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Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Commercial Printing Tips-Gradient Screens


A gradation in printing jobs is taking a certain area and taking screen percentages from one % to another creating a blend of that color. Let's say you were printing a brochure or postcard and you wanted to blend one color into another. Will say we are blending an area of black to what approaches a gray. You would start with say 100% of the black and then over the distance of the area choose the % you are going to gradate to.

Let's say we go from 100% to 30% to create a look that makes it look like the print job goes from a black to a gray. This can be done in more than one color. You can print a full color brochure and do a gradation of CMYK. You would pick your color and your screen % you are going from and to and then convert to CMYK. Be careful not to pick to small of an area to do your gradation over. If you do you will create banding where you have hard lines that show in going from one % to another. In otherwords, you can't go from 100% to 0% within an inch. It is mathematically impossible to do. Gradations are very good at creating a softening effect or blend on a printed piece.

See also: Commercial Printing Tips-Reverse Type
Commercial Printing-Screen Tints

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Commercial Printing-Screen Tints

Screen tints or screen percentages can help give an illusion of having additional colors in commercial printing jobs.

You can screen a color or black anywhere from 1-99%. You need to be careful in going above 80-85% though because you normally will have a gain in % on press that will probably approach a 100% solid of the actual color. A % below 5-10% depending on the color can be too light to see to be worth doing. In printing a brochure that is less than full color you can give the appearance of having more of a full color printing effect. You set your screen percentages in your software program at the time you are creating your document.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company

Related Articles:
- Brochure: a definition
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Commercial Printing Tips-Reverse Type

Graphics software has made it so easy to do things that were once very difficult to do in commercial printing. This has enabled designers and creators to have creative special effects on their print pieces.

Let's discuss one special effect you can create using typefaces. As an example, we will say we are doing a brochure and we want our masthead to be big and beautiful but we need to have our type in the masthead stand out. We can create that by reversing the type out of the background color. This makes the type white or whatever color the paper is. You can also screen your reversed area to display a % of the background color. In our brochure, this can give you color and set your type off to give you added impact in your print job. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when reversing type. First try not to go to small in type size. I would go no lower than 6-8 pt on reversed out type. If you do go that low and are using a serif face you run the danger of the type closing up or filling in on you. The other is if you are using reversed type inside of a big solid you can run the danger of trying to balance putting enough ink to make the solid ink area look good but not filling in your reversed area due to the ink spreading. This can happen more on an uncoated sheet than coated.

See also:

- All brochures are the same.
- Full Color Printing
- Printing Terms

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company

For more information about our color printers come here. You have come to the right place for a brother laser color printer and more. Come get a brother label printer for you home office.

Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
What is the job of a printing salesman?


Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "What is the job of a Printing Salesman?" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
Printing sales jobs if done correctly can be very rewarding but will entail a great deal of long work days, weird hours and a great deal of studying to be a knowledgeable successful print salesman. Like any job in this world, printing sales for a commercial printer is only successfully done by about 20% of the people that try it. A great deal more will try and make a living but about 1 in 5 will succeed and excel in a very tough job.

What does it take to succeed? Knowledge of printing and that will take a year or more to gain a good feel for the ins and outs of the business. You will never learn everything but if you spend time on the production floor in your extra hours learning about print jobs and some of the do's and dont's it will give you confidence when you go out and call on customers. You must also have the ability to sell and want to help your client succeed. This is another learning process. These days "closing the sale" or hard pressure tactics just don't work in a relationship business. The customer has to trust that you will be looking out for them more than you are looking out for yourself.

Are you willing to do press checks at weird hours. Many times that will be required of you. If a 2am press check will bother you find another career.

The sales dollars of a successful salesperson varies depending on how long you have been in the business and what kind of printing you sell. A commercial printing salesperson starts being an asset to a company when they can sell a million dollars in printing. This is a very simple generalization but people always ask. The successful printing salesperson that has been in the business for several years can sell anywhere from a million to 3-4 million per year. Again, I'm talking about a star not what most people will do.

Here are the keys to being a successful commercial printing salesperson although it holds true for any profession: Knowledge, hard working, sales ability(in a good way).

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
All brochures are the same.

I want a brochure that stands out from all the others! That is what my Dallas printing company customers tell me all the time.

A brochure is an advertisement for your company. They come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, number of pages, colors, etc. A brochure usually entails folding. If there is no folding most people call it a flyer. The kinds of papers have no bearing or sizes. It is what you want it to be. A brochure is an extension of your companies reason to exist. Tell your story! Do it concisely and try to convey your companies cultures and message. If you are a banker don't give your prospective client a color laser copy. These days with the technologies available to good printing companies you can do a quality piece in low quantities at a reasonable rate. Digital printing has come of age if you use the right equipment and it is designed to fit that equipment. Digital printing can know be incorporated with diecutting, foil stamping and all kinds of binding possibilities. In the process of updating or creating a brochure to show off your company? Think about your company and the message you want to convey and tell your story!

See also: All Digital Printing is not the Same.
Brochure: A definition.
Folding of Printed Products

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Dallas Commercial Printing Market


The Dallas commercial printing market is one of the largest print markets in the United States. The most current information available is 2004 from the State Comptroller's office and depending on the SIC codes there are between 800-900 Dallas commercial printers. This list does not include print brokers or national printing companies. This list includes both Dallas offset printing and Dallas digital printing companies

The Dallas-Ft Worth commercial printingmarket is the largest in the state of Texas. The 2004 sales number was in excess of $1.2 billion which represented a 7% increase from 2003. Just for reference, Austin's print market was $184 million with a 7% decline and Houston's print market was $578 million with a 2% increase from 2003. The USPS postal reform looms very large in the future prospects of all print markets. These above numbers include digital printers and commercial offset printers.

See also: Dallas Commercial Printing
Picking a Printing Company
Full Color Commercial Printing

Sources: PIA MidAmerica

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Dallas Printing Company, Since 1923.

So many people ask me how our company started. The Odee Company was established in 1923 by a man named Will Odee. He had worked for Martin's Stationery and stole the customer list and mailed to existing customers saying Martin's was out of business and to get all your legal form needs from The Odee Company as well as your Dallas commercial printing needs. The two companies co-existed for almost 20 years before Will Odee decided to retire. Bob Martin purchased the company from Will Odee and his two son in laws ran it in one form or fashion for over 10 years. Jim Tatom bought Eli Reese's interest in 1975 and it has been in the Tatom family ever since. Present day it is run by Buzz Tatom who has been running the Dallas commercial printer since 1987.

HP Indigo color digital press

The Odee Company
is both an offset printer as well as a digital printer. The digital printing department runs a HP Indigo 3050 7-color digital press. The offset printing department runs Heidelberg presses from 2-5 color. Small format and large format presses for the short to high quantity print needs. Present day The Odee Company has over 40,000 square feet of manufacturing and storage, fulfillment space. In 1986, the promotional products division was established and is now run by Kathy Tatom the former Kathy Heruska. The promotional product division outsources overseas as well as domestically depending on customer needs and time constraints.

See also: Dallas Commercial Printing

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
With the speed at which the business world is moving, we all have print project deadlines that have to be met. With the equipment and technology available by commercial printers today, quick turn times are very possible and in fact they happen on a daily basis.

I see hundreds of print jobs every month and the vast majority has a critical deadline, some of which are extremely quick turn times. A large percentage of these jobs go through our shop without issue and deliver on time, but there are those jobs that donít. In observing issues that slow down production, I have come to realize that there are many things that can and should be done before the printer receives the files. Most of these issues are things that could easily be prevented.

There have been vast improvements in the way that Adobe PDF files work. In fact, if Adobe PDF files are created correctly, some printers actually prefer that format. Most applications will write Adobe PDF files but there are certain settings or preferences that work best for different printers. I would recommend contacting your commercial printer for a list of those settings. If Adobe PDF files are created correctly they eliminate a lot of issues that native files present such as font issues, linked files and many others.

Bottom line is the more up front communication between the designer and commercial printer there is the better chance of success you have to make your critical deadline. Many of the articles on printpromotionguide.com are related to these issues and we are always looking for more. I want to encourage anyone who feels that they have information related to the printing industry they would like to share to contact us.

Written by Jay Atkinson
jay@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Digital Printing Dallas

So you need something printed quickly and you don't have time to ship overnight. Digital printing is made for print on demand type situations. You aren't going to be able to react quickly enough with offset printing. I'll use Dallas as an example since that is our location.

heidelberg digital printing nexpress 2100 Copyright HEIDELBERGER DRUCKMASCHINEN AG


There are numerous types of digital printing. Wide format, black and white, color laser and digital presses. All have different levels of quality and speed and are made for different printed products. The best way is to know what you want in your Dallas digital printer in the way of product that you need. That will help them determine whether they can help you or not. Tell them in what program the file you made is and what kind of file you will supply them. If it is same day service a digital printer in Dallas or anywhere else may have a limit to the kind of paper they might have to run the job that day.

How do you want the piece finished? You will have limited access to different binding options in same day service. Explain your turn time situation upfront. Digital Printers are use to rush jobs and an honest one will tell you whether he can do it from the very start.

Some jobs will be better done on offset printing if you have time.

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
About Dallas Commercial Printing Companies


Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Dallas Commercial Printing" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
Another large Dallas printing company has declared bankruptcy. This always has me wondering what happens to the customers. If a printing company doesn't make it and is liquidated are you aware that all the files are gone. All finished product in the possession will be scrutinized. If it is your product you will have to prove it. Even then it will take you months if ever to get your hands on it.

All those wonderful print e-procurement systems that you have spent $$$ developing can be turned off. Your organization can no longer order off the print collateral system the printer set up for you. Dallas is a large print market. One of the largest in the country. Dallas Commercial printers are just as susceptible to bad times even with that large market.

The Dallas Digital Printing Companies don't escape either. Bottom line if a business is not run effectively, it will not stay in business. So how do you protect yourself? How long has the printing business been in business? Does it own it's own property and equipment? A company that is renting it's building, leasing it's equipment and has been in business for less than 3 years you might want to consider your risks.

How long has present management been running a Dallas printing company? I don't think you should be shy in asking some of these questions if you are going to warehouse finished product or if you are using their Print e-Procurement system. I would certainly respect that someone is asking me those kinds of questions because realistically under certain circumstances in the commercial printing business it is a partnership.

See also:
-Online Print Procurement Systems
-Picking a Printing Company

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Building bleed into a page layout program


Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Building Bleed into a Layout Program" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
When creating your design in a page layout program like QuarkXpress or InDesign if you want to create a bleed, you simply set the document size to the trimmed size. Each program gives you visuals showing the page, usually in blue but you can set the color to your liking. All one needs to do is pull the picture boxes outside the borders. If you build in single pages you need to build bleed on all four sides of the page.

When building for books or brochures these are usually combined in spreads or you're doing a saddle-stitched full color booklet printing with facing pages, the area where the two pages meet is called the "gutter." You won't want to build a bleed on the gutter edge of the page, because it's not a trimmed edge of the design. Something to remember when building multiple pages spreads.

There are two ways to build spreads in a page layout program. One is reader spreads these are spreads that look just like you would see them in a book or full color brochure. This is most common for most of us. We build it like we think it. The other is to build in printer spreads these are pages built to fold or bind in an efficient way for maximum production in a commercial printing company.

The approaches are different but the result the same. Most commercial printers require at least 1/8th bleed over size. This allows for error at the printing press and cutter. When the design is sent to the commercial printer he will take the designed document and incorporate the overall size, that is the trim plus bleed and send it to a RIP or data processing computer. Once the data has been processed the commercial printer uses a pagination or page layout program to align the pages of the design for maximum paper usage.

If you have ever gone to a press check. Where you sign off or agree to the look of the design of paper, you will notice that most times there are multiple images on the paper. Next time you go, notice where the little hash marks or trim marks are situated around your design. They usually are about 1/8th outside the actual trim size. Sometimes the commercial printer will have a ruled out paper sheet, this shows the actual trim of the design in reference to the images on the paper sheet.

Another thing if you place an image in a picture box and then pull the box to the bleed area and there is no image you must go back and incorporate it into the picture itself or resize the picture to fill the bleed area. This small procedure if not done requires the commercial printer to call the designer and someone must make a decision, sometimes holding up initial production.

See also:
- Building a Bleed on Printed Pieces
- Building Bleed into a Vector Program
- Building Bleed into a Bitmap Program

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Building bleed into a vector program


Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Building Bleed in a Vector Program" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
If you use a vector program like ("Adobe Illustrator"), set the new document size to the trim size, Let's say 5x7 and pull any color or picture boxes outside the borders. Illustrator is a great single page design program for say postcards or flyers but doesn't facilitate building excess pages real well such as catalogs or printed books.

One common problem with designs in vector programs is the use of spreads. Spreads are the combination of two pages that will eventually form a folded piece. Most designers create a document with the overall size. When the printer gets the document he sometimes has to modify the document to his equipment for the final product. Modifications that we are talking about are very small and no commercial printer should alter art without discussing with the designer.

Designing the overall page can sometimes cause problems. In most cases, for example, you want to build a design for an 11x17 folded pamphlet or brochure. We know 11x17 folded is 8.5x11 but we create an 11x17 document. In building your design, you don't want your image to crossover or bleed over the fold so you create a picture placement box that ends at 8.5. When this document gets to the commercial printer he may have to separate the pages to build in creep or binding.

By creating the document in 8.5x11 pages, he can use a page layout program and place the pages where and how he needs them for final results. This form of thinking is not always possible; such is the case of multiple folds in a design. One cannot really visualize the design in its multiple fold stages. In this case make the document the overall size of the trimmed piece and pull the picture placement boxes outside the borders, more than likely you will build the images to stop at the folds.

See also:
- Trapping in Printing
- Folding of Printed Products
- Bindings For Printed Products

Written by Buzz Tatom
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas
Category: Printing Articles
Posted by: Buzz
Building a Bleed on Printed Pieces


Yellow BorderAudio version for this article: "Building a Bleed on Printed Pieces" (for people with visual disabilities or impairments). Yellow Border
Bleed on printed pieces is when the image runs to the edge of the sheet. Thus the image bleeds off the sheet.

Let me start with the term trim because it is the primary factor in using bleed on brochures, flyers, doorhangers and other printed pieces. Trim is the term that refers to the size of the final cut paper size in reference to the ad, brochure, flyer or book size. Thus if the Ad size is going to be 5x7 for an insert it will be trimmed to 5x7.

Bleed is a term used to refer to image that runs off the edge of a trimmed page. If your designed piece has an image that extends to the edge of the paper ("trim"), your image needs to ("bleed") off the page and you will have to build bleed into your design. If you design an Ad that calls for image to run to the edge of the paper or trim, the commercial printer will have to print the designed piece on a sheet of paper that's larger than the actual size of your Ad or trimmed size. He will then trim the larger sheet of paper down to actual ad trim size in this case 5x7. You will need to build bleed into your document that extends beyond the ad trim size.

When the commercial printer cuts the Ad, none of the paper color will show at the paper's trimmed edge. The normal bleed is going to be an 1/8". Why can't a commercial printer cut to the exact trim size? Printing being a manufacturing process that mass produces products we have to build in a margin of manufacturing for the processes and machines. Presses can vary from sheet to sheet. Folders will vary from sheet to sheet and cutters cut 100's of sheets at a time so the sheets can move.

When I'm talking about these machines varying we are talking about a very small amount of variation but they will vary. This is why we build in margin of manufacturing so the end product is very consistent and looks the same from piece to piece. Bleed is a part of that margin of manufacturing. This way if the cutter pulls as it cuts through the stack the extra bleed enables you to not see the white of the paper.

See also:
- Software Programs in Printing
- What is a Page to a Printer
- Full Color Printing

Written by Odee prepress
buzz@odeecompany.com
The Odee Company