BEST Imaging Solutions F.A.Q.’s
What type of Large Format printing services do you offer?
Trade show graphics, banners, posters, window displays, POP displays, building wraps, outdoor signage, vehicle graphics, fabric graphics, museum graphics, backlit displays, retail signage, vehicle wraps, custom wallpaper, backdrops, wall and floor graphics, sports and stadium branding, outdoor events, and much more.
What is a bleed?
Bleed is any Image Area that extends past the artworks crop marks. Bleed is necessary for ensuring no important data gets cut off, and so no white space is visible during post production, mounting, cutting, etc.
What I see on my computer is what I will see printed on paper, right?
No, not necessarily. Every monitor is different and the same file will look different on each. This is also true with Digital output. The file may look one way on your monitor but after the file is processed “ripped” (or rasterized) a slight change in color may occur.
Why can’t a digital press print a true match to a Pantone color?
Digital printing uses mainly CMKY toners and inks so if the document uses a Pantone and/or a metallic color, the RIP must translate those colors as close as possible using a CMYK blend. While the translation will come close to most Pantone colors, there are some (like fluorescent and pastel colors) that digital printing just cannot match.
What do I need to know about setting up my data file for variable data printing?
All variable text, barcode data, variable graphic names, anything that will be needed to create the variable data on the final printed piece needs to be supplied in a data base or mailing list spreadsheet. Use the first row of the data file to title the columns/fields. Every data base column represents a different variable field used in the layout. Each row under the header is a record and equates to all the data needed to complete a variable data printed piece. If your project pulls data from multiple data files/lists, sort and merge the data together into a single data file. Delete unused fields. Don’t put the entire address in one field nor separate the address completely out where the house number is in one field and the street name is in another. Provide your data in upper and lower case letters. Be consistent in data entry. Proof your data and review it for accuracy, omissions and duplications. Save out as an Excel file (.xls or .xlsx), comma separated file (.csv) or tab delimited text file (.txt).
I'm not sure if my artwork is correct, what should I do?
Don't worry! We're here to help. If you are unsure about anything or need advice, please contact us. We're always happy to help answer your questions and point you in the right direction. If you're not sure about your artwork, send us your files when you order and tell us of your concerns. We'll check them, let you know if there’re ok or let you know whets missing or inaccurate and how we can help.
How do I know if my images are good enough?
You can’t go wrong if you have supplied all the images at a quality of 300dpi and placed at 100%, depending on the final size of your project. If it’s smaller than A5 then 200dpi should be good enough. For outdoor and large format files 150dpi - 300dpi should be ok. Please call us if you have any questions.
Do I have to send you my fonts?
No. You can outline your fonts. However, if you have created your PDF correctly any fonts that you use will be embedded in the PDF.
Note; outlined fonts are no longer editable.
Why don’t the colors’ of my print match my screen?
Screen technology varies, so a color that looks perfect on your laptop will look different on your Smartphone, TV or Monitor. Your screen displays colors’ using light so you can achieve bright vibrant colors’ that can’t be replicated with ink on a page. As a result, we can’t guarantee a color match of your screen. However, as long as you have used a CMYK color space you can expect the highest quality output in our tightly controlled color calibrated environment.
What happens if my files have not been prepared properly?
If the files we receive do not meet our requirements (in terms of size, resolution, bleeds, etc.) you will receive a phone call or email detailing what is wrong and how we can help fix it.
Can you print images from the internet for me?
There are several issues with images taken directly from the internet. First, these images are mainly 72dpi – this is less than a third of the necessary print size and will therefore pixilation occurs when printing. There are also copyright issues, as most images from the internet are the property of the owner of the site – yes, this is policed and the fines are heavy. However, images sourced from an online stock photography library can be used in artwork files, as long as you have obtained the appropriate copyright approvals and they are purchased at the correct resolution. There are many reputable resources on the internet that can provide images for a reasonable cost.
What is the difference between vector and raster images?
Vector images are made up of a series of shapes and colours (vectors) and are manually created and edited using design software (commonly Adobe Illustrator) and can be enlarged to any size. Raster based images are commonly created by photography and cannot be enlarged much further than their original size without impacting negatively on their final resolution.
What is DPI, Resolution, and Print & Viewing Distance?
The short answer;
If you're designing something that is going to be held in someone's hand (like a brochure or flyer) then the correct DPI is 300dpi. If you need to you can probably get away with 250dpi. A poster needs a minimum resolution of about 100dpi if viewed at 6ft (2m). Printing a photo on your inkjet printer? Use 300dpi. Viewed at 30ft (10m) a billboard needs a minimum resolution of about 20dpi. Did you know that the average size of a billboard is 14 feet in height by 48 feet in length and that the resolutions of a billboard print ranges between 2 to 20 dots per inch (DPI)? Consider drawing a one-inch by one inch square on a piece of paper. Now draw two circles side by side in that one-inch square and fill them in so that they are solid black. What you are looking at is a resolution of 2 dots per inch. If you were to fill a piece of paper with however many one inch squares (including the filled circles) that will fit and place it on a wall, then stand back 20 feet. Suddenly the paper starts to turn darker and the further you move back the darker the paper becomes until it appears solid black. This is the same effect that you see on a billboard.
You can have a resolution that is too low, but you rarely have issues with an image where it's a little too high, lean towards a higher resolution where possible.
Please see the reference guide below or call us, we will be happy to answer any questions you have and help guild you through any issue you may be having with your files.
0.6m / 2ft. @300 dpi
1m / 3.3ft. @180 dpi
1.5m / 5ft. @120 dpi
2m / 6.5ft. @90 dpi
3m / 10ft. @60 dpi
5m / 16ft. @35 dpi
10m / 33ft. @18 dpi
15m / 50ft. @12 dpi
50m / 160ft. @4 dpi
60m / 200ft. @3 dpi
200m / 650ft. @1 dpi
How can I prevent banding on my prints?
Visible banding may be caused by gradients in the design of your graphic. The gradients you create with your design software tools may look perfectly smooth on screen, but can translate rather “Stepped” when printed. . Visible bands may appear when one tone transitions to another in solid areas of an image. Gradient-related banding depends on the amount of space in which the transition occurs with the colors that you are blending.
How does a permanent adhesive differ from a removable adhesive?
Permanent Adhesives form a long-lasting bond within hours or days. They are designed to stick to a surface without edge lifting and can’t be removed without damaging either the label or the substrate. Permanent adhesives are used to produce outdoor signs, yard signs, labels, safety signage, directional, and exit signs, these are just some of the applications.
Removable Adhesives form a lower-tack, temporary bond without edge lifting, and can be removed without damaging either the printed graphic (in some cases) or the surface. In some cases, you can re-use the mounting substrate after the graphic has been removed. Removable adhesives are used for window graphics, vehicle graphics, temporary signs, event graphics, and promotional displays. The removable adhesives on some lightweight inkjet-printable fabrics are super easy to reposition during installation and don’t leave any residue when the graphics are removed. These “repositionable” adhesives are ideal for wall decals and trade-show signs because the graphics can usually be taken down and re-hung at another location, depending on the film used..
Any questions on file prep or project management, please feel free to contact us at BEST, we will be happy to help you with all your layout and application questions.