Archive for the ‘Printing’ Category

Top 15 Common PDF Errors

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

 

In a recent survey about PDF files in the graphic arts industry, 1100 respondents said the top 15 issues they ran into when working with PDF’s from clients were:

  1. Low Image Resolution
    Low image resolution leads to a loss of sharpness. When the resolution is low images are ‘pixelated’ showing a sawtooth effect. The standard resolution for print is 300 DPI and resolution for images on the internet is 72 DPI. Images downloaded from the internet and added to art for print will print with low resolution and should be avoided.
  2. Use of incorrect or unwanted color spaces
    When sending a file to print, your printer will request CMYK files as any PDF file containing RGB will be incorrect and unusable for print. RGB is the color profile for screens and monitors, not paper.
  3. Bleed is missing
    Unless bleed is added to the document a thin white line may appear along the trimmed edge of your finished piece, bleed is used to bring your documents art edge to edge.
  4. Fonts are not embedded in the PDF
    This can lead to the text being printed with a wrong typeface. When fonts aren’t embedded, the text will change to a default font which can cause the spacing and font size issues.
  5. There are problems with transparency
    Design applications split up a page into small square areas, called atomic zones. The effect of transparency is then calculated for each separate atomic zone. The stitch between atomic zones can sometimes show up on-screen (and even in output) as thin white lines. A file can also contain transparent objects with different color spaces. For instance, adding a drop shadow to a spot color element that sits on top of a CMYK background (or vice versa) is an example of a design that challenges workflow and creates a problem with transparency.
  6. The PDF file contains an incorrect number of spot colors
    Printers who ask for pure CMYK files sometimes get PDF files with spot colors in them. When spot colors are expected, the same color might appear multiple times in a document but each time with a different name.
  7. There is an issue with overprint
    The inappropriate use of overprint is an issue by itself. Issues with overprint can cause page elements to disappear or change color. Small text can become difficult or impossible to read. Overprint is when one color object overlaps another on the printed piece, this is normally used for special effects within the design.
  8. Total ink coverage is too high
    This can cause issues on press because the ink can’t dry properly. This can lead to set-off where the ink of a still wet area rubs off on whatever is stacked on top of it. Too much ink can also lead to muddy browns in neutral areas.
  9. Incorrect ICC (In Color Management) profiles are used
    The use of incorrect profiles can lead to printing the incorrect colors of the finished piece.
  10. The dimensions of the PDF do not match the requested size
    When sending in PDF files to print they should be to size. For instance, if you are printing a 4”x 5” postcard the PDF file should reflect that size plus bleeds. Print ready artwork should always be the size you want to print to avoid errors when printing.
  11. There are issues with flattened transparency
    Flattening can cause thin white lines to appear, shifts in color or make text appear fat. Flattening can also cause white rectangles to appear in graphic elements such as artwork or images. Flattening divides transparent artwork into vector-based areas and rasterized areas.
  12. Colors are not reproduced correctly
    Most pure blue colors are out of gamut for CMYK printers. In other words, the color cannot be accurately reproduced. The same is true for many RGB colors such a pure bright green. It is a good rule of thumb to check these prior to attempting to print or create a PDF for workflow that requires CMYK printing, to view use the Proof Colors function. You’ll see a rendition of what content will look like in the CMYK color space. This doesn’t mean you export RGB as CMYK, but rather this is what will render when printed.
  13. The output intent is missing or wrong
    An example of this is the use of US-specific output intent such as SWOP (Specifications for Web Offset Publications) for files printed in Europe. This can lead to incorrect color separations when printing.
  14. The conversion of spot colors to CMYK differs from the expected result
    When converting any color to CMYK the colors will be slightly off. Especially spot colors which are pre-mixed PMS colors and require the use of one of the press units to be printed in combination with CMYK printing. It is highly advised to avoid converting these colors for printing.
  15. Technical elements are not defined properly
    A document may need to contain data for die cutting, embossing, spot varnishing or other finishing services. A die line should be defined as a spot color and named ‘dieline’ as well as being set to overprint. If a die line is not in the file and is required, it will need to be add in prepress or a new PDF file must be supplied.

Understanding and knowing about these 15 common errors should make outputting files for print more manageable. For more information on Print ready PDF files contact info@premieruplink.com and we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Creative Printing: Ferrari

Friday, October 12th, 2018

To celebrate Ferraris creation in 1947, Ferrari has come out with a retrospective book that is just as exclusive as its cars. The print run for this epic book is limited to 1,947 copies and they cost upwards to $30,000. Of the 1,947, 250 of them are a limited edition that come with a bookstand that replicates the shapes of their 12 cylinder engine. The remaining 1,697 Collector’s edition copies, going for $6,000 each, will be offered with just the aluminum case instead.

The hefty coffee-table book is 514 pages and the size is 12.7in by 17 inches. The book also features a hand-stitched minimalistic cover design with the Ferrari horse in silver on top of the racing red background. All copies are signed by Piero Ferrari, the company’s vice chairman and the only living son of Ferraris founder Enzo Ferrari. The 250 limited edition copies carry the signatures of John Elkann, Ferrari’s current chairman, and the late Sergio Marchionne.

The book was edited by Pino Allievi, a Ferrari historian who worked with Enzo Ferrari on the 1998 book “Ferrari Racconta,”. This book has hundreds of unseen Ferrari photographs, drawings and sketches from the archives and private collections from around the world, as well as original documents of famed Ferrari drivers. This book is a great example of Ferrari’s product branding and homage to excellence. Ferrari did an exquisite job from product design, packaging and presentation. Without a doubt this book embodies Ferrari in every single luxurious detail even down to the price tag. Ferrari’s attention to detail and craftsmanship really shine in this collectible piece that looks as if it is ready to hit the race track.

The upcoming book, titled simply “Ferrari,” will be published in October of this year.

Below are some images from the book:

Why Work With A HIPAA Compliant Printer?

Friday, August 31st, 2018

What is HIPAA?

HIPAA is the acronym used for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act instituted in 1996. The act requires organizations that work with sensitive health-related information to adhere to national standards for code sets, unique identifiers, and data security. This act is in place to protect sensitive information (as related to health and identity) belonging to individuals.

How does HIPAA fit with printing? Statements, bills, id cards, welcome kits,EOB’s and medical documents are all printed and mailed. Many medical organizations have thousands of patients and require a printing facilty to print and mail  information sensitive documents. Being a HIPAA compliant printer means there are regulated processes to handle sensitive client information.

How can a Printer be HIPAA compliant?

Certification

Third-party certification is not recognized or mandated by the US government, but it is a way for businesses to make sure they are compliant with HIPAA procedures. Third party company’s assess current data security and help make corrections to make the organization HIPAA compliant. It is a great way for non-medical industry organizations to show that they understand HIPAA regulations.

Employee Training

For handling documents with sensitive medical information, employee education is essential and most important. HIPAA training and testing guarantee that staff know and understand the correct ways to handle sensitive information.

Secure Facilities

The facility must also be secure for printing, assembly, and the mailing of sensitive medical information. The printing facility must also put an emphasis on keeping passwords, network access, and electronic files safe and secure.

Premier is HIPPA compliant and understands the importance of data compliance. No one wants to take risks with sensitive client information. You need to know and trust that your printer is able to securely print, assemble, and mail your client’s information. By working with Premier, a HIPAA compliant printer, you know that we understand what it takes to handle your sensitive data correctly and safely.

Did you know that Premier will send out over 30 million medical ID cards this year? For more information about our HIPAA compliant facility contact info@premieruplink.com

Creative Fundraising

Friday, August 17th, 2018

 

Is your nonprofit organization, school, or club seeking new ways to raise funds for your cause? Here are 8 tried-and-true methods of fundraising you can try this year.

  1. Direct-mail

Direct mail remains the most effective fundraising tool, especially if you can craft a piece that resonates with your audience. Make your direct-mail fundraising letters more interesting by adding personal touches like variable data or add an augmented reality element. One of our favorite direct mail piece is the wafer sealed “round-tripper”. This piece has a reply envelope built right into the design of the piece. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrHEVW1lxW4&t=11s

  1. Tote Bag drop-offs

Try a door-to-door branded promotional bag along with a laminated door hanger explaining your cause with an accompanying branded envelope for additional donations. Branded items are great for building brand awareness and strengthening business interest.

  1. 5K Run/Walk

Organize a 5K. 5k’s are more popular than ever and even have different themes. You can market your event with posters, banners, newsletters, and lawn signs. You can even use promotional items like water bottles, keychains, and lanyards with laminated id cards to build your awareness with participants.

  1. Discount cards

Sell laminated cards featuring discounts from supportive local businesses, making the cards more valuable than the amount paid for them. Restaurants, retailers, and service providers will often agree to offer discounts to your organization members and donors – especially if your cause supports the local community.

  1. Raffle items

Big ticket raffles can easily boost your fundraising efforts. Come up with a unique item to raffle off: a special edition motorcycle, a luxury sports car, or a trip to Europe, for example. Sell raffle tickets through your organization members, online, and via direct mail.

  1. Auction

Host an auction to raise funds for your organization, and make it unique by applying a theme: home improvement, outdoor living, sports, etc. You can also brand laminated bid signs and design an auction item booklet for the event, posters and direct mail postcards for the event.

  1. Calendars

Print and sell calendars featuring themes relevant to your target audience. Both desk calendars and wall calendars make excellent fundraising candidates and will showcase our brand year-round.

  1. Tournament

Golf tournaments, cornhole tournaments, beer pong tournaments, basketball tournaments – they can all be great fundraisers for your organization. By designing labels, postcards, flyers, lawn signs, or brochures and adding a few branded promotional items you’re sure to make your event a success.

No matter how you raise funds for your organization, you’ll need to market your fundraisers to get the word out and boost participation numbers and creative ideas are sure to be your best bet!

For more information on how Premier can help you with your next fundraiser contact us at info@premieruplink.com

Before There was Pantone

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

Ever wonder what books or guides were used to show color before Pantone was the “go to” for print and design? Below are two very extensive guides for their time. One is a one of a kind while the other was a published reference book in the early 1900’s and both these books predate Pantone by about 270 years.

A.Boogert’s Traité des couleurs servant à la peinture à l’eau (Color Treatments for Water Painting)

271 years before Pantone came out with the first color swatch book, in 1692, A. Boogert, a Dutch artist created the first ever handwritten color swatch index book. It is a comprehensive 800 page mixing guide to using watercolor. Each page is packed full of watercolor swatches and mix instructions for 1 part, 2 parts and 3 parts water. Each page full of swatches shows a range of tones and saturation. In the beginning of the guide Boogert explains the use of color in painting and then how to create certain hues and how to change tones. The book itself is the most comprehensive guide of its time, it was also intended to be an educational guide, but it was the only one of its kind and very likely was seen by very few eyes.

Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours

This next book was first published in 1814 (149 years before Pantone’s first color book) in the pre-photographic age and was the preeminent guide to color and its classification for artists, scientists, naturalists and anthropologists in the 19th century. This book provided incredible detail about each color and where to find it in nature. The guide was first devised by German mineralogist Abraham Gottlob Werner in the late 18th-century. Soon after Scottish painter, Patrick Syme updated Werner’s guide, matching color swatches and his own list of examples to expand upon it. This book is now republished by Smithsonian Books as a pocket-sized guide providing a historic look into the connection between colors and nature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, now we all use Pantone, it is the standard for matching color. Be the first 5 to Call or email us today info@premieruplink.com for a Pantone book to use in the design of your next project.

Sometimes Direct Mail Is Just Better

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

Direct mailing is a growing medium. Even though digital channels have proved to be successful, traditional channels of direct marketing are showing a higher return on investment. Studies show that 64% of millennials would rather receive direct mail than email advertisements. Additionally, studies show that the average open rate of marketed emails is below 20%.

Out of all the age demographics, millennials have the highest response rate when it comes to direct mail marketing. Those who receive direct mail open them at the same high rate of all other demographics. Studies performed by the USPS found that “Millennials are far more likely than non-Millennials to read and engage with direct mail.” The reasons why direct mail is still as effective today include the print and image quality and checking the mail is considered a leisurely activity. Furthermore many prefer direct mail over email, I know I do.

You have to remember that mailboxes are tangible objects that people have to check. Your targeted direct mailing piece will be seen, but are the pieces eye-catching enough to engage the reader? Mailing pieces should be variable printed and targeted to each consumer. This will also make the mailing piece more personal for the recipient receiving them.

When designing for direct mail try a folded piece to grow your brand. It has been statistically proven to achieve response rates of 4.4% compared to the .12% response rate of direct digital advertisements. When designing your piece try using a fold to engage your audience. A trifold works well for direct mailing. The folds invite the reader in while providing a simple design element. Another fold to consider is a gatefold which provides the reader with a visual impact while being easy to follow.

 

Or you can go with a more dynamic and really eye-catching fold like this origami fold that gets inserted into an envelope (See video link). This intricate fold folds flat into a postcard size of 4”x7” and the flat dimensions are 7”x12”. The folds of this piece make the artwork engaging as it follows the folding scores from top to bottom. The art can be designed in two ways: to show a cohesive image when folded and a different design using the cohesive image in the design of the flat piece. It’s a well-crafted fold that can be found on the Foldfactory youtube channel under fold #438 or click the video below.

For more information on how to make your next direct mailing piece more eye-catching contact info@premieruplink.com

 

Typography: The Best & Worst Fonts For Printing

Friday, June 8th, 2018

 

 

 

Design for print doesn’t have to be a challenge. When designing your piece the design and the content are usually the first thing we consider. Then we typically look at color palettes and images. Once the design elements are in place the last part of the design (often overlooked) is the type of font to use. When it comes to creating printed marketing materials, the type of font that we use is often one of the last things on our mind but it can be the most important piece of the design puzzle. The typeface for your piece should fit with the overall piece you are designing while reflecting the brand. The primary goal is to ensure that the text is smooth, flowing, and pleasant to read. Good typefaces are legible and have good readability. Legibility refers to clarity; it’s how readily one letter can be distinguished from all others. Readability refers to how letters interact to compose words, sentences, and paragraphs. If your customers can’t easily read the leaflet, flyer, brochure, poster or printed piece your message is instantly lost. To help give you an idea of fonts that work well in print, here is a list of three of the best and worst fonts for printing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more contact us @ info@premieruplink.com

S”Elect” Premier

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Once again the election season is upon us. We are getting ready to print and mail 10’s of thousands of letters and postcards for this year’s political races and we are helping candidates grab the attention of voters with their direct mailings.

Spreading awareness is of the utmost importance during your campaign cycle. By using direct mail you not only spread awareness but you educate your audience as well.

Below are some of the most popular and cost-effective sizes of political mailers that can help you spread your campaign messages.

The 8.5x 11 Postcard

This is the political standard. It is a great size that is clear and easy to read, and it stands out in the mailbox because of its size.

The 11×17.75 2 Fold to 11 x 6

This size is great if you are featuring a lot of detail on the inside and works well for both political and advocacy political mailers.

The 6 x 11 Postcard

This postcard is also a must. Like the 8.5 x 11 size this postcard also stands out in mailboxes because of its size and is also clear and easy to read and it’s less expensive to mail.

There are many other formats we use, but these are our top picks. We are always looking for new ways to help you stand out.

Let your imagination be your guide and s“Elect” Premier as your one-stop solution for all your campaigning needs this year.  Email us at info@premieruplink.com for more information.

DMA (Data & Marketing Association) Reports Direct Mail has Highest Response Rates

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

You guessed it: Direct Mail wins again. The power of print has outshined digital marketing by a landslide. According to statistics, recipients of direct mail find it captivating. By using new print technology and real-time data marketers can create highly effective eye-catching mailing pieces. Don’t believe me? Below are some tips and stats which I’ll let do the talking:

Stats:

 

 

 

Direct mail household response rates are 5.1% (compared to 0.6% email, 0.6% paid search, 0.2% online display, 0.4% social media). This is the highest response rate the DMA has ever reported, since coming out with the Response Rate Report in 2003.

Direct mail median household return on investment is 29% (compared to 124% email, 23% paid search, 16% online display, 30% social media).

At 6.6%, oversized envelopes have the greatest household response rates over other mediums (followed by postcards at 5.7% and letter-sized envelopes at 4.3%).

At 37%, oversized envelopes have the greatest household return on investment over other mediums (followed by postcards and letter-sized envelopes at 29%).

The response rate for direct mail among people aged 18-21 years old is 12.4%.

The top response rate tracking methods are online tracking such as PURLs (61%), call center or telephone (53%), and code or coupon (42%).

For every $167 spent on direct mail in the US, marketers sell $2095 in goods.

Tips for your next Direct Mailing Piece: Personalization

  1. Strong Creative Content and Offer/Ask to demand a Call-to-Action
  2. Cross-Channel Marketing and Tracking
  3. Add in Digital aspects: VR virtual reality, AR augmented reality, QR codes

Temple University’s Fox School of Business says the reason people respond differently to physical pieces of mail rather than digital is that it triggers activity in the part of the brain that corresponds with value and desirability, and because of this it results in people spending more time with the piece and having a stronger emotional response.

The Bottom Line – Direct mail has the greatest impact because it offers a tangible experience for the recipient and oversized pieces stand out the most.

Sources

1.) DMA Response Rate Report https://thedma.org/

2.) Print Is Big http://www.printisbig.com/

For more information on how Premier can help you with your Direct Mailing needs email us at info@premieruplink.com

What is Variable Data Printing (VDP)?

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

  • Recent Posts

  • Like Us On Facebook

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Follow Our Blog

    Receive new post notifications via email.
  •  
    error: Content is protected !!