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FAQs - Graphics/Artwork/Printing

Frequently Asked Questions - Graphic Design | Artwork | Printing

 
 
 
 
What does CMYK mean?
Colors on a printing press are created using a combination of four ink colors - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (called CMYK). These four inks are called process colors because they are the standard inks used in the four-color printing process. Your artwork must be in CMYK format (as opposed to RGB) before submitting.
 
 
What are spot and process colors?
Spot color is one that is printed in its own ink. In contrast, process color (4-color) is produced using 4 inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). The most common system to specify spot colors is Pantone. If you are printing a logo or image that needs certain specific colors, spot colors should be used. Spot color printing is more cost effective when the artwork contains 4 or less colors.
Process colors are represented by specifying a percentage value of the four colors. When dealing with more colors or photographic images, process color printing is more economical and can produce more true to life results.
 
 
What is offset printing?
Offset process printing, sometimes referred to as 4-color process or CYMK printing is the technique of printing with 4 standard colors; CYMK: Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black. This industry standard for "full-color" printing allows for near "true-to-life" color printing. The technique or process prints all 4 colors as miniature dots in precise closeness to each other. The size of each dot and its relation to the other dots is what provides the finished look of colors and tones. Most full-color brochures, magazines, newspapers, and yes, CD packaging and CDs are process printed. When process printing is not required, Pantone colors are specified.
 
 
What is silkscreen printing?
Silkscreen printing is a process whereby the artwork is converted to screens and ink is pressed through the screens onto the CD or DVD. The average resolution of silkscreen printing is 85-135 lines per inch (lpi).
 
What is an insert?
 A 2 panel square printed piece that slides into the front of a CD jewel box.
 
 
 
What is a folded panel insert?
 It is an insert with multiple panels folded together that slides into the front of a CD jewel box. The most common formats are 4, 6 or 8 panels. Only even number of panels can be created. Example shown is a 6 panel insert.
 
 
What is a stapled booklet insert?
 A printed insert with more than 8 pages stapled together that slides into the front of CD jewel box. A booklet cannot be created for less than 8 pages. Example shown is an 8 page booklet.
 
 
What does Pantone color mean?
These are custom colors that are chosen from a Pantone chip book. The benefit of using Pantone colors for text and line work is the fact that the color is solid and not made up of CMYK, thus giving a more crisp and accurate edge. The color does not vary with Pantones as it does when a 4 color process is used. A wash-up charge is applied to each Pantone color used. Please inquire what the wash-up charge would be if you're thinking about using Pantone colors in your packaging.
 
 
What is a White Flood?
A White Flood is the coat of ink that is applied first to a CD/DVD face print. This flood-coat is often used with 4-color process printing. A disc is reflective silver in color. The White flood-coat acts as a base-coat or primer for the colors printed on it, recreating the effect of printing on white paper. Without the flood-coat background, colors may not be as bright or vibrant as they would print with the darker silver background.
 
 
What is DPI?
DPI(Dots Per Inch) refers to the number of dots per inch in your image files. The standard dpi of images for printed materials is 300. However we prefer 350 dpi for better printing quality.
 
 
What is 4 color printing?
This is the standard process for full color printing. Your design work is separated into 4 pieces of film, each representing one of the 4 colors used in this process (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.) Every imaginable color is created by the subtle overlapping of these 4 inks when printed.
 
 
What is Bleed?
A bleed is the area that will be cut off from the print to prevent the final artwork from having white edges. When scanning images, keep the bleed in mind so you do not have to force a bleed by resizing an image. This will inevitably cause a loss of sharpness and make the pixels more apparent.
 
 
What does 4/0, 4/1, and 4/4 mean on your printed material pages?
4/0 means printing 4-color process on 1 side and white on the other side.
4/1 means printing 4-color process on 1 side and black/white on the other side.
4/4 means printing 4-color on both sides
 
 
How should I prepare my images?
Picture files should be saved as either TIFF or EPS. Images must be scanned in at least 300 dpi. If you are placing them into Photoshop or any other program, be sure that the document resolution is at least 300 dpi. Attach all current graphic files linked to documents, including any placed Adobe Illustrator files. Include live (editable) versions of all linked graphic files in case we need to edit. Do not use PICTs, GIFs, JPEGs, or LZW compression. Size and crop images in Photoshop before placing them into your page layouts. Never resize images in your layout application more or less than 5%. When placing files in Illustrator, please link rather than embed. Do not use Illustrator to create transparency effects - use Photoshop instead.
 
 
Which design software should I use to create my artwork?
We prefer Adobe Photoshop for creating images. For layout and text, we recommend
Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign or Quark Xpress. Illustrator files should be accompanied with all fonts and images used. A copy saved with the fonts converted to outlines can also be submitted. It is also recommended that a printout of artwork to be mailed to us for printing approval. Design templates are available for all of these programs.
 
 
Should I submit fonts that are used in artwork?
Artworks files that are being submit must include all fonts used, including any that are embedded in placed EPS files.
 
 
How should I get my artwork to you?
You can Stuff or Zip the artwork files and put them on our FTP site, send them on a CD-ROM or DVD-rom. Please send printouts of your artwork when appropriate so that we can be sure that we are using the correct files.
 
 
Will the colors on the booklet/tray look like the proof copy I did at home?
Unfortunately no. You can always send in a color print out as a reference but we cannot match colors to it. The reason is that the printers at your home and office are caliberated differently from our press and are inadequate for proofing purposes.
 
VE uses 'Gang Runs' on all booklets/trays/cardboard products. It means your project is printed along with other projects at the press. This is commonly used in our industry for the most cost-effective solution for our customers. Colors cannot be matched exactly since it will be running along with other jobs. VE reserves the right to a plus or minus 5% deviations on all printing plates.
 
For customers that demand accurate colors we recommend using PMS colors or running their jobs on their own, these options cost extra but it allows the maximum control of the printed products.
 
 
What is a digital proof?
These PDF proofs are generated based on the art files that were submitted. PDF files are low resolution and not for color. It should only be used for proofing layout and typos only.
 
 
Can I see an actual printing sample of my artwork before the entire order is finished?
A hard copy high-quality proof can be requested. In this case customer will be able to review the actual colors off the press. Color adjustments can then be done to the artwork, and new proofs can be generated at additional cost.
 
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