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Tips about preparing your file for print production
Your file is only high resolution at a certain size.
If you are dealing with a vector file, there is no resolution (vector files do not use pixels and cannot be said to be high res or low res). See vector graphics here.
Any file can be shrunk in size enough to make it high resolution. "Resolution" is simply a count of how many pixels a file contains in a given area (typically, a count of pixels per inch or ppi).
So is your photo high res? You can only answer this when you know how large it needs to be printed. Every raster image is made up of a grid of pixels. Pack more of them into a given area and the resolution increases (higher resolution). Spread those pixels out over a larger area (a larger print) and the resolution (count of pixels in every inch) drops.
Here's a method for figuring this out:
An image can be resampled in Photoshop but not with any gain in clarity. The image will indeed become higher res, but no additional true detail will be added to the image.
If you are not clear about resolution, feel free to give us a call.
A good print starts with a good file.
Providing us with a healthy digital file is the best way to ensure the quickest and most cost-efficient print service.
Build the file to the size you want it to print. For example:
Ensure sufficient resolution for images:
Do not bump up image resolution beyond 300ppi unless the image is intended for enlargement. If you're not sure about how resolution works, call us.
Whenever possible, provide us with a PDF. Microsoft formats (Publisher, Word, Powerpoint) are very difficult to print from. Please export to PDF and check to ensure that the PDF looks exactlyhow you want it before you send it to us.
So which one is better?
Neither. They both have their uses. A photo should be stored as a pixel-based format such as TIF and JPEG, but when a logo is stored in these formats serious limitations are placed on its ability to be scaled, printed and used in general. A logo should be stored as a vector file.
Can I just re-save the file into a vector format?
No, that's impossible. In order for a raster file to be made into a vector file it needs to be re-drawn or traced. A computer can do this (Adobe Illustrator has this ability) but it can only do a nice job under certain conditions. Normally a human will need to do this process using some vector tools. Simply re-saving your image as an AI, EPS or PDF will not convert your file into vector data.
Don't worry about it. Give us a call.
Every image has a shape. Some are square, most are rectangular. Aspect ratio is simply a description of the image's width and height. This is most often expressed as a ratio such as 4:5, 16:9 and so on. This can express length:width or width:length, depending on whether the image is oriented to portrait or landscape.
Aspect ratio and resolution describe different things about a file. Aspect ratio and resolution are related (one describes the numerical relationship between the length and width, the other measures how many pixels per inch are available) but they are not the same thing.
Every square image, regardless of its size, has an aspect ratio of 1:1. That means that the length of the image is exactly the same as its width. That's what we mean when we say "square".
Most photos come off the camera as some sort of rectangular shape. Common aspect ratios are 4:5 and 16:9.
If you crop your own images without paying attention to aspect ratio, it is very likely you'll end up with a non-standard size that will require custom framing. We are capable of printing most non-standard sizes without any trouble at all; but be aware that when you reach framing stage you may encounter some trouble with standard frames.
So what aspect ratio should I use?
That depends. What size print do you want? If you want a 12" x 12" (square) print, you need to crop the file to be square. If you want an 8" x 10", there's no use in sending us a long panoramic photo or a square photo. Common aspect ratios are below.
Common aspect ratios include:
What's the difference?
RGB colour is made up of Red, Green and Blue colours. This is typically used for screen graphics: monitors, handheld devices such as smart phones, and other screens. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RGB_color_model
CMYK colour is made up of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black colours. This is also known as process colour, full colour and four colour. CMYK is typically used in inkjet, digital and offset press printing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CMYK_color_model
Spot colour is made up of whatever inks are chosen or the job. Typically designers will use a black ink plus one, two or more 'spot' inks. We create one press plate per colour, and these are each printed in turn to create the finished image. True spot colour printing can only be done on a press, but many digital devices (inkjet and digital printers, for example) are able to emulate spot colours. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spot_color
Which one should I use for my files?
It depends entirely on the job.
If you accidentally provide the file with a mismatched colour model, that's fine. Our prepress operators have a lot of experience swapping files from one to the other.
Don't worry about it. Give us a call.
Yes, you can. But it's not a good way to send files. Send us a PDF instead.
If you are not able to send us a PDF, send us your Microsoft files and we'll do the conversion. We'll send you a PDF proof before we print.
To find out how to convert your Microsoft files to PDF, click here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-001/word-help/save-as-pdf-HA010064992.aspx
Learn about how we print and produce finished work.
Turn around times depend on a number of factors, including:
It's best to contact us to determine how much time will be needed for your job.
Broadly, we have three main print production methods:
This is perfect for short-run colour or black/white productions. Manuals, reports, menus, brochures, postcards, art cards, and so much more. Digital prints use dry toner and can print to a very large variety of papers.
Offset is the workhorse of the print world. We have four offset presses, with capabilities from one colour, two colour and full (four) colour. Offset is used for envelopes, forms, posters, fliers, stationery, tickets and much more.
Large format opens the doors for banners, fine art, photography, exhibits, maps, blueprints and so many more projects. We are capable of high quality art and photography printing using pigment inks. One other large format equipment, we can quickly run black/white plans and blueprints.
We can print almost any size you require. But here's the catch: it depends on other aspects of the job, such as production method (press, digital, large format), print stock (sheet size and roll widths) and other factors.
This is only a summary. Give us a call and we'll be happy to discuss our capabilities with you.
Learn about how we reproduce your fine art
No. You must be the legal copyright holder (i.e. you are the artist) or have permission from the copyright holder to reproduce the artwork.
All artwork in Canada is automatically copyrighted, whether or not it has the copyright © symbol.
If we do not have reasonable grounds on which to believe that you either are the artist or have permission from the artist, we will refuse to handle the piece.
Copyright law protects everyone's interests: authors, painters, artists, sculptors. It's in everyone's interest to see the law upheld. Please don't ask us to reproduce something illegally; you're asking us to break the law.
There are some things we won't print
We understand that the world of art is diverse and sometimes makes audiences feel uncomfortable. However, we reserve the right to refuse to print art and photography that is pornographic, exploitive, racist or derogatory.
Yes. Learn more here.
No. Buying art does not legally entitle you to copy it. You bought the physical art piece, not the copyright (or "right to copy"). The 'right to copy' is still held by the artist unless they expressly (and legally) surrendered that to you when bought it (we'd require proof). This is regardless of whether the piece was bought by you for a large or small amount of money, or was gifted to you.
We will not reproduce art unless you hold the copyright or have permission from the copyright holder.
Some art, due to its age, is in the public domain and can be freely copied. In Canada, most art passes into the public domain fifty years after the death of the artist. Before assuming a piece is in the public domain, do some research.
Please do not press us to reproduce something illegally: you're asking us to break the law.
In general, it's a three-step process:
Learn more about the process and what we print on here.
Yes. But there are some things that you need to understand about the term giclée.
"Giclée" used to refer to an art print that was created on an IRIS printer. It refers to the production method wherein ink is 'squirted' or 'sprayed' through the printer' nozzle onto the paper to make the image.
Today, a huge proportion of art reproductions are done on inkjet printers. So, loosely, the term applies to almost any fine art inkjet print. Normally it is used to refer to an art reproduction that is run on the same media on which the original was created (fine art paper, canvas, etc.) with the intention of creating a reliably accurate copy of the original.
Our art reproductions are usually run on an Epson Stylus Pro 9800, which is indeed an inkjet (i.e. ink spraying through nozzles) technology. That qualifies these to be calle giclée prints.
So the term giclée doesn't actually have a very solid definition or meaning. But by regular usage of the term, any and all of our fine art reproductions can indeed be considered to be giclée prints.
Print size depends on what we're printing on. Your art must fit the roll width of the media we're printing on. Length is virtually limitless.
We usually tile-scan artwork originals. Because of this, it's difficult to capture originals that are excessively large. Art up to 24" x 30" is getting near to our upper size limit for scanning. Call us to discuss your original.
No, we don't offer any picture framing. We can mount your image to foamboard and apply a laminate. A more complete framing option is available through two very good frame shops in Smithers.
Both are competent picture framers with excellent products, and both of these ladies will treat you and your project with utmost care and attention.
General questions about our company and process
Sometimes clients ask us if they can have the original design files for their job. This normally includes Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and/or Photoshop files. Therer are a few reasons we can't normally provide these to clients:
We are here to help, and it is not our intention to make it difficult for you to create what you want to create. If you feel that we ought to make an exception for one or more of your jobs, just ask us. We'll be happy to consider it.