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Volume 2, No. 1 ~ Winter 2009
  • News
  • Print
  • Service
  • Design
  • Green
  • Trivia

HPI Earns Multiple Awards in Print Competition

Howard Printing (HPI) won six awards in the second annual New England Regional Awards of Excellence Competition presented by the Printing Industries of New England (PINE).

PINE selected HPI for a first-place “Pinnacle” (Best of Category) award, as well as two second-place “Awards of Recognition” and three third-place “Awards of Merit.”

The first-place “Pinnacle” award was earned for the Summer Session 2008 Catalog for the Northfield Mount Hermon School, a coed in dependent school in Mount Hermon, MA. The catalog was designed by Lisa Worden, the design and production manager at NMH. The photographers were Ed Judice, Glenn Minshall, John Peruggia, and Eric Poggenpohl. All Pinnacle-winning entries are automatically entered in the 2009 Premier Print Awards competition, the world’s largest annual print competition that usually draws nearly 5,000 entries.

One of HPI’s second-place “Awards of Recognition” was for the “Like Breath on Glass” brochure produced for The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute of Williamstown, MA. The Clark brochure was designed by David Edge, the graphic design and production manager at The Clark.

The additional second-place award was for a retail / product catalog for Solinglass, a fine art hand-blown glass studio in Brattleboro. The Solinglass brochure was designed by Heather Chaffee, with photography provided by Jeff Baird and Paul Turnball.

Three third-place awards were presented to HPI, one for the “Tapas and Tango” invitation produced for Morningside Shelter of Brattleboro, and designed by Erika Elder. Howard Printing’s own quarterly newsletter received the other two third-place awards in two different categories – newsletter and self-promotion.

The competition attracted 325 entries from 47 printing and imaging companies in New England. Awards were announced at a November gala in Framingham (MA).

Each entry was judged anonymously on its own merit in a category with similarly printed pieces by a panel of three non-New England printing experts – Tim Burton of Burton & Mayer, Menomonee Falls, WI; Paul Schmitz of Schmitz Press, Sparks, MD; and Dave Watterson of PIA/GATF, Sewickley, PA. The judging criteria, which focused on technical quality and print execution, 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, and overall visual impact and bindery.

PINE President James Tepper says, “Only those printers who produced truly exquisite work were honored. Those printers receiving awards can take pride as being recognized among New England’s finest printers.”






When is Digital Printing the Better Choice for My Project?

As many of you already know, digital printing has become a popular solution for many types of projects over the past several years. What some of you may not understand is how and why.

First of all, what is “digital” printing versus “offset” printing? Digital printing most commonly involves using a heat-based process which applies a thin layer of toner onto the surface of a sheet of paper to reproduce a digital image.

Offset printing is more complex. An image of, say, this newsletter is burned onto a metal plate (the plate could also be polyester or some other material); the plate fits onto a press which uses conventional ink to transfer (or “offset”) the image from the plate to a smooth rubber “blanket” (cylinder), which then transfers the ink onto the paper.

The major advantages of offset printing are, naturally, its top quality and the high volume it can produce so cost effectively. The major benefit of digital printing is the elimination of some of the mechanical steps — and thus, time and cost — involved with offset printing (e.g., making plates, setting up the press, and running “make-readies” to ensure accurate ink color and registration/positioning on the paper). This translates to cost-effectiveness for small quantities.

Another benefit of digital printing is the proofing process — one proof can be run off the digital printer for your review and “what you see is what you get.” (See “PrinterSpeak” in this newsletter for “WYSIWYG.”)

Technological advances have greatly improved the quality of digital printing, making it a more viable and cost-effective option for certain black-and-white or full-color projects. Some considerations to help you decide if digital printing is the right option for your latest project include:

• Do you need a particularly fast turnaround (on-demand printing)?

• Are you looking for a small quantity (from 1 to 1,000 or so, depending on the project)?

• Will your project fit on a standard sheet size of 12-by-18 inches or 13-by-19 inches including bleeds?

• Will a standard coated or uncoated sheet of paper be sufficient (i.e., no special finish, texture, or treatment)?

If you answered “yes” to all of the above questions, then digital printing might be the best solution for your next project at Howard Printing. Each project is different and each client has his or her own priorities and preferences, so we would be happy to discuss your project and customize a solution just for you.





HPI Adds New Service:
Digital Printing!

In addition to our traditional offset printing capabilities, Howard Printing has added on-demand digital printing to our repertoire of services. We are very excited to have another option to offer our clients! Digital printing can be the perfect solution for a variety of projects — business cards, postcards, rack cards, flyers, brochures, stitched booklets, small posters, etc. The standard sheet size for the digital printer is 12 by 18 inches, or 13 by 19 inches including bleeds.

To learn more about what jobs might be better for digital printing instead of offset printing, please see our related “Print” article in this newsletter.


What Are File Extensions and Why Do They Matter?


Have you ever wondered what the letters after the dot on your file’s name (e.g., “yourphoto.jpg”) mean? Those letters at the end of a file name are the suffix
— or file extension — that indicates what format the file is. Understanding file extensions and knowing the best format for saving your artwork can make a huge difference in the end result of your project.

For our purposes in this article, we are focusing on saving images. You have many format choices for saving your images. Which one is best for your artwork? It depends on a few factors: compression, color, and application. Is it an image that is being printed or going on a website? Is it low-resolution or high-resolution artwork?

Different extensions have different sets of rules. Each one has a certain way of handling compression — cutting down the file size by removing pixels. Sometimes, it is desirable to NOT remove data or colors from an image because you need to preserve the detailed, colorful artwork at a very high resolution. Yet other images need to stay as small as possible so they do not take up too much space on a disk or website. Other extensions have limitations on color space — some only save as RGB, which is suitable for the web but not for print. (RGB stands for the Red, Green, Blue color model for displaying images electronically.)

The most commonly used file extensions include jpg, tif, gif, png, eps, and pdf. These file extensions are compatible with most (but not all) software programs on any computer platform. Note that certain files with extensions like “psd” (Photoshop document) or “ai” (Adobe Illustrator) are extensions for that software program only and may not be compatible with other programs.

JPG (or .jpeg) stands for “Joint Photographics Expert Group,” and is the most commonly used extension for saving image files. JPGs are best for photographs, and work well for print and web. Compression can be adjusted from very low to very high. However this is not the best way to save scanned or high-resolution art.

TIFF (or .tif) stands for “Tagged Image File Format” and works best for scanning and saving artwork and photos. A TIFF file can be saved with no compression at all, which results in very large file sizes. TIFF files are not compatible with the web.

GIF stands for “Graphics Interchange Format,” and works best for low-resolution art, black and white, or limited (RGB) color images. It is suitable for web, but not for print as it cannot support CMYK color space. (CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black, and is the standard color model for four-color process printing.)

PNG stands for “Portable Network Graphics” and is similar to GIF, as it can only save colors as black and white or RGB. It works well for web but not for print.

EPS means “Encapsulated PostScript” files that may contain vector graphics, bitmapped images, transparency, or text (such as a logo design). Not all programs can open EPS files. An EPS file would need to be saved as another extension before uploading to the web.

PDF means “Portable Document Format.” While this is not considered an extension for images, it is relevant as it contains images and text in a compressed format that is compatible with most programs. Images can be saved as PDFs to ensure compatibility when emailing, printing, or uploading to the web.

Once you have an idea of what file format is appropriate for saving and utilizing your images, the easier it will be to complete your projects and be satisfied with the end result. We can help you with any questions you might have on image saving. Please feel free to contact us.


Turn Over a "New Leaf"

When deciding what paper to choose for your next project, an option to consider that can be both visually and environmentally appealing is New Leaf.

Granted, it could be a little more expensive with a slightly longer turn-around, since ordering New Leaf paper requires even cartons direct from the mill, along with shipping fees. However, for the right project with the right lead time, it could be an excellent choice.

Featuring three choices each of coated and uncoated stock, New Leaf paper is processed chlorine free and manufactured with 100 percent renewable energy. Its uncoated stocks – Everest, Imagination, and Opaque – are 100 percent recycled and contain 100 percent post-consumer waste. Its coated stocks – Reincarnation (matte and cast), Primavera (gloss), and Sakura (silk) – range from 80 to 100 percent recycled with 40 to 100 percent post-consumer waste.

If you are interested in learning more about New Leaf, we would be happy to answer any questions you may have. You are also welcome to stop by our office to see the swatch books.



Test Your Knowledge!

What is the origin of the following phrase? "Mind your p's and q's."

The first 25 correct submissions we receive by April 1, 2009, will be entered into a drawing for one $25 prize. This quarter’s prize will be a gift certificate for the Grafton Village Cheese Company of Grafton and Brattleboro.

We look forward to receiving your submission! Thank you!

Answer to last quarter’s trivia question: about the origin for the term "upper case" letters?: The terms lower case and upper case originated from the way that type (i.e., individual letters that were cast from special metal alloys for use in printing) was stored in the days of hand typesetting. The type was sorted by letter and kept in specially designed wooden or metal cases, with separate cases for capital and small letters. Usually the two cases were placed one above the other on a rack on the typesetter's desk, with the case containing the capital letters (i.e., the upper case) positioned above that containing the small letters (i.e., the lower case).

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.

Heidelburg PINE PIA
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