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What are your hours of operation?
7:30 AM – 8 PM M-F and 9 AM – 6 PM Sat. Closed Sundays
How can I contact you?
snail mail: 1500 South Broadway, Santa Maria, CA 93454
Where are you located?
On the corner of Broadway and Enos, across the street from Vons, next to JDX Pharmacy.
Can I find out how much it will cost before you print it?
Yes! Either call us or ask in your email for an estimate on your project.
I got an estimate, but the amount due is different. Why?
Estimates are just that estimates. They are based upon your provided information at the time of estimate. Final totals can change based upon a variety of factors, including such items as changes in job specifications, or additional services that were not included in the original estimate. We’ll be happy to compare your estimate to your final total in order to determine where differences may have occurred.
Do I need to pay you when I submit my file?
No. Most in-house projects are paid when the job is picked up. Jobs produced in conjunction with an outside vendor are paid at the time the proof is approved before production begins.
Do you take checks?
Preprinted checks drawn on local banks are accepted with proper information and legal ID, as required by the Santa Barbara County district attorney’s Bad Check Restitution service.
What kinds of credit cards do you accept?
We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover cards.
Can I bring in my boss’s check or credit card to pay for the job?
The banks and credit card companies are getting more strict in requiring the owner of the account to personally present and sign for checks and charges.
Can you design my project for me and how much would that cost?
Yes we can! We have two talented designers on staff. Charges are based upon the time required to create your project and can only be estimated after they have had the opportunity to review your project.
Can you design it while I wait or even just today?
Design projects are scheduled ‘first in-first out’. While every effort is made to accommodate ‘rush’ requests, please allow 3-5 working days for us to properly create your masterpiece.
What is copyright and why do you care if what I give you is copyrighted?
Copyright law protects the creator of a photo, logo, piece of art, or written work by ensuring that ONLY the creator can legally reproduce it.
It’s old so the copyright is expired, isn’t it?
Copyright is valid for as much as 75 years from the creation date and can be extended beyond that by renewal. Currently, this means that anything copyrighted before 1934 is POSSIBLY in the public domain, but is not necessarily so.
I don’t see or have cut off the copyright notice so you can use it now, right?
Works of art, most maps and professional photos are automatically assumed to be copyrighted. We reserve the right to make the final determination as to whether we can reproduce an item without further written permission from the Copyright holder.
Why can’t you use the professional photograph or artwork I downloaded from the web?
Just because an item is available for free download does not mean it can be legally reproduced. The best course of action is to contact the owner of the copyright for legal permission.
I paid for the photograph / print / prayer card (etc.) so why can’t you use it in my project?
Purchasing an item does not grant the rights to reproduce it. The best course of action is to contact the owner of the copyright for legal permission.
How do I get permission for you to use the copyrighted item I want in my project?
Contact the owner of the copyright for permission to use their work. We have forms available (download the form here) to assist you in properly documenting this permission.
How late can I submit files and still get them the next day?
That can be effected by a number of factors. The fact that you press “send” on the computer doesn’t mean the email is instantly in our mail inbox, especially if there is a file attached. If timing is critical, be sure to call and confirm that your email and/or file has arrived without problems. Most files which arrive in our email by 5 PM Mon-Thu can be printed for next day pick-up. If your project involves cutting, binding or other finishing after printing it will take longer than simply printing.
Do I have to email my files?
No, you may bring them in on portable media (CD, flash drive, external drive, DVD, etc.). Large files may now be sent directly through our website via our ‘send a file‘ page, or you can use our DropBox. If you use our drop box, please include your instructions and contact information in the fields provided. Please do not bring us the only copy of your file!
How can I send you a large file?
Our incoming email can accept large files (up to 25MB in size). However, your email may not be able to send a file larger than about 5MB. Large files may now be sent directly through our website via our ‘send a file‘ page, or you can use our DropBox. If you use our drop box, please include instructions and contact information in the fields provided. You may also bring your file in on portable media (CD, flash drive, external drive, DVD, etc.). Please do not bring us the only copy of your file!
What file formats do you accept?
We prefer Press-Optimized Adobe PDF files.
We can work with the following types of files:
Don’t see your format listed? Contact us, we might still be able to help.
What is does “low res” mean?
Photos and graphics which are ‘low resolution’ are referred to as ‘low-res’. If we print low-res graphics, they will look grainy or pixilated (like bunches of little blocks).
What resolution should my file be?
Photos should be at 300 dpi accounting for print size.
For large format prints that are not to be of fine art quality, 100DPI is adequate, at the print size.
Line art should be at 1200 DPI, again accounting for print size.
What is “vector” artwork?
Drawing programs such as Adobe Illustrator are ‘Vector’ programs. The term ‘vector’ refers to the mathematical equations that define shapes, in contrast to the term ‘pixel’ used in programs such as Adobe Photoshop, that define shapes as a series of dots. Vector artwork will always print crisp and clear regardless of size scaling.
If my project will be cut after printing do I need to do something special?
First, you’ll want to let us know what size the finished pieces will be. Second, you may either provide us with a single of your file (a “one-up”), or you can set up a page with many (“multi-up”). We usually run more than one item per sheet to save you money.
If my project will be bound after printing, do I need to do something special?
Let us know your document will be bound, and tell us what type of binding you will want. Your document should include an extra ½” margin on the binding edge; bear in mind that double sided prints will need to have this margin switch sides on the back side of the page.
If my project will be folded after printing do I need to do something special?
Let us know the folded size and type of folding required. See our templates page for common folding positions.
What is bleed and do I need it?
See our TIPS page on Document Preparation
What is postcard size?
Postcards can be 3 ½ x 5 up to 4 ¼ x6. Anything larger than this is considered a standard mailpiece by the postal service and requires payment of full postage regardless of whether it is in an envelope or just an oversized postcard.
What is a “transparency” issue?
Adobe Illustrator and other current programs allow designers the creative freedom of making items transparent or adding soft shadows to them. Sometimes these files have visual ‘glitches’ when the image is output. We call these ‘transparency issues’.
How do I fix transparency issues?
We can usually make recommendations after we see your file; however, most common fixes involve flattening the transparency inside of Adobe Illustrator.
Why are my drop shadows low resolution in Illustrator?
Your ‘raster effect resolution’ is set to the default of 72dpi. Change it to 300 (under effect>raster effect resolution) and the shadow will look better
What does “it’s too close to trim” mean?
Because of printing press and printer tolerances, we need 1/8” clearance from any text or critical graphics to the ‘trim line’. Anything closer may result in your text or graphics being cut off.
How do I create outlines in Illustrator?
Select the text in question with the arrow tool, and select Type > Create an outline.
Can I create outlines in Photoshop?
There is usually no need as photoshop contains both vector and pixel data. A photoshop PDF file will contain the vector data as well.
How do I convert artwork to CMYK?
In Adobe Photoshop select Image>Mode>CMYK Color.
In Adobe Illustrator select all and then Edit>Edit Colors>Convert to CMYK
Most graphics programs have similar commands. See your program’s help menu.
What is “rich black text?”
Rich Black consists of more than just black ink. It is common for a designer to create rich black backgrounds (commonly 100K, 20Y, 20M, 20C) to get the black to ‘pop’ in a layout. Unfortunately, text, especially small text, can look ‘blurry’ due to slight misregistration of the ink colors on the press or printer. Also, converting RGB files to CMYK can result in blacks that contain a mix of colors. We recommend verifying that all text is 100% black only. We can fix this issue for you, however, we do charge for this service.
What is a proof and do I need one?
See our TIPS page on Document Preparation.
What is a “hard copy proof”?
A hard copy proof is printed on paper.
What stock is a hard copy proof printed on?
Proofs are usually printed on a paper matching your final output.
Can you fax my proof to me?
In most cases yes, however, due to limitations of the fax process photos and color will not come through clearly.
Can you email a proof to me?
Yes, we can. This is called a ‘soft proof’. Bear in mind that colors on your screen may not match the final printed output.
If I make corrections to the proof and resubmit new artwork, how long will it take to get a new proof?
This will depend on our workload at the time as well as the types of corrections to be made. We make every effort to turn second proofs around within 24 hours or less.
What is the difference between types of paper?
We carry a variety of stocks from economy white bond to resume bond, to heavy cardstock and glossy stocks. Stop by to see our selection. Looking for something specific? Let us know and we’ll see if we have it or something similar.
What is NCR paper?
NCR paper is a brand name for the carbonless paper. This type of paper is commonly used for forms where handwritten information on the top page transfers through to one or more parts below, typically Canary, Pink, and/or Goldenrod.
Is your paper recycled?
Most of our papers have some percentage of recycled content.
Is your paper acid-free?
Many of our higher end papers are acid-free.
What is “archival” paper and do you carry it?
Archival paper is acid and lignin free. These papers do not noticeably deteriorate over time. We have a limited selection of Archival papers for specific purposes.
What does “C1S” or “C2S” mean?
This term refers to the coating on glossy stocks. C1S is coated on one side of the sheet; C2S is coated on both sides.
Can I bring in my own paper?
In many cases, yes, however you should bring it in the packaging it came in so that we can verify its suitability for use in our machines. Papers must be ‘laser compatible’ for our in-house systems.
Can I get a sample of the paper that my project will be printed on?
Yes, if it is a paper we keep in stock and you stop by the shop to ask for it. We do not mail samples of our papers.
What is “UV” and do I need to worry about it?
This term has two different contexts:
What kind and size of envelope do I need and do you carry them?
We carry a variety of envelope sizes and shapes. Please ask to see our current selection.
What is the difference between a flyer and a brochure?
Most flyers are flat. Most brochures are folded. These terms are often used interchangeably, however.
Can you cut items that I bring in?
We usually can, though we reserve the right to decline to cut a specific job upon inspecting it.
Is your cutting precise?
Our cutting equipment is calibrated with a tolerance of +/- 1/16”.
What is “stitching”?
This is a fancy term for ‘stapling’.
What is “saddle stitching”?
Stapling twice along the spine of a folded booklet. The term comes from the ‘saddle’-shaped piece the book rests on during the process.
What kind of bindings can you do?
We offer stapling/stitching, padding, comb binding (commonly called GBC binding), coil binding (sometimes referred to as spiral), and Velo binding.
What is the difference between comb, coil, and Velo-binding?
Comb Binding (aka GBC binding) – 19 rings with a rectangular hole, commonly used for cookbooks and hymnals. Easy to add or remove pages.
Coil Binding (aka Spiral Binding) – a continuous coil of plastic spun into the book, typically 44 holes on a standard book. Great if your book needs to lay flat or fold back upon itself.
Velo Binding – This is a tight binding that works well for large legal documents that need to be shelved well. Requires a special tool to de bind or re-bind.
What is padding?
Gluing the edge of a stack of paper for the easy removal of one sheet at a time. Think of a ‘scratch pad.’
What is lamination?
Sealing an item in plastic for durability.
How thick is your lamination?
How big an item can you laminate?
Up to 42”x virtually unlimited length.
Why shouldn’t I have my ticket laminated to preserve the memory of the event?
Many event tickets are thermally printed, in other words, the image is produced by heating special paper. Since lamination is a heat process, the entire ticket will turn black, thus ruining it rather than preserving it.
What is mounting?
Mounting is adhering a poster or other flat item to foam board or poster board. We can mount up to 40×60 on 3/16” foam core board.