Printing Buyer – Frequently Asked Questions

Click a question to open and/or close the answer.

What type of files can I send to Printing Buyer?
We recommend saving as a .PDF. You may also send the file in the following types: jpg, jpeg, tif, tiff, eps, and png.

We prefer that you send .PDF with embedded or outlined fonts. .PDF’s are easier to handle and will likely speed up your turn-around. Remember to flatten your files before uploading.

What color mode should my files be?
If you send us an RGB file, there is a chance that a color shift may occur and you may not be satisfied with your job.

You should always start and finish your designs in CMYK color mode.

What resolution should my file be?
Low resolution files may be printed as is or will be placed on hold until we receive new files, slowing your turn-around.

We recommend you use 300 dpi files and no less.

How should I set up my bleed?
Bleed must extend past the cut-line and will be trimmed from the product during the final cutting phase. When the image is required to extend all the way to the edge, bleed is needed to preserve the finished look and the quality of the final product.

Please keep all text at least 0.125″ inside the cut-line.

– The bleed for Standard Products is 0.125″.
– The bleed for Booklets and Presentation Folders is 0.25″.

Does Printing Buyer accept borders on jobs?
Yes, but if the border is too close to the cutline, it may be cut off-center slightly.

We cut through many sheets at a time, so watch your borders to avoid an unwanted mistake.

How should I set up my file for proper rotation?
Printing Buyer requires Print Ready files with proper rotation. Files submitted are printed HEAD to HEAD as-is based off your files.

Make sure to set up your files so that when we print them HEAD to HEAD the final product will read the way you would like. Also, front and back files need to be set up either both sides vertically or both sides horizontally.

For files not properly set up, Printing Buyer will use best judgment and will not be responsible for improper rotation.

How can I avoid transparency issues?
Any transparency issue can be resolved before saving your file.

To prevent problems, never use shadows, glows, or any other transparency (image or otherwise) on top of a spot color. Always convert your spot color to CMYK and flatten before sending.

Should I send a proof or sample file?
When sending artwork, do not send extra files, like proofs or samples, because they might get printed. Only send the files you need printed.

Unless requested by Printing Buyer team member, DO NOT send files that you do not want printed.

What is overprint, and how can it ruin my file?
Primarily used to intentionally overlap inks for a number of reasons, overprint can cause unexpected results. We suggest that you turn all overprint objects off before submitting your files.

Unexpected results may occur if you have accidentally set certain objects to overprint. Always check logos and other artwork before submitting.

Can I submit a front and back in the same file?
No. We are now specifically set up to process one side at a time, and this requires that each side of a job must be on a separate file.

Not separating files will cause delays and you might have to send the files again. Remember to separate the pages of your .pdf files as well.

How should I set up a Spot UV job?
When creating a Spot UV job, you must include a Spot UV template file along with the regular print file. The Spot UV template file is used to show where the UV coating needs to be applied.

For better quality we recommend creating mask files in vector based programs such as Illustrator or CorelDRAW.

Please only use solid 100% K to indicate where you would like the UV. Do not use shadows, glows or grayscale images. White will indicate no UV.

How can I make sure my blues do not come out purple?
When using a blue in your design, always make sure to leave at least a 30% difference in your Cyan and Magenta values.

Blue is close to purple in the CMYK spectrum. Remember, use a low amount of magenta whenever using high amounts of cyan to avoid purple.

Example: C-100 M-70 Y-0 K-0

How do I export a .pdf correctly?
When exporting from any program such as Indesign or Illustrator, use these settings to make sure your .PDF files export correctly.

Export settings for .PDF files:

Adobe PDF Preset is set to: Press Quality
Compatibility is set to: Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3)
Compress Text and Line Art is set to: Off

How do I get a grayscale image in a CMYK document?
Grayscale images that are converted to CMYK will have a color shift in the final print. That shift may be green or yellow.

Always check the CMYK values of your grayscale in the final CMYK document. If there are other values other than K in your grayscale image, there is a chance that the color will vary.

To eliminate all values other than K, use your Channel Mixer (adjustment layer) in Photoshop, then click "Monochrome" and adjust accordingly.

What is rich black and how can I get it?
Rich black is an ink mixture of solid black, 100% K, with additional CMY ink values. This results in a darker tone than black ink alone. If you print black alone as 100% K, the resulting black may not be as dark as you might like.

We recommend using: C-60 M-40 Y-40 K-100 as this will give you a deep, dark, rich black.

What is banding?
Many things can cause banding. Banding can be caused by the program that it is exported from, such as Indesign or Corel. Also, too many gradient steps, for example going from a very light color to a dark color, in a small area will cause banding.

To prevent this, check your digital files before sending. If you use a gradient, make sure it has enough room for a smooth transition.

HINT: You can also build your gradients as raster files in Photoshop. Apply a 2-3% noise filter to the CMYK gradients to provide best results. Place the gradient(s) as images in your layout program.

How can Pantone colors affect the way my job prints?
There are three different ways Pantone colors can affect the way your job prints.

The first is by object effects, such as shadows or glows, on top of your Pantone colors.

When a Pantone color is under these object effects, transparency issues show up during printing. To avoid this, convert all your Pantone colors into CMYK before submitting your order.
The second way Pantone colors can affect your file is when you use transparent images. To fix this issue, convert all your Pantone colors into CMYK. This must be done before submitting the order.

The last way Pantone colors can affect your order is the color conversion between a Pantone color and CMYK. If you use Pantone colors in a job that will print CMYK, your job might print with undesirable colors.
If you send in a job with Pantone colors, the CMYK conversion will change the Pantone color. Before sending your order, make sure all Pantone colors have been converted to CMYK.

Does Printing Buyer offer any pre-built templates?
Yes. We have a template to match every job need. All templates are currently available upon request by filling out our contact form. We will be providing a full suite of downloadable templates by end of April 2018.
General ESR and Digital Color Printing
ESR quantities start from 25-250 and are printed on brand new, high tech digital equipment. These products are available at all of Printing Buyer’s locations nationwide, for your convenience.
Our brand new Digital color presses are in a different class. The print quality of digital prints exceed professional standards. Here are a few facts about Digital Color Printing:

– Tests show digital quality matches offset.
– Digital printing offers larger color gamut.
– Print buyers find digital quality interchangeable with offset quality.
– Today, many showcase applications are printed digitally.
– Digital printing is more affordable for short runs, due to very low set up cost.

*disclaimer: Occasionally, quantities of up to 5000 and more might be printed using digital color technology in order to meet turnaround deadlines

How should I set up a Plastic Card job?
When designing plastic cards, it is important to keep in mind that the frosted and clear plastic cards are transparent. Also, all plastic cards come with round corners at no extra charge!

The clear cards are completely transparent. The frosted cards are semi-transparent and cannot be seen through easily. The opaque white plastic cards are solid white and not transparent at all. Keep this in mind when designing your plastic cards, it will affect how your design will print.

– printing on clear and frosted plastic cards will come out slightly lighter than average compared to other stocks. This is due to the plastic itself and is not a production issue.
– when setting up a rich black value, please make sure to use C-60 M-40 Y-40 K-100 values. Do not use all 100 since it will cause problems and will not print any darker on plastic.

Since there is no white ink in CMYK, it is important to keep in mind that the frosted and clear plastic cards are transparent. The white area in the clear cards and the frosted cards has no ink and will show the transparent material it’s printed on. The clear cards and frosted cards white area show up with no ink on the printed piece. Also, keep in mind that all colors that are printed on clear cards or frosted cards will be transparent as well.
With the clear plastic cards, there might be a small percentage that may have light scratches. This issue originates from the manufacturer and is due to the material and handling. To help compensate for this, we run overs of the clear plastic cards to help meet the required quantity.
Clear plastic cards will come with a thin protective layer on one side that can be peeled off. This is to prevent the cards from scratching during packaging and shipping.

What is Printing Buyer’s standard round corner radius?
We offer 1/4″ and 1/8″ radius round corners to all of our customers.
What is 14pt Natural paper?
Our 14pt Natural Cards are a light cream, natural white color with a smooth finish. The stock has a minimum of 30% post-consumer waste content. Samples are available in our Printing Buyer Printing Sample Kit ( coming Summer 2018 ).
What envelopes are offered with 14pt Natural Greeting Cards and Announcement Cards?
Appropriately sized (A2, A6, A7, A9 and 6.5″ square) 70# Natural White Text blank envelopes are offered as an option with our Natural Greeting Cards and Announcement Cards.
Can you mail Postcards and Announcement cards with Round Corners?
Postcards can be mailed with 1/8″ (0.125″) radius corners only and are available with Printing Buyer Mailing services at an additional cost.
Announcement Cards can be mailed with 1/8″ (0.125″) radius corners only, but Printing Buyer Mailing services are not available for these products.
Cards with 1/4″ (0.25″) radius corners can be mailed in an envelope.
See USPS regulations at the following link: https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/201.htm#wp1042477
Does Printing Buyer produce all products in all locations?
While most products are produced in all Production Centers, there are some situations where a Production Center is unable to produce (or does not produce) a certain product. In these cases, the order will be produced in the next closest Production Center to the destination address.
Does Printing Buyer have any Operation Centers?
Yes, in certain markets Printing Buyer does have Operation Centers, which are not yet Production Centers, allowing certain local customers in those markets to benefit from Printing Buyer’s unique services, like Local Delivery and Pickup. The Operation Centers are supported by the next closest Production Center. Chicago, San Jose, Tampa, Boston, Las Vegas, and Washington, DC are examples of current Operation Centers.
How are production Turnaround Times affected for orders that route through the Operation Centers?
Please allow one additional business day for your order to be transferred from the next closest Production Center to the Operation Center. Local Delivery or Pickup will be available on the next business day following transfer from the Production Center. For more information, please view our Turnaround Times Table.
Can Digital Letterheads be imprinted on?
Digital Letterheads can be imprinted on using some inkjet printers, however we strongly suggest that you test your specific application and printer. When excessive pressure is applied with a rigid object, imprinted areas may scratch or flake off. For best results, low ink coverage is recommended. Digital Letterheads are not recommended for laser imprinting applications.
Can Offset Letterheads be imprinted on?
Yes, Offset Letterheads can be imprinted on with inkjet and laser printers.
What material is Brown Kraft and how do I set up my artwork with white ink?
Brown Kraft paper is light brown with natural fibers and subtle visible flecks lending it a natural, organic look and feel. The uncoated smooth finish provides excellent print quality, while the colored stock adds warmth and a rustic appeal to images. Optional white ink can be applied in specific areas or all over giving you the flexibility to add contrast and brighten images. Brown Kraft is 100% recycled with a minimum of 30% post-consumer waste content.

Please be aware that recycled and colored stocks may have slight color variation due to the materials used to manufacture the paper. The flecks in the paper will also vary from sheet to sheet and press run to press run.
Brown Kraft has the option to add white ink as an overprint. The white will be a base for the CMYK providing a bright white surface which will allow for vibrant, crisp color. Areas without white ink will appear darker due to the color of the stock.

Similar to Spot UV masks, White Mask files are separate from your artwork files. Black in the White Mask file indicates where white ink will be printed.

Make sure to create your mask file the same size as your artwork file. This will prevent alignment issues during printing.

Note: White Masks must be made in vector format and be saved as EPS or PDF. Please be aware that anything less than 100%K will be transparent and allow the brown stock to show through.

Use vector paths/shapes to create black color areas that will indicate where the white ink base will go. The rest of the areas will show the Brown Kraft stock.

Remember the following when creating a white mask for your white ink base:

White ink base will be printed behind any color that’s in your Artwork Layer.
Areas with color but without a White Mask will be printed with color directly on the material.
Areas with color and a White Mask will be printed as opaque or solid color.
Areas with a White Mask and no color will be printed as white.