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Helpful Tips

I have put together some helpful tips and tricks to try and help you avoid some of the common problems that we run into when printing documents.


Lets start with the paper that we use on our small format (13"x19" or smaller) laser machine. The type of paper that something is printed on has a large effect on how it will look when printed. For our general black and white printing, we use a 20# bond with a high (98) brightness. The high brightness gives your document a better contrast and makes it easier to read. While this paper is great for black and white printing, it is too porous to make a good color print. We use a smoother and heavier 60# text paper with the same 98 brightness for our general color work.

We have many other papers that we use that have heavier weights and different finishes. The card stock papers that we stock are from 60# cover to 110# cover and come in matte and glossy finishes. These make great greeting cards, business cards, post cards, rack cards or booklet covers. The heavier text papers that we use are 80# text & 100# text and come in matte and glossy finishes. These make great flyers and quality booklets for presentations. We also stock many different colored papers in text and cover weights. These offer a cheap way to add color to your black & white documents, flyers, cards, etc. We also stock polyester paper that is great for restaurant menus or other items that will be subjected to moisture or abusive handling. If none of these fit the bill, there are many others that we can order.


Most printers cannot print all the way to the edge of the paper (full bleed) so if you want your document to be printed all the way to the edge, we need to print it on a paper size that is larger than what you want to end up with and then trim it down to your size. This increases the cost of printing due to the larger paper and then having to cut it. Also keep in mind that the document will have to be designed slightly larger (about 1/8" bleed on all sides) than what you want to end up with since we need to actually cut into the color to achieve a borderless document. You need to make sure that your important content is inside the page border by that same amount to allow for variances in the printing and cutting. The largest full-bleed document that we can do is 12"x18". Cutting will be $4 per 100 sheets.


Fonts are often an issue. We have several thousand fonts on hand that we can use but there are thousands more out there. If there is a particular font that you want to use, you either need to make sure it is embedded in your document or tell us what it is and we will see if we have it or can aquire it. If you want to make sure that your document will print properly, then you should turn it into a high quality pdf document with your fonts embedded (if using Adobe Illustrator, you can also outline the text to preserve its appearance).


When turning files into pdfs, jpgs, tiffs, etc. you should always use the highest quality settings that you can. This will minimize compression of your document and keep it looking its best. Compressed files end up looking blocky and jagged when printed. When designing posters you should create it as close to the final size as you can. The more we have to blow it up, the worse the quality tends to get.