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Volume 1, No. 2 ~ Fall 2008
  • News
  • Print
  • Service
  • Design
  • Green
  • Trivia

HPI Publishes Vermont Coloring Book, Prepares to Launch Second One

Howard Printing has published its first Vermont coloring and activity book, The ABC’s of Vermont, and is preparing to launch a second one, Abby in Vermont.

Each is a 32-page children’s coloring and activity book containing whimsical illustrations depicting features of life in Vermont, as well as fun facts, challenging mazes, and a variety of Vermont-themed puzzles.

Currently, The ABC’s of Vermont can be found in nearly 50 retail locations around Vermont, plus can be purchased directly from HPI.

If you know any children who would like their handiwork from our coloring book displayed on the HPI website, we have started an online gallery. Just scan the child’s finished page from The ABC’s of Vermont and email it to us. It can be displayed on our website with his or her first name and hometown.

Click here for more information about the Vermont coloring books, or call us at 802-254-3550.



Achieve More “Color” While Saving Money with Spot Screens

Are you looking to have a dynamic job without the cost of additional ink? Then maybe a screen is for you!  A screen is a process for creating a range of tints using the same spot color. This phenomenon is achieved through an optical illusion. What appears to be a solid mass of color is really a collection of dots. The distance between, the size, and the shape of the dots all affect how the eye perceives the color. If you have a collection of black dots that are small and spaced farther apart, your eye will perceive gray instead of black. However, if you have a collection of larger black dots that are closer together, your eye will see a solid black.

The same spot ink is used to produce the range of tints you can achieve with screens — what changes is the pattern of the dots on the plate. Each spot color requires its own plate. Different screens of the same spot color can use the same plate. The screen only changes the pattern of dots used to create the image.

Using several different ink colors sometimes can make a piece look busy or disjointed. Knowing how to use color effectively is important. (See “Design” article in this newsletter.) Utilizing the screen technique can create a vibrant, harmonious look without the cost of additional plates and ink.

For more on this process and other printing facts and tips, please contact us.






Consider These Tips for Choosing the Best Paper and Ink Combination

Choosing the right paper and ink combination for your job can be daunting at times. Will blue ink be legible on orange paper? Will this paper make my 4-color job be as vibrant as I want it to be? Here are some tips to help you choose the best combination.

The paper and the ink should not compete for attention. Try to avoid using dark inks on dark paper and light inks on light paper. Using the same tonal value for each makes it hard for the eye to differentiate between the ink and the paper. You want your job to be legible and pleasing to the eye. (See “Design” article in this newsletter for further reference.)

Choose at least a 60-pound paper for four-color jobs. A 60-pound paper is generally the lightest weight you can use before the ink will start to degrade the paper and show through to the other side.

Select a paper that matches the look you want for your job. If your job has bright colors that you want to “pop,” choose a paper with a hard finish, like a coated stock. The hard finish prevents the ink from being absorbed by the paper, allowing the ink to dry on the surface. This makes for more vivid color.

If you want your job to have a more muted look, choose an uncoated stock with a porous surface. The ink will be absorbed into the paper, making the colors have a subtle, matte appearance.

Textured paper can make for an interesting look; however, you want to be cautious of a few factors. If your job has photographs or large blocks of color, the texture of the paper will show through the image. Also, if your job folds, you want to be aware that the paper can “crack” the ink where it is folded. This will cause distortion in the image if it bleeds over the fold.

The right paper and ink combination can make or break your project. It is always helpful to choose a paper at the beginning of your design process. When choosing the ink, look at different stocks to decide which one will achieve the look you would like. Keep in mind that the texture, weight, and finish of the stock will all have an impact on the ink that will work best for your project. Let us help you with your choice.

Why Does My Project Look Different on Press Than on My Monitor?

It can be a challenge to translate color from screen to print, especially when you have fallen in love with how your project looks on your monitor. What is the best way to get it looking like that in print? The tricky part is . . . sometimes you can’t. The color on your monitor is always going to interact differently from the printed version. But by learning why, you can find ways to work around it.

To start off, let’s talk about color space. The two major color models are CMYK (subtractive color method), and RGB (additive color method).

CMYK is the color model used for print and paint. The acronym stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. (Why “K”? See “PrinterSpeak” in this newsletter.) When C, M, and Y are mixed, the result is a muddy color that is dark. K is introduced to create solid black. In order to make the hues lighter, less pigment needs to be used, so this is considered the “subtractive method.”


RGB is the color model used for displaying images electronically, such as on television screens and computer monitors. Red, Green, and Blue, when combined, create white, and adding more color makes the hues lighter, so this is considered the “additive method.”


The colors on your monitor will seem much brighter, “fruitier,” and saturated on screen, while the same colors in the printed version will tend to look more subdued. Monitors vary with color as well as printers, so do not always trust your eyes to match up color. It is best when working on a project to remember to use CMYK color space, and pay attention to the “color value” (the numbers that make up a hue; for example, C=75, M=5, Y=100, K=0 make a shade of green), as well as choosing colors from an official color matching system, such as the Pantone Matching System® (PMS).

When applying color theory to your design project, keep in mind what colors work best together. The important factor in a design is that it needs to be easy to read and clear where the eye should go next. Some color combinations work effectively and are easy on the eye, others can go as far as looking garish or causing eye fatigue. A good way to avoid this is to provide contrast — the relationship between the foreground (in this case, text) and the background. Be sure to pay attention to saturation — two fully saturated colors can often be too bright for the eye when reading. Also, keep colorblind readers in mind as well — would the design elements be lost if color were to be removed? Utilizing colors opposite each other on the color wheel is a great way to create contrast. These colors — reds and greens, yellows and violets, and blues and oranges — are considered complements.

How should you handle color for your project? Use of color will depend on your budget, but don’t feel limited — beautiful layouts can be achieved by using monochromatic (one color, same shade with varying hues) or complementary (two colors, opposite shades) combinations. (See “Press” article in this newsletter for further reference.) Quite often designs using limited color can be the most eye-catching and eliminate visual confusion. Play around with color and see what you come up with, and please feel free to ask for our help or advice!

For more information on color theory, here are two of many possible online sources to visit:




Chlorine-Free Paper is Becoming More Common

When thinking about “going green” with your printing projects, another attribute you can keep in mind is chlorine-free paper. Paper mills are starting to adopt better and cleaner processes for manufacturing brighter, whiter paper without using chlorine, thus better protecting our watersheds. There are three different kinds of chlorine-free paper:

Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) - made of virgin or recycled fiber that is bleached with chlorine dioxide or other chlorine compounds (a cleaner process than traditional bleaching).

Process Chlorine Free (PCF) - made of fiber that is recycled and unbleached, or bleached without the use of additional chlorine or chlorine derivatives. (Since the paper is recycled, it may have been previously bleached, so it is not totally chlorine free.) 

Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) - made of virgin fiber that is unbleached or is bleached without chlorine or chlorine derivatives.

We would be happy to discuss any questions you may have about chlorine-free paper.




Test Your Knowledge!

This is a new column in the HPI quarterly newsletter — a trivia contest! Submit your answer for the following trivia question via email (info@howardprintinginc.com) or fax (802-257-1453).

What is the origin for the term "upper case" letters?

The first 25 correct submissions that we receive will be entered into a drawing for one $25 prize. This quarter’s prize is a gift certificate for Burdick Chocolate in Walpole, New Hampshire.

We look forward to receiving your submission! Thank you!

Please note: Limit one submission per customer. May not be combined with any other discounts/offers. Maximum value of this offer is $25. No cash value; no cash or credit back. Other restrictions may apply.

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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