Printing Services Tips

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How do I know which prinitng companies are on the level?

Determining Reputable Printing Companies

If you are in the process of interviewing printing companies to handle your company's printing needs, be sure that you choose a reputable company. There are ways to know which printing companies are what they claim to be.

First, be sure to see examples of each printing company's past work. Nothing shows you what printing companies are capable of more than what they choose to show as portfolio pieces. Examine their work for flaws and you will weed out the work you would want from what to avoid.

Also, do not be afraid to ask for direct references. Printing companies with nothing to hide will be more than happy to provide you with contact information from present and past clients who can speak to their capabilities. Get this information and do your own investigation.

Printing companies, like most companies, can ‘toot their own horn' quite a bit. Don't get caught up in the hype, do the research and make the right choice.

How has the Internet affected printing companies?

Printing Companies - Is the Copy Fading?

How many times would you say you read your newspaper a week? Now, how many times do you read the news online? If you are like many, the Internet and television have become your source for daily knowledge. Many believe that these advances must have devastating effects on printing companies. However, these advances have had residuals that are keeping printing companies plenty busy.

At the heart of online newspapers and the like, was the want to reinforce sales of printed copy. This has worked to an extent; however, printing companies have found other ways to take advantage of the situation. The web is not exclusive to news, and printing companies have begun working with those sites that were born on the web. These sites are reversing the traditional process.

Many websites providing news, tips, or information are exploring sending a hard copy of their newsletter to their users. Printing companies have seen a boost in these types of orders and it is doing well. In fact, printing companies, today, are as successful as ever and expanding their operations to include more variety of printing for magazines, etc. Bottom line, when it comes to big industry being hit by the advances in the ‘information age', don't worry, printing companies aren't going anywhere.

Is it possible to start my own printing company?

Starting a Printing Company

Many people never notice that printing, in one form or another, is vital to everything from cars to bubble gum wrappers. For those who do, the thought of opening their own printing company often comes to mind. Here are some tips for you if you are thinking of starting your own printing company.

• Target – What do you want to print? Are you thinking about magazines or even pencils? It is important to get a plan for your printing company because you will need different equipment and supplies based on this choice.

• Clients – Where are your clients coming from? A printing company is far from an inexpensive venture. You should iron out, in your business plan, how you see your new printing company acquiring clientele.

• Cost – As mentioned above, starting a printing company can be very expensive. The equipment is often custom developed and upkeep is regular and necessary.

There are solutions. You can start your own printing company and never buy a printer or press. As in many other industries, you may be able to ‘sub out' your actual printing work. If you want to start a printing company to make sales and extra money, but don't want to worry about buying the equipment or maintaining it, contact an existing printing company and discuss outsourcing options.

Is there a local printing service that can print my digital pictures?

Using Your Local Digital Printing Service

If you are looking for a professional printing service to print your digital pictures, look to your closest drug store. In the past, we have all gone to print film pictures at a CVS, Eckerd, or other drug store. These same places now provide a printing service that makes printing your digital images easy and cheap.

Bring your digital camera or your memory card to your local store. Show them the type of camera or card that you have to make sure that they can work with it. If their printing service works with your media type, simply tell them the number of prints and size of prints that you desire. As opposed to traditional picture development, digital printing can be returned to you far faster.

You will see increased quality and decreased costs by taking advantage of your local drug store's printing service.

Where can I find a poster printing service?

Finding an Online Poster Printing Service

Not everyone has a shop around the corner that can provide poster printing services. Often, very large posters require special printers that are very expensive. Smaller towns may not have a local print shop that sees it as worth the investment. If you need a poster printing service and can't find one locally, look to the Web for your solution.

A special order printing service such as poster printing is often far less expensive from online operators. They can typically accept your design in a digital image, send you a proof, and then finish the job in a fast, inexpensive fashion. Get your design taken care of and then hit the search engines. Find the right price for the right material that you are looking for. There is a printing service for your needs and they do want your business.

Can I save with overseas printing companies?

Using Overseas Printing Companies

With most industries taking advantage of overseas pricing to make their business more profitable, many people wonder if overseas printing companies are the way to go. Through research, we have found that in this industry, the overseas costs are not especially lower than domestic printing companies.

Other industries save money overseas because of the lower cost of labor. With printing companies, the costs come more from mechanical production and less from labor. Printing paper is not much less expensive around the world, and in fact, it is far more expensive in some places. This explains why printing companies overseas cannot be as highly competitive as in other arenas.

If you are searching for printing companies to handle your business needs, stay local. The assurance in delivery time from using a local printing company is worth it alone. Calculate that the pricing is competitive, and it is no debate at all.

Is printing bumper stickers a viable part-time business?

Printing Bumper Stickers for Fun and Profit

One of the easiest start-up businesses that anyone can do is printing one form of product or another. Printing bumper stickers is a choice that many make and it can do very well for many. If you can come up with the ideas that turn into phrases or imagery that people want to buy, printing bumper stickers could be for you.

There are many printing companies that can quickly get you set up to start printing your custom stickers. First, get a good roster of ideas set on paper. You will need your actual designs before you begin printing. Next, contact several printing companies and price out your options. Check for color availability, size options, and what style of printing they use.

Once you have found the right price for your product, you are on your way. Finding the right ideas can be fun and because of the low costs of printing bumper stickers, it can also be very profitable.

What should I ask of my printing company if I am writing a book?

Advice When Printing a Book with a Printing Company

Congratulations! You've written your masterpiece and are ready to take it to print. There are many options you have, depending on your printing company, and here are some common recommendations that can help make your masterpiece a success.

• Use a title page. Ask your printing company about having a typeset title page. It can add to the appearance of any book and can contain text, photos, or art. Your printing company may have limited options so be sure to ask.

• Card Catalogue Number – See if your printing company can help you obtain a card catalogue number from the Library of Congress. You must obtain this number prior to printing, so you need to know if your printing company can help or if you need to pursue it on your own. Don't worry, it isn't that hard.

• Paper Stock – Depending on the length of your work, the paper stock will give the greatest impression to the reader. This will also depend on whether your book will be printed in hard or soft cover. Check with your printing company and see samples of each stock before choosing.

You are almost there. Get with your printing company and make sure they can give you what you are looking for. If not, find another printing company who can.

When using Save As in Photoshop, should I choose PDF or PDP?

Save As in Photoshop Before Printing

Windows users: When you Save As in Photoshop and choose the Photoshop PDF format, you have a choice of saving the file with either a PDF or a PDP extension. If you use the PDP extension, the file is a PDF but Windows knows to open it in Photoshop (as opposed to Acrobat or Reader). This can save time when using a page layout program's Edit Original (image) feature.

*Mac users should not be concerned about this since Photoshop PDFs always open in Photoshop, even if "normal" PDFs are set to open in Acrobat, Reader or Preview.

Why do I have issues with my college printing service?

Using Your College Printing Service

Any university student knows that printing can become a great cost. Many universities now offer a student printing service included with their tuition and other costs. All of these systems are designed differently, but they are invaluable and should be looked into if you are a student needing to take advantage of any printing service provided.

Often, a university printing service works on a credit system. A student is allotted so many credits with which they can print in any given semester. If your college offers a printing service based on credits, look into exactly how many you have and the best way to track them. It is easy to lose count, so come up with a system and stick to it.

As was said above, all university print services are designed differently. Check with your academic advisor or a library technician to investigate your options. Don't make any unnecessary trips to Kinko's in the middle of the night anymore.

Are there genealogy printing service companies?

Tracing Roots? Find a Family Tree Printing Service

We all, at some point or another, wonder about where we came from long ago. Today, there are many companies that provide a custom genealogy printing service that can trace your lineage all the way to your ancestors. Finding a family tree printing service is easier than you may think. With only a few of your grandparent's names, these companies will help you finish the tree, branch by branch.

If you have already traced your tree and simply want to present your family members with a unique print of it, there is a printing service for you too. Custom design print companies are available that can help you transfer your hard work into beautiful pieces of art.

Finding the right printing service to help with your project is essential to completing it. Consult with companies providing professional print services to see if they can help you along.

Does Publisher have automatic wrapping?

Utilizing Automatic Wrap for Print Jobs

You don't have to press 'Enter' (return) at the end of each line, at the end of a paragraph. Simply type away and let Publisher wrap the text automatically. This may save you lots of time, especially if you decide to change your type size later—you won't have to go back and take out all those extra Enter commands.

*If you need to make a line end shorter than a full line, use 'Shift-Enter', called a soft return.

How do I check for proper imposition or backup?

Checking Imposition or Backup Before Printing

"Imposition" and "backup" refer to how the front of a printed piece is oriented to the back. In the case of a brochure, you normally turn it over right-to-left (like you turn the page of a book) in order to have the backside read correctly—not upside down. Seems simple, until you get to a postcard where one side is layed out in landscape (horizontal) orientation, and the other side in portrait (vertical) orientation.

We use our best judgment when imposing a job, so that it backs up in the most natural or normal manner. Some designs, however, contain both portrait and landscape elements on both sides, making it difficult to make a clear call. When reviewing your proof online, we will always post the front and the back in the orientation that they will print in relation to each other. So, if page 2 appears upside down, that is how it will be printed on the back of page 1 (some people want it that way, so that the recipient of the piece must turn it over top-to-bottom in order to read it correctly).

*Be sure to print out a copy of your online proof, and attach the two sides to each other to create a "mockup" or "dummy." This is especially important when a job will be folded.

How do I compare commercial printing companies?

Comparing Commercial Printing Companies

Any sound business decision is only reached after careful consideration and comparison. If you are searching for commercial printing companies to fulfill your business needs, be sure to compare apples to apples. Here are some specific comparison points that you should take into account.

• Delivery Times – Many commercial printing companies have a long backlog, which causes job completion to linger. Make sure that when you are making your selection, you get realistic expectations as to job turn around time.

• Quantity Capabilities – Depending on the size of your job, commercial printing companies may or may not be able to even fulfill it. Many smaller printing companies cannot handle larger jobs. Be sure to ask what the maximum run capability is of each printing company.

• Design Assistance – If your needs include moving into a new form of print media, you may be unequipped to design your project on your own. Many commercial printing companies can provide design assistance at an additional cost. Some even include this in their overall costs. Ask if design assistance is available to you.

Should I be printing hard copies of my invoices?

Printing Invoices - Don't Get Caught in Digital

In the age of Quickbooks and other electronic billing systems, many people who run small businesses neglect printing paper invoices for their own records. There are many reasons you should be printing your billing invoices and here are a few.

• Tax Time – All of us love tax time. When it comes around, if you do not have an accountant who can import your electronic banking records, you will find that having paper invoices printed saves you from many days worth of printing at once. Keep a running practice of printing all year round.

• Computer Failure – If you keep all of your records on a computer, be sure you back them up. Sometimes, even the back-ups can be lost. If this ever happens, you will be happy that you were printing your invoices the whole time. Computers and networks go down all the time. By printing paper invoices you always have a ‘hard' back-up.

• Universal Acceptance – Many companies do not accept electronic invoices. If you are already printing invoices to send to many of your clients, little effort is needed. Just start printing an extra copy for yourself and put them into a designated folder or file system.

Do not get stuck in a predicament because we are in the digital age. Printing hard copies of your invoices can save you many headaches down the road.

How do I know if a printing shop is a good one?

No, I don't think I want fries with that, thanks

The printing industry has experienced a great deal of turnover due to small profit margins, leaps in technology have eliminated certain jobs and some people take over established shops because it looked like a fun thing to do.
A print shop is only as good as its pressman. That person will make or break your job because they will know how to deal with color breaks, humidity that makes paper difficult to run as well as how to run the press the right way.
The one who takes the job order is important as well. If they don't get the order right, you could end up with a flyer on legal size paper rather than on 8 1/2 by 11, which could cost you more. But if the person running the press needs to use your project as a guinea pig for their learning curve -- keep walking and find someone else who won't be chalking your project up as "experience".

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Guru Spotlight
Joe Wallace