Respect the 5 second Rule

Variable Data – what is it… in simple terms variable data is when every individual sheet on a digitally printed run is customized. Whether it be a unique picture, graphic or even personalized with names and bar codes.

Did you know that you only have 5 seconds to convince your customer to read your mail? Studies have shown that 84% of consumers say they are more likely to open direct mail pieces that have their names printed on them.

Need help setting up your next variable data printing project? Call us and find our out how easy it really is to create that powerful first impression. At Schneider Graphics we have you covered with our state of the art offset and digital printing capabilities.

When to use PMS colors

PMS, stands for Pantone Matching System.

PMS colors are best used when branding is most important. Logos and stationary would be some of the best examples. PMS colors are usually used when a company demands that their corporate colors are consistent to their corporate identity.

Often a company’s PMS colors are as synonymous as their actual logo.

We use Pantone colors as a way to standardize – as with any industry from fabrics, paint and plastics, to ink on paper. This way colors consistently match without direct contact.

Most PMS colors can be replicated by using the four process colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) however, there is a risk that the shade of color could be slightly altered when using this method. This is often the case when a press operator is trying to match a skin tone or specific color on a photograph.  By having to increase or decrease one or more of the process colors to match the desired image, it may negatively impact the ability to match the PMS replication.

PMS inks are pre-mixed to match your color exactly. Using CMYK may only simulate the PMS color of choice.

Rich Black

When do you want to use Rich Black in your offset printing projects?

Often times using black alone doesn’t quite give you the deep, rich black density that your looking for when you have areas of solid blacks on your project . In those cases we recommend using “Under Color” to create what is commonly referred to as Rich Black. This is achieved by adding screens of cyan, magenta and yellow within 100% black.

It seems like today, everyone has their own opinion as to how much undercolor to use. Using too much or too little of the other colors can shift the tone of the black too. At Schneider Graphics, we have found that 20% cyan, 20% magenta, 20% yellow and 100% black works in nearly all cases for us. The key to getting the best grey scale balance in your rich blacks is to always use even amounts of cyan, magenta and yellow with your solid (100%) black.

With all that said there are those rare occasions when the equal undercolor can’t be used. Like when a photo was taken with a black background and the black background needs to fill a larger area of the sheet. In that situation, you would want to match the color percentages used in the photos background. Doing this would insure that you would not see a different density in the black from where your photo ended and your rich black began when the piece was printed.

If you would like to learn more about rich black or when and how to use it, contact your Schneider Graphics sales rep for more information.

How does shingling effect saddle stitched books?

Shingling or creep occurs when pages are added to saddle stitched books. The inner pages get narrower as more pages are added (nested) and depending on the thickness of the paper. This can cause elements to be cut off in the final trim.

How do we compensate for this?

By bringing the elements of the page in towards the fold one sheet thickness at a time. First sheet will be creeped in by the thickness of one sheet and the last sheet will be multiplied by sheets per thickness.

We use software to compensate for creep. It is something to keep in mind when laying out a book with many pages.

Digital vs. Offset

What is the difference between digital and offset printing

Let’s talk about their differences, and where it makes sense to choose one or the other for your next print project.

Digital printing works best when lower quantities are needed; think of a run of 100-500 flyers.

Another benefit of digital printing is its capability of variable data. When each printed piece needs a unique name or address, bar code or numbering, digital is the way to print.

Setup costs are lower.

Print only what you need.

Improved technology has made digital quality rival offset.

Offset printing has its advantages too.

Large quantities can be printed more cost effectively.

Highest possible printing quality, with greater detail resolution.

Offset printing allows larger sized printing sheets and can print many pieces faster than digital printing presses saving per sheet cost.

More choices when choosing PMS or Metallic inks.

Coatings, gloss, dull, soft touch or effects like gloss strike thru.

Folding Tips

Basic folding tips

When setting up folding on your print project it is important to remember to set up the panel that is folding in be .125 smaller.

Below are a few examples of common basic folds.

Folding an 8.5 x 11 to fit in a #10 envelope.

Folding a brochure to 8.5 x 11.

Folding an 8.5 x 11 gatefold.

Folding a roll fold.

Folding a parallel fold.

Schneider Graphics 2018 Calendar is here, Wild America

Schneider Graphics 2018 Calendar, Wild America. From Grizzly Bears to White Tailed Deer. Contact your account executive if you haven’t received one.

Why is bleed important in my print project?

Why is bleed important in my print project?

Bleed is a term in printing that is used to describe a document which has elements that touch the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge and leaving no white margin.

It is very difficult to print and trim exactly to the edge of a sheet, so to achieve this, it is necessary to print a slightly larger area than is needed and then trim the paper down to the required finished size.

On press, the artwork is printed on a large sheet of paper and then trimmed to size. If you do not allow for a 1/8 of an inch bleed, any misalignment while cutting will result with the artwork not running to the edge of the paper.

Common bleed is extended .125 beyond the border. This will ensure any art will get trimmed properly.

The same holds true to inside the crops. Please leave a .125 margin inside when using text close to the trim edge.

Paper Choices

There are many different things to consider when deciding which type of paper to print on. Everything from color brightness and image clarity are affected by the kind of paper you use.

Coated vs. Uncoated

Coated papers provide excellent color, smoothness, opacity and print definition. They are ideal for printing projects such as photographs and brochures. Coated papers come in a variety of finishes, the two most common being glossy and matte. Glossy paper reflects light creating a shiny appearance. Matte paper absorbs light creating a non-reflective surface that is easier to read.

Uncoated papers come in a variety of textures and finishes. They have a more natural look and work great for invitations, stationery and business cards. Uncoated papers can have a smooth finish or one that’s more textural like linen and felt. Choosing the right finish for your printed project is important to give it the best overall look and feel.

It is important to know what the final finished application of your printed project will be when choosing a paper. Ask yourself the following questions:

Will the project be mailed?

If so, you may want to add a coating or a varnish to protect your project from damage in the mail. You may also want to choose a lighter weight substrate that will pass easily through postal sorting machines.

Are there many photos?

If you have bright colored photos in your design. Gloss coated paper is better suited for photos while uncoated or matte coated paper is ideal for readability.

Opacity

A paper’s opacity describes the amount of light which is transmitted through it. This determines how much printing will be seen through the reverse side of a sheet. Complete opacity is 100% which means that no light can pass through, while a lower percentage lets more light through. Opacity is important to have in mind when printing booklets, as a sheet with good opacity will prevent ”show through text” when printing on both sides. A paper’s opacity can increase or decrease depending on the use of different fillers, but also by its weight, whiteness or coating.

Brightness

The brightness measures the percentage of a wavelength of blue light that a sheet reflects. It’s typically expressed on a scale of 1 to 100 with 100 being the brightest. Most papers reflect 60-90% of light. The brightness of a paper can effect readability, the perception of ink color and the contrast between light and dark hues.

How is the weight of paper measured?

Paper weight is an important component to consider when printing. Heavier media often conveys quality and provides durability. Unfortunately, sorting through the various methods of labeling a paper’s weight is not always straightforward. First, there are three common methods for specifying paper weight and thickness: U.S. Basis Weight (Bond, Book, Index, Cover, Tag, Points, Offset ), Metric weight (GSM or G/m2) and, often interchangeable, Points or Mils (an actual Caliper reading of the paper thickness).

The U.S. Basis (not basic) Weights, are the most confusing, simply because the same paper can yield different values based on the “Basis Weight” applied while manufacturing the paper. And higher values don’t always equate to heavier/thicker print media. For example, a sheet of 100lb Text paper is actually much thinner than an 80lb Cover stock.

The “Basis Weight” is defined as the weight of 500 sheets of paper in its basic unit uncut size, which means before being cut to Letter size or Legal size, the paper is weighed and categorized. The most common sizes, some of which you may recognize, are Bond, Text, Book, Cover, Index and Tag. An uncut sheet of Bond paper is 17 x 22 inches, while an uncut sheet of Cover paper is 20 x 26 inches. If 500 sheets of Bond paper (17 x 22 inches) weigh 20 lbs, then a ream of paper cut to Letter size will be labeled as 20 lb. And if 500 sheets of Cover paper (20 x 26 inches) weigh 65 lbs, then a ream of this paper trimmed to tabloid size would be marked as 65lb. This may be a lot to grasp, but don’t feel overwhelmed! Often professional printers don’t keep track of all the permutations. Based on experience from using a small subset, they have a pretty good idea of what to expect when reaching for a 24lb Bond versus a 60lb Cover versus a 110lb Index.

Print Checklist

Here’s a Quick Checklist of Info we will Need

Quantity: number of finished pieces. Account for the offset printer’s industry standard that dictates a window of 5% overs or unders.

Page Count

Stock: choose from various weights and finishes of offset, text or cover weight paper.

Color: the number of colors to be printed (full color is CMYK, or 4). Common colors combinations include 4/4, 4/0, 2/2 and 2/0. Be sure to indicate if your margins bleed or not, as well as any special coatings you require.

Coatings: Gloss, Dull, Satin, UV.

Flat Size: width x height. The size of your piece before bindery.

Bindery: folding, collating, binding, die-cutting, finishing, 3-hole drill, shrink wrapping etc. Include instructions or a PDF of your file for more complex projects.

Finished Size: the size of your piece after bindery.

Artwork: let us know how you’ll be providing your native or high-resolution PDF files: via email, FTP site.

Proofs: go paperless by choosing emailed PDF proofs. Need to verify color before printing? Indicate an assembled color proof in your job quote request.

Delivery: store it, ship it, overnight it or send via direct mail. Plus, take advantage of our Fulfillment Center for your on-demand product shipment needs.