LET US HELP.

Use this handy guide as a cheat sheet for your next graphics project. We print with state of the art large and grand format digital printers. We regularly maintain, test the output, and calibrate our printers to achieve consistent quality output.  To ensure printability and color reproduction accuracy, it is important this information be followed as each print file is being produced. 




FILE DETAILS

What kind of file formats do you accept?

  • PDF (PDF/x-4:2008)*preferred
  • AI 
  • EPS
  • TIFF

  • PSB  
  • PSD  
  • JPG
  • PNG

Depending on the software, some helpful settings for saving to PDF include: 

  • Preserve Editing Capabilities
  • COMPRESSION - "Do Not Downsample" and the Compression to none. Although it may create a larger file, it may help eliminate resolution issues of raster images
  • Uncheck "All Printer’s Marks" and "Bleed" settings
  • For a more accurate color representation, there should be "No Conversion" for the "Color Conversion" and the "Profile Inclusion Policy" should be set to "Include All RGB and Tagged Source CMYK Profiles."

Some software and older programs may not provide all of the above options. 

What resolution do my graphics need to be set to? 

We prefer a minimum print file resolution of 100 dpi and recommend a maximum resolution of 300 dpi. A printed resolution of 72 dpi can be visually acceptable if the viewing distance of the printed graphic is more than 20 feet.

 Average Resolution and Viewing Distance: 

  • Five feet or less = 150-200 dpi 
  • Five feet to 20 feet = 100-150 dpi
  • Distances more than 20 feet = 50-72 dpi 
Please supply your files with the proper resolution for the intended viewing distance.

(DPI) Raster Images: Minimum recommended resolution of Raster images is 72 dpi at final output size. 





How to handle oversize or large-format graphics 

File Scaling Files should be set up at actual size and all text in files must be "converted to outlines" or converted to curves (paths) and all linked images should be embedded. 

For extremely large files, scale the file to 75%, 50%, 25%, or 10% reduction while maintaining the correct proportions. 






Color Reproduction & Matching 

All printers and ink combinations have a finite number of individual colors they can reproduce. This is known as the color gamut. Digital printing can produce more colors (a larger gamut) than most analog printing processes (like offset printing). 

There is still a limit as not all colors designed into a file will be able to be reproduced. If the color specified in a vector file is a Pantone Matching System (PMS) spot color our RIP software color management system will interpret the color based upon the profile(s) and reproduce the color as close as possible. If the file does not specify the colors as spot colors, but instead as CMYK values then the files are printed "as is" and the printed colors are more likely to shift from expected results.

When there is a color in the file considered critical that must be reproduced to a specific standard, our printing technicians can attempt to achieve the color if a spot color is specified in your file or a color swatch is provided. This may result in a $75.00 color matching fee.  

Slight color variations should be considered acceptable and will be defined by a delta E reading of plus or minus three to five. Because printers and conditions change over time, new printers replace old ones, and prints fade, if the same file is ordered again in the future, it is likely the print will not match exactly. There should be no expectation that a file will have no discernible visual difference when purchased multiple times over the space of months or years.

In the event a printed sample is desired, an order may be placed at the standard square foot price.


RGB vs CMYK vs PMS? 

Input Profiles Files may be supplied in either RGB or CMYK and should have an input ICC profile embedded to ensure accurate color management. 

If an ICC input profile is not assigned sRGB or Coated GRACol 2006 will be assigned by Gregory, Inc. 

Color Matching - We can do that! 

When a color in the file is considered critical and must be reproduced to a specific standard, our printing technicians can attempt to achieve the color specified and should be named as a custom spot color in your file. You may experience additional charges to achieve the color as close as the gamut of the ink and printer allow. 

Contact Us for more information! 



Color Variations 

We regularly test the output of our printers and calibrate our printers to achieve a consistent quality output. However, this does not mean that a print will look exactly like it looks on your computer screen or that all colors will faithfully reproduce. 

Most computer monitors are designed to make pictures look as vivid and pretty as they possibly can. Manufacturers accomplish this by turning up the contrast and saturation to lead you to believe their monitor is better.  This result in highly saturated and contrasted images with bright colors that cannot be produced on most printers.  




What about my fonts? 

Outlining fonts in your files will ensure that the font’s appearance is preserved when your files are sent to print. The font is converted to an object so that, if corrections are needed for print production purposes, our preflight team will not need to own the font in order to make the needed adjustment. 

Here's a hint; after you outline your fonts, they can no longer be edited. It is a good idea to save the print file as a copy with the outlined fonts, and keep your working file with editable text. 





MATERIAL GUIDELINES

Vinyl Material Specifications & Maximum Dimensions

When the size of the graphic you need produced exceeds the size of the material to print on, the image will be broken into pieces in order to be produced.  


If the item is an adhesive vinyl or a rigid graphic, individual pieces will be sent. During the application or installation process the individual pieces will go back together and the image will line up. We will break images into pieces that achieve the most efficient use of materials.

  • Graphic Vinyls: You will need to prepare for a seam if both dimensions are larger than 48", please note that your graphic will be paneled with a ¼" overlap on each panel *see exceptions below 
    • Black or White (max dimension 60")
    • Reflective (max dimension 48")
    • Oracal Brands (max dimension 54")
  • Banners: 122" is the maximum dimension.   We seam our banners with a 1” overlap of the two panels and will weld them back together to deliver to you a one-piece banner.

  • Floor Graphics & Windows: These graphics are usually installed without an overlap, so the panels will come so that you can install them butted together. 
  • Computer Cut Vinyls: Maximum dimension for cutting is 47”. 

Paneling

Images will be paneled for the best use of material, however, custom panels can be accommodated for an additional charge. 





Finishing Tolerance for Print

There is always a slight variation that occurs when print projects are cut to size. 

Gregory recommends using a tolerance of 1/8" per foot of the image, meaning our trim line can vary up to 1/8". 

We can achieve an exact print size by computer cutting your graphic.  

When applicable, the file you supply should be full size and in proportion.

If additional material is required beyond the finished visual graphic, it should be incorporated into the file size. Gregory, Inc. is not liable for not receiving enough margin material if it is not incorporated into your file. 

For example, you order a flex face with a visual opening of 10 feet by 10 feet, you want an additional 2 inches of the graphic to bleed all around past the visual opening, AND you want an additional 6 inches all around for attachment to a frame, your file should be set up at 11 feet 4 inches square. 

*The square foot cost for the graphic will be based upon the total graphic surface area including margins and bleeds.





Cut to Shape (Contour Cut)

A file being cut to shape (contour cut) must include a cut contour line set up on a separate layer and a custom spot color layer. Both layers are to be named "CutContour". 

A printed bleed of .25" beyond the cut contour line is recommended to ensure white is not visible and all cut elements must have a minimum stroke thickness of .1" 

Text elements must be a minimum of .75" in height.





Cut to Shape (Thru-Cut)

When specified, a graphic can be cut to shape and size to not include void in the backing, also known as Thru-cut. Much like a Contour Cut, this requires setting a cutline on a separate layer and customer spot color layer. Both layers are to be named "Thru-cut."

It is also possible to set up and have both a "CutContour" and "Thru-cut" completed graphic.





Computer Cut Logos (CCL)

Computer Cut Logos are cut from a variety of colors of vinyl that are not laminated. When setting up a CCL, the text or graphic must be at least .25" and have a minimum stroke thickness of .06". 

The exception to this rule is reflective material due to the thickness of the material and should follow the same guidelines as above. 





Prepress Technicians

When we receive your file, we will review it and inform you if there are any problems that need to be fixed. You may choose to make the changes and resubmit a new file or you can have our expert Prepress Technicians make the adjustments for a charge based upon the time required to perform the repairs. 

  • Size matches up with order
  • Resolution
  • Spot Colors
  • Crop Marks
  • Cursory spelling check Our prepress team is good at catching familiar spelling errors. Their vs. There. Its vs. It’s. Sound familiar? What we can’t catch are problems with names or places.

Prepress rate: $90.00/hour (15 minute increments)





Other Printing Terms and Information

Transparencies, Gaussian Blurs, and Overprints can cause adverse color effects and may not produce correctly. These should be avoided. 

A raster image will not allow our software to match specified PMS spot colors. 

Please remove all unnecessary elements from your document and save each design as a separate file. 

A computer monitor is not an accurate guide of the final color. For accurate color representation, use a vector file with PANTONE (PMS) spot colors assigned. 





PRINTING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Turnaround time

Our standard turnaround production time is next day from the time of proof approval*. If you choose to not have a proof sent to you for review, your order will go immediately into production with no proofing by our technicians. Rush services are available depending on our production schedule. 

You will need to contact a customer service representative for more information on the costs involved with rush requests.

*If the proof is approved or order is submitted without a proof request by 12 noon CST



How do I proof my Artwork

Our standard is to send a PDF proof for approval via email. You can decline the receipt of the PDF proof at the time you place your order. The purpose of the PDF proof is to show what the design looks like. 

Please keep in mind this is only a low resolution image of the artwork that you submitted and it is not a proof to approve color. You must approve the proof before your order is put into production, unless you have declined receiving a proof.

A 24"x 24" printed sample or press proof can be provided for a fee if you need to see an actual representation of what will be printed. Please contact one of our Customer Service Representatives to arrange for a 24"x 24" printed sample / press proof to be produced. 

Printed Sample / Press proof costs:

  • $75.00
  • $175.00 if flexface






Errors in Files

Gregory, Inc. is not responsible for typos, incorrect information, or colors in a supplied file. In the event there are errors, a new file may be submitted or when possible, adjustments may be made by our expert Prepress Technicians for an additional charge.






What happens if there is a problem with the file I submit? 

For proofing purposes, you must doublecheck graphic details, however, if we have a problem opening or seeing your file we will contact you. 

Depending on the issue found, you may choose to correct the problem and resubmit your file or we can correct the file for a fee. 

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