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Archive for October, 2008

What Is An Indicia?

October 30, 2008 | No Comments | Mailing

If you are doing any sort of direct mail campaign, you have probably been asked for or asked if you want an indicia. An indicia is a marking showing that the postage has been prepaid.  It typically looks like a balck and white box that is the same size as a stamp, and can have a permit number associated with it. These indicias can be included at the time that you are building a graphic design, and because this is added at the artwork level, it saves money because the mail house will not have to charge for ‘licking and sticking’ stamps.

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.

Every size of mail has specs to allow the mailer to print and send the materials efficiently. From the lower right corner of a 6×9 postcard, the address space needed is 1 1/2 inches from the bottom and 4 inches from the right, and the barcode space needed is 5/8 inch from the bottom and 4 3/4 inches from the right.

Address space: 1 1/2″ x 4″

Barcode space: 5/8″ x 4 3/4″

 

Check out ProjectCenter at www.makepapereasy.com or call us at 602.252.6655. Please feel free to comment.

  • Heard a great comment about service: fast, cheap & good- pick two. #

Scanning images can be a bit tricky. But here are a few tips that should make the process easier and give you better results:

Use of Color and Grey Scale

64 Colors take up the same amount of room as 64 grays. So if your image is still functional as a Black and White (not Grey Scale), please scan it in that way. Your file will be smaller and easier to handle. Beware of scanner options such as “Black and White Photo”. Often such settings are actually grey-scale.

High Contrast

Increasing the contrast, especially on black and white, usually improves the sharpness of the image. If you have a grey-scale image or a picture with a colored background, you can still scan it as black and white by increasing the contrast to near full. The lighter background color will be mapped to white, while the darker image lines will become black.

Ghost Images

A “Ghost Image” occurs when the scanner picks up images from the back of the page. Often this can be corrected by changing the darkness and contrast controls. Experiment to find the best settings of these controls for your particular scanner.

Saving Images

After you scan the images, save them as GIF if it is an option. Otherwise save as PCX, BMP, or TIFF because they are popular formats and other graphics programs can easily edit and convert them to GIFs.

 

Check out ProjectCenter at www.makepapereasy.com or call us at 602.252.6655.

Please take a look at the following tips to have a proper output.

 

Never overwrite the original – Make it a rule never to overwrite an original with an edited copy. It is better to stick to the original image at any cost.

Don’t forget the Undo command – Luckily, virtually every image editor on the face of the planet has an Undo command. Some allow us to use multiple Undo steps.

Don’t degrade the image – Applying an artistic filter or effect works fine; just don’t obliterate the image in the process! Keep your subject recognizable (even if that subject is suddenly embossed, rendered in pastels, changed into glass, or covered with flames). If we try to change the message we were trying to convey. Avoid enjoying too much of a good thing — if necessary, don’t forget It is better to use image editor’s Undo command to yank the image back from the last change we made.

 

Check out ProjectCenter at www.makepapereasy.com or call us at 602.252.6655.

By taking advantage of Windows 95/98’s shortcuts, it is so easy to let the computer do all the work….

What is the best way to print PRN files and what is a PRN file?

A PRN file is a special type of file which contains instructions for a printer, it tells the printer what to print on the page and where, as well as which paper tray to use, what the paper size is and a number of other controls. Open a .PRN file in any text editor, but first check whether it contains any junk or any other unnecessary code.

PRN files are usually created automatically by a printer driver. In fact, this is the primary purpose of the printer driver- to translate the generic output from an application such as Word or Notepad into something the printer can understand and interpret. Normally this whole process of creating the PRN file is transparent that even a lay man can print a document in their favorite application.

There can however be some uses for intercepting and capturing a PRN file before it gets to the printer. Having the PRN file offers one an option to reprint the document without running or even having the original application that created the file. Print to File is perfect for being able to reproduce an exact print out time and time again. Knowing how to print the PRN file is the only requirement, which is where PrnPrint enters the picture.

PrnPrint (386k – W9x/2k/XP) is a free program that has a option to easily print captured “Print to file” files, (*.prn), text files (*.txt) and postscript files (*.ps). There is an option in this application that will add a link in the “ Send To” menu that points to PrnPrint.

Print in a Flash

Most folks print a file by opening its application, then opening the file, choosing File, Print, and finally closing the application. To save on clicks and keystrokes, try the following technique instead.

Open Windows Explorer or My Documents and locate the file or files to print. Right-click the file or a group of selected files and choose Print. For most file types, the associated application will automatically open, send the file to the printer and close without further action.

Sometimes with image files the right-click Print command will launch a special process, such as the Photo Printing Wizard.

 

Check out ProjectCenter at www.makepapereasy.com.

 

So a client comes to you asking for a promotional product, such a coffee cup with their logo on it. You might think it’s as easy as making a call, getting a quote and and ordering. Not so fast Cowboy!

First, it is very unlikely that you will have compettive pricing by just making a call to a promotional products company. There’s a whole structure of the promotional products industry that involves manufacturing (usually out of China), distribution and suppliers. To be involved in this structure so that you have access to wholesale-like pricing and vendors to purchase from, you need to be a part of organizations such as ASI (www.asicentral.com) and PPAI (www.ppai.org). Respectively, these acronyms stand for Advertising Specialty Institute and Promotional Products Association International.

These organizations have certain requirements to be a member. These requirements are typically involve a filled-out application, proof of past promotional products purchases (around 3-5 references) and a yearly fee (around $400).

To be quite honest, that still does not assure the best pricing. Once a part of an organization, it takes time to build enough sales to then ask vendors for discounts.

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 making and printing packaging, such as display boxes, there are some certain terms that one needs to know. These terms are for the communication between the seller, a die-cutting firm and designer, and not so important to the print. A printer will simply print whatever is needed on to sheets of cardstock, that then gets turned over to a die-cutter that cuts, scores, glues and folds to spec. If the designer and the die-cutter do not communicate, and the specs are not exact (i.e. a measurement or the artwork is millimeters off target), the project will become waste. Once the package is assembled, it will become quite clear that something is not right (i.e. the design is not positioned correctly or the box is not geometrically sound).

Now for the first term- Pylocks. Unfortunately, a photo can not be supplied here. 

As an example, if you take a box of pain relievers off the shelf of a grocery store, look at the lid of the box.  Opening the lid, you will see that the lid has a lip. Between the lip and the “top” of the box, there are slits on either side. These slits are the Pylocks that allow the lid to naturally lock with the underlying flaps.

 

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 or follow us at http://twitter.com/ProjectCenter.

If your images are too huge for your purpose, then you might be scanning at an excessively high resolution. Try scanning at a lower resolution value, an appropriate value for the goal. You should not scan at 2400 dpi just because your scanner can do it, the same idea as not driving to the grocery store at 120 MPH just because your car can do it. There are rules. Instead just use the basic principles to properly scan to create the size of image that you actually need and want. Or, another choice is that you can resample a too-large existing image to be smaller, to have smaller dimensions in pixels.

If you want to print the image to be 6×4 inches at 300 dpi on paper, then the requirements for the image are:

(6 inches x 300 dpi) x (4 inches x 300 dpi) = 1800×1200 pixels.

This image is larger than most video screens. Printing typically requires a larger image (more pixels) than does the video screen.

A shortcut:    If you want to enlarge the printed copy, the ratio of (scanning resolution / printing resolution) is the enlargement factor.   For example:

-Scan at 600 dpi, print at 300 dpi, for 600/300 = 2X size (double size or 200% size)

-Scan at 300 dpi, print at 300 dpi, for 300/300 = 1X size (original size or 100% size)

-Scan at 150 dpi, print at 300 dpi, for 150/300 = 1/2X size (half size or 50% size)

 

Check out ProjectCenter at www.makepapereasy.com or call us at 602-252-6655.

RGB is for viewing and CMYK is for printing.

Color Modes and When to Use Them:

Bitmap: 1-bit color. Pixels are either black or white. Good for simple line art with no shades of gray, no fuzzy edges. If you are saving to EPS format, remember to check for “Transparent Whites” if you want the black areas to be solid but the background to be “clear.” Be VERY careful messing with the Halftone Screens. If you want a cool T-shirt, silk screen effect, go for it, otherwise be prepared to see you work mangled beyond belief. To make this format more workable, you can convert it to Grayscale (then to duotone, or CMYK or RGB, etc.). If you have something in another format you have to convert it to Grayscale first, then Bitmap will become an option. Bitmaps are good for line art, doesn’t always need trapping, and can be colorized in programs like PageMaker into solid inks.

Grayscale: 8-bit color. Pixels can be black, white, or any one of 256 shades of gray. Good for black and white photos and illustrations. Full color images can easily be converted to grayscale for publication. (But if you want to see a full color–CMYK or RGB image as a grayscale, without actually converting it.

 

Check out ProjectCenter at www.makepapereasy.com, or call us at 602-252-6655.