- Are you competitive with copy/digital shops?
For very small quantities of digital printing or photo copying (5, 25, 50 copies), we may be more expensive than a copy centre. As quantities increase (around 50 copies) and jobs become more complex, our pricing becomes increasingly less than copy centres.
- Are you different than copy/digital shops?
Very! Here are some major differences:
State of the art Premedia
We use professional PDF workflow software for processing supplied digital files, which means:
- Supplied files are automatically checked for problems which would affect print quality. Most copy centres just print your file as supplied but we will always contact you if we think the resolution, bleeds, or other issues will compromise the print quality.
- Many minor issues are fixed with no operator intervention and no surprise extra charges.
- Colour profiles are automatically applied which always ensures accurate colour reproduction, every time.
- The same engine is used to proof and print, so nothing can change after the proof approval.
- Every print order is archived for ease of reordering.
- Proofs are provided for every order, which helps to eliminate negative outcome.
Web based ordering and proofing
- ordering through our web page is fast and simple. No worrying about FTP sites or big email attachments which won't work.
- if colour accuracy is not critical, you can approve your proof online.
Quality equipment, minimum environmental impact
- we only buy equipment that we know will produce exceptional results.
- we offer both digital as well as offset printing and will help you decide which method is the most appropriate for your order.
- we consider the environmental impact of every purchase, and often will spend more money to reduce the footprint of the equipment we buy.
- Are your 'ongoing specials' environmentally friendly?
The paper is our in-house 100lb gloss book which is from environmentally friendly sources and is also made from 10% PCW (post consumer waste).
They are offset printed using waterless inks which have low toxicity and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and also conserve water and paper.
- Beware 8.5 x 14
Got your attention, eh?
The days of legal size 8.5 x 14 are going, going, gone. Here's why:
In North America, modern small format printing equipment is engineered to accommodate letter size 8.5 x 11, given that it is the most popular office size document. Most of these machines run a maximum size of 11 x 17 or 12 x 18, which renders two 8.5 x 11's. As a result, 8.5 x 14 is an oddball. Most newsletters today are 11 x 17, or a derivative of 11 x 17 (8.5 x 11, 8.5 x 5.5) because of the economics of maximizing the size capabilities of this equipment.
In short, 8.5 x 14 is no problem, but since it's close in price to 11 x 17, why not maximize your hard earned dollars and size up?
- Can I email a digital file to you?
We prefer that you submit files through our online order form to avoid email issues such as spam filters, security, file restrictions and technical glitches.
For general correspondence, our front office email address is
- Can I pre-book for a time sensitive job?
Yes. For large projects, booking in advance enables us to plan for critical timelines. For most smaller orders, however, pre-booking is not necessary. Our normal turnaround times are usually met with "Wow, that was fast!"
To discuss your specific needs, please contact us.
- Can I write on printing which has been uv coated?
- Can you adjust the process colour values in my file?
Usually we can, however colour adjustment should be made by the originator of the document, if possible. Ideally, the source file is the reference for future use and should be correct. Colour is also subjective but we will do our best to accommodate the request.
- Can you edit my supplied PDF File?
In most cases we can make minor changes, however PDF is a format for output or on-screen viewing and is not intended for editing.
- Can you give me a ballpark price?
We prefer to give you an exact cost so there will be no surprises. Our quotations include all the details ie. paper, quantity, size, bindery and shipping info. They are also archived for easy retrieval. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and there will be no negative surprises.
- Can you give me a price over the phone?
If the request is simple, we can usually give some pricing over the phone. We will, however, need contact information as all verbal discussions are saved to archive. This ensures that all pricing which was given verbally has a reference to who was involved in the discussion, when it happened and what the specifications were.
- Crack alert!
Digital laser printing is economical for small quantities but, because the process involves heat, the paper and the resulting image may crack on a score or a fold, particularly with paper stocks that are coated.
For brochures and greeting/art cards which have an image that falls on a score or a fold, we suggest adding a 1 point "knockout" line (keyline), positioned exactly on the fold. When folded, the keyline itself is not noticeable, resulting in a clean appearance.
Offset printing is not as susceptible to cracking as the process does not involve heat.
- Do you archive my digital files?
Yes. As of 2007, all customer supplied digital files are archived for future use. We do not archive hard copy.
- Do you charge extra for rush jobs?
No. We don't charge extra for rush, super rush, asap, snap to it, I'm out, blitz it, hurry, urgent, get cracking, hustle, make haste, scramble, shake a leg or step on it jobs.
- Do you charge for estimates?
No. Requesting an estimate is easy and most are completed within a day. We can respond by email, phone, fax, mail or delivery. If you request an email and do not receive it within a day, please let us know. There can be many reasons for an undelivered email.
- Do you create bar codes?
Yes, we can create and print bar code. Here's the scoop:
- Do you deliver?
Yes. Within greater Victoria, we provide our own delivery within 24 hours for $10.00, regardless of weight. We also deliver to Colwood, Langford, Metchosin, Sidney or Deep Cove for $15.00. For areas on or off Vancouver Island, beyond those mentioned, we use different couriers or freight companies, depending on the destination and the turnaround requirements.
- Do you employ quality control?
Yes. We hired the quality control guy that used to work at the candy factory until he got caught throwing away all the M&Ms that said "W" (kidding :)
We consider quality control a priority. We enjoy one of the smallest reprint percentages in the industry because of our "get it right the first time" mandate. Please bear with us if we seem overly attentive to details such as bleeds, folded panel sizes, etc.
- Do you employ sales people?
No. We are a retail printing company without commissioned sales people. The end result is lower and consistent pricing, increased response times and decreased turnaround times. Most of our work is submitted and proofed through our web page with questions responded to instantly. Management, customer service, premedia and print production, under one (actually two) roofs. We like that.
- Do you ever make miss takes?
- Do you have an FTP site?
An FTP site is a generic folder in which file transfers are dropped. That's so yesterday. Fotoprint utilizes a more advanced system, which employs interactive order forms, ensuring faster and more reliable uploads with a higher level of security. Your information stays attached to your file and you get a receipt with every upload. All of our forms can be found here.
- Do you have any hidden charges?
- Do you have parking?
Yes. We have lots of free parking within the building complex and on the street.
- Do you have stock images I can use?
We recommend www.istockphoto.com which is a good online source for imagery. You can either buy image(s) or record the number and we will buy it/them for you (good idea, because we have a prepaid account which has a substantial discount). Images are inexpensive and royalty free. If you buy any, make sure they are of the appropriate size and resolution for your project (contact us if you're unsure).
- Do you keep a history of my order?
Yes. We archive all printing records for 7 years and as of 2007, we archive all customer supplied digital files. We will need the invoice number or the billing name, in order for us to find it. We use the same method of alphabetical listing as the phone book so individuals by last name and companies by legal name.
- Do you keep credit card information on file?
No. For your security, we do not keep credit card information.
- Do you offer graphic design?
We are not graphic designers but are proficient at typesetting, document layout, image editing and manipulation. If you need a logo designed, corporate branding, etc., we suggest a graphic designer or an agency. If you need something like a business card, a brochure or a rack card created and you have a general idea how you would like it to look, we are great at that. Gather all your elements: ie. photos, illustrations, logos and bring them in.
A wonderful source for royalty free images, photos, etc., is istockphoto.com. Search, find and make note of the image number(s) that you would like to purchase. We have a bulk purchasing discount, so let us buy them for you and save money.
- Do you print in metallic gold, copper or silver?
Yes, with offset printing. It's important to note that the paper has a profound effect on just how metallic the ink will look. The basic rule of thumb is the harder and less porous a surface, the more reflective the metallic ink will appear. Based on this, coated paper works better than uncoated. Furthermore, gloss coated is better than dull or matte coated paper.
- Do you print money?
Yes. Only after midnight. (kidding)
- Do you print on plastic?
Yes, for short run black or colour toner based digital printing in sizes up to 13 x 40. We stock different thicknesses of white plastic which are waterproof. The ink will not scratch off. Perfect for products that are subject to wet, oily or extreme handling.
Yes, for small quantities of wide format inkjet printing in sizes up to 4 x 8 feet. We carry multiple plastic stocks of different thicknesses of which there is no need to coat or laminate after printing as the process is waterproof and weather resistant.
- Do you produce mail merge or variable printing?
Yes, in black or full colour. Personalized mailings are rapidly becoming a common tool for newsletters and a potent marketing solution.
- Do you proofread my supplied file?
No. Sometimes we can avert print disaster by being attentive but ultimately, supplied files should always be double and triple checked BEFORE they are sent to the printer. It is also wise to solicit the help of someone other than the creator to aid with proofreading. Our experience dictates that an individual who is fresh to the project is usually more capable of finding misteaks :)
- Do you use a spell checker?
No. Here's a poem which passed a spell checker:
Eye halve a spelling checker
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marks four my revu
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My checker tolled me sew.
- Does printing green cost more?
- Paper: Most recycled papers, especially those with a high percentage of PCW (post consumer waste), do cost slightly more than virgin papers. Volume purchasing keeps the premium to a minimum. We inventory 100% post consumer waste recycled paper, and we use it exclusively for our white bond, uncoated book and envelope stocks. All of our in house papers are either certified by one of the major environmental groups, recycled, or both.
- How can I pre-determine what colour will look like?
For single or spot colour printing, we have Pantone formula guides/swatches.
For CMYK process colour printing, we have customized CMYK colour guides which we encourage designers to use and are free of charge. Although the ink colours, calibration and digital processes are based on North American standards, they are unique to us. Therefore, this guide is better than any other CMYK source you may have for full colour projects printed by Fotoprint.
Please note that these colour guides are all printed on white paper stocks. If a colour paper is chosen, the end result will not match the swatch.
- How can I receive credit?
Our application for credit is available in PDF format here, or you may come in to obtain a physical copy.
- How can I rush my order?
Let us know and we will jump on it. Rush jobs are normal for us and we don't charge extra.
- How fast is the turnaround for digital printing?
Fast. Upon approval of proof, most digital print jobs are completed within 24 hours as long as we are using in-house paper. Same day turnaround is common for rush jobs as long as the size of the job is not beyond the physical capability of the equipment and we are not swamped off our feet.
- How is paper measured?
All papers are measured in two ways, weight and thickness. Weight is generally measured in 'grams per square meter' (gsm). Thickness is measured in 'mils' which is short for thousandths of an inch. Paper weight and paper thickness often go hand in hand, BUT because some papers are denser than others they may be heavier than a similar thickness paper. For example, two manufacturers may list a weight of 300gsm, but the papers may have a different thickness because they have different densities.
Paper thickness is generally listed as 10mil or 15.5mil and this is equivalent to .010 inches or .0155 inches respectively. To give this some perspective, a human hair is only 2 mils. This is measured with a digital micrometer.
- How long will it take to complete my order?
We work around your schedule, not ours. Let us know when you need your printing completed and we will do our best to make it happen. We are used to extremely tight deadlines so don't hesitate to let us know.
If timing is not critical, here are some general standards:
Step 1: Proofs
We usually produce proofs for you to approve within a working day. If you are supplying a digital file and there are file issues, we will contact you before any costs are incurred.
Step 2: Print production
From proof approval, 90% of our print production is ready to pick up in less than a week. Depending on size and complexity, we can complete your order from an hour on small jobs up to a week on larger projects. Again, if you need it quickly, tell us.
- How long will it take to get a proof after I place an order?
If we are printing from a supplied file, usually within a working day.
If we are creating or editing, it may take slightly longer, depending on the amount of work involved.
If the job is a rush, let us know and we will jump on it.
- How many grommets do you recommend for banners?
For indoor use, we recommend a grommet every 3' or, for small banners, a grommet on each corner. For outdoor use, we recommend a grommet every 2'.
These are only suggestions as it depends on what stress the banner will be subjected to and how it will be hung.
- How many locations do you have?
Mentally, we are a worldwide corporation with head offices in Paris, Rome, London and New York. Decisions are made from our 68 story Fototower in Paris after siesta.
Physically, just one. Fotoprint is a single location with ownership and staff who live and work in Victoria.
- How shiny is your metallic ink?
Gold, silver and copper offset metallic inks are not as shiny/reflective as some people assume them to be. There is a reflective finish, if printed on coated stock, but the intensity of the reflective finish does not approach foil stamping. Printing with metallic offset ink is far less expensive than foiling but if you require a super shiny reflective look, foiling is the way to go. We have many samples of each at our office for your perusal.
- I have a software question. Can you help me?
We will try. Call any of our customer service reps at 250.382.8218, explain your question, and they will be happy to transfer you to the person who is most knowledgeable to help you. You may also contact our premedia manager directly here.
- I need my digital file returned. Can you email it to me?
Yes. If you have supplied a file to us, we can retrieve it from archive and email a PDF back to you at no charge. If you would like us to modify, convert to a different format or extract elements, there will be a Premedia charge to do so. We can accomplish most small editing changes within our minimum charge of $27.00.
- I supplied a PDF to you. Why do I need to see a proof?
You may have sent in the wrong file. It happens!
We could have retrieved the wrong file from our server (hey, we're human too).
When we convert or separate the colour for printing, sometimes it can change the apperance of the file.
Transparency issues are often more visible after we have prepared your file for printing.
Occasionally, unexpected results can appear once the file is imposed.
A surprising number of our clients notice typographical mistakes when they see a proof, even though they checked the document before sending it to us.
It only takes a minute to check the proof online, but it takes much longer to reprint an incorrect job and costs a lot more.
- If I supply a digital file, is it checked/analyzed before you print?
Yes. All supplied digital files are 'flight checked' with our Heidelberg Prinect PDF workflow software. If there are any issues, we will notify you before any costs are incurred.
- If I suppy a digital file and it has errors, what do you do?
We either email or call you with the details before incurring any costs. You can either fix the issue and re-supply the files or ask us to fix it. Admittedly, our standards are high, so even small issues are referenced.
- Is printing on recycled paper high in your priority list?
Not necessarily. Just because a paper stock is labeled as recycled, does not mean that it is an environmentally sound choice. There are paper mills, mostly from Asia, who are not regulated for sustainability. Some of these papers have been made using a chlorine bleaching process as well as many other environmental no-no's. We also consider the carbon footprint of freight from Asia to Vancouver Island. Can you imagine how much fuel is used to ship paper from China to Vancouver Island? In general, we promote the use of managed forests coupled with mills that are as close as possible to us. Talk to us about it. We know the whole story.
- Mirror, mirror on the wall, are you the cheapest printer of them all?
Once upon a time there was a cheaper printer, but that was a long time ago and far, far away :)
Seriously though, there will always be a cheaper printer if you look hard enough. To some people, printing is a commodity. To us it's more than that. We hold integrity, customer service and quality high in our priority list. Does that cost more? Not with Fotoprint and here's why:
Our equipment profile is specific to short to medium run, high quality digital and offset printing. It is of recent technology and very efficient and productive. Our volume is such that we can support it. The result is very competitive pricing. Also, we do not attempt to be a jack of all trades so will direct you to the right printer if your request exceeds our economic capability.
- Should I impose my files multiple up on a sheet?
No. Our PDF workflow software automates this process and accurately imposes multiple up at no cost.
- What are bleeds and why do you require them?
'Bleed' is the term used to indicate the area of a printed image that will be trimmed off after the document is printed and cut to the finished size. Printed pieces that have a white border around all 4 edges do not bleed. Projects that make use of image bleed must extend any background and-or images 1/8" (3mm) beyond the final trim edge (crop marks). We will create bleeds by cutting on the crop marks, through the enlarged image/background. Depending upon which software you are using, if you do not understand how to create bleeds, we can typically create them for you. Let us know when submitting your job or estimate request.
Fotoprint has a reputation for providing high quality printing and we can only produce this quality if we start with a properly created file. Some print shops will 'fudge' a bleed by enlarging the artwork or trimming under size. We will only do this as a last resort because doing so may affect the final size, fold/crease positions, or may have unwanted and/or uneven white lines around the document. We encourage you to visit our guidelines section for tips on creating bleeds properly.
- What are Green-e certified papers?
Green-e is the leading independent consumer protection program in the US for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market. Green-e offers certification and verification of renewable energy and greenhouse gas mitigation products.
- What are OS and OE envelopes?
OS (Open Side) envelopes have the flaps on the long side.
OE (Open End) envelopes have the flaps on the short side or end.
For a list of standard envelope sizes, please see Sizes & standards
- What are reader spreads and printer spreads?
Reader spreads: Imagine that you are creating an 8 numbered page newsletter, 5.5 x 8.5 booklet which will be printed on 8.5 x 11 paper, folded and saddle-stitched. The correct way to lay out such a document is to create eight 5.5 x 8.5 pages in your page layout software and in the order in which they will be read, i.e. page 1, page 2, page 3, etc. Fotoprint will arrange those pages, in “printer spreads” order. We will print page 1 and page 8 side by side on one sheet, page 2 and page 7 side by side on another sheet, etc. Our PDF workflow software automates this process and accurately imposes and paginates at no cost.
- What are standard sizes for booklets, newsletters and catalogs?
The standard and least expensive sizes for booklets, newsletters and catalogs are:
- 5.5" x 8.5"
- 8.5" x 11"
- 11" x 17"
Other sizes are possible but these our fit our equipment profile and therefore are the most economical.
- What are the benefits to printing with your waterless ink?
- Consistent colour: Eliminates the vagaries of the dampening system with more consistent colour throughout the press run.
- Better colour saturation: Four colour process waterless ink densities average 20% higher than standard ink, which designers and printers love.
- Low dot gain, more detail: The inherent low dot gain of waterless ink allows for higher screen values, sharper dots and photographic shadow detail is rendered more clearly.
- More paper options: Waterless is great for printing on a variety of stock. Without the water factor, many paper problems associated with offset printing disappear.
- Faster setup times: Saving time reduces printing prices.
- Better for the planet: The reduction in dampening usage and paper waste are strong benefits that are now beginning to make themselves felt among those concerned with environmental issues. The elimination of VOCs (volitile organic compounds) from the printing process is yet another Fotoprint step in protection of the earth's ozone layer.
- Our ongoing specials are all printed with waterless inks.
- What are the limitations of soft proofing?
A PDF proof, or soft proof, is a useful tool but needs to be used with CAUTION. Specific limitations are:
- The colour of the printed piece will not match your screen/monitor. Even with the best calibration and monitor profiling, there is no reliable way to make an RGB monitor match a CMYK print. A hardcopy proof is the only option for making sure that the end result will be what you are expecting.
- It's human nature to skim over an item on the screen, where mistakes tend to jump out more on a printed page.
- Sizing, folding, pagination, and orientation are very hard to judge on a screen.
- Low resolution images won't be noticeable on the screen, but will stand out like a sore thumb on the hardcopy.
- Graphic designers utilizing transparencies, overprints, duotones, and other techniques need to see a hardcopy to determine how these will print.
For all orders at Fotoprint, we generate a hardcopy proof at the same time as the online version. Every proof except wide-format will be accurate to the finished print (wide format is a reasonable match, a stock-match colour-accurate proof can be obtained for an additional fee)
- What are the limitations/liabilities of supplying my own stock?
For speciality stocks/substrates which are provided to us, the customer assumes full responsibility for the material cost should it become damaged during printing or handling. Please allow extras for setups, samples, and errors. Mistakes, both human and machine, happen in the print industry, and accepted standards allow for 10 - 15% waste on any order. Under no circumstances will Fotoprint replace or refund the cost of customer supplied materials.
- What are the panel widths for 8.5 x 11 brochures?
Letter fold brochure
inside right/outside left short panel - 3.625”
middle panel - 3.6875”
inside left/outside right front panel - 3.6875”
Accordion or Z or Fan fold brochure
all panels same - 3.66"
- What are the pitfalls of purchasing from an online printer?
The answers below may seem jaded but they are points to be aware of.
- These days, most of our printing is from files that are supplied to us. Currently, about 10% of those files have issues, which, at minimum, will affect the print quality. Without proper intervention to address those issues, we shudder at the thought of the alternative.
- Accuracy of colour is a gamble. If they offer an online proof, it will not match your printing.
- You must pay in full up front. What recourse do you have if the printing is not as expected? Who do you call?
- Many web sites are individuals with a web presence, working out of their apartments. They are brokers and have little control.
- You wait, sometimes weeks.
- The cost for freight is a consideration. Freight is a big profit centre for some online printers.
- Many websites charge an annual fee. When your credit card is taken, an annual amount can be automatically charged at the next anniversary.
- You are not supporting your local community.
- What are the top 5 problems with supplied PDF files?
A bleed is an area on a printed sheet where the image extends to the cut edge. The outcome of missing bleeds is uneven and sometimes crooked white lines on the edge of the printed piece which leaves an unprofesional and unfinished look, especially on business cards. While missing bleeds can be easily applied in the native software application, repairing bleeds in a PDF can be a time consuming process. In some instances we can fix it but there will be extra charges/time for us to do so.
There are many printing companies and copy shops that do not worry about bleeds. Our print standards are higher. Please bear with us as we try to get it right, the first time. The end result will be worth the effort.
- What are your thoughts on Asian manufactured paper?
Even though these papers may be recycled or made from post consumer waste, we do not condone their use because of the huge carbon footprint incurred by the freight to Vancouver Island. We promote the use of 100% recycled paper from mills such as Gray's Harbor, which is only 200 miles from our rock in the Pacific.
- What diameter holes can you drill?
1/4”, 3/16”, 3/8”, 7/16” and 1/2”. Standard 3 hole punched paper is 1/4”. The center of the holes are 3/8” from the left edge and 2.75” apart.
- What do you charge to make changes or modifications?
Creating/typesetting or editing charges are subject to computer time plus new proof(s).
The cost will depend on the amount of work required. We can accomplish most small editing jobs, like creating or editing a simple business card, within our minimum charge of $27.00. Additional changes to the same job are subject to a minimum of $11.25.
Proof charges vary depending on the type (laser or ink jet) and the number of proofs required.
- What does 4/0, 4/1, and 4/4 mean?
These numbers represent the numbers of colours on each side of your print piece. Full colour printing is made from 4 colours: Cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y) and Black (K) and is represented by 4. Black & white (or grayscale) is represented by 1 (although you can have many shades of gray). A blank side or no printing is represented by 0. Thus 4/0 would signify full colour printing on the front side with the backside being blank. 4/1 means full colour front and black & white on the back. 4/4 means full colour on both sides.
- What does digital printing actually mean?
In the print industry, the term 'digital' is a misnomer. Even though the term is common, it doesn't have a specific meaning other than hinting at a digital workflow to arrive at a printed product. Most people assume 'digital' printing is a toner based laser printing process, but in fact, the word 'digital' is generic and its real meaning has nothing to do with the actual print process. Fotoprint has a 100% digital workflow and the three unique printing methods used to apply an image on a substrate are offset, laser and inkjet.
As an example, our offset process is completely 'digital' in its workflow and method, but uses ink as a medium. Plates are laser imaged from a 'digital' file, which has been digitally preflighted and calibrated. In most people's eyes, that would mean that our offset process is 'digital'.
For the record, even though we have fought the trend to generalize the term 'digital', we have fallen into the industry's terminology. When we use the term 'digital printing', we really mean laser printing.
- What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, debit (Interac), cheques, or cash. Payment is due upon completion of work. Deposits are not normally required, but may be requested on certain projects. You may also submit an account application at Application for credit.
- What is a normal poster size?
With the installation of our new HD digital press on Oct 1, 2011, we can now print economically 12" x 26" or 11 x 25" with bleeds. The most common size, however is 12" x 18" or 11" x 17" with bleeds.
- What is a QR code?
A QR Code is bar code that can be read by any smart or mobile phone equipped with a camera. QR Codes direct a user to a specific web page the creator intended.The “QR” is derived from “Quick response” and is a call to action that allows your organization to direct someone to your website — or directly add your contact information to their phone. All they need is a smart phone or a mobile phone with a camera which has the free software installed whic will read the QR code.
These QR codes can take your printed piece to the next level by increasing traffic to your website, and by providing tracking or contact information.
For tips on creating a printable QR Code, please visit qrfail.org/qr-printing-tips
- What is Emulsion Aggregation?
On Jan 1, 2010, we upgraded our digital black printing equipment which incorporates the use of Emulsion Aggregation (EA) fine particle toner. This revolutionary toner creates quality that is comparable to offset level output quality with finer lines, higher levels of detailing and a smooth matte finish.
Short run, high quality black printing will now have uncompromised quality at digital prices.
- What is PCW?
Post Commercial Waste. This is the paper waste not related to the paper making process. It usually refers to waste resulting from printing, envelope cuttings, bindery or trimming operations and/or obsolete inventories of merchants, printers, converters, etc.
- What is PMS?
PMS is an acronym for Pantone Matching System. It is a colour reproduction standard in which colours across the spectrum are each identified by a unique, independent number. The use of pms allows us to precisely match colours and maintain colour consistency throughout the printing process.
- What is Premedia?
Premedia is a relatively new term which covers everything that precedes print production, ie. typesetting, creation of art and images, file preparation, preflight, scanning, colour management, proofing, imposition, etc.
- What is rich black and how do I create it?
When printing in full colour CMYK, large black areas often need to be created as "rich black". By creating custom CMYK values of 30% cyan, 30% magenta, 30% yellow and 100% black, a far deeper and more consistent black will be realized. This should only be applied to larger solid fills, not to text or thin lines.
For most design & layout programs (InDesign, for example), it is simply a matter of creating a new colour in your colour palette. For entry-level programs such as Publisher or Word, it may prove difficult or impossible. In these situations, supply us a PDF and ask us to check your blacks. We can often convert them for you for our minimum charge of $27.00.
If you are unsure whether to use 'rich black' in a certain situation, please send us your file and we will advise you.
- What is the difference between RGB and CMYK colour?
RGB and CMYK are two different methods for generating/viewing colours. RGB files must be converted to CMYK before printing.
What is RGB?
The colours you see on your computer monitor, smartphone, TV, digital cameras, etc. are in RGB (Red, Green, Blue)
What is CMYK?
Commercial printers print with CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, blacK), also known as '4 Colour Process'.
You convert from RGB to CMYK (recommended)
Many graphics software programs give you the option to work in either RGB or CMYK colour spaces. An image created in RGB is not going to look the same when it’s printed using the CMYK four colour process. That means you should convert your images to CMYK before you pass the file to us. The best way to do that is by creating your document in a CMYK workspace and converting your RGB images to CMYK in Photoshop (ideally using the GRACoL profile) before placing them in your document. All of this should be done BEFORE you make a PDF, unless you are working in software which doesn't support conversion, like MS Word or Apple Pages. Other times it may be a matter of timing or necessity (e.g. you've collected a bunch of tiny logos from Web sites, and the output quality isn't critical for this project). We have set up a system at Fotoprint which scans your entire PDF and converts images to CMYK using the GRACoL profile, which is the profile our equipment is calibrated to.
Or... we will convert from RBG to CMYK
If you are a professional designer, we may assume that an RGB file was provided to us unintentionally, and we will advise you accordingly. For the majority of jobs, however, we will proceed with converting and outputting a proof, but will advise that you see the proof in person to confirm the conversion meets your needs.
- What is the difference between your digital and offset printing?
Fotoprint uses both hd digital (high definition, reyclable organic based polymer toner) & offset (vegetable and waterless ink based) printing. Both processes are the latest and best of their respective technologies but there are differences between them.
HD Digital (for smaller quantities)
- Print quality similar to offset. High resolution 3,600dpi.
- Super fast turnaround times. Same day or next day.
- Less expensive than offset for smaller quantities.
- Wide range of paper choices up to 16pt thick.
- Prints on up to 16pt. thick plastic. Will not rub off.
- Capable of variable data (mail merge) where each print is unique.
Offset (for larger quantities)
- Very high image resolution for graphically intense art. (perfect for fussy people :)
- Slightly longer turnaround times.
- Less expensive than digital for larger quantities.
- Wide range of paper choices up to 16pt thick.
- Enviro friendly offset print process (see our Environmental Management Plan).
Please note: the term 'digital' printing is used by copy shops to commercial printers. These devices and the companies who utilize them are not all created equal. Be cautious when buying 'digital' printing. Always ask for samples or a proof to make sure your expectations are met.
- What is uv cured inkjet?
Our uv cured flat bed printer prints photo realistic images on rigid substrates up to 4' x 8' with inks that are cured by ultraviolet light. This unique technology can be used in various applications from point of purchase displays, internal/external signs, posters, ad panels, construction announcements and many more. By printing directly on to the substrate, it eliminating the need and extra cost for dry mounting or laminating. Our in house substrates include:
- Corrugated plastic "Coroplast" 4mm/.16"
- Paper based foamboard 5mm/.1875"
- Plastic based water resistant foamboard 5mm/.1875"
- High impact, waterproof "Polystyrene" .030" and .040"
- waterproof Sintra PVC closed cell foamboard 3mm/.118"
In addition, we also offer latex based roll fed wide format printing.
- What is water based latex inkjet?
First on Vancouver Island!
Striving to diversify our environmentally-friendly product line, we're please to announce the installation of the HP L25500 latex wide format printer. This water-based (NOT solvent based) technology helps reduce the environmental impact of printing, so environmentally conscious customers stay happy and print shop employees stay healthy.
Some benefits of this new latex printing technology are:
Latex inks don't contain hazardous air pollutants resulting in a better print shop environment.
Extremely fast .turnaround times.
Exceptional fade resistance.
No minimum order.
6 colour printing provides colour depth and accurate skin tones.
photo prints - indoor/outdoor banners - posters - graphics - light boxes - point-of-purchase displays - trade show displays - decals - signs - stickers
- What is your return policy?
We're proud to have one of the lowest reprint rates in the industry but in the rare occurrence that you receive a defective printing order, please follow these guidelines:
- Send, bring back or request that we pick up the entire printing order.
- Provide a clear description of the issue.
- Allow us to investigate to see what went wrong. We will do so immediately.
If the problem was on our end, we will contact you and offer to reprint it as fast as possible.
If the problem was not on our end, we will contact you to discuss your options. Most errors occur when our customers do not proofread carefully enough. Irregardless of the source of the artwork, it is the customer's responsibility to catch any errors in the proof before we print. This is, and always has been, an incredibly important step in the printing process. That's why we always require an approval before going to press.
- What is your twin-loop binding system?
- There are many different binding styles (mostly plastic) but Fotoprint has adopted what we consider to be the best all-round mechanical binding system for documents, presentations, proposals etc. It is known by a number of different names including twin loop wire, wire-o, double loop wire, double-o,ring wire and wirebind. With this binding method, we insert punched pages onto a "C" shaped spine and then use a wire closer to squeeze the spine until it is round. Our binding equipment is fully automated and can process up to 1000 booklets per hour.
- What is your uv coating?
This unique coating protects our offset and digital printing and will make your print projects look even better. It is a 100% non-toxic polymer resin which is a perfect fit for our concerned approach to the environment. This polymer resin can be applied to any coated paper or card stock, enhancing the appearance with a smooth, glossy finish. In addition, the printed material has an extra layer of protection from abrasion and will not rub off in someone's hand or wallet. There is also no loss of flexibility. If your project will be subject to a lot of handling, such as the cover of a book, please consider our uv coating option to seal the image and make it highly durable. For more information, please see our uv coating page for more details.
- What makes a business card effective?
Is it originality? Legibility? Simplicity?
Perhaps it's how your business card prompts the recipient into contacting you. A clean, uncluttered design shows that you care about appearance and immediately sends out a professional vibe.
The only mandatory element is that your card must show your contact details, which should be readable and uncluttered.
Do you want some ideas? We have over 5000 samples in our front office for your perusal.
- Who creates the artwork for all your printing?
There are 3 sources of artwork from which we print, in order of percentage
- Pre-designed and submitted to us for print.
- Existing artwork from Fotoprint archives, printed as an exact repeat or with minor changes.
- We create from scratch with or without supplied elements like photos, logos, etc.
- Who should proofread my artwork?
Not you, if possible. Our experience shows that it should be someone other than the creator, particularly if they have no attachment to the project and have won spelling bees in elementary school :)
- Why I shouldn’t supply images from the web?
Images from the web are low resolution, 72 dpi, and will look pixellated when printed. You will not be happy with the results. As well, web sites are generally protected under copyright so copying from them is illegal.
- Why is proofreading mandatory?
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- Will I have to see a proof?
Yes, and here's why:
- You may have sent the wrong file. It happens.
- We could have retrieved the wrong file from our server.
- When we convert or separate the colour for printing, sometimes it can change the appearance of the file.
- Transparency issues are often more visible after we have prepared your file for printing.
- We impose your job to offer you the best pricing. Occasionally, unexpected results can appear once the file is imposed.
- A surprising number of our clients notice typographical mistakes when they see the proof, even though they checked the document before sending it to us.
- It only takes a minute to check the proof online, but it takes much longer to reprint an incorrect job and costs a lot more.
- Will the ink rub off or crack on my business cards?
Depending on the specifications, we use both digital and offset technologies to print business cards.
Digital printing is normally prone to cracking, but our new HD digital press, which we use to print most business cards, uses new ink technology which will NOT rub off or crack.
Offset printing will not crack, but if a specific combination of paper and ink are used which could render the image prone to rubbing off, we will warn you and offer a solution.