FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

If you cannot find what you're looking for, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Ordering

How can I get an estimate from you?

Give us a call on 646 290 8887 or 516 233 1330 and speak directly with our production manager who will give you a customized estimate for your job and help you with any questions you have. Or you can use the 'Get a Quote' form provided to send us your requirements and we will send you an estimate. You can also visit our office located at 1621 Hillside Avenue, New Hyde Park, New York 11040, during business hours (Mon-Fri 9:30AM to 5:30PM), to discuss your printing requirements.

How long will it take to complete my order?

Turnaround times will depend on the job. Short-run jobs that involve only printing can be delivered in 1-2 business days, after proof approval, using our digital printing services. Large orders fulfilled using offset printing services and jobs that involve post-press processes such as binding, lamination, coating, die-cutting etc will take several days to complete. We will provide you with an estimated delivery date when you place an order.

What is the minimum quantity that I can order?

Minimum order quantity depends on the job. With our digital printing services, there are no restrictions to order quantity and you can you can order in increments of 1 copy for most jobs with print sizes up to 11" x 17". You can also order a single piece for large format printing such as large signs and banners. Some products like envelopes, stickers, notepads, presentation folders, packaging labels etc require a minimum order quantity. Some products like labels, stickers, magnets, PVC signs etc are printed on large sheets and printing a single piece in a small size would lead to wastage of ink and materials. Special papers / card stocks, envelopes, labels, sticker sheets etc come in packs of 50 or 100 and jobs printed on these have a minimum order quantity.

Please understand that every job has associated overheads such as setting up the artwork for printing, trimming and finishing, binding, die cutting, lamination or coating, packaging, shipping etc. and many of these have minimum costs which apply even if you are printing a single piece. Please refer the 'Product Details' section for the minimum order quantity for each product.

Can you print pieces in custom sizes?

Yes, we can. Our digital printing services can print sizes up to 11" x 17", and offset services up to 23" x 35". Our large format printing services can print sizes up to 8' x 4' as a single piece. We recommend standard sizes to our customers in order to keep printing costs down and avoid wastage. You may also find it difficult to find envelopes, folders, mailing, stands etc for custom sizes. If you have specific questions about our sizing options, please do not hesitate to give us a call.

Do you deliver the exact quantity I order?

We always print extra pieces in order to cover for spoilage, defects, wastage, equipment limitations etc. Depending on the printing equipment being used, sheet size, artwork size, imposition and finishing equipment, it is not always possible or practical to produce the exact number of pieces. Printing industry trade standards allow for underages of up to 5%. If you need a guaranteed quantity, we recommend that you order 5% over the minimum quantity you need.

Can I make changes to my order after I've placed it?

You can make changes to your order after your initial order is placed, up until the stage when the job goes to the press. Changes are not possible once the proofs are approved and the order has been sent to the press for final printing. You can make some changes such a printing additional quantity, changing shipping method, or shipping address if they involve no additional costs or if you are willing to pay for additional costs.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept all major credit cards as payment options. We also accept checks or purchase orders from schools and other major nonprofit organizations. Your printing order must be paid before it is printed and shipped.

How long will it take to complete my order?

you place an order.

Artwork & Printing

Do I have to submit press-ready files for printing?

Just send your files to us, and our technicians will review you artwork, free of charge. Our technician will check whether file’s resolution, color format, photo quality, bleed and trim area, and color settings are good for printing and suggest required changes to make your artwork press-ready. We also have a design department with experienced graphic designers who can create professional, print-ready artwork for you.

Which file types do you accept?

We prefer high-resolution PDF files with embedded or outlined fonts, CMYK color profile and minimum 300dpi image resolution. We also accept other file formats such as Adobe Illustrator (.ai, .eps), Adobe Photoshop (.psd) CorelDraw (.cdr), Affinity (.afpub), Inkscape (.svg), image files (.jpeg, .jpg, .tiff, .bmp or .png) but there may be issues when native files are opened on different computers.

What is a Proof and why is it important?

Proof is a one-off copy of your document, ready for the press after all corrections, modifications and printing setup processes have been completed. It is your last, and best, opportunity to make sure that your artwork matches your requirement and is free of errors. We provide an electronic proof in PDF format before printing and also a hard-copy proof if required. We will begin the printing process only after you have inspected and approved the proof.

Will my artwork look the same in print as is seen on my monitor?

Not exactly. The color model used for reproducing the image or the artwork in printing process is different from the one used in monitors or digital devices. Monitors use the RGB (red, green, blue) color model, which usually supports a wider spectrum of colors. Printing process uses the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) color model, which can reproduce most—but not all—of the colors in the RGB color model. Therefore some printed colors may not exactly match the colors on your specific monitor. We also have to account for the luminance/ screen brightness settings of the monitor which can make the colors brighter or duller. When an artwork is submitted for printing, the pre-press software automatically converts the graphics to CMYK color model and this can cause some variations to the final printed product.

Will my work look the same as the printed sample I have provided?

Due in part to the widely varying results from different output devices including inkjet and laser printers, printing processes and the paper stocks used, there is no guarantee that your finished piece will look exactly like your printed sample. There can be subtle differences in results, even from one commercial printing firm to another for the same artwork. In particular, laser prints are known to look substantially different than offset lithography as they differ in technology and materials (toner vs ink) used for print reproduction. We will however try our best to match the colors and can provide you with a sample right before we print your job to ensure that the final product is to your liking.

What is the difference between the RGB and CMYK color space and why does it matter?

RGB refers to the primary colors of light, Red, Green and Blue, that are used in monitors, digital devices, cameras and scanners. CMYK refers to the primary colors of pigment: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black which are used for both offset and digital printing in "4-color process printing", commonly referred to as "full color printing".

The monitor or screen uses light as the medium to reproduce the image where as in printing it is the ink or toner. On monitors 100% values for RGB light creates white and 0% values or no light creates black. Whereas in printing 100% values for CMYK inks or 100% value for K only creates black and 0% values or no ink creates white (or the color of the paper/substrate which is used for printing). It is threfore physically impossible for the printing press to exactly reproduce colors as seen on your monitors. We recommend that you begin designing the artwork in CMYK color space which can help you avoid issues with color conversion when you go for printing.

What kind of paper will my job be printed on?

We carry standard paper stocks of coated and uncoated variety in various weights and thickness that can meet the requirements of majority of our products. We can also order special paper stocks or substrates depending on your requirements. Some paper stocks may require a minimum order quantity as they are only available for bulk purchasing from suppliers.

Delivery & Shipping

Will you deliver my order?

Yes. We offer free delivery in NYC and Long Island for all products. We also ship nationwide using major carriers such as FedEx and UPS. Shipping charges for items delivered outside our free delivery area will be based on the number of packages, the weight of the packages, the destination ZIP code, and shipping service used.

How long will it take to get my order?

Please check the specific product page for available turnaround times. Shipping times will depend on the carrier and delivery location.

Can you mail my postcards, brochures, etc. if I send you a mailing list?

Yes we can help you with all your direct mailing requirements. Please contact our customer service representative who will answer your questions regarding direct mailing.

Printing Terms Glossary

Artwork

The original copy or digital file, including type, photos and illustrations, needed for preparing a printed piece for production on a press or copier.

Binding

The process in which printed sheets are collated, trimmed, folded and/or bound with either wire, glue or other means to produce a finished publication.

Bleed

Bleed is the printing (artwork, background color or graphic elements) that extend beyond the trim area of a printed document. After trimming, the bleed ensures that no unprinted edges (whitespace) occur in the final trimmed document. Bleeds in the US generally is 1/8th of an inch (0.125"). For example when a document of 8.5" x 11" is to be printed, the artwork is prepared and printed in 8.75" x 11.25" size and then .125" is trimmed off from each edge of the document.

Bulk

A term given to paper to describe its thickness relative to its weight. It is the reciprocal of density (weight per unit volume). Decrease in bulk or in other words increase in density makes the sheet smoother, glossier, less opaque, darker, lower in strength etc. High bulk is desirable in absorbent papers while lower bulk is preferred for printing papers.

Collate

In printing, the term Collate refers to the gathering and arranging of individual sheets or other printed components into a pre-determined sequence. Basically, collation gathers sheets or printed signatures and puts them in their correct order for binding.

Color Gamut

Color gamut is defined as the range of colors which a particular device or process (such as four-color process printing) can produce or record. More specifically, the portion of the color spectrum that can be reproduced when transforming from RGB colors to CMYK colors.

Composition

(1) In typography, the assembly of typographic elements, such as words and paragraphs, into pages ready for printing. (2) In graphic design, the arrangement of type (font), graphics and other elements on the page.

Creep

Phenomenon of edge of the middle pages extending slightly beyond outside pages in a signature or book. Also called feathering, outpush, push out and thrust. Creep is the result of having multiple pages nested into each other, after folding, making the innermost pages push out further than the outermost (or cover) page.

Crop Marks

Crop marks, also known as trim marks, are lines printed in the corners of your publication’s sheet or sheets of paper to show the printer where to trim the paper. Printers generally can’t actually print to the very edge of the paper, so instead they print on a larger sheet of paper and then trim it down to the correct size, and crop marks are used to define where to trim.

Die Cutting

To cut irregular shapes in paper or paperboard using a die. A Die is a thin, razor-sharp steel blade that has been formed into a specific shape or pattern to cut paper, cardstock, labelstock, or other substrates. Die-cutting offers a way to create interesting shapes (other than basic rectangles or squares), contours, flaps, holes, etc. thereby enhancing the visual appeal and attracting attention.

Dots-per-inch (DPI)

It is the number of individual dots that can be placed (or rendered) in a line within the span of 1 inch. Dots Per Inch(DPI) is a measure of resolution of an image, photo or visual file. A printed image or document consists of millions of tiny dots of ink that fill every inch of the print. Thus a higher DPI means clearer, sharper and more detailed output and a lower DPI gives a blurry or pixelated output. The standard resolution for images on screen is 72 or 96 DPI, whereas for offset or digital printing, a minimum 300 DPI resolution is required to produce good results. This means that that images should be a minimum of 300 dpi x 300 dpi or 90,000 dots per square inch at the size in which they are to be printed.

Embossing

A process performed after printing to stamp a raised or depressed image into the surface of paper using engraved metal embossing dies, extreme pressure and heat.

Finished Size

Size of product after production is completed, as compared to flat size. Also called trimmed size.

Flat Size

Size of product after printing and trimming, but before folding, as compared to finished size.

Fold Marks

With printed matter, markings indicating where a fold is to occur, usually located at the top edges.

Folds

Standard fold types include

  • Half fold
  • Tri fold
  • Gate fold
  • Z fold
  • Accordion fold
  • Double parallel fold

Four-color Process Printing

Technique of printing that uses black, magenta, cyan and yellow inks to produce full-color images. Also called color process printing, full color printing and process printing.

GSM

“GSM” stands for "Grams per Square Meter". It is the weight, in Grams, of a sheet of paper cut to one square meter size. It is used to measure the weight or heaviness of paper products. Higher the GSM value of a paper, the thicker and heavier it will be. For instance, a 350gsm paper will be thicker and heavier compared to an 80gsm paper. Newspapers use approximately 50 GSM. Regular office paper or copy paper will be 70-90GSM. Business cards, book covers, and folders use around 200-250 gsm while stationery and invitations use 300-350gsm papers.

Gutter

In desktop publishing layout, a gutter refers to the space between two facing pages. It can be described as the space between the binding edge or spine of a book and the content (text & images) on the page, or or the blank space between two facing pages in the center of a newsletter or magazine. Gutter is very important for perfect-bound as improper gutter space can lead to risk of losing content between the curve of the pages.

Imposition

Imposition is the arrangement of individual pages or cards onto press sheets, also known as parent sheets so they will appear in proper sequence after press sheets are folded and bound. In offset printing, the pages of books are not printed in the exact final size. They are printed on large sheets of paper, with multiple pages printed on each side of these sheets, which are then folded, bound and trimmed to the required size. Imposition is performed during pre-press using special imposition software. Correct imposition minimizes printing time by maximizing the number of pages per impression, reducing cost of press time and materials.

Impression

(1) Referring to an ink color, one impression equals one press sheet passing once through a printing unit. (2) Referring to speed of a press, one impression equals one press sheet passing once through the press.

Landscape

Orientation in which width is greater than height. (Portrait is opposite.)

Layout

In graphic design, page layout is the arrangement of visual elements - text and images - on a page. Layout shows position, size and color of copy of a proposed printed piece .

Leaf

A leaf is one sheet of paper in a publication and a page is typically a side of paper, So a leaf of paper could be two printed pages (2pp) if double sided or just one printed page (1pp) if single sided.

Page Count

Total number of pages that a publication has. Also called extent.

Pagination

In the book arena, the numbering of pages.

Panel

One page of a brochure, such as one panel of a rack brochure. One panel is on one side of the paper. A tri-fold brochure has six panels, not three.

Perfect Bind

A binding process that uses glue or adhesive. In perfect binding, single sheets are stacked together, then serrations are made to the spine or binding edge to create a rough surface and an adhesive (EVA glue) is applied. A cover is then wrapped and pressed around the spine to bind the book pages and the covers together. Perfect binding is a popular binding method frequently used for paperback/softcover books, magazines, and catalogs. Perfect bound books are lightweight, flexible, sleek and easy to produce.

Perforating

Perforation is the process of punching small holes or slits in a sheet of paper or cardboard for the purpose of tearing-off a part of a printed matter (usually straight lines, vertical or horizontal). Perforation is commonly used for forms, coupons, calendars, postage stamps, notepads and flyers. Perforation also allows extra-thick papers to be folded without creating creases.

Prepress

Camera work, color separations, stripping, platemaking and other prepress functions performed by the printer, separator or a service bureau prior to printing. Also called preparation.

Press Time

(1) Amount of time that one printing job spends on press, including time required for makeready. (2) Time of day at which a printing job goes on press.

Printing Plate

Surface carrying an image to be printed. Quick printing uses paper or plastic plates; letterpress, engraving and commercial lithography use metal plates; flexography uses rubber or soft plastic plates. Gravure printing uses a cylinder. The screen printing is also called a plate.

Process Color (Inks)

The colors used for four-color process printing: yellow, magenta, cyan and black.

Proof

A proof is a preliminary version or a test sheet made to reveal errors or flaws, predict results on press. It provides a close representation of how the piece will appear when printed. Proofs are created to ensure that the client and printer are in complete agreement on the desired outcome before going to press.

Proofing is a vital part of the printing process, as it’s the final check that everything is ready to print. It helps prevent unforeseen problems with text, images, colors, spacing, and other design elements. After the printer’s proof is approved, the next stage is going to press. So finding and fixing errors in a proof copy is very important as it helps avoids errors, ensures quality and saves costs and hassles associated with a reprint.

Ream

Ream is a measurement used to indicate quantity of paper. A paper ream is a package of 500 sheets of paper of the same quality and style that have been cut to the same size.

Registration Marks

The four-color process printing uses four colors - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK) to print a full color image or artwork. Each color is assigned a separate plate and each plate creates an impression which overlaps the others precisely. Registrations marks helps the printer ensure that all the impressions are lined-up or aligned perfectly. If this is not done, the finished image will look fuzzy, blurred or "out of register".

Resolution

Sharpness of an image on film, paper, computer screen, disc, tape or other medium.

Reverse

Type, graphic or illustration reproduced by printing ink around its outline, thus allowing the underlying color or paper to show through and form the image. The image 'reverses out' of the ink color. Also called knockout and liftout.

Saddle Stitch

In saddle stitching, folded sheets of paper are nested one within another and stapled or stitched along the center fold, or spine. It is the simplest and cheapest binding method to produce thin books or brochures. Saddle Stitching is commonly used for booklets, notebooks, magazines, catalogs, multi-page brochures etc.

Score

To compress paper along a straight line so it folds more easily and accurately. Also called crease.

Signature

Printed sheet folded at least once, possibly many times, to become part of a book, magazine or other publication.

Spine

Back or binding edge of a publication

Spiral Binding

Spiral Binding uses a spiral of continuous wire or plastic looped through holes. In this binding process, small holes are punched along the spinal edge of the book's cover and pages and a durable plastic or metal coil is inserted and twisted through them. The coil joins the pages and cover as an assembly, yet still allows them to open freely. Also called coil bind.

Substrate

Any surface or material on which printing is done.

Trim Size

Trim Size refers to the dimensions of a document after it has been printed and cut down to its desired width and height from a larger sheet, prior to any folding. For documents that are not folded, the Trim Size is also the same as the Finished Size. For example, trim size for a standard business card would be 3.5" x 2".

Ups

Term to indicate multiple copies of one image printed in one impression on a single sheet. Printing is usually done on large sheets of paper that can accommodate multiple impressions or copies of the same image at the same time. For example a 8.5 x 11 flyer may be printed on a Double Demy sheet (22.5 × 35.5 inches) which means we will get 8 copies or 8-ups of the flyer on a single sheet of paper. The main reason for printing in multiple UPs is to reduce the amount of press time needed for a given production run and thus reduce costs.

UV Coating

Liquid applied to a printed sheet, then bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.

Watermark

Translucent logo in paper created during manufacturing by slight embossing from a dandy roll while paper is still approximately 90 percent water.

Window

In a printed product, a die-cut hole revealing an image on the sheet behind it.

Have questions? We're here for you!

Speak to one of our print experts who can help you choose the best printing options available for your project.

646 290 8887
516 233 1330

or mail your query to customercare@printstuff.org

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