Chip’s Helpful Hints

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Hints for Designing Your Project

Design for the finished size.

The most important thing in printing is to design your project for the size you want it printed. For example: If you are using Microsoft PowerPoint, Word or Publisher you should go to the document size and change it to your desired size.

We highly recommend Publisher to anyone who wants to design their own projects. There are many templates, document sizes and layout options available.

Let’s say you want to design a 24×36 poster for a trade show or display. Using one of the two programs above go to the tab or drop down to change the size of the document. Plug in 24×36 and make sure it displays either landscape or portrait depending on how you need it. If it’s incorrect then go back to the options and switch the numbers. New versions of these two programs allow you to switch between landscape and portrait without having to reverse the numbers.

2.       Margins are the next critical part of the design.

For smaller documents such as 8.5×11 you will need to stay at least one eighth of an inch away from all sides of the document. This is due to the digital printing equipment that we run. It is possible to shrink your document slightly but we don’t recommend relying on this option.

For large format such as the 24×36 poster we recommend staying about one inch away from all sides. All programs have rulers on both sides of the page for your convenience.

3.       Turn your document into a PDF.

This step is highly recommended if you have the capability. There are many different versions of programs and thousands of fonts. A PDF file usually guarantees that your document will print as you designed it. We will accept other types of files but will ask that you proof the project before printing to insure that graphics and fonts stayed the same when we opened it on our computer. We take no responsibility for incorrect finished products if the proof process is waived.

Did this go over your head at all? Don’t worry about it. Give us a call and we will walk you through the steps and do what we can to help.

How to Prepare Your File for Printing

Are you always in a rush and last minute? Many of us are. In this section you will find some helpful hints to make your printing experience is as painless as possible.

Have the answers to the following questions ready:

1.       What is the finished size of your project?

Are you trying to get two small flyers on one 8.5×11 (letter) size paper? That would make your finished size 8.5×5.5. Not sure? Need suggestions? Just ask us. See hints for designing your project.

2.       How many would you like?

Be sure to specify the number of sheets or the total amount that you want to end up with. This can be two different numbers if you have multiples per page. If we reference the example above and need 100 (8.5×5.5) flyers but we have two per page we will need to order 100 total or 50 sheets.

3.       Would you like it printed in black/white or color?

You can absolutely design your project in color and then we can print it in black/white. Keep in mind that you can order some in color and some in black/white. If you are ordering in black/white but design in color keep in mind that when we convert the file to black/white that the colors will be shades of gray. You may not want to use lighter colors such as yellow as they will not stand out.

4.       What type of paper would you like?

We have many types of paper. If you are passing out flyers you may want to keep costs down and stick with regular copy paper. If your project is for a business presentation you may be looking for a nicer paper. We will ask you if you prefer a text (lighter weight) or a cover stock (heavier weight) which is closer to business card type paper. You may also have the option of a gloss or matte finish.

5.       Do you need your project with any finishing options?

This would include cutting (like the flyers we discussed), binding, padding, folding, etc.

6.       When do you need your project completed?

You should call us in advance if this is your first time printing with us or the first time printing this project. If you have the answers to the questions above we can tell you what our print schedule is like and when we can get your order completed. We try to complete small projects in a 24 hour period.

Rush Jobs: If you have a larger job such as 1000 brochures, consider placing the order and then accepting a few hundred as soon as our print schedule allows and then the balance at a later date. We have many customers and try to complete projects as soon as possible but if you need your project before our schedule allows we will need to apply a rush fee to your order as we will need to put your order ahead of others.