Here you'll find answers to common questions our clients ask. Start by selecting one of the links below. If you don’t see what you need – call or contact us online.
- At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics?
- How do I go about getting an estimate from you?
- How long does it take for you to complete my order?
- Is white considered a printing color?
- My file prints out fine on my printer. Why doesn't it work for Rockville Printing & Graphics?
- TURN AROUND TIME / PROOFING
- Tips on how to save your design files
- What does Cass Certify mean?
- What file format should I use when submitting my electronic document for printing?
- What font files need to be sent with my job and how do I collect them?
- What is NCOA?
- What is a "proof"?
- What is an embedded graphic and why is it bad to use them?
- What is the Pantone Matching System?
- What is the preferred industry software for the page layout and design?
- What is the proper resolution for scanning a photograph intended for use in a printed piece, and how large should I scan it?
- What is the proper resolution for scanning line art or text?
- What type of products and services do you provide?
- Why can’t I simply open a low resolution (i.e. 72 dpi) graphic in Photoshop and increase the resolution to 300 dpi if that’s what you need?
- Why do the printed colors look different from the colors on my screen?
- Why does a graphic image taken off the Web look ragged when printed?
- Why is it important that I include my fonts with my job, can’t you just substitute your versions of the fonts?
- Why should I supply lasers and color separations with my disk?
- Why should we put barcodes on addresses?
At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics?
Resolution should be set to 300 dpi.
Pictures and graphics pulled from the internet are often low resolution, typically 72 dpi or 96 dpi. Avoid these graphics, as they will appear pixilated and blocky when printed.
Also note that you should save all photos in CMYK mode, not RGB mode when possible. Images saved in RGB mode may not print properly. If you are unable to save your image in CYMK mode, please let us know.
Well, since you are here, we would suggest you use our online estimate request form. Otherwise, the best way to ensure that we get all the information necessary to do an accurate quote is to give us a call and talk with one of our customer service representatives.
How long does it take for you to complete my order?
There really isn't a short answer to this question. Some jobs can be produced in minutes and some jobs may take days. Let us know when you need your job completed and we'll let you know if it can be done. We go to great lengths to meet your most stringent demands.
Is white considered a printing color?
Not typically. Because white is the default color of paper, it is simply recognized as the absence of any ink. However, when using colored paper, white ink may be used if any text or graphic requires it.
My file prints out fine on my printer. Why doesn't it work for Rockville Printing & Graphics?
In order for us to successfully output your file, all the elements that were used to create the file (i.e. correct fonts, linked graphics, etc.) must be provided to us. We cannot guarantee that your job will come out as intended if we have not been given all the elements required for the job. Furthermore, the technology used in a desktop inkjet or laser printer is very different from the technology used in preparing a file for offset printing. Unfortunately, it is often not possible to exactly match the output from your inkjet printer.
TURN AROUND TIME / PROOFING
Tips on how to save your design files
Make them print ready and acceptable for us to print.
Saving your Corel Draw file as an Adobe Illustrator EPS
• Embed all Images
• Convert all your text/copy to outline fonts
• Export as Illustrator EPS
• Embed all Images
• Convert all your text/copy to paths
• Export as Illustrator EPS or PDF
Saving your PageMaker file as an EPS
• Embed all Images
• Convert all your text/copy to outline fonts
• Export your file as an EPS using the below settings:
Postscript Level 2
TIFF format and
You will need to have the full version of Adobe Acrobat PDF. If you don’t please download and use our Adobe Job Ready Program. If you do have the full version of Adobe Acrobat PDF please follow the steps below.
Under File, Print, select Adobe PDF writer
Under Properties select Press Quality and Save your PDF
What does Cass Certify mean?CASS is a United States Postal Service (USPS) acronym for Coding Accuracy Support System, which essentially means that your names and addresses have been compared to the national database or addresses authorized by the Postal Service, and that the correct +4 zip code extension and delivery point barcode information have been appended. The bottom line is that you can process CASS Certified names and addresses at the discounted "automated rate" postage.
What file format should I use when submitting my electronic document for printing?
PDF (Portable Document Format) is the most common and preferred file format for submitting digital documents. With the installation of a PDF print driver on your computer, virtually any program can generate a PDF file suitable for printing. Both commercial and free PDF print drivers are available online for download from different sources.
What font files need to be sent with my job and how do I collect them?
If your files were created on a Macintosh and you are using Postscript Type 1 fonts, you will need to send both the printer fonts and the screen fonts; with Truetype fonts, there are no separate printer and screen font files to worry about. These files will most likely be found in the fonts folder located inside your Mac’s system folder. Simply highlight the fonts you need to collect, and drag them to the folder or disk onto which you are going to copy the fonts while holding down the option key. Please note that it is critical to hold down the option key in this process. Otherwise, you may move the fonts instead of copying them.
On the PC, the most common font format is Truetype (.ttf files). These files will most likely be found in the fonts folder located inside your PC’s Windows folder. If you are using Postscript Type 1 fonts, you will need to send both the printer fonts and the screen fonts (there will be 2 files with the same name, except for the file extension of .PFB and .PFM). Simply highlight the fonts you need to collect, click Edit/Copy in your Windows Explorer window, move to the folder or disk onto which you are going to copy the fonts, and select Edit/Paste in your Windows Explorer window.
What is NCOA?NCOA stands for "National Change of Address". It is the file that the USPS maintains for individuals or businesses that have notified them that they have moved. These "move update" records are active for one year, during which time the USPS forwards mail entering their system from the old address to the new address. The NCOA file is not only useful for updating your database of names and addresses, it also may be required if you are doing "Automated Rate" mailings.
What is a "proof"?
A proof is a way of ensuring that we have set your type accurately and that everything is positioned according to your requirements. Typically, we will produce a proof which will be sent to you online or printed on paper which can be viewed in our store or delivered to you in person.
On multiple color jobs, we can produce a color proof on our color output device to show how the different colors will appear.
What is an embedded graphic and why is it bad to use them?
An embedded graphic is a “read-only” copy of the graphic in a page layout file, which means it cannot be opened by the original application that created it. Therefore we cannot make any changes to the graphic that may be needed. If the page layout or illustration program you are using allows you to embed placed graphics and you have chosen to use this option, you should still include the original external graphic file with the job. This gives us the ability to perform any manipulation to the graphic that may be needed or desired (i.e. color conversion, color separation).
What is the Pantone Matching System?
The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a color reproduction standard in which colors all across the spectrum are each identified by a unique, independent number. The use of PMS allows us to precisely match colors and maintain color consistency throughout the printing process.
What is the preferred industry software for the page layout and design?
QuarkXPress, Adobe PageMaker, and Adobe InDesign have many features that make them the most efficient in both file creation and final output within a professional printing environment. In addition, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are useful in editing photos and creating logos. Corel Draw and Microsoft Publisher can be used but they create some challenges and therefore are not recommended. MS Word is a word processing program and really not suitable for the printing process, especially with multi-color work.
What is the proper resolution for scanning a photograph intended for use in a printed piece, and how large should I scan it?
300 dpi is the standard resolution for scanning a continuous tone image (i.e. a photograph). An image should be scaled to no smaller than the size at which it will be used in the piece. Scanning it larger than the final size won’t do any harm. Furthermore, if the image is to be used more than once at various sizes, it should be scanned at the largest size.
What is the proper resolution for scanning line art or text?
1200 dpi is the standard resolution for scanning these types of originals.
Good question! We are a full service shop and offer a wide range of products and services. To see a full listing and description of what we can offer you, check out the Products & Services area in the Customer Service Section of our website.
Why can’t I simply open a low resolution (i.e. 72 dpi) graphic in Photoshop and increase the resolution to 300 dpi if that’s what you need?
When an image is scanned at 72 dpi at the outset, the amount of detail and sharpness that is captured at that low resolution is much less than that which is captured at a higher resolution setting such as 300 dpi. Increasing the resolution after the scanning stage will not put back detail and sharpness which was not captured in the first place, it’s merely adding more pixels to a poor scan. The image must be rescanned at the higher resolution.
Why do the printed colors look different from the colors on my screen?
In short, printers and monitors produce colors in different ways.
Monitors use the RGB (red, green, blue) color model, which usually supports a wider spectrum of colors. Printers use the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) color model, which can reproduce most—but not all—of the colors in the RGB color model. Depending on the equipment used, CMYK generally matches 85–90% of the colors in the RGB model.
When a color is selected from the RGB model that is out of the range of the CMYK model, the application chooses what it thinks is the closest color that will match. Programs like Adobe Photoshop will allow you to choose which color will be replaced. Others may not.
Why does a graphic image taken off the Web look ragged when printed?
Graphics that are meant to be viewed over the Internet are typically saved in a low resolution format (such as .jpg or .gif) because this creates a small file size which allows for faster downloading. The resolution of these files is typically 72 dpi, which is an insufficient resolution for high quality printing. When there is a continuous-tone original available to scan, an image should be rendered at 300 dpi when it is intended to be used in a printed piece. This captures the maximum amount of detail. Also, if a graphic was originally created in a program such as Illustrator or Freehand, we would need that original file, not the one into which it was converted for the web.
Why is it important that I include my fonts with my job, can’t you just substitute your versions of the fonts?
First of all, we may not have some or all of the fonts you used. Also, fonts carry programming information within them that affects how the lines of text break and determines how the characters appear on the screen and on the page when it prints. These characteristics can vary from font manufacturer to font manufacturer, so substituting our different version of a particular font (i.e. Times) may cause dramatic and undesirable changes to the way the text flows within the document and the appearance of the final output.
Why should I supply lasers and color separations with my disk?
Customer provided hard copies eliminate guesswork and give us a clear picture of what the printed piece should look like. Providing lasers of the color separations also shows that the file has been prepared to separate properly during the final output.
Why should we put barcodes on addresses?The primary reason is money. The USPS offers significant discounts for mail that is prepared to utilize its automated scanning and sorting equipment.
The secondary reason is also money. The USPS has invested heavily in automating their processing facilities, and in order to achieve their efficiency levels, they must put as much mail as they can through that system. Automated mail is processed at a much higher production rate. Therefore, it gets through the sorting facility faster and arrives at the destination Post Office much sooner. And, as we all know, time equals money.