ALL ABOUT PRINTING
What are printing services?
AlphaGraphics offers a wide variety of printing and finishing services, including electronic file access (e.g., emails, CDs, USB drives), color and black-and-white digital printing, black-and-white copies, binding, collating and laminating. Keep reading to learn more about our printing faqs and AlphaGraphics glossary!
ARE THERE PRINT SIZE LIMITATIONS?
Yes, and no. Our digital copiers will take sheet sizes as small as 4.25” x 5.5” up to 13” x 19”. Traditional offset can accept sheet sizes up to 12” x 18”. Our in-house large format printers can produce graphics up to 41.5” wide. If you have specific questions about our sizing options, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
WHAT IS A PROOF AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
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 your print job comes out the way you envisioned. By carefully inspecting the proof, you can help ensure an accurate, flawless delivery of your print job the first time.
DO YOU REQUIRE MINIMUM QUANTITIES ON ANY OF YOUR PRODUCTS?
Nope! Some printing methods may be more cost-effective than others, but our professional staff are happy to work with you to determine which printing method is best for your project.
DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COLOR SEPARATIONS OR HALF-TONE PRINTING TO GET MY JOB COMPLETED?
Absolutely not! We handle all the “back-end” production for you.
The terms are pretty easy to understand, though. Color separation refers to our offset printing process, where we use cyan, magenta, yellow, and black in four separate plates that go directly to the press. These four colors can create almost any color you can imagine!
Half-tone printing refers to converting a solid tone of black ink or one color into tiny dots that are invisible to the eye to create your image. You see a solid image, but it’s really created from the spacing of these tiny dots.
IS WHITE CONSIDERED A PRINTING COLOR?
Not typically. Because white is the default color of paper, it is simply recognized as the absence of ink.
WHAT PAPER TYPES DO YOU OFFER?
We have a large collection of “house” stocks in our production area. If you have a specific style in mind, we can check our in-house inventory to see if our selection is able to match your tastes. Or, we’ll check with our paper vendors to see what they have on hand. Keep in mind that special stocks or materials may require bulk purchasing from suppliers.
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.
WHY DO THE PRINTED COLORS LOOK DIFFERENT THAN THE COLORS ON MY SCREEN?
In short, printers and monitors produce color 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 the closest matching color. Programs like Adobe Photoshop will allow you to choose which color will be replaced; others may not. We’ll provide you with a sample print right before we print your job to ensure a “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” final product.
COMMON PRINTING TERMS
BIND: To fasten sheets with wire, thread, glue, or by any other means.
BINDING: A name given for any of many procedures used to put pages together.
BLEED: Printing that goes to the edge of the sheet. Trimming is required to make the printing run to the edge of a sheet.
CAST-COATED: Coated paper with a high- gloss reflective finish.
COATED PAPER: Paper with a clay or other coating applied to one, or both, sides. The coating can be dull, gloss, matte, or a number of other finishes. Coated paper generally produces sharper, brighter images and has a more refelctive quality than uncoated paper.
COLLATE: To put pages in a certain order for binding.
COLOR CORRECTION: Methods of improving color separations and definition.
COVER PAPER: A heavy printing paper primarily used to cover books or make presentation folders.
SIDE-STITCHING: Stapling through the spine from front to back. The publication will not lay flat when opened.
CROP: To trim a picture, image, or printed sheet.
CROP MARKS: Printed lines showing where to trim a printed sheet.
GLOSS: A shiny paper coating that reflects light.
LAMINATE: To cover with protective film. Also used to bond or glue one surface to another.
MATTE FINISH: Dull paper or ink finish.
OFFSET PRINTING: Printing which involves a plate that makes an inked impression on a rubber-blanketed cylinder, which, in turn, transfers it to the paper.
PERFECT BINDING: An unsewn, flat-spined book binding made with glue.
RESOLUTION: The degree of sharpness of a computer-generated image as measured by the number of dots per linear inch in a hard-copy printout or, the number of pixels across and down on a display screen.
SADDLE-STITCHING: A type of binding that uses wire stapling at the center of a magazine or pamphlet.
SCORE: Creasing paper to help it fold more neatly.
WHAT TYPES OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE?
AlphaGraphics is a full-service marketing communications provider and offers a wide range of products and services. To see a full listing of our services, check out the Products & Services area of our website.
WHAT TYPES OF MARKETING TECHNIQUES CAN YOU ADD TO MY PRINTED MATERIALS?
OUR MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING OPTIONS INCLUDE:
- QR Codes
- SMS and MMS marketing
- Video production and editing
- Variable mapping
- Social media marketing
- Mobile optimized websites, and so much more!
Contact us today to learn more about the tools we can use in concert with your printed communications to improve your ROI.