Syntrak FAQ Field Guide
Product Order FAQs
Q. How long will it take for you to complete my order?
- Every job is different. Some jobs can be produced the same day while some may take several days to complete. Let us know when you need your job completed and we'll do our level best to accommodate your schedule.
Q: What is an average turnaround time for a print or photocopy project?
A: Printers do their level best to complete projects as quickly as possible while adhering to quality control standards. However, turnaround time is governed by a number of factors: the size of the project, scheduling and the availability of the required stock. Nonetheless, an estimated turnaround time can normally be provided to the client at the time of order placement.
Minimum Order Sizes
What’s the smallest number of business cards that I can order?
jTypically, answer is one..and, if a client only wants one, we will print only one. However, since the artwork to print the cards is set up with 8 to 10 on a single sheet, the smallest number actually printed would be 8 or 10.
Q. How do I go about getting an estimate from you?
- Simply use our online estimate request form. Otherwise, the best way to ensure that we get all the information necessary to do an accurate quote is to give us a call or contact us by email.
Artwork Design File FAQ
Q. What is the best file format for submitting a document for printing?
- The Portable Document Format (PDF) is generally the preferred file format for submitting a document for printing as it works with virtually all professional printing and digital output devices. By design, a PDF file incorporates the information needed to maintain document consistency from system to system. Most other file are easily converted to PDF format.
Q. What is a proof and why is it needed?
A proof is a one-off copy of your printed document used for visual inspection to ensure that the layout and colors of your document are exactly how they are intended to be. A proof is made prior to sending the document to the press for final printing.
Typically, we will produce a proof that will be sent to you online in PDF format or on printed paper, which can be either viewed in our store or delivered to you in person. For multiple-color jobs, we can produce a proof on our output device to show you how the different colors will appear on the final product.
Your approval on the final proof is the best assurance you have that every aspect of our work and your own is correct, and that everything reads and appears the way you intended. Mistakes can and sometimes do happen. It benefits everyone if errors are caught in the proofing process rather than after the job is completed and delivered.
Why is proof important?
A proof is a pre-print file provided to the client for inspection. Proof approval by the client means that the client is satisfied with all aspects of the artwork and the project is approved for production.
Printing Jaron Questions
Q: What is a ‘bleed’?
The term ‘bleed’ refers to an artwork file where colour or design elements extend to the very edge of the artwork. This frequently requires production on oversized stock so that the bindery operator can have the space required to cut back to the desired size.
Q. What does “camera ready” mean?
- In the digital age of printing, it means that an image file submitted for printing is ready to be printed without any alterations.
What are “crop marks”?
Crop marks are placed in an artwork file to indicate the edges of that artwork so that the bindery operator can cut the printed item to the desired size. This is especially important when the artwork contains a ‘bleed’. (see 6 below)
What does image resolution mean?
Image resolution typically refers to how many pixels are displayed per inch of an image. Higher resolutions mean that there ae more pixels per inch, resulting in more pixel information and creating a high-quality, crisp image. Images with lower resolutions have fewer pixels, and if those few pixels are too large (usually when an image is stretched), they can become visible, resulting in a ‘fuzzy’ print out.
Paper Stock Questions
Q. What are the different grades of paper?
- The basis weight of a given grade of paper is defined as the weight (in pounds) of 500 standard-sized sheets of that paper. With that in mind, here are different examples of paper grades and their respective basis weights:
Bond: Most commonly used for letterhead, business forms and copying. Typical basis weights are16# for forms, 20# for copying and 24# for stationery.
Text: A high-quality grade paper with a lot of surface texture. Basis weights range from 60# to 100# with the most common being 70# or 80#.
Uncoated Stock: The most common grade for offset printing. Typically 50# to 70#.
Coated Stock: Has a glossy finish that yields vivid colours and overall excellent reproduction. Basis weights range from 30# to 70# for web press, and 60# to 110# for sheet press.
Cover: Used in creating business cards, postcards and book covers. Can be either coated or uncoated. Basis weights for this grade are 60#, 65#, 80# or 100#.There are also a number of synthetic papers available. These are tear resistant and weather proof. Their greatest application are for document covers, menus and plant information tags where moisture is an issue.
Q. What are the most common card stocks used for postcards?
- The most common card stocks used for postcards are:
- 12 point stock coated on one or both sides: (The most popular postcard stock.)
- 80 or 100 lb cover stock: Matte finish on both sides.
Q: What is the thickest stock on which business cards can be printed?
A: Business cards may be printed on a very wide range of materials; cover stocks, plastic and metal. Cards printed on cover stock are generally in the range of 12 to 16 point although heavier weights are available. The apparent thickness of a card can be enhanced by applying a UV coating to the card that also strengthens the card stock and adds to its glossy appearance.
Q. What is the difference between coated and uncoated paper stock?
- Uncoated stock paper is comparatively porous and inexpensive, and is typically used for such applications as basic black-and-white copying. Coated stock, by contrast, is made of higher quality paper having a smooth semi-gloss finish that works well for reproducing sharp text and vivid colors. It tends to be more expensive, however.
Q: What is ‘synthetic’ paper?
A: Synthetic paper is a vinyl-like stock that is available in a variety of weights. It has the advantage of being waterproof, tear resistant and maintains print quality extremely well. It is commonly used for menus, outdoor posters and in areas where moisture may be an issue.
Q: What is NCR paper?
A: In the printing sector, NCR stands for “no carbon required.” It is commonly referred to as ‘carbonless paper’ and is used primarily for forms that have two or more copies per set.
Q. Is white considered a printing colour?
- No. White is not generally considered a printing color as typically the paper itself will be white. If a colored paper (something other than white) is chosen, then white becomes a printing color if any text or graphics require it.
Paper Size Questions
Q. What are the most popular sizes for personalized notepads?
- The three most popular sizes for personalized notepads are 4″ x 6″, 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ and 8 1/2″ x 11″.
Q: What are the most common paper sizes in Canada?
A: While paper can be printed to almost any size required by the client, the most common sizes are 8.5”x11”, 8.5”x14”, 11”x17”, 12”x18” and 13”x19”.
Q: What are the most common sizes for catalogs and booklets?
- Standard sizes for catalogs and booklets are 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″, 8 1/2″ x 11″, and 11″ x 17″.
Q. What are the most common sizes for brochures?
- Common unfolded brochure sizes are 8 1/2″ x 11″, 8 1/2″ x14″ and 11″ x17″.
Q. What are the most common business envelope sizes?
- Business envelope sizes are referenced by a number such as #9 or #10.
Q: What are the standard sizes for postcards?
- Postcards are found in three common sizes: 4″ x 6″, 5″ x 7″ and 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″.
Q. What are the types of bindings I can use for multi -page projects?
- Some of the common methods of binding books and other multi-page documents include:
Perfect binding: Gluing the outside edges of the pages together to create a flat edge.
Saddle-stitch binding: Using staples along the folds of the pages to bind them together.
Spiral binding: Wires in a spiral form threaded through punched holes along the binding edge of the papers. Allows the document to lay open flatly.Plastic comb binding: Similar to spiral binding but using a tubular plastic piece with teeth that fit through rectangular holes punched into the binding edge.
Q. What are Pantone colors?
- Pantone colors refer to the Pantone Matching System (PMS), a color matching system used by the printing industry whereby printing colors are identified by a unique name or number (as opposed to just a visual reference). This helps make sure that colors turn out the same from system to system, and print run to print run.
Q. What different types of materials can be used for labels?
- Materials for labels and their application include:
Paper, Uncoated: Use where you need the label to be easily written on by hand or printed on by machine.
Paper, High Gloss: Use when you need good printability. Keep in mind that it cannot be written on easily by hand.
Vinyl: Use vinyl for outdoor environments, or if applying a label to a vinyl surface.
Acetate: Use when the label needs to be transparent.
Mylar/Polyester: Best for applications where the label needs to be applied to an object with sharp, angular corners.