CMYK color mode from your project’s inception. If you send us an RGB file, we will automatically convert it to CMYK. The color shift may be subtle or even negligible, but there will be one. If you are very particular about color, we recommend paying for a printed proof. Please be aware that our options for color correcting your file are limited. Sending us true print-ready files is going to be the best for everyone. And correcting the color information in the file will ensure consistent color in future runs.
Can I see a proof of my job?
Yes. Unless you opt for a printed proof, we will always supply a PDF proof of your job and get your approval before we move the job into production. We can also provide you with a digitally printed proof for an additional cost that will fluctuate depending on the specifications of the job.
Please note that PDF proofs are for content only and are not a 100% accurate representation of color
I have a saddle-stitched booklet. What is the difference between a page, a spread and a sheet?
This can be a very confusing topic! Let’s look at a half-size booklet (8.5″ x 5.5″) as an example.
When setting up your document, your page size would set to 8.5″ x 5.5″. Two of those pages together create a spread with dimensions of 8.5″ x 11″. Those spreads are then printed on a larger sheet, usually to accommodate printer’s marks and page information.
For detailed information about setting up saddle-stitched booklets for print, please see our file guidelines page. Still have questions? You can always contact us and we’ll try to walk you through it.