Frequently Asked Questions
Here you'll find answers to common questions our clients ask. Start by selecting one of the links below. If you don’t see what you need – call or contact us online.
- What type of products and services do you provide?
- How do I go about getting an estimate from you?
- What is Adobe PDF JobReady?
- Tips on how to save your design files
- Tips on file format setups
- At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics?
- What is a proof and why is it important that I look at it?
- What is the Pantone Matching System?
- Why do the printed colors look different from the colors on my screen?
- Is white considered a printing color?
- What file format should I use when submitting my electronic document for printing?
- Once I submit the documents, how long will it take to finish my job?
- What is variable data printing?
- What does personalization mean?
- What type of return can I expect from personalized or variable data marketing materials?
- What do I need to provide for variable data projects?
- What is NCOA?
- What are Ancillary Service Endorsements?
- Can you provide me with a mailing list to use for my mailings?
- What are Intelligent Mail Barcodes?
Good question! We are a full service shop and offer a wide range of products and services. To see a full listing and description of what we can offer you, check out the Products & Services area in the Customer Service Section of our website.
Well, since you are here, we would suggest you 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 and talk with one of our customer service representatives.
To help you make PDF’s and send in your order we have an Adobe program called JobReady that you can download for FREE. JobReady automatically makes a PDF from your file, creates an order form and will send us your file directly from you desktop. All you need to do is follow the simply installation instructions. We promise once you have used Job Ready you will never want to use another application to transfer PDF’s again.
Tips on how to save your design files
Make them print ready and acceptable for us to print.
Go to File and choose "Package"
Fill out the Instructions form and hit "Continue"
Choose the following options
• Copy Fonts
• Copy Linked Graphics
• Update Graphic Links and Package
Save your file as a COPY
Change the Mode to CMYK
Save as EPS
Change all fonts to outlines
Save file as EPS
Saving your Corel Draw file as an Adobe Illustrator EPS
• Embed all Images
• Convert all your text/copy to outline fonts
• Export as Illustrator EPS
• Embed all Images
• Convert all your text/copy to paths
• Export as Illustrator EPS or PDF
You will need to have the full version of Adobe Acrobat PDF. If you don’t please download and use our Adobe Job Ready Program. If you do have the full version of Adobe Acrobat PDF please follow the steps below.
Under File, Print, select Adobe PDF writer
Under Properties select Press Quality and Save your PDF
Tips on file format setups
Many layout programs have collecting or packaging functions that will automatically collect your document, fonts, all art including and a report. When possible, it is recommended to use these functions because without any or all of these elements we will be unable to print your postcard.
• Enclose all screen fonts and printer fonts
• Include all placed images
• Make sure your files are set with proper bleed, trim and safety areas.
BLEED: All art trimming off the edge MUST be pulled out 1/8” beyond the trim line
TRIM: This is the guideline where the card will be cut
SAFETY: All art and text within this safety area will assure that nothing will be trimmed off during the cutting process. A 1/4” guide in from the trim should work fine.
At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics?
Resolution should be set to 300 dpi.
Pictures and graphics pulled from the internet are often low resolution, typically 72 dpi or 96 dpi. Avoid these graphics, as they will appear pixilated and blocky when printed.
Also note that you should save all photos in CMYK mode, not RGB mode when possible. Images saved in RGB mode may not print properly. If you are unable to save your image in CYMK mode, please let us know.
What is a proof and why is it important that I look at it?
In printing terms, a proof is a one-off copy of your document after all modifications and printing setup processes have been completed. It is your last and best opportunity to make sure that the print job comes out the way you want. By carefully inspecting the proof, you can help us assure an accurate, flawless delivery of your print job on the first run.
What is the Pantone Matching System?
The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a color reproduction standard in which colors all across the spectrum are each identified by a unique, independent number. The use of PMS allows us to precisely match colors and maintain color consistency throughout the printing process.
Why do the printed colors look different from the colors on my screen?
In short, printers and monitors produce colors in different ways.
Monitors use the RGB (red, green, blue) color model, which usually supports a wider spectrum of colors. Printers use the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) color model, which can reproduce most—but not all—of the colors in the RGB color model. Depending on the equipment used, CMYK generally matches 85–90% of the colors in the RGB model.
When a color is selected from the RGB model that is out of the range of the CMYK model, the application chooses what it thinks is the closest color that will match. Programs like Adobe Photoshop will allow you to choose which color will be replaced. Others may not.
Is white considered a printing color?
Not typically. Because white is the default color of paper, it is simply recognized as the absence of any ink. However, when using colored paper, white ink may be used if any text or graphic requires it.
What file format should I use when submitting my electronic document for printing?
PDF (Portable Document Format) is the most common and preferred file format for submitting digital documents. With the installation of a PDF print driver on your computer, virtually any program can generate a PDF file suitable for printing. Both commercial and free PDF print drivers are available online for download from different sources.
Once I submit the documents, how long will it take to finish my job?
We always strive to provide an accurate estimate of the turnaround time for each job we do. And we’ll always work with you to find ways to complete your project when you need it.
What is variable data printing?
Variable data printing is technology for printing documents so that each piece is personalized to the specific recipient. At the most basic level, this means personalizing a name and address. But for real impact, many projects include unique graphics and content that speaks directly to the recipient.
What does personalization mean?
Personalization is another term for variable data—technology for printing documents so that each piece is personalized to the specific recipient.
Personalizing can be as simple as a unique name and address on every printed piece. But more sophisticated levels of personalization can include text or images that vary based on data specific to the recipient, or data-driven graphics such as a pie chart illustrating something specific to the recipient.
What type of return can I expect from personalized or variable data marketing materials?
Studies consistently show that personalized marketing receives a far greater response than static pieces.
On average, the response rate of a static direct mail campaign is around 2%. A targeted, personalized campaign that utilizes variable data technology can increase that response rate by up to 30%.
While the cost per piece of variable imaging direct mail is higher, your cost per response is much lower, increasing your return on investment.
What do I need to provide for variable data projects?
We work with many types of data files, but CSV files are the safest bet. These are data files that have commas separating each field, and returns separating each line of data. To save time and hassle, make sure your data is properly formatted with each piece of data in separate fields.
Complex projects may require other files, like image files or additional data files. If you are unsure of what may be required for a particular variable project, give us a call for a free consultation.
What is NCOA?
NCOA updates are now required by the USPS for all bulk mailings. Here’s how it works:
• The United States Post Office maintains a National Change of Address (NCOA) file, which is simply a database of movers who have turned in change of address information to the USPS within the last 18 months.
• Mail houses (like Wordsprint) have licensed access to this file, and can compare your mailing list with the NCOA file – and let you know which people have moved, and what their new address is.
• The USPS requires that your list be run through the NCOA update process at least 95 days prior to the date of the mailing.
• The new addresses are used on your current mailing – and afterwards Wordsprint will give you Excel file that shows these changes, so you can update your source database.
• This NCOA update process is covered by the normal mail processing costs if you’re doing a mailing through Wordsprint. Otherwise the fee is $35 setup plus 0.2 per name on the list.
• The NCOA update process will not catch all address changes – for example, many folks don’t let the Post Office know when they move; plus, the NCOA file only keeps the new address for 18 months; and some people give the Post Office a slightly different name than what you have in your database.
• It is therefore best to use NCOA updating in conjunction with ancillary service endorsements, e.g. Return Service Requested, or Address Service Requested.
What are Ancillary Service Endorsements?
Ancillary Service Endorsements provide another way to keep your mailings on target, and your database updated. These print on the mail piece, just under your return address. Here are the two most commonly used:
• Address Service Requested – this forwards the mail piece on to the recipient at their new address, and sends you a separate notification by mail. It’s the most expensive endorsement -- usually runs about 0.90 to $1.50 each, depending on how much time has elapsed since the person moved, and how much the piece weighs.
• Return Service Requested – this returns the undeliverable piece to you, with a label on it showing the new address – you can update your database with new information, and decide whether to readdress and send the piece back out. This option costs a flat rate = whatever the first class postage amount is for that piece (e.g. currently 0.44 for a letter) – which makes it the least expense endorsement.
Can you provide me with a mailing list to use for my mailings?
Did you know, you can purchase targeted consumer mailing lists based on all sorts of demographics, lifestyle interests, and purchase behavior? Here are some of the more popular criteria:
• Geography – by zip, by city, by county, even by radius around an address
• Age, Gender, Marital Status
• Number and age of children
• Household income
• Home market value
• Length of residence
• Automobile make, model, and year
• Education level
o art, music, movies
o auto work
o outdoor activities & sports
o antiques & collectibles
o charities & civic work
o Christian issues
o computers & electronics
o health, exercise, self-improvement
o dieting, weight loss
o fashion, cosmetics, beauty
o video/computer games
o home improvement
o spectator sports
The Intelligent Mail barcode, formerly referred to as the 4-State Customer barcode, is a new Postal Service barcode used to sort and track letters and flats. The Postal Service is promoting use of the Intelligent Mail barcode because it expands the ability to track individual mailpieces and provides customers with greater visibility into the mailstream. Click the title of this section to learn more.