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Frequently Asked Printing Questions

Frequently Asked Printing Questions

At Applied Image Group, we love helping our customers find the exact paper, coating, imprint and specs for their project. We’ve run into a few common questions that we wanted to address for those out there that need a little more detail on print options.

Here are some questions you should always ask your printer.

1. What is the best file format for submitting a document for printing?

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is generally the preferred file format for submitting a document for printing as it works with virtually all professional printing and digital output devices. By design, a PDF file incorporates the information needed to maintain document consistency from system to system. Most other file formats such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Microsoft Word are easily converted to PDF format.

2. What is a proof and why is it needed?

A proof is a one-off copy of your printed document used for visual inspection to ensure that the layout and colors of your document are exactly how they are intended to be. A proof is made prior to sending the document to the press for final printing.

Typically, we will produce a proof that will be sent to you online in PDF format or on printed paper, which can be either viewed in our store or delivered to you in person. For multiple-color jobs, we can produce a proof on our output device to show you how the different colors will appear on the final product.

Your approval on the final proof is the best assurance you have that every aspect of our work and your own is correct, and that everything reads and appears the way you intended. Mistakes can and sometimes do happen. It benefits everyone if errors are caught in the proofing process rather than after the job is completed and delivered.

3. What are the different grades of paper and their respective basis weight?

The basis weight of a given grade of paper is defined as the weight (in pounds) of 500 standard-sized sheets of that paper. With that in mind, here are different examples of paper grades and their respective basis weights:

Bond: Most commonly used for letterhead, business forms and copying. Typical basis weights are16# for forms, 20# for copying and 24# for stationery.

Text: A high-quality grade paper with a lot of surface texture. Basis weights range from 60# to 100# with the most common being 70# or 80#.

Uncoated Book: The most common grade for offset printing. Typically, 50# to 70#.

Coated Book: Has a glossy finish that yields vivid colors and overall excellent reproduction. Basis weights range from 30# to 70# for web press, and 60# to 110# for sheet press.

Cover: Used in creating business cards, postcards and book covers. Can be either coated or uncoated. Basis weights for this grade are 60#, 65#, 80# or 100#.

4. What are the most common sizes for catalogs and booklets?

Standard sizes for catalogs and booklets are 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″, 8 1/2″ x 11″, 8 1/2″ x 11 and 11″ x 17″.

5. What are the most common sizes for brochures?

Common brochure sizes are 8 1/2″ x 11″, 8 1/2″ x14″ and 11″ x17″.

6. What are the most common business envelope sizes?

Business envelope sizes are referenced by a number such as #9 or #10. The chart below indicates the most common sizes in use today:

Size Width x Length
#6 1/4 3 1/2″ x 6″
#6 3/4 3 5/8″ x 6 1/2″
#7 3 3/4″ x 6 3/4″
#7 3/4 3 7/8″ x 7 1/2″
#8 5/8 3 5/8″ x 8 5/8″
#9 3 7/8″ x 8 7/8″
#10 4 1/8″ x 9 1/2″
#11 4 1/2″ x 10 3/8″
#12 4 3/4″ x 11″
#14 5″ x 11 1/2″

At Applied Image Group, we strive to provide the best possible service to our clients. We are always here to provide options, walk you through the file prep process, and get you the exact product you need. project!

Why Warehousing?

Why Warehousing?

Warehousing services are exactly what they sound like. Rather than holding onto all your printed materials yourself, we can handle the warehousing for you!

With our Inventory Management platform, you can order what you need when you need it (and store it in our facilities for as long as you like)!

We make it simple. We can count how much you have on hand so that you know when you are running low. Before we deliver your pieces to you, we assemble them. Then, we shrink-wrap them and prepare them to hand out to your customers.

What About Fulfillment Services?

One of the tedious tasks business owners face is managing endless forms and marketing materials that each business needs to be successful. Instead of you keeping up with all the paperwork surrounding your business, let us handle it for you.

We can print forms, marketing materials, labels, posters, pictures, and other materials. Not only can we do bulk requests, but we can also do single orders, for those one-time special promotions.

Are you tired of worrying about all the paper in your life? Today’s businesses need marketing materials constantly to continue to bring in new customers. However, no one wants to worry about large stacks of printed materials gathering dust. Let us arrange your fulfillment services and print warehousing.

The Importance Of Business Presentations

The Importance of Business Presentations

If you are a business owner, you know how important presentation is. If you don’t put your best face on, you may not make the sale or get the account you want. Your presentation is a make-or-break part of your business.

Since the presentation holds so much importance, why not ensure the print materials you bring along speak volumes about your professionalism and style? Many times, these print materials are taken home and reviewed by your potential client, if it doesn’t look the best what type of lasting impression are you making?

You need to WOW your clients the minute you hand them your print materials. How do you do that? With an amazing presentation packet.

Here are 9 reasons why you should design and print presentation folders.

There are many kinds of presentation folders, so let’s review them so you can identify the right presentation materials for your business.

Types of Presentation Folders:

Sales Folder

In a Sales Folder you want to answer your customer’s questions with the information inside. You also want to make sure it’s organized and the information inside is concise and compelling.  You’ll need to include information on your business, such as a brief history, mission, vision, and goals. Your sales folder should also include product information, price lists, and designs.

HELPFUL TIP: Include testimonials from other clients!

Luxury Presentation Folders

Are you selling products or services to luxury businesses or luxury clients? Your presentation folder should reflect this. You will want a presentation folder that is unique (meaning a unique design or finish). Your materials should be high gloss with heavy paper. If you have photos as part of your presentation, they should be full-color, high-definition photos. Luxury clients expect top-shelf treatment all the time — and that is exactly the image you want to present.

Custom Pocket Folders

Depending on what kind of client you’re marketing to, you may need more than one folder. For example, you may have a pocket folder design that is for clients who want a brief company overview. That pocket folder may have fewer handouts and papers than your sales folder. These will give potential clients a snapshot of your business.

Do you need help making your presentation folders a more effective tool for selling? Perhaps you need expert consultation about papers, finishes, and folder looks. We can help! Reach out today to learn how we design custom business presentations, packets and folders that are sure to impress! 

How To Prepare Your Print Files

How to Prepare Your Print Files

Sometimes a print project can seem overwhelming because printing requires specific standards to optimize artwork so the computers that run the presses can produce it correctly.

Preparing print-ready files will save you a ton of time and will help you avoid costly reprinting because you did not set your files up correctly. Here is a great outline of the basics for preparing your print file correctly.

At Applied Image Group we do the heavy lifting! We handle graphic design, layout, typesetting, image scanning, image editing and more. Our designers can do the entire job or work with your creative team to enhance their ideas and layouts for print production.

That being said, while we are always here to help, we also want to share valuable information on some of the common standards for preparing print files.


Bleed is the part of a document that gives a printer some wiggle room to account for the small moment of the paper while printing. When submitting your artwork to your printer, be sure that your bleed settings are calibrated correctly and your images and backgrounds spill over each side of your document by 0.125” or 1/8”.

Image Resolution

An image that looks good on your computer monitor may not translate to the printed page unless it is the correct resolution. Images created for a computer screen are often a lower Dot Per Inch (DPI) than images intended for print. The more dots per inch, the sharper the image will be. All images that are to be printed should have a DPI of a minimum of 200 – 300 DPI.

Considering Color when preparing for printing

The colors of your artwork can look different on the printed page unless you know the colors you expect and how you want your final product look. This is critical to maintaining the integrity of your brand. Understand the basics of color printing will help you communicate with your printer to achieve your desired results.

CMYK Color Model

The CMYK color model also referred to as Process Color or Four Color. CMYK refers to the four inks used in most color printing which are cyan, magenta, yellow and key — representing black.

The CMYK model has become the universal standard for graphic arts and commercial printing. At Applied Image Group, we will work with you to build your colors correctly so your products will be produced exactly as you expect.

Saving as PDF

When working with commercial printers, it is ideal to send a PDF. A PDF includes all fonts images, colors, logos, and other file data. A PDF file optimizes the print file to be the perfect balance of compatibility, file size, editability, quality and portability.

At Applied Image Group we have designers and experts that can convert your file into a print-ready masterpiece, and we can handle any size/type of project! But hopefully this information proved helpful. Reach out to us for your next print project, we promise you’ll be impressed!