• How To Get A Solid Black on Your Prints

    In four-color press printing, black is achieved by mixing cyan, magenta and yellow and then adding black ink on top of that. The result is a rich, deep black color. If you don’t have your image colors set correctly, though, the black can appear gray or washed out. Because of that, we recommend you set your CMYK Black value to 60% Cyan, 40% Magenta, 40% Yellow and 100% Key (which is Black).

    Each program will differ slightly in the way you set the CMYK calibration, but Adobe’s Photoshop is a standard program (and the steps are very similar in other Adobe products).

    • Click on the eyedropper tool from the toolbox and then click “Levels” in the Adjustment panel.
    • In the dialog box that appears, double-click on the eyedropper with the black ink inside it.
    • Enter “60” for C, “40” for M, “40” for Y and “100” for K then click “OK.”

    This sets the black level of your image to be deep and fully saturated. You only need to do this for larger text and graphics; small text at 100% black (K) will look dark and saturated. Note that you may need to flatten your image before you adjust the color to maintain the color consistency throughout the entire image.

    If you don’t have a program that can work with CMYK, we can convert the file for you. When you upload your artwork, contact our art team with your job number and let them know that you want the black set to the 60, 40, 40 and 100 values. You can email the art team at art@printplace.com or call 877-405-3949.

     

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  • How do I Format My Artwork for CMYK?

    Because we use the 4-color press-printing method, it’s helpful to get your artwork in the CMYK color scheme. The alternative (and standard color scheme for most computer software) is RGB, which uses red, green and blue values mixed together to determine the final hue. When we get an RGB file we automatically convert it to CMYK (which stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and key, which is black) for printing on our presses. However, the colors will be altered during the conversion. Format your artwork in CMYK on your computer for greater predictability.

    Conversion Steps:

    • Corel Draw – select the object you want to make CMYK, click on the “Fill” tool and then choose “Fill Color Dialog.” Select “CMYK” and click “OK.” Repeat the same process for objects with an outline by clicking on the “Outline” tool and the “Outline Color Dialog.”
    • Quark Xpress – Click “Edit,” “Edit Colors,” “Show Colors in Use” and then “Highlight Color.” Click “Edit,” choose “CMYK” and remove the check next to “Spot Color.”
    • Microsoft Publisher – Select “Tools,” “Commercial Printing Tools” and then “Color Printing.” Choose “Process Colors (CMYK)” and click “OK.”
    • Adobe Photoshop – Click “Filter,” “Colors” and then choose “Convert to CMYK.”
    • Adobe Illustrator – Click “Filter,” “Colors” and then choose “Convert to CMYK.”

    If you have a different program, consult the manufacturer’s documentation. Some programs, like Microsoft Word, don’t support CMYK color formatting. You can import a Word document into Publisher to take advantage of the CMYK features. If you have any questions about color or formatting, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 877-405-3949 or contact us online.

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  • How to Format Your Artwork at 300DPI

    The graphics in your artwork need to be high-resolution. If they are at least 300 dots per inch (dpi), then they will look clear and sharp when printed.  If the resolution is lower than 300 dpi, the images will start to look blurry, stretched and pixelated. Your computer monitor typically displays images at about 72dpi, but if we were to print images at that same resolution you’d be disgusted with the low quality. The problem is that even if you start with high-resolution graphics, your software might compress them down to 72dpi when you save the file. Be sure that you save and send us 300 dpi graphics by adjusting the settings in your software.

    Software Settings:

    • Adobe Photoshop – Click “File” and then “New.” Select “300” for the Resolution. Choose “Pixels/Inch” for the Units. Click “OK.”
    • Microsoft Publisher – Click “File” and choose “Save As.” Select either “PDF” or “TIF” from the file-type menu. For PDF, click “Options” and select “Commercial Press” from the options; click “OK.” For TIF, click “Change” and click “High Quality Printing or Commercial Press,” then click “OK.”
    • Quark Xpress – Click “File” and then choose “Export.” Under “Save as Type” select “PDF,” then under “PDF Style” choose “PDF(X-1a:2001).” Click “Save.” This will set the graphics to 300dpi and the color to CMYK.
    • Corel Draw – Click “File” and then “Export.” Select “PDF” as the file-type and then select “PDF for Prepress” as the PDF Style. You can also click “Settings” to specifically change the export settings. Remember that we need 300dpi artwork and we prefer CMYK color.

    If your editing software isn’t listed here, consult your manufacturer for instructions on saving the file at 300dpi. We can accept a PDF, JPG, TIFF or EPS file for printing. If you have questions or need help, call us at 877-405-3949 or contact us online.

     

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  • How To Calibrate Your Monitor for Colors

    Having accurate colors on your computer’s monitor will help you to get the colors you want on your printed piece. Both Windows and Macintosh computers come with built-in color calibration tools that you can use to do a fair job of getting the right colors, but nothing will substitute for calibrating against a real-world reference. You can get a color reference book and calibrate your monitor so that it matches the reference color swatch you see. Or you can purchase a color calibration tool that will look at your monitor and make the adjustments automatically. Or, you can get started with the tools included with your computer’s operating system.

    Windows – The built in Windows display calibration and color profiles let you determine how colors appear on your screen.

    • Right-click anywhere on your desktop and then select “Screen Resolution.”
    • Click “Advanced Settings” and then click on the “Color Management” tab. Click “Color Management.”
    • Click on the “Advanced” tab and then click “Calibrate Display.”
    • Follow the on-screen instructions to finish calibrating your monitor.

    Macintosh OS X – The Apple operating system also has color calibration built in.

    • Click “Apple Menu,” “System Preferences,” “Display” and then “Color.”
    • Click “Calibrate.”
    • Follow the on-screen instructions to calibrate your monitor.

    If you have the option in your calibration tools create an International Color Consortium (ICC) profile. We can use that profile when we convert your artwork to get the best color matching possible on our equipment. If you have questions, feel free to contact us by phone at 877-405-3949 or online.

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  • FAQ: Do I Have to Pay Sales Tax When Ordering?

    Yes, sales tax is required on orders where applicable. As of 2012, Texas charges sales tax on orders shipped to (or picked up in) that state . This is based on the laws of the state, not the policies of PrintPlace.

    If you are legally tax exempt, please fill out the correct form and fax it to us at 817-701-3702.

    Forms:

    Do not place your order until your tax exempt information is on file. We tie the tax exempt status to your PrintPlace account so it must be correct in our system before the order is placed and paid for to prevent you being charged sales tax. Contact your local tax authority to get a seller’s permit and/or tax exemption number. We must have a valid permit number on file to waive the tax requirements when you check out and pay for your print order.

    You are responsible for calculating and paying any sales tax due as a reseller.

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  • Automatic Ordering

    We don’t allow automated orders where a print job happens according to a specific schedule. However, we do keep your artwork on file for 12 months, so you can re-order your print job as much as you need. We make it simple for you to log in to your account. Just click on “My Account” from the PrintPlace home page, find the job you want and click the green “Re-Order” button. Your artwork is already in our system and we can get things to press as soon as you want.

    Due to the large number of print orders we deal with, if you go longer than 12 months between orders, we can’t guarantee that the files will still be in our system. You can contact us by phone at 877.405.3949 or email art@printplace.com to find out if your files are still saved on our servers. We encourage you to keep copies of your press-ready files just in case.

    Remember when you’re placing your order that you can get the product as quickly as you need it. If get the order in and the proof approved by 12pm Central time we can print it that same day and get it to UPS for shipping. Then you can choose next day shipping and you’ll have your job the next day after you place the order. Or, you can anticipate when you’ll need your replacements and save money on the turnaround and shipping costs.

    Whatever your needs, we’re committed to getting you the best quality prints at the best price in the time you want. We promise it and we guarantee it!

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  • FAQ: Can I Print Postage onto Envelopes and Postcards?

    Absolutely! You can use your own postage printing equipment to add the postage to your printed postcards and envelopes, or you can give us your mailing list and we’ll take care of everything. The choice is yours.

    If you want to print your own postage on postcards it’s important that you choose the right paper and coating options so you don’t damage your equipment. We typically apply an aqueous coating to glossy prints. It offers protection and enhances the color of the graphics. However, the coating makes it difficult or impossible for printers and mailing machines to work with the paper. It could damage your equipment if the wrong kind of paper is fed through the machine. Contact your manufacturer to determine the paper that will work. If you need help figuring out which paper will work, contact our customer service team at 877-405-3949 or online.

    If you’re going to use a postage machine, you should not coat that side of the postcard. When you’re ordering your postcards, choose a paper type that is either uncoated (like the 14pt uncoated) or has a glossy finish on only one side (like 14pt cover, gloss 1 side). We automatically set the back side to be the uncoated side, so when you create your artwork, leave the space for the address and postage on the back side. If you’re using stamps, then the aqueous coating is just fine.

    If you don’t want to address and post your order yourself, we can take care of it for you. We offer full service mailing for post cards, envelopes and even flyers, brochures and catalogs. All you have to do is upload your mailing list to us along with your print order. We’ll address each piece separately and send it to the US Postal Service for you. You can pay us for both the print order and the postage, so you only have to deal with us.

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  • FAQ: Can I Have My Order Die Cut?

    Die cutting is the process of cutting a shape or adding a perforation to paper after it has been printed. We have twenty die-cutting machines in our production facilities, giving us the capability to customize your print job in any shape you like.

    We create a die that is made of metal blades embedded in wood, and we cut one sheet at a time. Our standard die-cut products are file folders, door hangers, presentation folders, table tents, and round corner business cards, bookmarks and postcards. Note that if you want rounded corners on your order, the dies are already set up and ready for that, so you don’t need a custom order. Just choose the option when you’re selecting your paper and printing choices.

    We also offer scoring and perforating based on our pre-existing dies. If you want a perforated tear-off coupon on a postcard, for example, we can perforate that on our die-cutting rigs.

    If you want to get creative, though, we can still accommodate you with our custom die cutting. Just let us know what you want, either by calling us at 877-405-3949 or contact us online; we’ll put together a custom quote for your design. So if you want your business card to be in the shape of a paint-brush to advertise your painting business or if you want to hand out round flyers at your next event, we can produce it for you.

    Once we’ve created the dies, you can re-order the product easily. We keep your design files for 12 months since it was ordered so just log in to your PrintPlace account and click the “Re-order” button next to the print job.

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  • How To Get a Receipt From PrintPlace

    You will, of course, get a receipt when you first place your order. You can print or save it for your needs later. But if you forgot or decide later that you need a receipt, you can still get it from our website. Just log in to your PrintPlace account by clicking on “My Account” from the PrintPlace home page. Enter your email address and password and click “Login.” Once you’re logged in, you can see all of the print jobs ordered under your profile. Find the job for which you need a receipt and click the gray “Receipt” button. You’ll see a printable receipt page with all the details about your order including the method of payment, details about the job and shipping information.

    If you need more information, you can always call us at 877.405.3949 (from 7am to 8pm Central time) or contact us through our website using the Contact Form. We’re here to help you with whatever you need, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

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  • How To Deal With Unsuccessful File Uploads

    If your file did not upload properly or was rejected, don’t feel bad, it happens to everyone at one time. All it means is that we spotted something that could cause trouble down the line or there was a glitch in the uploading process.

    Common reasons for file rejection:

    • The file didn’t upload completely. If you quit or leave the page before the file finishes uploading, then we might only have part of it. Try again and wait on the page until everything is completely finished.
    • We didn’t get the right number of files. If you have a two-sided job and you sent us only one JPG or TIFF the order will be kicked back for the wrong number of files. If you use a PDF, though, it can include multiple pages in one file.
    • We don’t recognize the file type. We can print PDFs, TIFFs, JPGs or EPS files. If you sent us something else it won’t work. Please convert it to one of our approved formats.
    • Fonts aren’t embedded. For EPS files we must have fonts embedded to be able to print the file correctly. If you don’t embed the fonts, you can outline them instead.
    • Your file isn’t flat. TIFF files can be in separate layers, which doesn’t work for our printing process. Please flatten it first.
    • Page numbers don’t match up. If the number of pages you ordered is different from the number of pages in your file, you’ll need to adjust something. If you want blank pages anywhere in your booklet or catalog, insert them into the file so we know where they go.
    • Things are oriented incorrectly. If you have different orientations on the various pages of your document, it will be rejected by our software because it will be unable to determine how to orient the proof. Everything should be saved as either landscape or portrait, not a mixture. If you want pages to print out sideways, insert the images and text sideways in your software so that all the pages have the same orientation.

    If you have trouble with your files and you want some help fixing things, we offer a file repair service and an Advanced Art Check. You can select “Advanced Art Check” when you upload your file. If you want to use the file repair services call us at 877-405-3949 or email art@printplace.com.

    Once your file is fixed, re-upload it from your account page at PrintPlace.com. We’ll check it again and get your proof ready for viewing.

    If you have trouble uploading through the website, you can email files under 10 MB directly to art@printplace.com. Be sure to include your job number so the artwork is uploaded to the right job. If your file is larger than 10 MB you can use our WeTransfer site (http://printplace.wetransfer.com) to email us the file. Include your job order number with the file(s) you send us.

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