Below, you will find some of the most frequently asked questions about printing that we hear from clients. If you cannot find the answers you are looking for, please contact us. We want you to have the information you need to get the final result that you want.

Printing Process

How do I choose between offset and digital printing?

The three main deciding factors are the quantity printed, your deadlines, and the size of your piece.

Digital benefits:

  • More cost-effective for shorter runs
  • Quicker turnaround time
  • Sheet size maximum of 13" x 19"
  • Ability to use variable data

Offset benefits:

  • More cost-effective for larger runs
  • Can exceed sheet size dimensions of 13" x 19"
  • Prints a broader color range for more exact colors (Pantones)
Why do colors differ when using offset printing versus digital printing?

Because the ink and toner mediums are different, the printed piece may have a slightly different color result. Even though both types of printing use CMYK, the rasterization processes are different, which causes variations in color.

Is there a difference between what I see on my monitor and how my printed piece will look?

While there have been advances in technology, there are sometimes noticeable color differences between what you see on screen and the final printed piece. This is because of color calibration and spatial conformity between monitors and from screen to print. There are color calibration tools that will help ensure an exact color match. If you have these tools, let us know when we discuss your project so we can work with you to achieve the best results.

Do I need to see a proof?

Yes! Your proof is a one-off copy of your printed piece that you will inspect to ensure that the layout and colors are as you intended. You can see your proof online in PDF format, or we can deliver a printed copy. Because mistakes can and do happen, this is the chance to let us know if there are any errors so we can correct them before final printing. 

What does a paper’s weight mean?

Paper is defined in pounds based on 500 standard-sized sheets of that paper. The following are some examples of different paper grades and their weights:

  • Bond – Typical weights are 16#, 20#, and 24#. This type of paper is usually used for letterhead, business forms, and copying.
  • Text – Weights range from 20# to 100#, with the most common being 20# or 60#. This type of paper is high-quality with surface texture.
  • Uncoated Book – This paper is usually used for offset printing and comes in 20# to 70#.
  • Coated Book – Used for both web and sheet presses, this paper has a glossy finishing and is good for showing vivid colors. Weights range from 80# to 100# text.
  • Cover – This heavier stock is most often used for business cards, postcards, and covers. Paper weight ranges from 65# to 120#. Cover paper is also available in coated and uncoated stock.
What are some tips for setting up my files for press?

The following are our recommendations:

  • Set up size proportionate to the exact size you are ordering
  • Convert all text to outlines
  • Include or embed all placed images
  • Allow for bleed if necessary
  • Never flatten/merge layers in a PSD file
  • Indicate the cut line clearly for all decal products
What files are accepted for printing?

The following file types are acceptable for printing:

  • EPS (Encapsulated Postscript)
  • PDF (Adobe PDF)
  • JPG (High-Resolution JPEG)
  • TIFF (High-Resolution TIFF)
What are vector files?

Vector files are line art, scalable to any size without losing resolution, which means the image will stay clean and crisp. The following file types are vector:

  • EPS (Encapsulated Postscript)
  • PDF (Adobe PDF)

If you submit these types of files, be sure you have converted all fonts to outlines or curves. Or make sure you include the fonts when placing your order. Vector files can be submitted at any size proportionate to the printed product.

What is a bleed?

Bleed refers to the extra background print that extends beyond the finished edge of your product before the final trimming. Our standard bleed recommendation is 1/8 inch for all applicable products.


What are raster files and images?

Raster files and images are pixel-based images, and depending on the resolution, the image becomes blurry as it enlarges.

  • PSD (Photoshop Document)
  • JPG (High-Resolution JPG)
  • TIFF (High-Resolution TIFF)

If submitting these files, please follow the guidelines below:

  • 100% scale (full size output) at 100 dpi
  • 50% scale at 200 dpi or higher
  • 25% scale at 300 dpi or higher
  • 10% scale at 600-1200 dpi recommended

Thumbnail-sized JPG and GIF files are not at a high enough resolution to be used on large prints (i.e., signs and banners).