Print 101


Print projects can become challenging to tackle. That’s why we’ve created Print 101. We’ll cover common questions and concerns, from learning the best CMYK Black Builds to setting up Full Service EDDM® Postcards files. Whether you need a quick refresher or are ready to learn something new, our Print 101 is the blog to beat.

What is Print Resolution & Why Does it Matter?

Print Resolution Example Image

What is 300dpi, and why does it matter? Have you ever zoomed into your monitor so close that images no longer look crisp, but rather a close-up of a Monet painting? When you really zoomed in, the images lose their visibility and turn into little dots of color. Those dots are called pixels. The more […]

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What is 300dpi, and why does it matter?

Have you ever zoomed into your monitor so close that images no longer look crisp, but rather a close-up of a Monet painting? When you really zoomed in, the images lose their visibility and turn into little dots of color. Those dots are called pixels. The more dots (or pixels) you have, the better the image will look when printed. This is also what we refer to when we say “dpi” or “dots per inch”.

300dpi

A high-resolution file will have a higher number of dots, which is required for printing. 300dpi (dots per inch) is the resolution we recommend for print files. Files submitted to print that have a resolution lower than 300dpi will likely result in a lesser quality or blurred print product.  We often receive files that are 72dpi which is the required resolution for digital outputs such as computer screens. These low-resolution files will appear clear on screen but will print quite blurry. See the example below of two business card files. The left image printed at 300dpi and the right image printed at 72dpi.

Print resolution comparison - 300dpi vs. 72dpi

If you receive a resolution warning when uploading your files please send your files to info@primoprint.com. One of our file processors will be able to check the files and let you know if higher resolution images need to be provided.

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CMYK vs RGB; CMYK Wins Every Time in the Print World

Shows CMYK vs RGB

CMYK and RGB are acronyms that refer to color models used to create images and files. CMYK color mode is used for printing. RGB color mode is used to display images that are intended to be viewed on monitors and screens only. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These four basic ink colors […]

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CMYK and RGB are acronyms that refer to color models used to create images and files. CMYK color mode is used for printing. RGB color mode is used to display images that are intended to be viewed on monitors and screens only.

CMYK vs RGBCMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These four basic ink colors are combined together in varying amounts to create a wide variety of colors for printing. You should always request a CMYK copy of your logo or any other file that you would like to have printed from your Graphic Designer. The above Blissful Bicycle logo and marketing materials look as though they were just printed with blue ink but in actuality, the blue color is made up of 55% Cyan ink and 22% Magenta ink. When the two color values are combined for printing the above blue is the result. 

RGB is for Digital Output
RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue. These colors are actually lights that are mixed to create and display digital images on screens and electronic devices. Images created using RGB color mode are able to display very vibrantly, but those bright neon colors are not able to be reproduced using CMYK inks.

When you try to print files that are intended to be viewed digitally on a screen, the print color outcome will be much different than what appears on your screen. Here is an example of what an RGB file looks like on screen in comparison to how it looks when converted to CMYK for printing.

RGB to CMYK

If your file is going to be printed, it needs to be set up in CMYK color mode. How can you make sure your file is set up in CMYK? Below are the steps to check your print files using popular Adobe design software. 

Adobe Photoshop – Image > Mode > CMYK Color
Adobe Illustrator – File > Document Color Mode > CMYK Color
Adobe InDesign – File > Document Setup > Intent: Print

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CMYK Rich Black Build

Rich Black CMYK Values

Printing a true or rich black can be tricky, so we’re breaking down CMYK configurations for our suggested rich black CMYK build and explaining why some of the frequently used black builds are not recommended. The printing industry suggests many variations of CMYK configurations for printing a true or rich black. After a lot of testing […]

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Printing a true or rich black can be tricky, so we’re breaking down CMYK configurations for our suggested rich black CMYK build and explaining why some of the frequently used black builds are not recommended.

The printing industry suggests many variations of CMYK configurations for printing a true or rich black. After a lot of testing and calibration, we’ve selected a configuration that works best for our printing presses.

Using rich black results in a darker tone than 100% black ink alone. For the best possible results, we recommend a rich black value of C60, M40, Y40, K100 for all printed products.

C0, M0, Y0, K100 will usually result in a very dark gray, but not a rich black. We commonly see the default black in Adobe Photoshop used instead of our recommended rich black build. The issue with using C75, M68, Y67, K90 is that it will not print a truly rich black. That configuration is the result of converting true black in RGB to CMYK. The print result will generally be muddy due to the oversaturated color build.

For the best results, we recommend using the values listed in the above chart. Have any questions? Feel free to contact our awesome customer support team for further assistance.

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How to Setup Full Service EDDM® Postcard Files

How to Setup Full-Service EDDM Files

Since the launch of Full Service EDDM®, there have been quite a few questions regarding the setup of the print files. The USPS® requires this product to be designed a bit differently than regular print-only EDDM®, so we thought we’d try to answer a few of the most common questions. What is EDDM® Indicia? Let’s […]

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Since the launch of Full Service EDDM®, there have been quite a few questions regarding the setup of the print files. The USPS® requires this product to be designed a bit differently than regular print-only EDDM®, so we thought we’d try to answer a few of the most common questions.

What is EDDM® Indicia?

Let’s Talk Indicia! Print-only EDDM® is pretty loose with the size and location of the indicia and the “local postal customer” box. There are basic requirements, but overall, you have some wiggle room. With Full Service EDDM®, the post office is giving you a postage discount because Primo Print is doing all the work for them. We are ensuring them that the paperwork is filled out correctly and that the indicia and postal information are perfectly placed and readable. That is why it is so important to follow the templates we provide on our site.(Click to download the appropriate size template 4.5″ x 12″6.5″ x 9″6.5″ x 12″6″ x 12″8.5″ x 7″8.5″ x 11″8.5″ x 14″8″ x 6.5″8″ x 10″9″ x 11″9″ x 12″)

We have templates available in all size options for download. No matter if you are using InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, or other design software, all you have to do is place the indicia image first and then build your artwork on top of the template. We provide the indicia template in .eps and .psd formats for horizontal and vertical layouts.

When I design Full-Service EDDM®, I always set up my InDesign file according to the postcard size I’m printing, and then I draw a frame rectangle – fitting it perfectly to the edges of the page. Next, I place the EPS indicia file that matches my final postcard print size. Do not “fit to page”, “center” or make any additional adjustments to the file. It should place perfectly where it is to print.

Then, make sure you lock it into place. Now, as you build your postcard artwork, you know that the indicia and postal box are secured in the required position. You’ll want to be sure you place the indicia that matches your postcard print size exactly. Each template is slightly different to match the postcard proportions.

The indicia and local postal customer boxes can go right over the top of your background image. Just make sure the background image is on the layer below the locked indicia layer.

Return Address Placement

The return address is very important and is a required element of your postcard. You need to supply either a physical address or a P.O. Box, and where you put it is just as important. Normally, we think of the return address going just to the left of the indicia. But with Full Service EDDM®, it is required for the return address to be placed in the top left corner. Some people choose to make it fairly small and on one line so that it is not too noticeable. Others choose to place the logo at the very top with the address large underneath it. It really just depends on whether or not you would like for your customers to notice it.

EDDM Address Placement

If you follow these two simple placement requirements, your Full Service EDDM® postcards should be able to mail properly!

If you need further assistance with your EDDM® setup, feel free to contact our design department. We would be happy to help you set up the postal information or even help you design your postcard from scratch. Make sure you watch our video tutorial

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