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Frequently Asked Questions

On this page we try to answer some of the questions that we are asked most often. If you have a question that you can't find the answer to, please contact us and we will be very happy to help.

  • Why does my image look different when it is offset printed than when it is printed on my ink jet printer?
    If you look closely at an ink jet image, you will see that variations in color are achieved by adding more or less ink from the printing head, producing "continuous tones" (shades of grey and/or color). Even grey ink on an ink jet printing is achieved by adding more or less of all four colors in the printing head. In Offset Printing, on the other hand , the printing press can only print in 100% solid colors. Variations in color shades are achieved by using larger or smaller dot patterns (screen density). Offset printing requires four separate printing plates, each of which has been adjusted for tonal and color range by "half-tone screen separations" which puts each of the four colors on separate plates with screen dots of various sizes that overlap at different angles on each plate. When the screen density is small enough (150 to 200 lines of screen dots per inch), the result looks like a continuously graduated pattern of ink. In very coarse screen patterns (most newspapers), the dot pattern in the half-tone screen is still visible to the eye and makes for a "muddy" appearance. Not only the size of the dot can vary, but also the shape of the dot can vary from round to square to elliptical, depending on the effect desired.
  • Why does color sometimes look different on my computer screen than what is achieved by offset printing?
    The basic reason for the difference in the appearance of color "On Screen" as compared to "On Paper" is that the computer monitor uses RGB color (Red/Green/Blue) much like your television set. Offset printing, Ink-Jet, and Laser printing all require the use of CYMK color ( Cyan/Yellow/Magenta/Black) to achieve the same result. While designers use RGB color on the computer, this must be converted to CYMK for printing purposes. Because of the differences in some software, the colors may not match exactly. Corrections must be made to the RGB color file before conversion to CYMK for printing.
  • How come my logo does not print correctly when I send them as e-mail attachments for output and printing?
    The printed output is the result of how the artwork was created in the first place. Much of On-line graphics are created in RGB mode. These images are then saved in 8 to 64 bit mode to make sure the color ranges are included in the file. However, when printing a 1-color image, in Reflex Blue for example, only a 1 bit image is required. It is difficult (sometimes impossible) to convert a 24-bit image into a 1 bit image. If you know that your logo is going to be printed in SPOT color (a single color or multiple spot colors but NOT PROCESS COLOR CYMK) then the image should be saved as a one or two bit image and the printer can then designate the spot color that is required. RGB images and CYMK images must be de-layered to achieve the same effect. Sometimes information is deleted from the image and the desired result is not achieved, or the images become fuzzy or indistinct at the edges.
  • What is the best format for sending an image by attachment to e-mail?
    If the image is a one or two bit image, it is best sent as a Tiff. If the file is a full-color file, it should be saved as an EPS or as a PDF file. JPEG files, BMP files and WMF files are not acceptable for printed output. It is always best to contact your printer in order to determine the best options for saving your files.

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