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.
- At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics?
- Can I setup an account for my company or organization?
- Do you offer storage?
- How do I go about getting an estimate from you?
- How long does it take for you to complete my order?
- I don't know any of the printing terms, how do I communicate what I want?
- I don't know how many I want to order until I know how much they cost.
- Is white considered a printing color?
- Our organization is tax exempt, what do I need to do so Sharp Printing doesn't charge sales tax?
- Tips on file format setups
- What do I need to provide for variable data projects?
- What does personalization mean?
- What file format should I use when submitting my electronic document for printing?
- How do I make a pdf file
- What is a "proof"?
- What is the Pantone Matching System?
- Why do the printed colors look different from the colors on my screen?
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.
We are happy to accept your check, VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover cards. You may also submit an application for credit. Click the link on this question to download an application blank. Fax or mail the completed form to us. Please be aware that approval may take several days. Our terms are noted on the credit application.
Do you offer storage?
Yes. We offer free storage of most products. In some cases, minimum quantities may apply.
Well, since you are here, we suggest you use our online estimate request form (click the link above this line). 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.
How long does it take for you to complete my order?
Some jobs can be finished in minutes, others require hours, still others will take days to finish because of the large quantity or the number of processes required. And since there are hundreds of possible types and combinations of services, there is not a simple answer.
Please remember that EVERY job that we do for our customers is CUSTOM.
That said, we will do our best to give you a reasonable estimate. If you have a deadline for your job, let us know, we'll make sure we meet it. Or, it it isn't possible for us to meet your deadline, (that doesn't happen too often) we'll tell you when you place your order.
Don't worry, just use plain English. We'll ask the right questions to make it easy. But in case you would like to know more about our industry terms, just click on the link to search a glossary.
I don't know how many I want to order until I know how much they cost.
We understand your dilemma. The price per piece of custom printing varies greatly with the quantity ordered. Because design/typesetting, platemaking, press setup, bindery functions and waste factors all directly affect the total cost, the more you order, the lower the cost per piece. We will be happy to give you prices based on several quantities. We do, however, need a starting point, are you thinking of 1000, 10,000 or 100,000?
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.
The Indiana Department of Revenue requires that we have a SIGNED form on file from an official of your company or organization. Click the link on this question to download a form. Please note that NOT ALL purchases for businesses or even non-profit organizations are exempt from SALES tax. Check with the state to determine whether your organization is sales tax exempt.
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.
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 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.
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. See here for more infomation
How do I make a pdf file
There are several ways to do this, here are a few:
- Acrobat Standard or Pro Editions will convert any file but there is a charge (Acrobat Reader will not work)
- http://www.freepdfconvert.com/ Convert most files to pdf for free. They will ask you to create an account & pay a membership fee BUT this is NOT NECESSARY to use the service.
-http://www.pdfonline.com/convert-pdf Converts Word, Excel, PPT, TXT, Images (JPG, PNG, BMP, TIFF, GIF) online at no charge
A proof is a way of ensuring that we have setup your job accurately, that all elements of the design are correct, and that everything is positioned according to your requirements. We have several methods of proofing, depending upon the requirements of the job and your convenience.
-Soft Proofing or on line proofs are quick and convenient. We will email a link to view the proof on your monitor, you can also print a copy for your reference.
-We can produce a proof which will be printed on white paper and faxed to you, viewed in our office or delivered to you in person.
-On multiple color jobs, we provide a color proof showing how the different colors will appear. Ink colors on proofs will be approximate, unless otherwise noted.
-Contract Proofs are the final proof on complex or full color jobs. These are approved by the customer and returned for use by the press operator to compare during production.
-Press Proofs or proofs that are printed on the exact paper, using exact ink colors, and equipment are usually not necessary, and require additional time and cost.
For Tips on Successful Proof Reading Learn More Here
For more information about on line proofing, click the link on this question.
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.
Please know that monitors need to be calibrated to accurately display colors.