1. What is our printing workflow?
2. What is our price level?
3. The reason why we can quote lower price?
4. How is our quality control procedure?
5. How about the service?
6. How is payment offered?
7. How can we send the parcel?
8. How is the Proofing Process?
9. Can you send me samples?
10. What is our estimated turn time from receipt of files to Ex-Works, and shipment?
11. What is your customer confidentiality or material management?
12. Some normal questions about paper and printing
13. What is IP protection agreement with our customers?
14. Where are you?
1. What is our printing workflow?
Upon receipt your specification, we will provide quotation for you to estimate the entire budget. We may revise your specification to accommodate the utilization of the press and binding equipment in order to obtain the most competitive price. We will provide blank dummy or paper sample to show what does the final product visual outlook. After the approval on dummy and file downloaded to our FPT site, we will send soft proof for imposition approval. Upfront payment may be requested before the production but all is subject to negotialtion.
2. How is our quality control procedure?
We push total quality management on each stage of production. All staffs are aware of each responsibility on quality. The QA, QC and PE team drive, monitor and implement the quality control workflows.
3. How about the service?
Once order is confirmed and file is uploaded, we will assign capable and experienced customer service staff to follow production process, update progress report and logistic till the product arrives the final destination.
4. How is payment offered?
Image Printing is flexible to accept difference payment terms upon negotiation. We offer credit terms to regular client.
5. How can we send the parcel?
We prefer to receive your art on CD or DVD as a locked and certified PDF file, along with the original file in native format, image links and fonts, a complete 100% size color dummy and samples of desired color matches or printed versions of your product. In practice we will work with what you give us, please discuss if you are concerned.
You can send the parcel directly to our Shenzhen address with value less than $50. Of course, we have FTP site, you can also submit your files into our FTP, and it is an easy and cost saving way.
6. How is the Proofing Process?
If you provide proofs or sample book as color guidance, Image will only provide one set of ozalids for content and imposition approval. Image will check the color proofs against files to ensure the good color matching in production. To save your courier cost, if there is only minor correction, no need to return the ozalids except special request, and you can send correction file and approve via email or FTP. We will keep another one set ozalid in hand for production guidance. However, if there are many corrections or new proofs to send, please return the ozalids to us for the 2nd round correction.
Image has the facility of digital proofing, as well as regular wet proofing supplier to out put digital proof and wet proof.
7. Can you send me samples?
Relevant samples of Image work for other clients as quality reference. Samples can be sent for new projects.
Blank dummy created to the exact specifications of your job, the dummy is free of charge under 5 copies.
Color proofs, for evaluation of color and final check, provided before production commences.
F&G samples, for evaluation of color and final check, provided before production commences.
First Bound Production Samples for evaluation of final result before binding is completed.
For complex or large run projects, additional proofs may be provided. We typically provide a quotation before sending white book, reference samples and our brochure, to ensure that everything is to your satisfaction.
8. What is our estimated turn time from receipt of files to Ex-Works, and shipment?
In general, Image Printing commits to below turnaround time. It is negotiable for case to case. Lead time varies according to difference product and quantity. For the most common conventional book project, please see below estimated turnaround lead time for reference:
Approval time on front list title:
2-3 days for parcel or file received .
3-4 days for bluelines output
2-3 days to courier parcel of bluelines
7 days for bluelines approval and final approved. .
Approval time on back list title:
2 days for corrections via email/FTP site.
1 day for correction approval.
3-4 weeks on conventional book project with quantity below 20,000 copies
3-5 days for airfreight shipment from door to door
3-5 days from ex-work to ETD Shenzhen/HK port.
11. What is your customer confidentiality or material management?
(1) Customer Copyright Management
A. Make sure to protect customer copyright management, the qty should conform to the requirement of contract.
B. Leftovers and finished products should be submitted to customer except for exhibition purpose, or deal with as special instruction of customer.
C. It is forbidden to reveal customer information before getting the approval from customer to do this.
D. Films and digital artworks should be controlled under extremely approval process.
(2) Special Products Property Protection
A. Make sure the producing station and process under CCTV monitor system.
B. The operator should sign as confirmation when the films/artworks are passed in the workflow.
C. Record all everything especially as digital format during paper supplied and production workflow.
D. Special storage station and keep in twice safety.
E. Leftover and wastage should be destroyed and recorded, and then report to customer.
(3). Materials Supplied Management Procedure
A. The sales have the responsibility to assist the negotiation with relevant departments and customer, and make sure there are no confusions potential.
B. The warehouse staffs should check the materials detail according to the announcement from customer, customer services guys should assist if necessary.
C. The materials supplied by customer should be marked clearly, and then store in exclusive station.
D. The leftovers of these materials should be returned to customer, or deal with according to customer's requirements.
12. Some normal questions about paper and printing
How do I get my book copyrighted?
Your authorship is copyright protected from the moment you commit your thoughts to paper or keyboard. Copyright registration will add another layer of protection at a very reasonable price. For the best information on official copyright protection, please refer to the United States Copyright Office.
What is the difference between coated and uncoated stock?
Uncoated stock is a rough porous type of paper. It is normally used in newspapers and tends to be less expensive. Coated stock has a smooth glossy finishing. Printing on this type of paper will sharpen your text and graphic layouts. Coated stock can be a bit expensive.
What is the difference between 100# text stock and 14pt card stock?
100# text is measured in weight, but 14pt is measured in thickness. It is hard to tell the difference between these two, unless you know their weight and thickness. The size paper comes from the mill is called "Parent' or "basis" size, and it differs for different kinds of paper. This is why "80# cover" is heavier than "100# text". The point system measures paper thickness but not weight, and is typically used with coated papers. Mask sure you confirm this clearly with printer before the work starts.
What is cover stock?
A term used by paper manufacturers for a heavy paper that is suitable for catalogs and other folders. Cover stock can come in "coated" which has a smooth surface, or "uncoated" in its original rough surface.
How about color separation process?
The process of color separation starts by separating the original artwork into red, green and blue components. Before digital imaging was developed, the traditional method of doing this was to photograph the image three times, using a filter for each color. However this is achieved, the desired result is three grayscale images, which represent the red, green, and blue (RGB) components of the original image.
The next step is to invert each of these separations. When a negative image of the red component is produced, the resulting image represents the cyan component of the image. Likewise, negatives are produced of the green and blue components to produce magenta and yellow separations, respectively. This is done because cyan, magenta and yellow are subtractive primaries which each represent two of the three additive primaries (RGB) after one additive primary has been subtracted from white light.
Cyan, magenta, and yellow are the three basic colors used for color reproduction. When these three colors are variously used in printing the result should be a reasonable reproduction of the original, but in practice this is not the case. Due to limitations in the inks, the darker colors are dirty and muddied. To resolve this, a black separation is also created, which improves the shadow and contrast of the image. Numerous techniques exist to derive this black separation from the original image; these include grey component replacement, under color removal, and under color addition. This printing technique is referred to as CMYK (the "K" being short for "key." In this case, the key color is black). Today digital printing methods do not have the restriction of a single color space that traditional CMYK processes do. Many presses can print from files that were ripped with images using either RGB or CMYK modes. The color reproduction abilities of a particular color space can vary, the process of obtaining accurate colors within a color model is called color matching.
What are the grades of paper and the basis weight of each?
The standard weight of a paper is defined by the weight of 500 standard-sized sheets in pounds. These are the different grades of paper and their respective basis weights.
Bond: Usually reserved for letterheads, business forms, and quick printing jobs. 16# for forms, 20# for copying, and 24# for stationary.
Text: A high-quality sheet with a lot of texture. Ranges in weight from 60# to 100#, but the most common weights are 70# or 80#
Uncoated Book: The most common sheet for offset printing. Usually a 50# to 70# stock.
Coated Book: A glossy sheet that yields vivid colors and excellent reproduction. Generally goes from 30# to 70# for web, 60# to 110# for sheet fed.
Cover: Used for book covers, postcards, and business cards. Coated or uncoated. Come in 60#, 65#, 80# or 100# weights.
Does weight of the paper stock effect durability and quality?
Yes, but only within the same type. For instance, let us assume you chose 70 # vs. 50# offset text stock for a newsletter. The 70# stock would be more durable over time and result in less show through of the printed image from one side of a sheet to the other. However, let us assume you choose 70# gloss text vs. 70# offset for your newsletter. The gloss stock would be more durable and result in greater ink holdout and glossier images than the uncoated offset stock.
What does the # in 70# or 80# paper mean?
It is the basis weight in pounds of a text stock type or the weight of a ream (500 sheets) of 25" x 38" sheets. For a cover stock type, it's a ream of 20" x 26" sheets. With that in mind you now know the reason that 100# cover is heavier and thicker than 100# text stock.
What is the difference between Cover Stock and Body Stock?
Cover stock is the outside page and is thicker than body stock. Body stock is the inside pages and is less thick than cover stock.
What is the difference between Offset and Coated (Matte or Gloss) Paper Stock?
Offset stock is uncoated paper which is most commonly used for 1-color pages in books, reports, letters and business forms. Offset stock is usually less expensive than coated stocks.
What is the difference between Matte and Gloss Paper Stock?
Matte stock is a coated paper that has a dull finish. It is often used to make pages easier to read that are text intensive or that contain numerical charts. Gloss stock is a coated paper with a shiny or highly reflective finish. It is most often used in 4-color printing to help full color photographs, images and graphics appear more vivid, real and appealing.
What's the difference between die-cut and butt-cut?
Die-cut labels have round corners and spacing between each label on the roll.
Butt-cut labels have square corners and no spacing between each label on the roll.
What is engraving?
One of the oldest and most elegant processes for printing. Engraving involves etching the text onto a copper plate. During the printing process, the plate is coated with ink and then compressed onto the paper, creating the printed text in a slightly raised impression. Engraved stationery is considered to be the epitome of good taste and sophistication. The process is relatively expensive but the finished product is first-rate.
What are the different types of bindings available in the market?
1. Perfect binding:
Gluing the outside edge of the signatures to create a flat edge.
2. Saddle-stitch binding:
Using one or more staples on the fold of the signature.
3. Side-stitch binding:
Stapling the signatures together on the side rather than the fold.
4. Case binding:
Signatures are sewn together and attached to the hard cover.
5. Plastic comb binding:
Plastic teeth are fitting into a stack of pages.
6. Three-ring binding:
Holes are punched into the pages and fitted into a binder.
What is the Pantone Matching System?
The Pantone Matching System, also known as the PMS color system, is a popular color matching system used by the printing industry to print specific colors. PMS match book are book of color where each PMS color has its own name or number that helps you make sure that your colors are the same each time you print, even if your monitor displays a different color or if you change printing services.
What does (2 over 1) or (2 over 2) or (2 over 0) mean?
2 over 1 refers to two color (Black and a PMS color or 2 PMS colors) on the front and one (Black or PMS color) on the back. 2 over 2 refers to two Color (Black and a PMS color or 2 PMS colors) on both the front and back. 2 over 0 means two color printing (Black and a PMS color or 2 PMS colors) on one side only.
What does (4 over 1) or (4 over 4) or (4 over 0) mean?
4 over 1 refers to full color on the front and black white on the back. 4 over 4 refers to full Color on both the front and back. 4 over 0 means full color printing on one side only.
What does PDF stand for?
PDF stands for Portable Document Format, a universal file format developed by Adobe that preserves all the fonts, formatting, graphics and color of any source document. It allows a file to read through the use of Acrobat Reader ( a free program available from Adobe) regardless of the hardware or software platform on which the file was created.
What are Bleeds, and why do I have to set them?
If the colored background of a layout extends to the edge of the sheet it is desirable to have the color extend or bleed over the intended trim marks or line. This produces a far more finished result on the edges of the page and deters the perimeter of the page from appearing ragged or uneven because of the substrate or paper showing.
Why cannot I use spot colors for full color jobs?
As with RGB, spot colors were not intended for the process (four color; CMYK) environment. These colors were developed by pigment designers who license a color to manufacturers to produce ink that has the exact hue match to a specified color. Chip charts are provided either digitally (in the color selection portion of layout applications) or physically (on material printed with that specific ink; Pantone chart or chip books) and the user makes their selection and assignment. Some spot colors do exist within the CMYK gamut, but many do not. These colors cannot be produced accurately using any combination of the process color model.
Why are the files I submitted incomplete or corrupted?
Occasionally, a user will quit an application or power down the system before the application completes the writing process. In addition, operating systems can experience errors that result in "unexpected end of file" or data that was not written to disk (or written incorrectly). If linked imports are not included in the submission of an order the file may only contain low-resolution images, which will reproduce poorly. If 1-bit or 4-bit vector imports are embedded in some applications they can convert into part of the background and display previously "hidden" qualities. These and many other problems can occur in the composition, saving and transmission process which make it impossible to use the data received to image a job.
How long will it take to upload my files?
It will vary depending upon your file size, the speed of your Internet connection. It usually takes from a few seconds to a few minutes using a fast connection. You will receive a Thank You page once the file is uploaded.
How should I take pictures with my digital camera?
If you are planning to use images taken by a digital camera on an offset printer, please keep in mind to shoot the pictures using the highest resolution possible. This may require; using larger storage space on your disk and longer downloading time, but the quality will be better. The resolution should be of at least 300 dpi.
If I am sending a Publisher file, should I compress it with Pack and Go, or should I just send the normal?
We prefer that you submit the native. pub file rather than compressing it. However, we recommend that you zip together all graphics or files associated with your job and submit them all together. If you are using a font that is not included with Publisher, please send it along with your Publisher file.
What is the difference between the RGB and CMYK color format?
RGB refers to the primary colors of light, Red, Green and Blue, that are used in monitors, television screens, digital cameras and scanners. CMYK refers to the primary colors of pigment: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These are the inks used on the press in "4-color process printing", normally referred to as "full color printing". The combination of RGB light creates white, while the combination of CMYK inks creates black. Therefore, it is physically impossible for the printing press to exactly reproduce colors as we see them on our monitors. For this reason, we request that you convert your colors from RGB to CMYK if your tools allow you to. By doing it yourself, you have maximum control over the results since you can do adjustments if a difference in color occurs during the conversion.
What other file formats can you take?
We accept most Mac or PC version formats, or any file output as a PDF. Some of the best formats are QuarkXpress, Photoshop, Illustrator, Pagemaker, InDesign, Distiller, CorelDraw, Fireworks, Freehand, and most MS files.
What do I do if my job requires a precise color match?
In this case, we recommend that you order a match print, which is a color proof that comes off an offset printer. We will send the match print to you via overnight delivery service, and once you approve it we will print your job, or make adjustments as per your instructions. This process is costly and adds more days in yout job's turnaround time.
Will you match a sample I print out on my own printer, or a previously printed sample?
We are trying to match the colors as much as possible. Please check the color values with a PMS book if you have any questions how a color is coming off an offset press. Due to calibration issues, your screen, or printer might display colors differently.
How well will my job match what I see on my monitor?
Although we are trying to match the colors as closely as possible, the colors of the final piece might differ from the colors you see on your screen or a printout from an inkjet or laser jet. Because of the wide differences in monitor calibration and the different technologies used, some printed colors may not exactly match the colors on your specific monitor. Please pay attention on the color values to assure close match.
How do I uploads or send my files?
- Attach the file to the order form while placing the order
- Upload files on the FTP - an order # is required
- Email your files to firstname.lastname@example.org
- You can mail them on a CD via courier or snail mail (view section for our address)
13. What is IP protection agreement with our customers?
(1). The agreement is for all orders in 2011 and future.
(2). All clauses can be removed, added or amended if the buyer and seller both agree with.
(3). Pre-press stage
a. The artworks in electronic and physical format (sample book, films etc) provided by the buyer should be protected well in the sell's plant.
b. The seller promises not to reveal the artworks out of plant and control in plant.
c. The seller promises to use the artworks properly and legally. It is forbidden for the seller to publish in any way including internet, digital book etc.
d. The seller promises to store the artworks for three years at least for re-order.
e. The seller should assist the buyer to correction for re-order or new order.
f. All artworks must be kept well in pre-press room. The seller promise to prevent the artworks from revealing out of pre-press room.
g. The seller only authorizes the salesman to take the artworks out of pre-press room only in the purpose of negotiating with the buyer. The salesman must use the artworks in sales office and on specific computer. Only transferring between the buyer and the salesman is allowed. The salesman must not publish the artworks in any formats through any channels.
(4). Press stage
a. The seller promises to store the sheets printed specifically, the sheets printed should be skidded separately and wrapped by poly, and good or bad ones must be marked and stored separately with clear marks.
b. The bad sheets printed must be protected and destroyed after binding the books.
c. The seller promises not to reveal the sheets printed out of press room.
(5). Binding stage
a. All good books bound must be skidded separately from other books, and remarked the numbers/title clearly for shipping.
b. All bad books during make-ready process must be kept separately and destroyed along with bad sheets printed.
c. The seller promises not to transfer and publish the good or bad books individually.
(6). Storage and shipping stage
a. The good books must be stored separately with other books before shipping.
b. The seller must report the qty after shipping the order, and the qty should be consistent with the one when the buyer get the books.
(7). Any revealing caused by force majeure can be considered.
(8). Rights permitted
a. The seller can keep at most two copies sample books and use in below special conditions.
b. The seller can share sample book in the purpose of technical discuss in the plant, the salesman takes the charge of keeping and recalling the sample.
c. The seller can show the sample book to other customers, but all other customers can not take the sample, and the photo making also must be not allowed.
d. The seller can display the sample only in show room, meeting room and sales office.
14. Where are you?