FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Digitization converts your artwork into a digital file that can be read by our embroidery machines. Digitization process takes your logo artwork and separates colors out into the closest available thread colors. Digitization also programs automatically how the needle will stitch and move throughout your artwork and color threads that are required while running on our embroidery machines.
A printing press is a manufacturing unit which involves various processes from placing an online print order to delivery of your final product. When you first place an order for printing, your order goes to our Design Department, if you hired us to design your job. You may choose to download templates from our website and have your own design team upload them to our site. In this case your design will be quickly reviewed by our design team to ensure the files were submitted properly. We do not proof spelling or colors of submitted artwork using our design templates. We only verify that your artwork layout is properly placed in our design templates. These submitted art files are then batched with other like orders as a group and submitted directly to our Prepress Department. Prepress Department creates positives (films) which are exposed into metal plates for these batched group orders. Metal plates are loaded into our offset machine. The automated printing of batched jobs from preloaded paper reams occurs. We take these printed sheets and may go through another process of applying UV, Spot UV, or Aqueous coating. These sheets are then cut and trimmed to the required size for all submitted groups in each batch. Printing sheets may also go through other processes in the Binding Department. Depending on the job requirements this goes through a number of processes like collating, hole drilling, scoring and folding, die cutting, and lamination. We finish up with your job in our Bindery Department. Last, we send your product to our Packaging and Forwarding Department for shipping.
Once you place an online embroidery apparel order. Your order goes to our Design Department, if you hired us to design your job. You may choose to download templates from our website and have your own design team upload them to our site. In any case your design will be quickly reviewed by our design team to ensure the files were submitted properly. Your vector logo and artwork will be sent to our Embroidery Department. In our Embroidery department a team member immediately reviews your online orders. This team member orders the exact quantities of Hats, Polos, Shirts, etc. directly from our product suppliers. Brands like Nike, OGIO, Port and Company for example manufacture these apparel items specifically for our embroidery use. This means when we embroider into these apparel items received from our suppliers there will never be an obstruction in the apparel to cause our embroidery needles to break. Artwork submitted to our Embroidery department goes into Prepress when it is digitized. This Digitization process takes your logo artwork separates colors out into the closest available thread colors. Digitization also programs automatically how the needle will move and color threads it uses while running on our embroidery machines. Each digitized artwork location is setup by magnetic ring clamps that hold the apparel securely in place. These magnetic ring clamps hold tight the apparel while the stitching is being done automatically by our machines. Once embroidery is completed we send your products to our Packaging and Forwarding Department for shipping.
Once you place an online silkscreen apparel order. Your order goes to our Design Department, if you hired us to design your job. You may choose to download templates from our website and have your own design team upload them to our site. In any case your design will be quickly reviewed by our design team to ensure the files were submitted properly. Your vector logo and artwork will be sent to our Silkscreen Department. In our Silkscreen department a team member immediately reviews your online orders. This team member orders the exact quantities and colors of shirts, tank tops, or hoodies, etc directly from our product suppliers. Brands for example like Nike, OGIO, Next Level, Port and Company manufacture these apparel items specifically for our silkscreen use. This means when we silkscreen onto these apparel items received from our suppliers. The apparel produced by the manufacturers will accept our inks and survive going through the extreme temperatures of our drier to cure our applied inks. Artwork submitted to our Silkscreen Department goes into Prepress when individual colors are separated out and printed onto films. These films are then taken and burned individually by color into a silkscreen. Ink is added to the screen once alignment between the colors is achieved. Color changes can be made by completely removing and cleaning the screen then reapplying the new ink color. Each apparel is loaded individually onto flat boards and secured in place. The board carousel automatically spins the apparel into the different silkscreen print stations and ink is applied and sometimes dried before proceeding to the next silkscreen color station. Once all the colors are applied to the apparel. Each apparel item is off loaded onto a drier conveyor belt. While on the conveyor belt each apparel item is heated up to cure the inks. Once Silkscreen process is completed we send your products to our Packaging and Forwarding Department for shipping.
Text paper is known as book, or offset paper it is typically thinner more flexible and lightweight. Text paper can be associated in interior pages of a magazine, flexible brochures, posters, flyers or company letterhead. Text weight paper can be offered in either coated or uncoated options. Uncoated text is non glossy and is guaranteed for safe inkjet or toner laser printing.
Cover paper is typically associated with the outside Cover of a book or magazine. Cover is a more rigid card stock and dense than its text paper counterpart and is often associated with more rigid products like postcards, outside cover of a booklets or calendars. Cover paper can be offered in either glossy coated or uncoated matte options.
Text paper and Cover paper can have the same pound rating; however the cover stock is more rigid of a card stock and is about twice as dense and heavy as it’s text paper counterpart. The density is the compression of the paper fibers into the stock and is measured in GSM (Grams per Square Meter).
Bond Paper is used commonly for letterhead, copier paper, and laser printer paper. It is composed with shorter fibers in its construction and has a softer paper feel. Bond paper is extremely lightweight. We use 20 lb. bond paper in our NCR forms that we produce for you. Bond Paper weight is typically 20 lb per 500 sheets. 8.5”x11” of 500 sheets actually weight 20 lbs. in total.
Text Paper is a higher grade paper then bond paper. Text paper is considered a better quality paper than standard bond paper due to its durability and color print reproduction qualities. Text paper that we sell ranges from 70lb. to 100 lb. Text Paper is typically used for booklets, brochures, flyers or posters. Text paper typically comes in 25”x38” sheets of 500. The paper weight is calculated based on ream of 500 pages. So for example 25”x38” ream of 500 sheets are considered 80 lb. because it actually weights 80 lbs! 500 Sheets of 25”x38” 100 lb weights actually 100 lbs. and is considered denser than its 80 lb paper counter parts. The heavier the text paper stock is in weight the more expensive it is.
Cover Paper is considered a heavy cardstock. Typically used for business cards, postcards, door hangers or the outside cover of booklets and calendars. Cover paper comes in smaller sheets (24”x36”) then text paper (25”x38”). Cover sheets of 500 are calculated by weight and density of the cover cardstock. 500 sheets of (25”x38”) 100 lb. Cover Cardstock will weight 100 lbs. 500 sheets of (25”x38”) 80 lb. Cover Cardstock weights 80 lbs. The heavier the paper Cover stock is in weight the more expensive it is.
Print-ready files are accepted in the following formats:
File Extensions Description/Program Used
Adobe Illustrator drawing or vector graphics file
Encapsulated postscript image file created using Adobe Illustrator; designed for high resolution printing of illustrations; standard file format for importing and exporting PostScript files
Corel Draw Vector drawing file
Tag Image File Format; preferred bitmap graphics format for high-resolution postscript printing
.jpg or .jpeg
standard format for photographic image compression developed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group
Bitmap file created using Adobe Photoshop
InDesign Document from Adobe Systems
Portable Document File from Adobe Acrobat
Document file associated with Microsoft Publisher
Quick Facts about Bitmap Images
Bitmap images are made up of colored dots (pixels) in a grid
Also known as raster images
Resolution dependent â€“ resizing affects image quality
Scanned images and digital photos are bitmaps
Quick Facts about Vector Images
Vector Images are made up of individual objects composed of lines and shapes with different attributes such as color.
Resolution Independent â€“ scaling images does not affect quality
Smaller file size
Not suitable for photo-realistic reproduction
Fonts are vector objects
14 pt. is our entry level paper cardstock and is normal for business card printing in the printing industry. The thickness is 0.014” thick or 0.356mm the paper weight is 120 lb. cardstock or 300GSM. This extra thick cardstock is commonly used for business cards, postcards, and door hangers.
16 pt. is noticeably more rigid paper cardstock than its 14 pt. counterpart. The thickness is 0.016 inch thick or 0.406mm the paper weight is 130 lb. cardstock or 350GSM. This extra thick cardstock is commonly used for business cards, postcards, and door hangers.
18 pt. is noticeably more rigid paper cardstock than its 16 pt counterpart. The thickness is 0.018” thick or 0.457mm the paper weight is 140 lb. cardstock or 460GSM. This extra thick cardstock is commonly used for our 100% Recycled Kraft Business cards, and postcards.
24 pt. is noticeably more rigid paper cardstock than its 18 pt. counterpart. The thickness is 0.024” thick or 0.609mm the paper weight is 520 GSM. This extra thick cardstock is commonly used for business cards, and postcards.
32 pt. is noticeably more rigid paper cardstock than its 24 pt. counterpart. The thickness is 0.032” thick or 0.812mm the paper weight is 639 GSM. This extra thick cardstock is commonly used for business cards, postcards.
35 pt. is noticeably more rigid paper cardstock than its 32 pt counterpart. The thickness is 0.032” thick or 0.812mm the paper weight is 689 GSM. This extra thick cardstock is commonly used for business cards, postcards.
38 pt. is the most rigid paper cardstock we offer in Tri-Core than its 35 pt. counterpart. The thickness is 0.038” thick or 0.406mm the paper weight is 700 GSM. This extra thick cardstock is commonly used for business cards, postcards, and door hangers.
UV Coating is a tough clear coating applied over the entire printed material to improve durability and dramatic appearance. This coating is applied in liquid form on top of the entire print area, then exposed to Ultra-Violet light which helps dry and hardens the clear coating instantly. This coating is only applied to cover cardstock.
Spot UV Coating is a tough clear coat applied over only selected printed areas to improve it to a dramatic appearance. This coating is applied in liquid form on top selected print areas, generally printed logos or printed text to make a dramatic contrast against the matte finish. The Spot UV Coating is then exposed to Ultra-Violet light which helps dry and hardens the selected clear coating instantly. This coating is only applied to cover cardstock.
Aqueous Coating is economical water based clear coat that is applied to printed text/book paper stock to help protect the ink and paper against minor scuffs and abrasions. Aqueous Coating gives the paper stock a fresh wet look. This coating is only applied to text/book paper stocks.
NCR stands for NO CARBON REQUIRED. NCR paper was developed by the National Cash Register in 1953 as an alternative to carbon paper. In 1983 chemists Lowell Schleicher and Barry Green modified it so that the pressure of the pen would induce a chemical reaction between different coatings on adjacent pieces of paper. NCR paper is layered and typically used to duplicate hand written documents or invoices. NCR Forms are offered at a minimum of two layer sheets and up to 5 layers. NCR Paper can be supplied in pads or grouped sheets which are glued to one edge allowing copies to be removed easily. Usually a business keeps one copy and the customer keeps the other for their records. NCR forms can be numbered sequentially for essential record keeping.
Perforation is a closely dotted cut impression along the entire paper that makes it easy to tear off. These dotted cut lines can span the entire sheet either horizontally or vertically.
GSM stand for Grams per Square Meter and is the weight compression or density of the paper rather than the thickness of the stock. The higher the GSM does not always equal a thicker stock. You may have a highly compressed paper stock that is high in GSM and is thinner in individual sheet thickness measurements. GSM is commonly used internationally as a paper weight standard, using the metric system rather than in pounds. It refers to the actual compressed weight of paper, irrespective of actual sheet size. GSM is a poor and inaccurate way to measure actual sheet thickness.
In the USA we use points (PT) verses Grams per Square Meter (GSM) to be clear on how thick the paper actually is. Points (PT) are measured by using calipers to measure the individual stock thickness. Each point represents 1/1000th of an inch. USA uses this as a standard because paper fibers vary in compactness and weight but do not always accurately represent actual thickness of cardstock.
Uncoated stocks will absorb inks more into the fibers of the paper. This give colors a more muted look and a little less vibrant. This can result in a change in color accuracy. You must submit designs using a current uncoated Pantone book to get these colors more accurate due to this ink absorption. The image sharpness in uncoated cardstocks is slightly less accurate due to the easy ink absorption of the paper.
Coated Cardstocks tends to repel the inks more due to the coating and compression of the fibers in the paper that make a denser cardstock. Coated Cardstocks are more vibrant in color and sharp in detail due to its absorption resistance. Spot UV and UV coating and aqueous coatings may be applied to them due to the density and durability of the paper cardstock fibers.
There are two main types of measurements we use to describe paper types in the USA.
Pounds refer to the weight of the paper as measured in an entire ream of paper (500 sheets) as a basic unit of uncut size. Text paper for example typically comes in 25”x38” ream of paper (500 sheets). For example 25”x38” ream of paper (500 sheets) is considered 80 lb. because it actually weights 8o lbs! A 100 lb. 25”x38” ream of paper (500 Sheets) weighs in at 100 lbs. This is calculated to mean whatever the weight was before preceding the cutting and trimming process remains the same for the final product cut size. So for example you can have a ream (500 sheets) cut size of 4”x6” and it remains 80 lb. stock because it came from and was cut and trimmed from a larger ream (500 sheets) 25”x38” that was 80 lb. Essentially the lb. of paper stock does not change just because it was cut down into a smaller size. The thicker the paper stock the higher the weight. The higher the weight the more expensive the ream (500 sheets) paper costs. You may see Pounds abbreviated in descriptions on websites as # or lb. Examples of this is 80 lb. or 80#, 100 lb. or 100#.
Points are used to show the actual thickness of each sheet of paper stock. Points are measured easily by using calipers to measure the thickness of each paper sheet. Each point (pt) represents 1/1,000th of an inch. The higher the Point (pt) value the thicker the paper. Points are usually abbreviated as pt. and are written as shown 14 pt., 16 pt., 18 pt., 24 pt., 32 pt., 35 pt., 38 pt.
Coated: Stock that has a surface sealant and relates to the sheen, gloss, matte, dull and satin finishes. These work well with photo images and text.
Gloss: Stock that has a high sheen; most magazines use a high gloss paper.
Dull: Stock that has a smooth surface paper that is low in gloss. Dull coated paper falls between matte and glossy paper.
Matte: A stock that has a non glossy, flat looking paper stock.
Uncoated: Stock that has not been coated with clay or other surface sealants. Cannot be combined with Spot UV, UV Coating or Aqueous Coatings.
Metallic Pearl: 14 pt. cardstock that contains a metallic sheen that glistens brightly in the sunlight.
Kraft: 18 pt. cardstock is brown and made from 100% recycled paper.
Natural: 14 pt. Uncoated light creme cardstock made from 30% recycled materials.
Painted Edge: 32 pt. uncoated white cardstock. Painted edges are painted by hand (we offer 16 painted edge colors to choose from).
Plastic: 20 pt. plastic cardstock that comes in three options: white, frosted, or clear.
Rose Petal: 16 pt. cardstock with Rose Petal Lamination (Soft to the touch).
Tri-Core: 24 pt. cardstock (green) white cardstock outside with a compressed into a green paper core; 38 pt. cardstock (blue) white cardstock outside with a compressed into a blue paper core; 38 pt. cardstock (red) white cardstock outside with a compressed into a red paper core; 38 pt. cardstock (black) white cardstock outside with a compressed into a black paper core.
LiquidFoil: 16 pt. silver foil cardstock printed with CYMKW inks (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, Black, White). White ink is used to mask and block out key areas of the foil cardstock. CYMK is then directly printed on top of white ink mask and foil cardstock. CYMK inks are translucent on the foil parts while being opaque on the white ink mask area. This creates a unique and dramatic visual effect.
Yes and no. While the status on the job in your online account is still reporting as “new” you may call or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to cancel your order. If the order has been placed and your status online says “In Production” you may not cancel the order. This means your order has been batched with other jobs and metal plates have been created in preparation for production.
There are two main reasons not to use images from other websites:
Images from websites are a typically 72 dpi which is a low resolution and will not print clearly. A minimum of 300 dpi is needed for a good print resolution. We prefer images of 350 dpi submitted.
Copyright laws protect most internet images therefore unauthorized use may lead to legal procedures.
There are two main reasons not to scan images from brochures:
Scanned images from already printed material picks up the CYMK dot patterns which ruins the image quality.
Copyright laws protect most printed images therefore unauthorized use may lead to legal procedures.
A vector is a contour shape made by a few points and curves. A vector contains no dots per inch (DPI) or pixels throughout the entire shape. Vectors allow the shape to expand and grow or shrink without file data increase or loss because it is comprised of very few points and curves. Those contour points and curves don’t change at all while increasing or decreasing the vector in size. As a result Vectors remain the same small data file size. Vectors are easy to upload and attach in emails due to their data size. Vectors are an industry standard for all Printing, Signs, Apparel, Website and Promotional industries.
A jpeg is a solid image that contains millions of dots per inch (DPI) throughout the entire image. Images cannot be expanded and grow in size from which they were originally shot in. If someone does try to expand the image in size, the image will become more pixilated in view. This is because all that is happening is the image size is being zoomed in to reveal more image pixels in detail but the DPI throughout the image remains the same. Jpegs can however, shrink to a lower DPI image quality but once they do they can never return to the larger original image size. Jpegs are extremely large in file size when compared to their vector counterparts. Images can be embedded into vectors but are limited by the original DPI given to them. This is why you can’t take and low 72 dpi images off the internet and make it into a high resolution of 300 DPI jpeg for printing a brochure as an example. You can however create a 300 dpi image if your camera is setup to shoot in that resolution and turn it into a 72 dpi image so it loads faster on a website.
No. However you may access all our product prices instantly through your online account. It is free to sign up and create an account.
Yes. Our online pricing will automatically calculate a discount based on volume pricing.
This depends on the product ordered. We offer full color offset printing (CYMK) for PRINT, SIGNS, and some items in PROMOTIONAL categories. Spot Colors are used for Apparel.
CYMK are the four colors that make up all the colors in our world, CYMK stands for Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black. Please see our ARTWORK GUIDELINES page for more information.
Demand plays a factor on how long jobs take so those that process their online orders first will be serviced immediately over those that process their orders later in the same day. The actual time it takes to finish a job is based on quantity and job finishing complexity. Average production time estimates are found in the TURNAROUND TIME link at the bottom of this page.
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