Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What is “bleed”?

A:  Bleed is a printing term that refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet after trimming. The bleed is the part on the side of your document that gives the printer that small amount of space to move around paper and design inconsistencies.

Q:  What is RGB and CMYK?

A: The RGB color model is an additive color model in which redgreen, andblue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array ofcolors. The name of the model comes from the initials of the three additive primary colors, red, green, and blue.

The main purpose of the RGB color model is for the sensing, representation, and display of images in electronic systems, such as televisions and computers, though it has also been used in conventional photography. Before the electronic age, the RGB color model already had a solid theory behind it, based in human perception of colors.

RGB is a device-dependent color model: different devices detect or reproduce a given RGB value differently, since the color elements (such as phosphors or dyes) and their response to the individual R, G, and B levels vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, or even in the same device over time. Thus an RGB value does not define the same color across devices without some kind of color management.

Typical RGB input devices are color TV and video camerasimage scanners, and digital cameras. Typical RGB output devices are TV sets of various technologies (CRTLCDplasma, etc.), computer and mobile phonedisplays, video projectors, multicolor LED displays, and large screens asJumboTron, etc. Color printers, on the other hand, are not RGB devices, butsubtractive color devices (typically CMYK color model).

The CMYK color model (process colorfour color) is a subtractive color model, used in color printing, and is also used to describe the printing process itself. CMYK refers to the four inks used in some color printing:cyanmagentayellow, and key black. Though it varies by print house, pressoperator, press manufacturer and press run, ink is typically applied in the order of the abbreviation.

The CMYK model works by partially or entirely masking colors on a lighter, usually white, background. The ink reduces the light that would otherwise be reflected. Such a model is called subtractive because inks “subtract”brightness from white.

In additive color models such as RGB, white is the “additive” combination of all primary colored lights, while black is the absence of light. In the CMYK model, it is the opposite: white is the natural color of the paper or other background, while black results from a full combination of colored inks. To save money on ink, and to produce deeper black tones, unsaturated and dark colors are produced by using black ink instead of the combination of cyan, magenta and yellow.

Q:  What is the difference between vector and raster images?

A: Computer displays are made up from grids of small rectangular cells called pixels. The picture is built up from these cells. The smaller and closer the cells are together, the better the quality of the image, but the bigger the file needed to store the data. If the number of pixels is kept constant, the size of each pixel will grow and the image becomes grainy (pixellated) when magnified, as the resolution of the eye enables it to pick out individual pixels.

Vector graphics files store the lines, shapes and colours that make up an image as mathematical formulae. A vector graphics program uses these mathematical formulae to construct the screen image, building the best quality image possible, given the screen resolution. The mathematical formulae determine where the dots that make up the image should be placed for the best results when displaying the image. Since these formulae can produce an image scalable to any size and detail, the quality of the image is limited only by the resolution of the display, and the file size of vector data generating the image stays the same. Printing the image to paper will usually give a sharper, higher resolution output than printing it to the screen but can use exactly the same vector data file.

Raster graphics are resolution dependent. They cannot scale up to an arbitrary resolution without loss of apparent quality. This property contrasts with the capabilities of vector graphics, which easily scale up to the quality of the device rendering them. Raster graphics deal more practically than vector graphics with photographs and photo-realistic images, while vector graphics often serve better for typesetting or for graphic design. Modern computer-monitors typically display about 72 to 130 pixels per inch (PPI), and some modern consumer printers can resolve 2400 dots per inch (DPI) or more; determining the most appropriate image resolution for a given printer-resolution can pose difficulties, since printed output may have a greater level of detail than a viewer can discern on a monitor. Typically, a resolution of 150 to 300 pixel per inch works well for 4-color process (CMYK) printing.

Q:  What types of image files do you accept?

A:  We accept .jpg, .tif, . ai, .eps, .png, .gif & .bmp. However, for best quality printing, photographic images should be in .tif or .jpg format at between 150 to 300 dpi resolution. Vector images such as .ai and .eps (Illustrator) are fine as they are. Photoshop .eps files and Illustrator .eps files are not the same. Photoshop .eps files are raster images and Illustrator .eps files are vector images.

Q:   Why won’t my business card (letterhead or envelope) form not submit like it supposed to?

A:   There is really not one specific answer that can cover every possible reason but here are the ones we’ve encountered so far:

  1. The form is being filled out in Acrobat Reader rather than the full version of Acrobat Professional. Forms can not be submitted through Reader.
  2. The form may be trying to be submitted from an older version of acrobat that doesn’t support that function.
  3. All the highlighted fields, which indicate they must be filled out before the form can be submitted, are not all filled out.
  4. If the network is down, it won’t submit.

If neither of these seem to be your problem, the alternative is to fill out the form online, print it out and fax it to us at 575-7420.