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Archive for October, 2007

Die Cutting is a process where paper product is cut into a special shape. Embossing is a process where cardstock is stamped to raise a portion of the surface. Both require a die, which is a custom created metal stamping or cutting tool. With a die, there is a cost, and the cost depends on the project.

Larger corporations will utilize this service to differentiate their packaging and/or marketing materials, and the die costs are minimal given the large amounts of printing being done. Small consumers tend not to use these services due to the cost of the die and the small amount of units being printed. 

So, what is the best way for a small consumer to afford this process? The best suggestion would be to stick with service providers’ templates. Choosing from templates assures the consumer that the provider already has a pre-made die. Needless to say, this removes the cost of the die. The only other option is to call around asking providers if they have a certain die in stock.

1) Select the Pen Tool, and create a series of anchors by clicking in or around the portion of the image/object that you want to keep. When you click the with the pen tool, it creates an anchor, and when another anchor is created, a line path will be created between the 2 anchor points, and so on. Continue this process until you get back to the original anchor point.

2) Use the Select Tool, and select both the portion you want to keep and the portion you want to cut (does not have to be perfect selection), by clicking and holding and dragging the selection box across both portions.

3) Press Ctrl and X, which is the cutting feature. Of course, there are about 2 other ways to do the same action.

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit  www.makepapereasy.com.

A client came to ProjectCenter for greeting cards, but was intent on differentiating themselves from the competition. Not a bad idea by any means, but there was an issue when coupling the artwork and the stock that was chosen- the client had a photo that they wanted printed on linen cardstock.

Photography, photographed artwork, or scanned artwork are detailed and need to be as crisp as possible, in order to deliver quality work. Lots of effort goes into photography or the creation of artwork, so it is crucial that these formats go to print in the correct manner.

Here is the issue: Regular paper is not suitable for high quality images. This is due to the fact that when the ink makes contact, it soaks into the paper and slightly bleeds. For example, try dabbing a drop of water on to paper. The water soaks in and spreads out. Because of this, images become slightly tainted, and all the work put into the original piece is wasted.

This is why high quality images are normally seen on coated paper or coated cardstock. In these cases, the ink lays on top of the paper, creating more of a pure transfer.

Check us out at www.makepapereasy.com.

For those clients that definately know that they have long-lasting marketing materials (i.e. brochures, etc.), that will not need changes, then ordering large quantities is not a bad idea.

There are 2 ways where money is saved with such logic.  First, printing prices always go down per unit when the transaction is larger. This is mostly due to the fact that set up charges become absorbed as more units are printed. Second, buying stock limits a client’s ability to make unneeded changes in the artwork, because orders will naturally be requested less often. Most clients do not realize that for every change that is made on graphic art, a fee design fee is incurred.  

It is understood that a client would want to order as little as possible when there is a short-term project involved, or the material is in a testing phase, but bigger transactions should be considered for those items that remain consistant.

Check us out at www.makepapereasy.com

Often, a print supplier finds themselves inadvertently put in the position of making decisions for clients. There are many decisions that could be made along the process of printing, from the designing of the artwork to the printing of the product, etc.

Some suppliers make the unfortunate choice not to ‘bother’ their clients with options. This is, of course, a big mistake. When making decisions for the client, the supplier heightens the risk of customer dissatisfaction.

Word to the wise: Put the burden on the clients’ shoulders. Provide proofs. It gives them more control, and they will most likely be satisfied. Even if they are not satisfied, they will at least know that it was their decision that led to the unfortunate outcome.

Check us out at www.makepapereasy.com.

Mail marketing has become a common business practice to promote products and services. These mailing tips will improve your results:

1) Create a targeted mailing list that includes the group most likely to buy your products or services.
2) Design the marketing product with the goal of creating an emotional reaction. People buy based on emotion and shop based on logic (warning: too many facts and figures may prevent a response to your piece).
3) Design the marketing product with an action item, such as ‘Call us at 602-252-6655’, or ‘Check out our website at www.makepapereasy.com’, etc.
4) Create the marketing product to be quick to read, with a clear message.
5) Time your mail to arrive on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, which are the lightest mail days (less competition).

Check us out at www.makepapereasy.com.

Regular offset press printing uses printing plates to make materials. Images are put on the plates, which are dampened by water and then ink. The ink adheres to the image area, and the water to the non-image area. Then the image is transferred to a rubber blanket , and then from the rubber blanket to the paper.

With web printing, rolls of paper are fed through the press as one continuous stream. The paper is then cut to size afterwards.

Web presses are built to print at very high rates of speed and use very large sheets of paper. Thus, web printing is most cost-effective when running large quantites. The general minimum for web printing is 50,000+ units.

Check us out at www.makepapereasy.com.

This is a simple posting to help people understand the basic difference in charges, when comparing color and black & white copier printing.

Currently, the typical retail charge for color is about .88 (88 cents) per 8.5 x 11 page. The typical retail charge for black & white is .10 (10 cents) per 8.5 x 11 page.

To be clear, these charges are estimates. Each service provider charges what they feel is appropriate for their business. It could lower in price, it could be higher in price.

Hope this helps our readers……

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit  www.makepapereasy.com.

Some viewers of this blog have been specifically looking for information on copier click charges. Click charges pertain to an agreement where a copier vendor charges a slight amount per copy, in order to service the machine and/or have it on a lease. This is a customary practice.

The charges vary depending on the business (are you ‘print for page’ [reseller] or an end user?), but also depend on what the copier sales guy/gal can get away with. Let’s face it, they are in the business of making money. For this reason, click charges WILL NEVER BE PUBLISHED by the industry.

Only by luck, and the graciousness of the community, will one be able to find this information.

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit  www.makepapereasy.com.

Once in awhile, a client will create artwork that incorporates a color called gold. Unfortunately, gold is simply not a color and it cannot even come close to resembling the real thing, which is a material.

When an art piece is printed with gold, clients will often be disappointed in the end result-  the gold color looking more like a mustard color. The only true way of accomplishing a gold color on a printed piece is to incorporate foiling. Foil is just as one would imagine- a foil material that is pressed on to a printed piece of work.

The likelihood that someone would use foil for something like a newsletter is very slim, because it can be an expensive service. Foiling is usually used for business cards, since they are smaller in size and foil sticks better to cardstock.

Contact us at questions@makepapereasy.com.

“Dirty Jobs” on the Discover Channel had a great episode that included a printing press (June 27, 2006). Although not quite interesting to the regular person, it is a great example of the work involved for those in the marketing industry. It truly helps one to understand all the intricacies of the offset printing business (i.e. setting up machinery, manually mixing colors, running paper through perfectly, etc.), and why spot color work should never and probably will never reduce its market pricing.

We could not find video of this episode online, but if anyone is interested in buying it, here it is: 

http://www.amazon.com/Discovery-Channels-Dismantler-Terracotta-Decorator/dp/B000OPVQM2

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit  www.makepapereasy.com.

When artwork goes all the way to the edge of a document, it is called a full-bleed piece. Full-bleed product in the world of the offset printing industry is very common, because the tools and machinery are made to accommodate this task.

The method by which this is accomplished is by making the artwork slighty bigger than the actual size. This slightly oversized artwork is then printed on oversized paper, and then the piece is cut down to actual size, leaving no border.

Unlike offset printing, copiers are not necessarily made to handle full-bleed projects. Yes, it can be done by printing on an oversized piece of paper and cutting it down, but a problem still exists. Copiers have what is known as a registration, which is a calculation as to where the artwork is placed on the page. Unfortunately, this registration changes all the time, because of the way a copier is made. The combination of rollers, drums, page thickness, paper stock and temparature all contribute to where the artwork lands on the page, which can slightly change with each and every page. So, when one goes to print on the other side of a double-sided project, they will find that the two pieces of artwork are not exactly lined up front to back.

When this issue happens, a client needs to accept the shortcomings of a copy job, or move the project to the offset printing option. There really are no other alternatives.

 Contact us at questions@makepapereasy.com

It is amazing how many companies in the print/copy industry do not understand, or are not able to define, what good service is. Good service starts with picking up the phone when it rings, and ends with making sure a project has been delivered. In between, following up with clients and doing every job correctly are just some other basics.

A lot of online companies are abandoning customer service as a cost-cutting measure. It seems they have a do-it-yourself attitude, when viewing the printing websites. These companies start charging money for every additional service you need.

Good customer service brings more business through referrals, and referrals are the best type of new business. ProjectCenter also ends up with a lot of business, because of competitors’ lack of client satisfaction. So we say “thank you” to those competitors, and keep up the good work (for us).