Frequently asked questions
get the answers to all of your printing questions
Mailing and Postage
What's the difference between First Class, Standard and Non-Profit postage?
First class postage is the fastest and most expensive postage. Non-profit mail is Standard Mail, it's just offered at a lower price for non profit organizations. Non-profit and Standard can take on an average 2 days longer locally than First Class, but we have seen a lot of Non-profit and Standard arrive in 1-2 days when mailed locally.
Why would I pay more when I send multiple mail lists or have extra work done on my list?
We simply need to cover our costs for the extra time it takes to combine into a final list/file.
What's the minimum quantity for bulk mail?
200 for standard and 500 for first class.
Why do I have to pre-pay for postage?
We have a few options for postage PAYMENT found at the link below.
We didn't FORMULATE our FINANCE FEES and postage policies - we participate in a national association called MFSA Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association (recently renamed MASA Mail Advertising Service Association) which defines best practices for the industry.
With over 12 million mail pieces going through our plant each year, it's important to use best practices for postage payment. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE REQUIRED to front money for postage. WE ARE GRANTED PAYMENT TERMS ON MOST OTHER ITEMS, SUCH AS paper and ink.
We ATTEMPT TO find every discount available with the post office - and pass it along to OUR customers.
You can find our postage payment options here.
Can Holland Litho get addresses for my mailing?
We certainly can! We can also merge your list with an acquired list: http://www.hollandlitho.com/list_acquisition.html
Estimating and Job Specs
I only need 1 page printed but your estimate says it's 2 pages, is that right?
Everything in our estimating system is listed as 2, 4, 6, 8, 10... etc pages - always an even number because there are always two sides to a sheet. The Ink: 4/0 tells us we're only printing on one side.
What information do you need to produce a quote or start production?
How many pages is my project?
How much bleed do I need in my file?
Your image (bleed) should extend 1/8" beyond your trim. If your page size is 8.5" x 11", your document size should also be 8.5" x 11" but your background image window would be 8.75" x 11.25" if you have a full bleed background image. Some programs will not let you do this in which case you'll need to make your document size larger and preferably provide to us a pdf of your file because this would indicate you're using a program that isn't a commercial print program that works well congaing images and fonts.
How much time does die cutting add to a project?
With die cutting, we order the die after you approve a proof with the die line showing and we can usually have the die in our plant by the time printing is done. It does add a step in bindery, or two steps if there is gluing also. So on average it adds a couple days but it all depends on the overall size of the job.
Do you only work with companies or will you also do work for individuals (wedding invites, graduation announcements, etc)?
While we mainly work directly with companies, we also work with individuals for things such and invites and announcements etc. With our digital presses we are able to provide some very competitive pricing!
How do I figure my panel sizes for a brochure that folds?
When can I get my job?
Great question. Since almost everything we produce is unique/custom - and because our workload fluctuates, it can be challenging to predict. We're typically juggling literally hundreds of projects each day. Normally, we will give a timeline based on PROOF APPROVAL. This is because we cannot control the amount of time it may take to get approval after proofs are generated. Sometimes the approval comes immediately, while other times there are days/weeks worth of revisions requested. We are often put in the position of rushing certain steps, which can be risky. However, fear not...we usually can provide a good general timeline. Barring things like equipment failure or inclement weather, we're normally good at staying within the timeline. It's also very important to let us know if your project is for an event or something that cannot be moved.
I got a shipping notification, does that mean my job will be here soon?
Unless special arrangements have been made, all routes go out by 2:00 pm. If you see a shipping notification in the mid to late afternoon, it will most likely go out the next morning on one of the first routes. Depending on where you are on the route, you may see a shipping notification at 3pm and not see your product until late the next morning. If you communicate with us about a specific time your deliver is needed we can often accommodate your request.
What are QR codes and Augmented Reality?
Multiple articles; second to the last category of this page: http://www.hollandlitho.com/resourcecenter.html
What envelope options and templates do you have?
Why do we end up with "overs" when we print a project?
Our quoting system is used not only to produce a price, but also to engineer a plan for the plant to produce the printed piece. We have formulas for determining how much paper is needed at the press for each job and that is exactly what the pressman are given for each print project. In our formulas, things like using special inks and coatings and each post-press step in the bindery adds a percentage or two to the amount of sheets that will be furnished to the pressman. For example; let's say we are printing 500 24" x 36" 1-sided posters. Based on what we have programmed in our estimating system, it will add 600 sheets for Make Ready sheets on press, add 100 for Fade Resistant Ink, and allow for 150 extra sheets for bindery spoilage. It takes 1350 press sheets to net 500 good sheets in this case. The more complex the project, the more makeready time and materials we need. In the past it took many more sheets and more time. Technology has really trimmed down the time and the amount of sheets needed. If everything goes better than the medium-case-scenerio we plan for, we end up with extras. And offer them at a discount.
Can I get my file back as an editable Word Document?
Yes, these are the steps: we open up your InDesign file, go to the menu that's used to export PDFs, and within that menu is a PDF option called "[PDFX-1a:2001]". We use that to create a PDF. Then open up that PDF into Adobe Acrobat Pro, and under the "file" menu, we select the "export to Microsoft Word document" option. It will create a Word document that pretty much is identical to the Indesign file.
Can you print letterhead or anything that will later get imprinted on your digital presses?
Yes we can on our HP Indigo Press because it uses ink rather than toner. While we were not able to get this confirmed from HP, the research and tests we have done show that it does not create a problem. The ability to print items on a digital press is attractive for small quantities because of the savings over offset printing. Products printed on toner based digital presses tend to smear when being imprinted with laser printers due to the heat that's generated in a laser printer. The more imprints being done, the worse the smearing tends to be. When imprinting with an ink-jet printer, there isn't smearing with either toner or ink preprinted letterhead.
File and Job Submission
Should I send PDFs or native files?
PDFs are normally fine, unless we need to help with major revisions - such as color corrections on images, in which case we need the native files. It's also a good idea to send native files for items like pocket folders or die cut pieces - in case we need to tweak things. Be sure to package the files, and include all links and fonts when doing so.
If sending PDFs, be sure to include trim marks and bleeds.
How come the cost per piece is higher this time than it was last time?
Much of the cost of any project is the set-up/makeready time involved at each step - on press, trimming, folding, other bindery/finishing. Therefore, there is a fairly dramatic economy of scale. The more pieces we produce, the less they will cost on a per-piece basis.
What is bleed and how do I add it in my file?
Bleed is image that extends 1/8" beyond the trim that ensures there is enough image when trimming the finished piece. Adobe programs and Quark will let you extend image 1/8" past your document edge. Your page size is the same as your trim size. Programs like Publisher that don't accommodate bleed require a different approach. Make your page 1/4" larger; both Length and Width to allow 1/8" more image on each side. Then be sure to keep any critical type or images with plenty of clearance from the trim. A 1/4" to 3/8" minimum from the trim line is recommended.
Do I need to give you a file to print an envelope?
Even though it may be a simple envelope, there are many options for layout, color and type size, so someone needs to design a file and have it approved. We are happy to do that but sometimes it makes sense for the designer who is developing the companion pieces to do the design. For more about this please see: http://www.hollandlitho.com/focus_on_great_envelopes.html
How do I package with InDesign?
What if I only have a concept of what I might like, will you be able to design something?
Yes, if you have all the copy and components - pictures, etc we have staff that can put it all together and make it look really nice!
What kind of files do you accept?
Most file types, but if it's not an Adobe product such as InDesign, Photoshop or Illustrator, or Quarkxpress, you're probably better off sending us a pdf of your file. Many programs such as Publisher and Word don't support containing images and fonts as well as the Adobe programs made for commercial print. More about this: http://www.hollandlitho.com/getting_word_documents_to_print_correctly_is_as_easy_as_1-2-3.html
How would you like your files sent?
You can email your mailing list, but production files should be sent to us through www.wetransfer.com or better yet: http://www.hollandlitho.com/three_great_file_upload_options.html
How do I make a production ready pdf?
Thanks for asking, they work better when prepared properly: http://www.hollandlitho.com/production-ready_pdfs.html
Color and Proofing
Why is the color on my project different than my monitor and/or the printouts we do here?
Monitors and desktop printers are impossible to completely calibrate for accurate color representation. Monitors live in an RGB color space — print is CMYK. (4-color process) — And desktop printers simply don't have the ability to reproduce tightly calibrated color standards. We use Gracol 7 (insert link here) and expensive calibration tools to keep our proofing devices and presses in sync.
I printed out the proofs you sent me, and there are some funky things happening... why?
Desktop printers have different RIPs (Raster Image Processing) than high-end proofing devices. Do not trust your desktop printer for proofing. If hardcopy proof is required, we can furnish one.
On the pdf proof you sent me it looks like you added an outline to the text?
Your overprint settings may not be correct in Acrobat Reader Go to "Preferences" in Acrobat Reader, and see the setting at the bottom: Select "Always" for overprint preview.
Why am I being charged for alts when I did the changes?
Good question! When we receive new files that have been altered (once a project has been processed and proofed), we need to re-process and re-proof to ensure everything is OK. We charge for the amount of time this takes. We're sometimes asked, "Don't you build in any extra to cover this?"... The answer is "no". We don't want to quote or charge for something which may not be needed. We are happy to give some general costs for additional time and proofing up front if necessary.
Do I need a proof on this small change? Just go to press...
Trust us, yes you do! Any time a file is worked on and re-saved, anything can happen! Copy can move, images can fail to link, etc., etc... Proofing is critical each and every time a file is altered and processed.
This PDF proof looks great on my smart phone, can you proceed?
Well... We can, but it's not really in your best interest. Proofs should be viewed at a larger size, and it's worth taking the time to carefully review them. For your sake!
I am viewing the Holland Litho PDF on my screen, and there seems to be "halos" and strange things on type and other elements. Why is this?
We apply trapping (overlapping) to certain colors, which is necessary to account for some slight mis-registration on press. You need to be sure to select the proper viewing settings in Reader or Acrobat.
Be sure that overprint settings are always on ion Acrobat Reader
Paper, Ink and Finishes
What is the difference between varnish and aqueous coating?
Both varnish and aqueous coating can add style and offer additional protection to your printed piece. Each coating is available in different finishes ranging from matte to gloss.
Varnish is best described as an oil based, clear ink. It can be applied as a flood, but more commonly used in detailed spot applications by using a printing plate to define where the clear varnish prints. Similar to ink, varnish requires additional drying time and is generally more expensive than aqueous.
Aqueous is a more durable water based coating, generally used in overall flood applications. It can be used for less intricate spot applications by cutting a blanket. It dries nearly as soon as it delivers, sealing in wet ink and allowing us to work with the sheet right off the press. Aqueous is recommended for all projects that require extra durability and ones that require diecutting, converting or additional bindery work as it helps protect the sheet from scuffing.
How can I proof for a job printing on uncoated stock and what results can I expect on uncoated?
Proofs don't represent the results on uncoated stock very well. Uncoated doesn't have the ink hold out that coated stock has. Especially the shadow areas tend to flatten because of the ink absorption. We use a tonal reduction curve when making plates for jobs that will print on uncoated stock. It lightens 1/4, mid and 3/4 tones as much as we advise without losing color. Bright images with a lot of contrast will pop, but printed material with a lot of shadows will tend to look muddy - as seen on the Cat Footwear catalog we printed that won an Addy Award. Our plating curves are established by a third party licensed to calibrate and certify for Gracol 7 which we have.
What are my paper options and why is 80lb cover thicker than 80lb text?
80lb cover is close to twice as thick as 80lb text because the basis for weight for cover is 500 20"x26" sheets and 80lb text is 500 25"x38" sheets. Please see http://www.hollandlitho.com/the_ultimate_paper_guide.html.
Bindery and Finishing
When should I request shrink-wrapping for my project?
Any time you are going to store your material for a period of time, ship your materials, you need to be able to quickly pick some in a predefined quantity or if your project is an expensive one that you want maximum protection for. It's not very expensive and adds a lot of protection.
Printing and the Environment
Does using paper affect our environment?
More trees are planted than are taken for lumber and paper, so we actually have more trees in the U.S. than we had 50 and 100 years ago!