Need a Little Help?
Everyone needs a little help every once in a while. That's okay, that is what we are here for! You'll find the most frequently asked questions below, but if you still have questions about your print job - don't hesitate to get in touch with us directly!
We are located at the shops in the Damon Road Place Plaza.
137A Damon Road | Northampton, MA 01060
We are open by appointment on Monday – Friday from 9AM-5PM.
Thank you for your interest in working with us!
In order to get started with your quote, we will need to know the specs or your job. The easiest way is for you to email us your artwork and then we will follow up with any questions we may have. If you need a design done, we can help with that too!
The basics that we will need to know are:
- Quantity | If you aren’t sure exactly how many you need, that is ok! We can adjust your quote but it does make a big difference in pricing if you need ~ 20 copies vs. ~ 2,000.
- Stock | Is our standard stock okay, do you need a stock matched to a sample, or do you have something specific in mind?
- Color OR Black & White (or mixed)
- Finishing options | Would you like any binding, folding, cutting, etc?
- Full Bleed | Do you want the color to extend to the edge of the sheet or is a small white margin ok?
- Print Ready | Is your file print ready? See “Is my file print ready?” below to see if your file will need any corrections.
- When do you need it by? If you have a flexible deadline or can wait until next day, we may be able to offer better pricing.
**By sending us your file when asking for a quote, we can give you a faster and more accurate quote.
We prefer PDF files that are set up as print ready files. CMYK color profiles should be used, bleed should be included (see example below in Bleeds and Cut Lines section) if being printed edge to edge, and the resolution of the file should be at least 300 dpi. We also recommend that the text be flattened and/or created to outlines – this is to ensure your image prints the same as we may not have the same fonts on our computers.
We CAN accept other file types such as .jpg, .png. or native files such as .psd .ai and/or .eps – however depending on the state of the files we may need to make alterations or edits. At very least they will need to be converted to .pdf files before they’re sent to prepress and print. We can certainly perform this service and will let you know if there will be any additional file prep charges.
Please note that uploaded bitmap-based content such as JPEGs or PNGs may look fuzzy around the edges of your text.
As you might have noticed…we really, really would prefer to be sent PDFs.
Notably the most important, but the most confusing or easily missed file prep are the bleeds and cut lines. This set up information only applies if the color/ink goes the edge of the page.
Click on the image below to see an example of correct and incorrect setup of bleeds:
- Bleed: Artwork that reaches the cutline need to be extended to the red line.
- Safety: The text outside the blue line will get cut off in the trimming process. Make sure all information does not go over the blue line.
Bleeds are REQUIRED in all artwork with an image extending to at least one of the borders. Add an eight of an inch 0.125 to EACH side to allow for cutting.
For example, for a 4″ x 6″ postcard with full bleed, the image size should be submitted at 4.25″ x 6.25″ (red box). This allows room for .125″ (1/8″) on each edge of the card to be trimmed off during the cutting process.
Your type (text or important graphics) should be 0.125″ (1/8″) inside the cut line on each side (green box). This will guarantee your text to not be cut off from your artwork. This will leave you a 4″ x 6″ standard postcard (orange box).
For digital printing, the color mode must be in CMYK to be a print ready file. If file(s) are sent to us using any other color mode, such as RGB or Pantone, the file(s) will be converted to CMYK during preflighting. Conversion from one color standard to another may result in a color shift or colors dropping out.
Certain colors do not print well in CMYK (cyan/magenta/yellow/black). Examples of colors that may not print well would be florescent colors – such as bright oranges, neon greens, or vivid purples. These colors are not easily achievable in 4 color process and may result in color shifts that vary from job to job or printer to printer. If we spot this as being a potential issue with your job, we will let you know or recommend a proof. For certain projects like business cards or envelopes, we may recommend that a pantone color be used instead.
A hard copy proof is available for most of our digital products to view an accurate color representation of your artwork before it’s sent to press for a slight additional charge.
Remember to also keep in mind that computer screens, tablets, and phone screens all use the RGB color spectrum and colors will look slightly different when printed than they do on your screen.
Font, transparencies, and other effects used in vector format (Illustrator and InDesign) MUST be flattened and the fonts MUST be outlined in order to ensure they will print correctly. Not flattening transparencies or outlining fonts may result in some text or graphics from dropping out of your artwork or in the case of some fonts, be replaced with a different font all-together.
This problem can happen from time to time and sometimes it is easy for us to spot it if something looks incorrect, but other times it is impossible to discern if the design is supposed to look that way or if a font has shifted. If you have concerns for an order, hard copy proofs are available at a slight additional charge.
We really don’t recommend using a thin border around your design or carefully centered content which hugs the edge of the safe-print area. Because of the margin of error when cutting bleeds – approx 1/16″, printing in general, or slight shifts in paper, these graphics may end up being slightly uneven. The smaller the boarder, the more apparent this problem will appear.
If you have read all the above two sections and everything sounds right, chances are you are print ready! Send your file along and we would be happy to look it over or print out a proof for you.
Print Ready Checklist:
- PDF (preferred)
- CMYK color (or pantone for 1 color printing)
- 1-up file (for booklets, send individual pages in order)
- 300 DPI (at size)
- Correct Bleed
Need a Size Template?
Feel free to reach out to us! We have templates of all shapes and sizes free for our customers to use! Tell us about your project, what format you need your template in, and we’ll one to you!