Design Guidlines

 

 

FAQ | Paper Type | Design Guidlines | Pay Invoice

 

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What does "14pt" mean?
Points are a measure of paper thickness, equivalent to approximately 1/1000 of an inch. Generally, thin postcards are 8pt to 10pt thickness, medium weight postcards are 11 or 12pt, and thick postcards are 14pt or thicker. All of our standard full color postcards, rack cards, bookmarks, and business cards are printed on 14pt stock. For more info on paper measures.

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What is a "Bleed Area"?
Most offset printing is done on large sheets, then trimmed to size. Because of inevitable slight imprecision in the trimming process, a sliver of white space can mess up an otherwise great layout. If you want color to the edge it's good practice to extend colors outside the final trim line an eighth inch, to avoid this. Color beyond the trim edge is called the bleed area.

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Why do I need to convert text before sending?
Your page layout program will use fonts that are installed on your computer. When you send unconverted text to another computer, other fonts may be substituted. You can prevent such unwanted substitution by converting fonts to curves before sending. Some programs call this "rendering text," "converting to outlines," or "converting to shapes." Another method of ensuring correct transfer is to render your layout entirely to bitmap form, preferably to tagged image format, or tiff, before sending.

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What is "Resolution"?
The resolution of a computer bitmap [or "raster"] file is the number of dots per inch [dpi] or pixels per inch [ppi] that make up the image. It's important to understand that bitmaps that look great on a computer monitor might not print well. This is because most monitors show about 72 to 96ppi resolution, while most quality printing requires at least 300dpi for optimum results.

 

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A 72dpi image that looks great posted on your website, will translate to an image about a fifth it's screen size when printed at a proper print resolution of 300dpi or more.

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What are "Vectors"?
Unlike bitmaps, which are built from rows of colored dots or "pixels", vector files are drawn from mathematical formulae. Behind every vector image is code describing line length, position, curvature, etc. The advantage being that a vector image can be resized to infinity without losing any detail. Bitmaps, on the other hand, don't resize nearly as gracefully.

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Common vector formats

  • EPS: encapsulated postscript
  • AI: Adobe Illustrator
  • CDR: CorelDRAW
  • WMF: Windows metafile

 

 


Common raster formats

  • BMP: windows bitmap
  • GIF: graphics interchange format
  • JPEG: joint photographic experts group
  • TIFF: tagged image file format

 

 

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