FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I send my file to you for printing?
In most cases you can just attach the file or files to an email and send it to: email@example.com.
If the files are very large, you may want to upload them to our FTP site: ftp://precolour:firstname.lastname@example.org
The files you send us need to be prepared properly to minimize font, colour, resolution or sizing problems. For more information check out these links:
Sending files to your Service Bureau or Print Shop
Get gorgeous graphics
What is the difference between copying (e.g. Xerox) technology and offset printing?
Copying, or xerography, involves creating a magnetic image on a photo drum using a laser beam. The magnetic field then attracts staticly charged toner particles which are then deposited on to the page. Once the image is on the page, the toner is run past a fuser unit to melt it onto the page.
With offset printing, an image is photographically etched on to an aluminum, plastic or paper plate which is then mounted onto a drum. Water is then applied to the plate so that the liquid ink is repelled from the areas without an image and attracted to the areas with the etched image. The inked plate
is then pressed onto a roller which applies the ink to the paper. Since offset printing involves a fair amount of preparation work for each image, the main difference between the two technologies comes down to cost and volume. Copier or laser technology is cost effective for short runs of up to about 1,000 pages. Offset printing starts to become cost effective for quantities larger than that.
Can you scan a whole book and put it on a CD?
Our high speed scanner will process about 50 pages per minute and can save them as .PDF to a floppy or CD. The cost for this service is $0.01 less than the cost per page for black and white photocopying, but only if each page is separated (so if it's a bound book we would have to physically remove each page).
Is a colour laser print better than an inkjet?
There are substantial differences between the two technologies. A laser printer melts the toner (consisting of tiny pigment particles suspended in minuscule wax-like granules) directly on to the paper. This results in the wax partially soaking
in to the paper and the pigment sitting on top of the paper, held in place by the melted wax. This results in very good colour and resolution and works well on just about any type of paper stock.
Inkjet printers on the other hand use liquid ink or dye which is sprayed directly on to the paper. The ink soaks in to the paper so the type of paper will have a noticeable impact on the colour and the resolution (e.g. absorbent paper will bleed each dot making it larger and thereby blurring the image somewhat).
The main challenges with inkjet printers are the slower speed, higher ink cost, frequent clogging of ink and lack of water proofing (unless a special coating is applied afterwards).
I have some old business cards. Can you scan the logo etc. on the card and make new ones from that?
Yes, this can be done but any graphics or logos will likely lose some resolution or sharpness. For better results, we can re-create the logo from scratch or we can scan in a larger example if you have one (the larger the better).
Can you print photos from a CD or a camera memory card?
We can handle just about any type of camera memory card, CD, DVD or USB memory stick. In our shop, we can print colour photos on our laser printer at up to 600x600 DPI resolution, at sizes up to 11" X 17". If you need a larger image (up to 60" wide and almost any length), we
will print it on one of our large format, high resolution printers.
Can you make enlargements?
Any image, whether a document, photo, digital file etc., can be enlarged. Just keep in mind that the larger the image is made, the less sharp or detailed it will appear (unless it is in "vector" format), but it greatly depends on the resolution or quality of the original.
How should I prepare my car wrap artwork?
The best way is to supply a Photoshop file that contains pictures of each side of the vehicle with the graphics laid over it.
We recommend you take a snapshot of each side of the vehicle with a 3' yardstick somewhere in the picture, (say, laying on the ground). This ensures exact scaling to the size of the vehicle. Make certain that none of the pictures are from an angle or have a "fish-eye" effect of making the center of the image appear larger. This also prevents any uncertainty regarding the variations among certain models and years.
Then draw your graphics on a separate layer in Photoshop. As for DPI, if the image is 1:1, then 60 to 90 DPI is usually sufficient, but sometimes our customers prefer to supply up to 180 DPI. This will yield better print quality, but is usually unnecessary unless the vehicle is to be parked at a trade show or other event under close scrutiny.
We will try to cut the image in panels that correspond to the vehicle's door seams if you can supply a PSD file that contains digital pictures, as described above. RGB is preferred.
Will the graphics I order from you match the exact color shown on my screen?
Color matching is done to the best of our ability. Due to the infinite configuration possibilities of end-user hardware and software, it is impossible to perfectly match the digital proof that is provided.
All proofs are understood to be close representations of the printed product, and will inevitably have a certain degree of deviance from a monitor's display.
If you require an exact match, a physical printed proof can be delivered to you for $35 + shipping.