Archive for March, 2008

Blighted empty shopping areas are created in your community when chain stores re-locate to a more lucrative shopping center, or leave altogether. Literally hundreds of big stores are abandoned each year across the United States.

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If you are new to Design and the print industry, you may already know how frustrating it is to find the right software to keep up with the industry standards and know what each program is designed for since definitions tend to be very vague.

Adobe has long been the industry standard and become synonymous with print. While there are many programs available that offer similar features, sticking with Adobe products will ensure consistency with most print shops. That being said, knowing the differences between the programs and what they are designed for can save a lot of wasted time in preparing artwork. Below is a list of the 3 most commonly used Adobe programs as well as a brief description of each.

Adobe Illustrator:
Adobe Illustrator is a vector based program meaning it is designed to create line art graphics and drawings. It is great for creating logos, graphs, and intricate artwork with higher precision and execution than other programs. As long as the artwork was created in Illustrator (as opposed to being imported) it can be reduced/enlarged to any size without quality loss and the file will remain small. While it has some of the features that other programs have, it does not support them as well . For instance, it has effects and filters but they are much harder to manage and tend to make the file much larger than necessary. It also has type features but doesn’t support multiple pages so it is more complicated to create layouts.

Adobe Photoshop:
Adobe Photoshop is a raster based program. It is designed to apply effects and filters to existing artwork and photography. It is a very powerful program for creating realistic textures, artwork and effects and is equally as good for creating web graphics. Like Illustrator, it combines some of the features that the other programs have, but also like Illustrator, it does not support them as well. In order to achieve the quality and resolution of a vector image, the file could end up being 20x the size of a vector file, so it essential to know what the file will be used for before creating (ie; print or web). Once it has been created at a certain size, it cannot be enlarged without the quality suffering. It also does not support multiple page documents, simply because of the file size constraints.

Adobe InDesign:
Adobe InDesign is a desktop publishing program which basically compiles and links artwork, graphics and text into one file. It is designed to layout single and multiple page documents for print. It has a preflight feature which diagnoses any issues you might have before sending to a printer. It also has a collect for output feature which collect all linked artwork and photos along with the file itself and fonts used into one folder. It supports style sheets, rules, page numbering, etc. As with the others, it has several outside features but does not support them as well.

In a nutshell, each program has similar features to the other programs, but is individually designed with one core function that works in tandem with the other programs. If used to their full potential, they will compliment each other rather than compete.

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Lithography is a printing process that uses an ink & water process to create an image. The positive part of an image is an ink, while the negative image is water. When the plate is introduced to a compatible ink and water mixture, the ink will adhere to the positive image and the water will clean the negative image. This allows for a relatively flat print plate which allows for much longer runs than the older physical methods of imaging (e.g., embossing or engraving).

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Millions of dollars of tax revenue subsidies handed to chains by financially-starved local governments drain even more tax revenue from our community and state.

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There are printers in the industry, typically in the commercial space, that will tell a broker that they “work with brokers”. What they don’t tell brokers is that it won’t stop them from calling broker’s clients directly. This tactic is called ‘poaching’, which is a despicable approach to business. Not to mention, it condones a bad reputation of the entire broker community, which is not a surprise when you consider the direct model of print business. 

As an example of how disloyal and diabolical these printers can be, there is a local Phoenix printer that, at one time, went so far as to recruit all the best print sales people in the area, offering higher salaries than the competition. All those sales people brought their clients with them, and after a year, the printer fired most of the sales staff in an attempt to retain the clients.

This is definately the kind of company that brokers need not deal with. Should a broker need to do business with a direct-model printer (maybe they have an offering that no one else has), then definately get a non-compete written up by a lawyer.

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Everything in the world of tradeshow displays is dependant on size, but here are some budgets numbers to work with:

$1400-$2000 for a curved display, depending on size.

$500-$1000 for the graphics of the display, depending on size.

There are also non-curved displays that start at $500.

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Independent businesses raise the standard of living in your community because they take their profits and buy products and services from other local businesses, thus creating more and more tax revenues needed for the community to thrive.

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For those clients looking for that gold, copper or other metallic color, there is a solution. Albeit, a solution that will cost a little more and needs guidance.

MetalFX Technology ( manufacturers a “special” ink that results in a metallic shiny look. Printers have to be licensed by MFX in order to print with their inks. Designers need to get with the licensed printer, to get the software they need to create the artwork appropriately. MFX offers samples through online request. Check them out, and ask your broker to help guide you through this process.

Note that MFX is not the only company out there providing this kind of ink. Metallics Unlimited is another brand that apparently achieves a metallic look by simply adding a silver spot color to existing inks, which may be more of a cost-effective route. The brand that is used is usually dependant on what the printers are offering.

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There are different levels of service and pricing when scanning is needed. Here are some brief details to help clients understand the scanning processes:

Straight Run Auto Feed- Originals that are rubber-banded or loose documents. This type of work does not require any preparation by the operator to being scanned. The orginals must be in excellent condition (one-sided, same size with no staples, clips, tabs or folders).

Light Litigation- Originals that are thick stapled and clipped sections of documents. Occasionally, small sections of stapled or clipped documents of only a few pages may be mixed in, but not to the extent of slowing the output of the scanning. This category includes originals that are all 2-sided, even if considered “auto-feed”.

Medium Litigation- Originals that are primarily stapled and clipped sections of both letter and legal size documents, including file folders, folder tabs, numeric and alpha tabs, which are to be scanned. These jobs require more handing and organization. Occasionally, small receipts or smaller-sized originals may be mixed in, but not to the extent of slowing the out put of the job.

Heavy Litigation- Originals described as “Medium Litigation”, but with fewer pages in the stapled or clipped sections (5 pages or less), mixed sizes of originals, such as receipts, envelopes, half pages, and poor contrast documents that will require adjustment to product an acceptable scanned image. Included in this are documents marked, “Scan Tagged or Clipped Documents Only”.

Hand on Glass- Originals require that the operator place the documents directly on the scanner glass for scanning more than 50% of the time. Extremely poor quality originals, receipts, checks, etc., that require extensive handling and analysis on a page-by-page basis in order to produce a quality image.

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When you shop locally-owned businesses, your money is re-circulated over and over and creates up to 75% more tax revenue to our community and state.

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There are many types of folding, some of which have more than one name. Here is a good cheat-sheet to help understand the basic folds:

Accordian Fold or Z-Fold: Both are similar, but the Accordian fold is typically referenced when there is more than 2 folds per page.


Half Fold: Simply stated, this is folding a page in half.

Half Fold

Trifold or Letter Fold: This has two folds with the panels folded towards the same side of the page.

Letter Fold

French Fold or Cross Fold: This is basically two Half Folds.

French Fold

Double Parallel Fold: This is a way folding the page within itself.

Double Parallel Fold

Gate Fold: As the name would suggest, this fold allows a person to open a page like two gates.

Gate Fold

Barrel Fold: This is like a Letter Fold, but with three folds.

Barrel Fold

Then there’s Ben Folds…..just kidding.


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

Business mailing lists typically only have a 80% accuracy rate. This is due to the fact that most business data is voluntarily offered by the businesses to D&B, rather than a company pulling information from a database.

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Yes, that is him, which is not surprising since he is now a part of the Phoenix Suns organization.