Our Clients Asked. We Answered.

Most Popular FAQs

 

At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics?

Resolution should be set to 300 dpi.

Pictures and graphics pulled from the internet are often low resolution, typically 72 dpi or 96 dpi. Avoid these graphics, as they will appear pixilated and blocky when printed.

Also note that you should save all photos in CMYK mode, not RGB mode when possible. Images saved in RGB mode may not print properly. If you are unable to save your image in CYMK mode, please let us know.


What file format should I use when submitting my electronic document for printing?

PDF (Portable Document Format) is the most common and preferred file format for submitting digital documents. With the installation of a PDF print driver on your computer, virtually any program can generate a PDF file suitable for printing. Both commercial and free PDF print drivers are available online for download from different sources.


What is the difference between the RGB and CMYK color space and why does it matter?

RGB refers to the primary colors of light, Red, Green and Blue, that are used in monitors, television screens, digital cameras and scanners. CMYK refers to the primary colors of pigment: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These are the inks used on the press in “4-color process printing”, commonly referred to as “full color printing”.

The combination of RGB light creates white, while the combination of CMYK inks creates black. Therefore, it is physically impossible for the printing press to exactly reproduce colors as we see them on our monitors.

Many programs have the capability to convert the layout/images from the RGB color space to the CMYK color space. We request that you convert your colors from RGB to CMYK if your tools allow you to. By doing it yourself, you have maximum control over the results. You may notice a shift in color when converting from RGB to CMYK. If you do not like the appearance in CMYK, we recommend that you make adjustments while working in CMYK (usually lightening). Generally, you should specify CMYK color builds that look a little lighter than you want, since the dots of ink “fatten up” on press, giving you more pigment on paper than you see on your monitor. Be especially careful to keep backgrounds light if there is black or dark colored text over it, so that the text remains readable. If there are any questions or concerns on how to manage your rgb and cmyk images and/or artwork, please call us at 407.831.2999


What is Bleed?

Bleeds allow you to run artwork to the edge of a page. On a press, the artwork is printed on a large sheet of paper and then trimmed down to size. If you do not allow for a 1/8 of an inch bleed (on all sides)RMS, any misalignment while cutting will result with the artwork not running to the edge of the paper. Bleeds ensure you get the results you need.

Build your files 1/8″ larger than the final trim size. For example, if you have designed a standard 3.5″ x2″ business card with a red background covering the whole area, you will need to enlarge that red background to 3.75″ x 2.25″. This will make the red background extend 1/8″ on every side of the page.


How do I add bleed to my design?

Adobe Photoshop

Open Photoshop and click File > New…

Enter the FULL BLEED dimensions. That is, 1/4″ extra both vertically and horizontally.

Set the Resolution at 300 pixels/inch

Set the Color Mode to CMYK

Adobe Illustrator

Open Illustrator and click File > New…

Enter the TRIM dimensions in the Width and Height boxes (for example, the trim dimension on a standard business card would be 3.5″ x 2″)

Enter 0.125 for the top, bottom, left and right bleed

Set the the Color Mode to CMYK

Set the Raster Effects at High (300ppi)

Adobe InDesign

Open InDesign and click File > New > Document…

Enter the TRIM dimensions under Page Size (for example, a standard business card would have trim dimensions of 3.5″ x 2″)

If you do not see “Bleed and Slug” at the bottom of the window, click the “More Options” button.

Enter 0.125 for the top, bottom, left and right bleed

For a more in-depth tutorial on how to set up your document to accommodate for bleed, see “Page Bleeds,” an article from PrepressX.com.


Do I need to impose my file 8-up or 10-up if they will be printed more than 1 to a sheet?

No, send us a single layout of your job unimposed, we will handle any imposition needed on our end.


What is the Pantone Matching System (PMS)?

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.


How long does it take for you to complete my order?

Unfortunately there is not an easy answer to this question. Abbott Communications Group is a full-service printer with a variety of printing and mailing capabilities. Each printing service requires different time demands. At ACG we guarantee that we will always do our best to meet the time demands of our customers. To ensure you receive your job when you need it, we ask that you contact our customer service department. Our customer service staff is happy to provide you with estimated turnaround time for all of your printing projects.


Is white considered a printing color?

Not typically. Because white is the default color of paper, it is simply recognized as the absence of any ink. However, when using colored paper, white foil may be used.


Why do the printed colors look different from the colors on my screen?

In short, printers and monitors produce colors 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 what it thinks is the closest color that will match. Programs like Adobe Photoshop will allow you to choose which color will be replaced. Others may not.


What is a "proof?"

In printing terms, a proof is a one-off copy of your document after all modifications and printing setup processes have been completed. ACG produces a variety of proofs such as PDF, imposition, contract and digital. The PDF proof can be viewed online using a PDF reader. Imposition proof is a low resolution paper proof showing folds and trimmed to actual size. Contract proof is for color matching. Digital proof is an actual printed sample. It’s extremely important to take the time and carefully review the proof before signing off on it.


Can I see my project on press?

Not only do we offer press checks for your project, we encourage you to come in and tour our facility. We are “hands on” print professionals and enjoy when our clients are involved in the process as well. Understanding how your project gets from idea to completion is a wonderful learning experience for people at every level of their profession. Contact your account executive to schedule a plant tour or press check.


What is the difference between varnish, aqueous coating and UV coating?

Varnish Coating

Varnish coatings are available in gloss, satin or dull finishes, with or without tints. Varnishes offer a relatively low degree of protection compared to other coatings and laminates, but they are used widely, thanks to their low cost, flexibility and ease of application. Varnishes are applied just like an ink, using one of the units on the press. Varnish can either be flooded across the entire sheet or spot applied precisely where desired, to add extra gloss to photos, for example, or to protect black backgrounds.

In addition to providing relatively little protection, varnishes have other drawbacks too. One problem is that over time, they tend to yellow. Yellowing is not a big concern when the varnish is used over process colors, but it is noticeable when the varnish is applied over unprinted paper, especially today’s high-brightness blue-white papers.

Varnishes also require the use of printers’ offset spray powder to keep the printed sheets from sticking together before the varnish is completely cured. The powder that is left behind can affect the look and feel of the finished piece, an especially important concern in fashion catalogs and other publications where appearance is everything.

Aqueous Coating

Low cost water based aqueous coatings are among the most commonly used coatings available today and provide good protection from fingerprints and other blemishes. Like varnishes, aqueous coatings are applied in-line on press, but they are shinier and smoother than varnish, have higher abrasion and rub resistance, are less likely to yellow and are more environmentally friendly. Aqueous coatings dry faster than varnishes too, which means faster turnaround times on press.

Available in gloss or dull finishes, water based coatings offer other advantages as well. Because they seal the ink from exposure to the air they can help prevent metallic inks from tarnishing. Specially formulated aqueous coatings can be written on with a number two pencil, or overprinted using a laser jet printer, a key consideration in mass mail projects.

UV Coating

Extremely high gloss UV, or ultraviolet, coatings offer more protection than either varnish or aqueous coatings. UV coatings are applied as a liquid, using a roller, screen or blanket, and then exposed to ultraviolet light to polymerize and harden the coating, with zero emissions. The coatings can either be applied across the entire page or, while lacking the precision of a varnish, on a spot basis. The coatings are available in a high gloss as well as matte, satin and a wide variety of specialty finishes, including glitter and tints, and even different scents.


Do you print business cards?

For a single business card order, ACG is not a good fit. For corporate clients or multiple versions, yes.


What do I need to provide for variable data projects?

We work with many types of data files, but CSV files are the safest bet. These are data files that have commas separating each field, and returns separating each line of data. To save time and hassle, make sure your data is properly formatted with each piece of data in separate fields.

Complex projects may require other files, like image files or additional data files. If you are unsure of what may be required for a particular variable project, give us a call for a consultation.


What does personalization mean?

Personalization is another term for variable data—technology for printing documents so that each piece is personalized to the specific recipient.

Personalizing can be as simple as a unique name and address on every printed piece. But more sophisticated levels of personalization can include text or images that vary based on data specific to the recipient, or data-driven graphics. If there are any questions or concerns on how to variable date files or artwork, please call us at 407.831.2999


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