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Volume 1, No. 1 ~ Summer 2008
  • News
  • Print
  • Service
  • Design
  • Green

HPI Earns First & Second Place Awards

In case you haven’t heard the news yet, Howard Printing (HPI) won a first-place “Pinnacle” award and a second-place “Award of Recognition” in the inaugural Awards of Excellence Competition presented by the Printing Industries of New England (PINE).

PINE selected HPI for the “Pinnacle” (Best of Category) award for the Bears in the Valley Auction Catalog, which was produced for the Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce. The catalog was designed by HPI in collaboration with Sarah Shippee, the Chamber point person. The principal photographer was Mark Linton of West Dover, with additional photographs supplied by Shippee.

HPI earned the second-place “Award of Recognition” in the Greeting Card/Invitation/Program/Postcard category for the Canal Street Redevelopment postcard, which was produced for SVE Associates, a private civil/survey engineering consulting firm with offices in Brattleboro, White River Junction, Rutland, Bennington, Keene, and Greenfield. The postcard was one of a series designed by Chuck Gibson Design of Hanover (NH). The photographer was John Douglas of Flying Squirrel Graphics.

The competition attracted 340 entries from 56 printing and imaging companies in New England. Awards were announced at a gala in November 2007, in Framingham (MA). Winners were featured in the December 2007 issue of the New England Printer & Publisher magazine.

Each entry was judged on its own merit in a category with similarly printed pieces. Judging criteria included: registration, clarity and neatness, sharpness of halftones and line drawings, richness and tonal qualities of color, paper and ink selection, ink coverage, difficulty of printing, effective contrast or softness, overall visual impact and bindery.




Ganging Up Jobs Can Save Dollars

The gang run is an easy way to save money on printing. The idea is to maximize the press sheet by combining or “ganging” jobs together. By teaming jobs into one press run, you can save on time and set-up costs (not to mention paper waste). To understand this a little better, let’s take a look at one of the most common uses for the gang run – the business card.

Business cards are often printed in this manner because they are small and several can fit on a single sheet of paper.
(The everyday business card measures 2 x 3.5 inches.) It is more economical to print more than one person’s business card at a time. The reasons are:

• You utilize more of the press sheet.
• There are fewer sheets run through the press.
• The press is set up once, saving time and, thus, money.
• Fewer plates are needed.
• There is less paper waste.

The gang run is just one way that you can save on printing costs. At Howard Printing, we are always happy to help you find ways to be more cost efficient. Call us today for a free estimate.




Folding Dummies Can Be A Project Saver

Folding dummies are an important graphic design tool. Nothing is much more heartbreaking than having your job printed, only to find that it does not fold in a satisfactory way. One way to prevent this is by making a folding dummy.

Folding dummies are an essential step in the proofing process. They can help you catch mistakes like misaligned text, bleeds that do not meet along the fold, and a number of other possible errors or miscalculations.

To prepare your folding dummy, start by printing out, or constructing by hand, a copy of your project. Once your mock-up is made, fold it to the desired finished size. (Some of the different types of folds are illustrated below.)

The folding dummy can also serve as a communication tool. It can help to convey the final look of your job to the printer and can save inadvertant costs at the Post Office. Self-mailers, like newsletters and brochures, must follow certain size and folding regulations. By bringing a dummy of your job to the Post Office before it is printed, you can ensure your project meets these regulations. This is just one example of how taking the time to construct the folding dummy can save you time and money.

Please let us know if we can assist you with a folding dummy or with any questions you may have.


Properly Prepping Files Can Minimize Delays

After hours of designing, editing, and proofing, your project is finally ready to send to the printer. This can be the most exciting part of the process. It is also a crucial time to focus on exactly what is the best way to package and send your files to the printer. By taking your time and going through the necessary steps, you can minimize hassles and delays.

To start, look over your document one final time (or have someone check it for you) for last-minute errors, misspellings, grammatical mistakes, etc. Print out a hard-copy to make sure it is what what you want – sometimes the printed product will look very different from your computer monitor! If your project is a booklet or brochure, it is also good practice to create a “folding dummy” to check for spacing and arrangement. (See “Service” article in this newsletter.)

Once you’re ready, prepare the document for print. This involves checking the dimensions to make sure the document is going to print correctly, and if you plan on printing with a full bleed, be sure to extend your images a good 1/8 inch beyond the printed area. (See “PrinterSpeak” in this newsletter.) Also check colors – the only colors that should be present are the ones that are being used in the design. The same rule applies for fonts, images, boxes and layers. The cleaner your file is, the less space it will take up and it will load faster.

The next step would be to create a folder to store your document and all the elements involved. Programs like QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign contain a packaging program that will do this for you. It will collect your document, images and fonts, and put them in a folder with the option of a text document that you can use to provide contact information or notes about the project.

It is always good practice to provide a hard copy print-out of your project for the printer – or a PDF if you are sending it electronically.

Now to send your project to the printer – there are several ways to do this: you can drop it off in person, mail it, email it, or use an FTP site.

If you are dropping off or mailing, be sure to include your packaged file and any other information necessary onto a transferrable medium (e.g., CD, USB flash drive). Be sure to label things clearly and make them easy to find. And include a printed proof of your file.

If emailing, it’s best to confirm who you should be sending your file to. Also, be sure to note the attachment size limit. Large files can be “zipped” and emailed, but can take a long time – and if they are too large, they may not make it through at all. You can either send the info in pieces via several emails, or upload it all at once on an FTP site.

FTP stands for “File Transfer Protocol,” and is an effective way to upload files from your computer to another’s via the Internet. Many printers – including us! – have FTP technology on their websites, with instructions on how to upload. You will usually receive confirmation that the files have been uploaded successfully. If not, don’t be shy about calling to check.

If you can get into the habit of following these steps with your projects, you’ll be better able to get your finished product in no time, minus the headache!




"Greener" Options Now Available for Coated Stock

Coated paper has a dull or glossy coating that generally gives it a smoother finish and more opacity. A coated stock allows ink colors and images to “pop” or “jump” off the sheet more, since the ink rests on the surface of the paper rather than soaking into it. This quality is desirable for high-end pieces designed to impress, or for those brochures and rack cards created to be attention-getters. 

Traditionally, coated paper had no recycled content. However, new alternatives are entering the market to help make coated stock a little more “green” friendly. Some options to consider for your next coated paper project include: 

• Chorus Art, a bright, blue white paper that contains 50 percent recycled content including 15 percent post-consumer waste.

• Galerie Art, a bright white stock that contains up to 30 percent recycled fiber.

• Kromekote, a coated one side stock that contains 50 percent recycled content including 15 percent post-consumer recycled fiber.

• Mohawk 50/10, a soft white and a blue white paper that has 15 percent post-consumer recycled content.

Want to learn more? Please let us know. We’d be glad to answer your questions and provide further guidance.

Ink Bar
Howard Printing, Inc., of Brattleboro, Vermont, is a full-service commercial printing company providing offset
and digital printing, wide-format printing, graphic design, computer-to-plate prepress technology,
variable data printing, mailing services, and bindery and finishing services. Howard Printing is also the publisher
of the New England Showcase real estate magazine and two Vermont coloring books.

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