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 scan my photos and graphics?
- Is white considered a printing color?
- What file format should I use when submitting my electronic document for printing?
- 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?
At what resolution should I scan my photos and graphics?
Resolution for photos, color or grayscale images should be set to 300 ppi. Resolution for one-color graphics should be set to 1200 ppi. (On some scanners, this may be listed as dpi.)
Pictures and graphics pulled from the Internet are often low resolution, typically, 72 ppi. Avoid these graphics for print, as they will appear pixilated and blocky.
Also note that, when possible, you should save all photos in CMYK mode, not RGB mode. Images saved in RGB mode may not print properly. If you are unable to save your photos in CYMK mode, please let us know.
For more detailed instructions on the optimum way to save artwork and files, visit File Preparation.
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.
You may also download Copy Express' PDF print driver. Our PDF driver, PDF JobReady, is designed to make PDFs suitable for copies or the press, assuming the document has been prepared correctly. Our print driver produces PDFs that can be viewed, exclusively, on the originating computer or at our shop.
If you use a different print driver, make sure it is set to "press" for press jobs and "standard" (or similar) for copy jobs. Avoid the "screen" setting.
We also accept many native files including Microsoft Office and Adobe files. You may send these files along with fonts and graphics in a zipped folder.
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.
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.