Which file formats do you accept?
We accept the following Mac or PC version desktop design formats:

  • Adobe Acrobat (PDF) – Preferred
  • CorelDraw
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • .EPS or JPG or TIF

Please include a PDF file with your native files.

How can I be sure that my file is print-ready?
If you’re not sure that your file will work, just send it to us and we’ll look it over. If we discover anything that will keep us from producing the printed piece you want, we’ll let you know. Please remember, we will only look for print-specific problems in your file. We will not make design suggestions, check your spelling or correct your grammar. The customer is responsible for proofreading all documents.

What is the difference between the RGB and CMYK color format?
RGB refers to the primary colors of light, Red, Green and Blue. RGB is the standard format used for video monitors, television screens, digital cameras and scanners. CMYK refers to the primary colors of pigment: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These are the ink colors used in “4-color process printing”, commonly referred to as “full color printing”. RGB and CYMK are not compatible formats. RGB files must be converted to CYMK before printing can occur. It is physically impossible for a printing press to exactly reproduce colors as seen on a computer monitor.

How do I send or upload you my files?
You can always email your files to web@printingideas.com if the file is 1MB or smaller. Anything larger than 1MB, you can upload the file to us using our file transfer utility. Upload time will vary depending on your file size and the speed of your internet connection. Uploads can be as short as a few seconds or as long as an hour. If you are concerned about the size of your file or the speed of your internet connection, we recommend that you send or bring in your artwork to us on a USB drive, CD or DVD.

What if I found a mistake in the artwork?
As a customer, you are responsible for the accuracy of your artwork. You are encouraged to carefully inspect the positioning, copy, and design elements in your art files before submitting them to us. Any changes after final approval may incur additional charges.

What are bleeds?
In printing parlance, a bleed is a piece that is printed right to the edge of the paper. We don’t really print to the edge-we print the piece .25″ larger and then trim it down to the finished size.
If you want your piece printed right to the edge, be sure to design it from the beginning with an extra .25″ beyond the finished dimensions. For instance, if your finished piece is 8.5″ by 11″, layout your document with a size of 8.75″ by 11.25″. After printing, we’ll trim .125″ from all sides.

What is meant by “image resolution” and what is best for my print job?
Digital images are made up of small dots that combine to form the overall picture. The number of dots making up an image is known as its resolution. Resolution is stated in dots-per-inch or dpi. A typical website image has a resolution of 72 dpi. Images with a resolution of less than 250 dpi will not reproduce well on press, resulting in images that are fuzzy, choppy or grainy. Likewise, a resolution in excess of 300 dpi will not noticeably improve the quality of the image but will definitely increase the size of the file. The optimum resolution for printed images is 300 dpi.
It is important to set the image’s resolution to 300 dpi at the final image size of your printed piece. If you enlarge an image, you lower the resolution since the number of dots remains constant and the size increases. We do not recommend enlarging an image in your layout program more than 125% or reducing more than 30%.

Do you ship or deliver your products?
We usually ship using UPS or USPS and the shipping costs vary on a product-by-product basis. We also use a local courier service for same day local deliveries.  Local orders can also be picked up during business hours; delivery charges may apply.

What is your address, phone number and operating hours?
Printing Ideas, Inc.
9925 Main Street
Fairfax, VA 22031
Tel: 703-591-1708
Fax: 703-591-4635
Business Hours: Monday through Friday, 9AM – 5PM EST

How can I reach someone for questions or instructions?
You can call us at 703-591-1708 and speak to a staff member or you can always email us at web@printingideas.com

What methods of payment do you accept?
Currently, we accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. We also accept personal and/or company checks for payment, as long as payment is received according to the terms of sale.

How long will it take for an e-mail reply to an inquiry?
We try to reply all emails as they come in during business hours. Depending on the inquiry, you should expect an answer within 24 business hours. If you email during the weekend, we will get back to you the following business day.

How well will my job match what I see on my monitor?
People are often surprised at how well their printed pieces resemble what they saw on their computer screens as they were designing. However, because of the wide variance in monitor calibrations, and more specifically, the incompatibility of the video (RGB) and commercial printing (CYMK) formats, printed colors typically do not exactly match the colors on any specific monitor. If your project is color sensitive, consulting a Pantone Matching System (PMS) swatch book is your best means for seeing how the colors in your artwork will look once they have been printed.

Will I always receive exactly the quantity I order?
Often, we ship you slightly more than you ordered, free of charge. Printing industry trade standards allow for an over/under tolerance of up to 10%. If you plan to send your print order to a mailing house or need a guaranteed quantity, we recommend that you order the next available quantity.

What is Thermography printing?
Thermography produces raised printing similiar in appearance to engraving but using a different process. In thermography, a special powder is added to the ink printed on the paper. The printed piece is heated and the powder and ink mixture dries to form a raised effect on the paper. Thermography is often used in place of the more expensive engraving process to produce wedding invitations, business cards, and letterhead. To see samples of thermography printing, please click here.

Do I need to send fonts with my print job?
Whenever possible, convert all text/type in your documents to paths or outlines. This eliminates the need to send fonts with your files. Most page layout software can easily do this conversion. Note: once the text is converted to paths, it cannot no longer be edited.
If you are sending files in their native application format and do not convert the text to paths or outlines, you must include each font that you have used in your project.

Can I use colored text?
It’s best not to colorize small text. All printing presses have a little bit of variance in the positioning of the various color plates. This is called misregistration, which simply means that the cyan, magenta, yellow and black portions of the text characters don’t line up exactly. The result is small colored shadows around the characters. Colored text on large headline type suffers less from misregistration. In fact, misregistration is hardly noticeable down to about a point size of 12. Below that, it becomes very obvious.
The same thing holds for reverse text-white text on a black or colored background. Mis-registration is a noticeable problem on point sizes smaller than 12.

Why shouldn’t I use the font style settings-bold, italic, etc.-in my software program?
Selecting a font style-bold, italic, underline, shadow-from your application’s font palette will give you a nice result when viewing your project on a monitor and will probably look great when it comes out of your desktop printer. Unfortunately, those font styles will not print correctly on a high-resolution press.
Most mainstream fonts will include fonts specifically drawn to a bold or oblique style. For instance, the Gill Sans font family includes Gill Sans, Gill Sans Condensed, Gill Sans Extra Bold and Gill Sans Light. Using an italic or bold font rather than a font style will ensure the proper output on our devices.

Is it necessary to include a printed proof with my project?
Including a printed proof with your file is always a good idea. It allows us to answer most of the questions we have about a particular job without bothering you. Especially if your project is to be folded or collated, a proof can show us how to proceed.