Do you have a company business card? How about stationery, forms, labels or printed marketing? Do you use promotional materials like mugs, exhibitor displays or branded apparel? OEX has launched a new print system to make ordering easier.
I've talked briefly about our custom printing website in the past and today I'd like to take you on a tour to show you how easy it is to use. Our site, print.oexusa.com, has multiple functionalities. We can create a portal for your company with a document library that lists all the custom printed items that you buy from us and you can select what you need and place your order online. We can set up templates for your business cards that enable you to enter the information for the cards, see an instant proof, approve the proof and place your order - all in just a few minutes! Don't want to set up an account? No worries! You can upload a file, place an order or request an estimate - all as a guest user.
Let's start that walkthrough I mentioned. I'll show you how to place a business card order.
Stickers vs. labels - what's the difference?
Is there one?
Why yes, there is. Both labels and stickers are a piece of material (usually paper, vinyl or polypropylene) that have an adhesive backing. However, they have different purposes and designs.
Labels are used primarily for informational purposes. They can be on sheets or rolls and are a designed to fit a specific space (rectangle and circle are the most common shapes). Labels normally contain text that provides information about a product. For instance:
Did you know that Office Express has its own dedicated custom printing website? Yes, we do! Printing doesn't have to be complicated - we make it easy for you! On our printing site, you can send us files, request a quote or place an order. Your company can have its own dedicated portal on our site and all of the documents and items that you regularly print can be loaded there for you to see. We can also set up templates for you to generate live proofs on popular items like business cards, which you can order instantly or send for approval internally.
A great graphic designer can take your outline or idea and turn it into an amazing piece. Creativity is their job - and their passion. If you submit a file that just needs a few tweaks, they can do that as well. A little work or a lot - they can fix it for you and make it something you are really proud of.
But design work isn't free - which leads me to today's "Do."
I'm going to temporarily stray from the Do's and Don'ts that I've been writing lately to address a subject that we get a lot of questions about: paper weights.
Paper weights can be a bit confusing. I mean, how is it that a 65 lb. cover stock is heavier than a 90 lb. index paper? Give me a few minutes of your time and hopefully it will be a little clearer.
Today I'm going to give you a "Don't." Here it is:
Don't wait until the last minute to place your order.
You might think this would be common sense, but many people don't understand what's involved in custom printing and they wait until just a few days before they need the item (sometimes the day before!) and then call it in. In reality, there are multiple steps in the printing process and these take time.
Today's subject can actually be a Do and a Don't.
DO: Review the Proof Carefully
When you submit a job to a printer, they will usually send you a digital proof for approval before the job goes to press. Make sure you check every detail on that proof - check for spelling, punctuation, alignment, fonts used, missing words, things that may have jumped off the page, etc. At OEX, we do our due diligence to ensure the accuracy of the proof, but human beings are flawed and they do make mistakes, despite their best intentions.
So here we are talking about custom printing again. I'm starting a new series called Do's and Don'ts and my hope is that the questions and topics in this series will help you to understand the print world a little better and make it easier for you the next time you need a piece custom printed.
Today's topic is a "Do."
And we're back! I just knew you couldn't wait for the riveting conclusion to our discussion. Part 2 deals with images and a touch of color.
Let's start by discussing image resolution. The optimum resolution for all files is 300 dpi or 600 dpi for line art or text. Even if your job contains black and white images, they should be saved as grayscale at 300 dpi. All images should be included at 100% scale (of the print size) and must be submitted in uncompressed TIFF format without layers (flattened). They must all be converted to CMYK colors. Remember, a higher quality image resolution does not always result in better print quality. Excessive image resolutions (beyond 300 dpi) will only dramatically increase your file size and, in most cases, will not improve the print quality. Additionally, it may require extra time to upload larger files.
Sorry - I couldn't resist.
So here we are with another custom printing blog. Today I'm going to start discussing artwork requirements for custom printing jobs. I don't know about you, but I hate reading super long newspaper articles. I see a story on the front page that interests me, I read the 2 columns and it says "See pg. A-4." I turn to A-4 and there's a 2-page spread (full pages) with the rest of the article. Remember the movie quote "You had me at hello"? Well, mine is "You lost me at column 4." 'cuz that's about as far as you will hold my attention.
When last we met to discuss custom printing, we were exploring process color vs. spot color. Today we will venture further into the world of color space. Color space is one of the most often misunderstood terms. Also called a color model, it refers to the range of colors, or gamut, that a device can reproduce.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted the first blog in a series about custom printing. Today, in segment 2, we will touch on the difference between process color and spot color printing. This is an important topic not only to the person creating the file, but also to the person paying for the printing.
Commercial printing presses print in either process (CMYK) or spot color. Process printing, also called four color process or full color printing, uses layers of 4 ink colors - Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and BlacK - to create the colors in the document.
We love to work with you on your custom printing projects! We have professional designers on staff who can help you take your project from concept to reality, but many of you have your own designers or staff members who handle the files for your publications and send the completed files to us. Sometimes, the finished product may not look exactly as you envisioned it when you created the file and we get questions on how to make it better next time, or why doesn't it look like I thought it would?
Today's blog is the first in a series of blogs that I will be writing on the subject of custom printing. I'll try to answer some of the more common questions that we field and give you some general tips to help your file designs work better for you.
Did you know that 82.6% of people can recall the company and brand on their promotional product? If you're not taking advantage of this opportunity, it's time for you to start getting your brand name out there for all to see! Promotional products are a great way to get your company in front of people. Everyone likes free gifts. They're an introductory tactic, a way to get your foot in the door, a way to get the opportunity to bid on business with an existing client that they've never let you in on, etc.
Every business needs printed materials - brochures that advertise the company's services, envelopes, stationery, business cards, invoices, work orders, etc. All of these items are a type of marketing for your business. Every letter you send out on letterhead, every work order that you leave with a client, every piece of paper that has your company information on it gets your company name out in front of people and it is important that the impression left behind is positive and professional.