Paste Ups

Business Printers announcements, special sales, weekly specials, tips and tricks


How To Take Best Advantage Of Business Card Deals

Get the most bang for your buck from that business card sale!

businesscardsYou just received a crazy offer for business cards. Now what do you do? Here are a few hints to help you keep that amazing deal amazing! Check the details! Can you get full color? Both sides? How many do you get? How good is the business card stock offered? Does the offer include any coatings? How long before your job ships? Is the shipping charge reasonable?

At the very least, the offer should include full color printing on both sides. The card stock should be substantial too. You should get at least a 14 point coated cover (cover=card stock) or thicker. Most printers will also offer a high gloss UV coating to protect the business cards after they’re printed.

If the quantity offered is less than 500, the card stock is thinner and no coatings are offered, the business cards will likely be digitally printed instead of traditional offset printing. There’s nothing wrong with digital printing… The process just can’t accommodate the range of papers that can otherwise be printed using traditional methods. For example, digitally printed products can’t be coated with a high gloss or semi gloss coating after printing. Most printing companies offer digital printing quality that is just as high as traditional offset printing.

Check the shipping terms. It shouldn’t take two to three weeks for the cards to get printed and shipped. Look for turn-around times less than a week. For example, our current business card offer 1,000 full color cards for 10 bucks has a turn-around time of 2-3 days. How long will it take to arrive once the cards ship is also a consideration. Look for a printer with facilities around the country to get shorter transit times. Again as an example, we ship overnight at ground rates to the northeast (NY, PA, NJ), parts of the midwest (TN, OH, IL, KY, IN), Southern California and Las Vegas. Most of the rest of the country except the Pacific Northwest, the Rockies gets 2 day shipping at ground rates. The most it will take to ship most of our products is 3 days at ground rates.

Is the shipping cost reasonable? Look for the cost of shipping a box or two of business cards in the continental USA to cost between $8 and $12. Any more than that and the “offer” could be inflating shipping charges to subsidize the cost of printing.

How do you prepare the artwork? You can do it yourself or have a graphic designer to do it for you. If you do it yourself, you can save a lot of money, but getting professional looking business cards requires some attention to details. Check out or artwork guidelines and bleed and safe zone guidelines.

If you create your artwork in Microsoft Word (or any art layout app), make sure you have the right size… The final size of a standard US business card is 3.5 x 2 inches. Prepare your artwork so that the size is 3.75 x 2.25 inches to account for bleed. Don’t put anything important in the 1/8” border from the edge of the sheet. Again see our bleed and safe zone guidelines.

Use high resolution jpegs or vector graphics (at least 300 dpi at the final size). Don’t pull an image from the web because the resolution will be too low for printing and your cards will look cheesy! There could also be copyright issues if you use someone else’s images.

Finally save your artwork as a high resolution PDF file. It’s important that the image is the correct size. If the printer has to stretch your artwork to fit, you’ll get ovals instead of circles and generally a very low quality business card will result. For more information, check out our Help page.

No matter how great the deal looks, don’t be afraid to contact the printer and ask questions!


Why Promotional Products Work

basic-power-charger Why are promotional products such an effect marketing tool? Promotional products keep your branding in front of your customer for a longer time than a typical marketing flyer or postcard. These products are also often passed on to others by the original recipient. However some promotional products are more popular than others and will deliver your marketing message over a longer period of time.

Nearly everyone has some sort of technology these days. Accessories personalized with your company’s message are an effective way to keep your company in front of your customer. Consider products such as cases, covers, selfie sticks, flash drives emblazoned with your company message as give-aways during trade shows, promotions and events.

full-color-cafe-mugPeople travel and they drink beverages.Coffee and travel mugs are an effective means of delivering your marketing message. They move around with your customer, making your branding and message a constant companion for your customer.

Other great and effective promotional products are keychains, magnets, kitchen items and desk accessories.

Whatever product you choose for your promotional campaign, keep a few things in mind:

collapsible-travel-pet-bowlChoose a product that relates to your business. Pay attention to your customer demographic. Are you a B2B company or do your products sell directly to the consumer. Are your customers mainly male, female, young, older? These are important considerations when choosing a promotional product for your marketing campaign.

Pick trendy items, that are of interest to your customer demographic.

Choose high quality items. The promotional products you hand out are a reflection of your business. If you give away cheaply made products, you’ll give the wrong impression about your business.

Keep it simple! Don’t try to cram a lot of information into a small product. Your choice of promotional product should be large enough to accommodate your marketing message. Promotional products are not necessarily sales closers; they’re meant to keep your customers aware of your business.

We offer hundreds of promotional products in 72 different categories. We have a promotional product for almost every need, from awards and automobile items to sports, health and wellness. Please visit our website’s promotional products page for more information and to request estimates.


Using The Correct Graphic Formats For Printing

Graphics Resolution

Not all graphics are created equal. It’s a common error to try and use graphics designed for a web page for printing. There are three main issues to consider: The resolution of web graphics is optimized for a computer or smart phone display and is too low to print a quality image on an offset press or digital press. The color mode of web graphics is light additive, or RGB while the color mode for printing is subtractive or CMYK. Finally, there are special considerations for printing spot (Pantone™) colors.

Web graphics are bitmapped graphics optimized for viewing on a computer monitor. These are usually jpg, png, tiff, gif or bmp files. Computer monitors (and smartphone monitors) display images at a resolution of 72 pixels per inch, or dots per inch. For best quality a printed image needs to be printed at a resolution of 300 dots per inch at the size that the image will be printed. The problem gets even worse when an image is enlarged:

bpsd 300-72

The image on the left is a 300 dpi image suitable for printing, and the image on the right is an enlarged 72
dpi web graphic. So how do you avoid this? The best way is to start with a high resolution image of 300 dpi or more. Reduce the size of your images in Photoshop or a similar graphics application so that the resolution of the final image is 300 dpi at the size that it will print. Anything above 300 dpi is not necessary unless you’re using a .bmp black and white image with no grays. If your image is grayscale or monochrome (similar to a black and white photo) 150 dpi is optimal.

Avoid enlarging the image as much as possible. If you have absolutely no choice but to use an enlarged web graphic in your print project, use a graphics app such as Adobe Photoshop to enlarge the image. Photoshop and other apps use complicated algorithms to try and fill in the empty dots caused by enlarging the image, but the result is never as good as starting out with a quality high resolution image. At a bare minimum, you can go down as low as 200 dpi at the final print size, but will see image degradation.

Use a vector image. They can be resized to your heart’s content without loss of resolution. Vector graphics are created by applications such as Adobe Illustrator and the filenames usually end in .ai or .eps. Be careful that your vector graphic doesn’t contain embeded low resolution bitmapped graphics. Vector graphics are required for multi-colored spot color printing.

Never use GIF files! Not only are they generally low resolution graphics optimized for computer displays, but they also don’t contain enough color information to produce accurate color when printed.

CMYK vs. RGB vs. Spot color modes

OK, so you have a graphic with the proper high resolution at the size that it will be printed. The next thing to consider is the color mode of the graphic.

RGB color mode is an “additive” color used by displays for rendering images. Colors are creating by mixing red, green and blue (RGB) light. The more light that is added, the brighter and more intense the color becomes.

CMYK mode is a “subtractive” mode that is required for all printing. Colors are created by mixing cyan, yellow, magenta and black inks on the sheet of paper. All offset and digital presses use the CMYK color mode, as well as office and home laser and inkjet printers.

Spot color mode: Each individual ink color is created by printing the image with a specific ink. Think of it like painting a wall. If you want a pink wall, you go out and buy pink paint. In spot color printing, if you want an image to be pink, the printer uses pink ink. It’s not feasible to print in full color using individual inks. Spot color printing is best suited for one and two color ink printing. In the United States, printing companies all use the Pantone Matching System for specifying individual ink colors.

If you have an RGB image that you want to print, most modern home, office and digital pre-press systems can convert RBG color mode to CMYK on the fly. In fact, if you’re printing to your inkjet or laser printer it’s usually better to start off with and RBG image because they’re designed to convert them on the fly. However, on a press, it’s better to supply a CMYK image. RGB images can produce a much wider range of colors than CMYK. So when an RBG image is converted to CMYK, there can be color changes where the image uses colors that can’t be reproduced in a CMYK process. It’s desirable to see those image variations before printing thousands of pieces!

The effects of converting RGB to CMYK are easy to illustrate when printing black inks. When RGB black is converted to CMYK, you’ll get a mix of colors, usually 75% cyan, 68% magenta, 67% yellow and 90% black. While this will produce a nice black image, it’s not practical for printing because it produces 300% ink coverage and the ink probably won’t dry for a long time! So it’s best to make the conversion to CMYK using an application like Photoshop and fine tune the colors so you get what you expect in your print project. In the case of black for example, black text should be 0% cyan, 0% magenta, 0% yellow and 100% black. For larger areas of black ink, 0,0,0,100 will look a bit gray, so we use “Rich Black” to get an intense black. It’s kind of like adding a extra coat of black paint on a wall. Printing companies use different mixes for Rich Black, but the most common is 50% cyan, 40% magenta, 40% yellow and 100% black.

black comparison-01

Spot Colors

Sometimes called Pantone color printing, spot color printing is preferable when color fidelity is of utmost importance, such as in logos and corporate identity projects. We match a Pantone color by mixing the ink using a formula established by the Pantone company. It’s not practical to use spot color printing when a full color image is involved as there are millions of colors in the image. Artwork for spot color jobs need to be created using vector images with applications such as Adobe Illustrator.

Visit us for all your printing needs:


Are Your Business Cards Invisible?

Make your business cards stand out from the crowd!

Your business cards won’t get lost in the shuffle if they stand out from the crowd. Check out our featured items this week, round corner business cards and shaped business cards:

Round Corner Business Card PrintingRound Corner Business Cards

  • Standard 2 x 3.5 inch size
  • 1/8″, 1/4″, 3/8″ or 1/2″ round corner
  • Choice of two standard card stocks
  • Full color printing, one or both sides
  • Round corners at the top, bottom or all four corners

For pricing and other information, visit our website, send us a message or call J.E. at 858-549-6777.


Shaped Business Cards

  • 2″  or 2-1/2″ circle
  • 2″ x 2″ square with 1/8″ round corners
  • 1-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ oval
  • 2″ x 3-1/2″ leaf
  • Full color. Choose from 3 standard card stocks

For pricing and other information, visit our website, send us a message or call J.E. at 858-549-6777.


My Business Cards Bleed!

What is a bleed in printing?

A bleed in the jargon of offset printing, digital printing or large format printing means that a printed sheet has ink printed right to the edge of the paper. For example, this business card has ink all the way to the edge of the sheet (a bleed):

Business Card with Bleeds

To produce a bleed, the image needs to extend larger than the final trim size of the sheet. The image is printed on a larger sheet so that the bleed area and crop marks fit completely inside the sheet. After printing, the sheet is then trimmed down to size, cutting off the extra image and crop marks. In this example, the artwork was extended by 1/8″ all around, creating a “1/8″ bleed”, then printed on a larger sheet:
Business Card Bleed

There are two main reasons we need to do this. On a printing press, if we print right to the edge of a sheet, ink will migrate past the edges of sheet and will smudge the reverse side of the sheet. The second and perhaps the most important reason has to do with the mechanical nature of the trimming process. If the image is printed exact size on a larger sheet, and then trim the sheet to size, sheets would trim a hair high, low, left or right inconsistently through the stack of sheets. We would see random and unintended small white (unprinted) areas around the edges of the sheets. This is because mechanical tolerances of industrial paper cutters are not high enough to print exactly where the image ends, and environmental factors will randomly change the size of of sheets in the stack while they’re drying prior to final trim.

So, what’s that “unsafe area” in the graphic? For the same reasons that we print larger than final size, It’s a good idea to keep any important design elements such as type away from the area between the blue and pink boxes, so they don’t get partly trimmed off in the final trimming process.

As always it’s recommended that if you’re designing business cards or any printed material, consult with your priting professional before starting the design process.

To get more information or an estimate, please visit our Business Card Printing page.


Converting Envelopes – What’s That?

Envelope Converting FAQ

In envelope printing, the term for turning a flat sheet of paper into an envelope is called “Converting”. Envelopes can be printed before or after conversion:

  • 1 and 2 color printing is almost always done after conversion.
  • Envelopes printed after conversion will require a 5/16″ margin around the envelope edges with no printing.
  • Full Color envelopes require printing before conversion.
  • Full color envelopes can be digitally printed after conversion
  • Some embossing and foil envelope designs also require printing before conversion
  • Edge to edge printing (bleeds) require printing before conversion.
  • Printing on the inside of the envelope, for example custom security tints, require printing before conversion.
  • Artwork with solid ink areas may need to converted after printing to avoid seam lines.
  • If printed before conversion, a two sided envelope only prints on one side of the flat sheet.
  • While many envelope converters require a minimum run of 5,000 envelopes, our minimum run is only 250.

For more information or pricing, please visit our Envelope Printing web page.


Does Your Banner Fly High?

Vinyl Banner PrintingAvoid these mistakes when ordering vinyl banners

Banners are large! Banner printing requires a bit more care in preparation. Consider the size of the banner, whether you’re getting grommets and/or pole pockets and the physical location of where the banners will be placed.

Don’t use web graphics. Since You need high resolution images, make sure that your jpg, png or tiff at least 150 dpi at the final image size. Avoid gif or bmp files. They don’t contain enough color information for good results.

Do use vector graphics. Vector graphics can be resized without loss of resolution are the best option for large graphics.

Don’t forget about bleeds. If your artwork extends to the edges of your banner, your artwork needs to extend at least 1/4” past the trim size of the banner. This prevents cutting variations from giving you unexpected results.

Use CMYK color mode. We can convert RGB mode to CMYK “on the fly” but the conversion can change some colors.

Do save your art as a high resolution PDF.

Less is more. Keep it simple. Your banner should convey most of it’s message with just a glance or two.

Keep finishing options in mind. Avoid important art elements inside of hem stitching, pole pocket loops and grommets. Pole pockets require careful attention to the final size of your banner.

Ask your print professional for help before you even get started. We can supply templates and tips for proper artwork setup.

Does your banner need to pass wind? If your banner will be located in a windy area, specify wind slits to prevent damage!

For more information and pricing estimates on banners, please visit our Vinyl Banner Printing web page.


We celebrate our new website with digital booklets on sale

Business Printers Web SiteOur new website is officially launched today! Totally revamped from the ground up, it offers enhanced product information with easy ordering and quoting capabilities. Visit us today and check it out!

To celebrate, we’re also offering low, low prices on Digitally Printed Booklets or Catalogs. They’re available in quantities as low as 10; 8 pages to 48 pages and saddle stitched. Turn around time is quick too. Visit our specials page on our website for more details.


Color Digital Posters on Sale

Full Color Posters!

Digital Poster Printing comes in full color on one side, with 2 stocks to choose from and are available in many popular sizes.

Example: 2’ x 4’ Full color poster on 9 mil High Gloss Photo paper for just $35.

Use them for graphics, in-store point-of-purchase displays (retail store displays), courtroom graphics, research posters for medical, scientific presentation, event signs and promotional signage, presentations, business or personal artwork display. Anywhere you need to display large photographic-quality images.

Sale ends on Friday, June 15th, 2012.



Color Digital Brochures and Postcards on sale

If you’re looking for short run color brochures or color postcards and you’ve been scared away by the cost of regular offset printing in small quantities, this deal is for you!

With run lengths from 25 to 250, digital brochures and digital postcards are an inexpensive way to get your message out there.

  • Full color
  • One or two sided
  • 5 different sizes of color digital brochures
  • 9 different sizes of color digital postcards
  • Lots of paper options
  • As low as $31 for full color digital brochures and $25 for full color digital postcards

For more information, to get pricing or place an order, click Digital Brochures and Digital Postcards on sale!

The deal is good until June 8, 2012.