Have you ever had a question and either didn’t know where to find the answer or were too afraid to ask? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
As the name would suggest, this section is a compilation of answers to the questions our clients commonly ask. Here you’ll find answers to common printing questions our clients ask.
1.At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics?
Resolution should be set to 300 dpi.
Pictures and graphics pulled from the internet are often low resolution, typically 72 dpi or 96 dpi. Avoid these graphics, as they will appear pixilated and blocky when printed.
Also note that you should save all photos in CMYK mode, not RGB mode when possible. Images saved in RGB mode may not print properly. If you are unable to save your image in CYMK mode, please let us know.
2.How do I go about getting an estimate from you?
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, give us a call and talk with one of our client service representatives.
3.How long does it take for you to complete my order?
Generally speaking, we typically turnaround projects in 5 to 10 working days from receipt of final approval. We also realize there are times when you need us to step it up and deliver your projects sooner. We will do our best to honor your requests for quicker delivery if it is in our power to do so. It is always best to check with us early on in the development of a project so that we may help complete your project on time and on budget.
4.Is white considered a printing color?
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.
5.Tips on how to save your design files
Make them print ready and acceptable for us to print.
Saving your Corel Draw file as an Adobe Illustrator EPS
Embed all Images
Convert all your text/copy to outline fonts
Export as Illustrator EPS
Embed all Images
Convert all your text/copy to paths
Export as Illustrator EPS or PDF
Saving your PageMaker file as an EPS
Embed all Images
Export your file as an EPS using the below settings:
Postscript Level 2
TIFF format and
Convert all your text/copy to outline fonts in Illustrator
You will need to have the full version of Adobe Acrobat PDF. If you don’t please download and use our Adobe Job Ready Program. If you do have the full version of Adobe Acrobat PDF please follow the steps below.
Under File, Print, select Adobe PDF writer
Under Properties select Press Quality and Save your PDF
6.What file format should I use when submitting my electronic document for printing?
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.
7.What is a proof and why is it important that I look at it?
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.
8.What is the Pantone Matching System?
The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a color reproduction standard in which colors all across the spectrum are each identified by a unique, independent number. The use of PMS allows us to precisely match colors and maintain color consistency throughout the printing process.
9.What type of products and services do you provide?
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, checkout the Products & Services area in the Customer Service Section of our website.
10.Why do the printed colors look different from the colors on my screen?
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.
11.Why doesn’t my black look very black, its 100% black?
This question is also often heard in the world of offset printing as well. While black is the darkest ink and once it is at in a color 100% it would lead you to believe it will produce a vibrant black, however, that is not always the case. Depending on the ink formulation, the printing process and the media being printing on, 100% black can appear as a dark gray or even brown in some cases. We often recommend adding some cyan, magenta and yellow to the black when a very rich black is desired. 40% of cyan, magenta, and yellow mixed with 100% black often yields very nice results. Use care though—more is not always better, and using too much C, M and/or Y with your black can lead to smearing, overprinting and drying issues.
12.What type of board should I use for my sign?
Foamcore is very lightweight and economical, but unfortunately it is prone to warping. It is generally used for very short-term signage, and is not recommended for sizes above 24″ by 36″.
Gatorboard is considerably heavier and resistant to dents and dings. It is available in black and white and holds up very well over time.
Enduraplast fills the gap between foamcore and gatorboard. It is lighter and cheaper than gator, but much sturdier and flatter than foamcore. It is the most popular substrate requested by CMW’s clients.
Sintra is very durable since it is derived from PVC plastic. It is available is black and white and is slightly flexible.
Corroplast is corrugated plastic. It is very lightweight, economical and weatherproof. The flutes can be run in a way that works with ground-stakes and holders.
13.What lamination should I use?
Matte provides protection and a mellow finish. It works great for scientific posters and directional signage because of its low glare and ease of readability. It is by far the most popular laminate requested by CMW’s clients.
Satin/Luster falls in between Gloss and Matte. Most clients stick with the matte because satin/luster laminates still induce a degree of glare to the signage. Others will sacrifice a bit of readability for some added pop to pictures and images.
Gloss provides protection and a vibrant finish that really makes colors pop. The downside is that it often has a great deal of glare from any local light source. Gloss is not recommended for signage that is designed to be read.
14.How can I produce a gradient that prints well?
Again, this issue not specific to large format printing. Banding and/or poor gradient reproduction can often be seen in small laser prints and traditional printing as well. If there is an issue with your artwork, you may notice it if your designer creates a PDF of your file, and you view it on screen. When putting ink on paper, a whole new league of issues can arise. Because of the huge number of variables involved there is not a simple solution that can be used in all scenarios, however, we can offer the following suggestions for producing smoother gradients.
Whenever feasible, use Adobe PhotoShop to create your gradient, and then import the gradient into your layout program of choice (e.g. Adobe InDesign or Quark X-Press). This flies against the general rule of large-format where vector based output is far more efficient, crisper, and easier to work with. Obviously a TIF file is not the best option for an overly large gradient, but PhotoShop generally provides the smoothest transition and also allows for adding a small amount of noise, which generally helps reduce banding.
Make sure your gradients stay within the same color space (e.g. do not go from a RGB to a CMYK, or a CMYK to Pantone, etc).
If at all possible, never take your gradient to white, for best results, keep the lowest value above a 5% tint. Taking any color to white will always leave an obvious line when the printer hits its point where it cannot go lower and jumps to white.
Do not attempt to transition too far in a small amount of space. Leave room for the color to transition smoothly.
Going from a light color to (almost) white generally produces nicer results than from a dark color to (almost) white.
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15. What’s the difference between Litho and Digital Printing?
Digital print offers a cost effective short run solution – it is easier to personalise each leaflet/mailer – this offers the advantage of reduced turn round times for quick-run jobs. Digital print is used in conjunction with Litho print to create custom Direct mailing solutions.
Litho print offers an even more superior quality print – especially with colour. Litho print is especially suitable for long-run jobs where the highest quality printing is required. These days, digital printing is also more than adequate for these tasks.
16. Can you despatch to multiple sites?
Yes. Just let us know where and how many and we’ll sort out the rest
17. How wide can large format print?
No matter what size you need, GB Visual can print it. Depending on the type of printing you need, we can create seamless large format prints ranging from 63 inches to 16 feet wide. The professionals in our finishing department make it possible to create huge prints as large as you need.
18.What material can grand format print on?
The variety of printers we have allow us to create grand format prints on nearly any material you can imagine: carpet, vinyl, mesh, vehicles, wood, metal, paper, glass, acrylic, fabric, and much more!
19. How fast can you print my project?
Our professional printers work with state-of-the-art technology that allows us to get your project done quickly and efficiently. Depending on the size of your project and the location of your company, our average turnaround time is anywhere between one and two weeks.
20.How long do large format prints last?
Indoors or outdoors, our prints are made with high-quality material and ink that lasts as long as you need. Talk with us about where you plan on displaying your prints, and we will provide you with a durable print that stays vibrant over long amounts of time and through harsh weather.
21.How much do large format prints cost?
The cost depends on the size of your project and the material you need for it. No matter what your budget, we will work with you to create a print that satisfies the needs of your company.
22.What is PDF?
PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It is a file format that describes the text and graphics in documents. Adobe Systems Incorporated invented it. Because it describes the text and graphics in documents, PDF is considered to be a page-description language. Note, however, that PDF is quite different from other page-description languages (such as PostScript and PCL) because – unlike other page-description languages – PDF can do much more than simply describe the appearance of a document.
Software that supports PDF viewing (such as the Adobe Acrobat software) understands the PDF format.
23.What is PostScript?
PostScript is a language that is used for describing the text and graphics in documents. Adobe Systems Incorporated invented PostScript. Technically, PostScript is known as a “page-description language.”
Files that contain documents described in the PostScript language are normally called “PostScript files”; hence, PostScript is known as a file format as well as a language.
Most laser printers and imagesetters understand the PostScript language. The Adobe Acrobat Distiller software also understands the PostScript language.
24.What is rasterization?
Rasterization is the process of converting code that describes text and graphics into the format that is required by a printer’s “print engine,” which is the machinery that actually puts marks on a page.
A “raster image processor,” also known as RIP, performs Rasterization.
With some systems, the RIP is a computer that is inside the printer itself. If you print your documents on a desktop printer such as a Hewlett Packard LaserJet or a Lexmark Optra, your RIP is probably inside the printer.
With other systems, the RIP is separate from the printer.
For example, if your company uses a Xerox DocuTech printer, the RIP is probably a software program that runs on a Unix computer or a Windows computer that is separate from but connected to the printer.
The code that gets converted (i.e., rasterized) is known as “page-description-language code.”
25.What is a RIP?
RIP stands for “Raster Image Processor.” A RIP is a device or a software program that converts page-description-language code to the format required by the print engine in a printer or imagesetter. (The print engine is the machinery that actually makes marks on a page.) For more information see What is rasterization?”
26. What is the difference between a bitmap graphic format and a vector graphic format?
The terms “bitmap” and “vector” refer to the two basic methods of describing graphics digitally.
A bitmap description describes a graphic as a grid with thousands or millions of dots. The dots are called “pixels.”
If you can dream it, we can print it. If you are interested in getting a quote for your next large format printing job, please contact us or call us directly at 01268 590266