Your Document Emergency Room

You can count on Copy Doctor to handle your document emergencies! We have the latest, high quality, digital equipment. Our experienced staff is passionate about customer service and will always make the process of designing and printing your materials as efficient and effortless as possible.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Do you Need to Bleed?

On of the most often used element of design is a bleed.  What is a bleed?  It is any part of your graphics that comes right off the edge of your page.

Just like your home printer, all of our copy machines and presses leave a white margin on the paper.  To achieve a bleed, we must use paper which is larger than your finished size.  For example, an 11x17 print with a bleed must be printed on 12x18 paper, and then cut down to 11x17.  Including a bleed in your design will usually increase the cost of your print job, but materials printed with bleeds are simply more visually attractive and professional looking than materials printed without bleeds.

Art with Crop Marks.  The area outside the dotted line will be trimmed.
The secret to success with your design that will bleed is to place the elements so that they overlap the border edge of your page by ¼ inch.   Then, when you create your PDF file that you will send to us for printing, use the option to show printer marks or crop marks.  Most design software has this capability.  You will not see the crop marks until you open the exported PDF file.

If you are using design software that does not have this option, design your document ½ inch taller and wider than the finished page will be.  For example, if you want your document to be 8.5x11 after it is printed and trimmed, design it 9x11.5, making sure there is no text or necessary image in the additional .25 inch margin.

Finished art after trimming.
After we finish cutting down your prints, none of the printer marks or crop marks will be visible.  You will simple have a beautiful, high-quality print.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Great Tips from iStockphoto on Image Enlargements

Great advice copied from monthly Tip email from

During more than a few episodes of crime shows like CSI, you can observe "experts" take a grainy, low-res photo, press a few buttons and magically create a crisp blown-up version that clearly shows who the bad guy is.

This is, of course, patently ridiculous.

The magic "clean it up" button has no basis in reality. If you upscale an image you will always lose quality. This is because when you upscale an image, either you're increasing the size of each pixel or you're adding new pixels that your computer more or less has to guess at. If you need a larger image, your best bet is to buy an one that's already big enough. Unfortunately, that's not always an option, so let's take a look at how to minimize the damage when you have to upscale.

In Photoshop, click on "Image > Image Size" in the menu. Under the "Document Size" section, you can modify the size of your image by inputting new values into the width and height boxes. For best results, increase by a percentage instead of using exact dimensions. Also, it's generally believed you can optimize the results by increasing the image size through multiple smaller increments instead of a single large one. If you need to boost the image to 150% of the original size, try doing it 10% at a time (or even 1% — create an Action in Photoshop to speed the process along). This way you can monitor the quality loss as the image grows, and determine exactly when enough is enough.
It's important to make sure your image resampling is set to "Bicubic Smoother," which is more clearly marked in the latest version of Photoshop as being "best for enlargement."
If you're planning on printing the image when you're done, the professional standard resolution is 300 ppi. However, you can usually get away with 240 ppi, and if your project doesn't need perfectly crisp images upon close inspection, you can get it down as far as 200 ppi. (If you're just printing personal photos to stick to your fridge, 140 ppi might even be enough for you.) This cheating can score you precious size for your upscale.
You can try to hide problems that do arise in the boosted image through a combination or sharpening and blurring filters, though there's no hard and fast rules as to what works, so it will require some trial and error on your part.

Finally, if you're enlarging the image for large-format printing, keep in mind that if the poster or banner is being viewed from a distance, a lot of the defects (especially blurriness) won't be readily visible. Basically, if there's some physical distance between the image and the viewer, the upscaling is a lot more forgiving.

Hopefully this will help you get the most out of upscaling. Again, it'll never be perfect. It's just not possible. At least not until those CSI "clean it up" machines become a reality. 

Copyright © 2010 iStockphoto LP. All rights reserved. iStockphoto®, iStock®, iStockaudio®, iStockvideo®, iStockalypse™, Vetta® and CopySpace® are trademarks of iStockphoto LP. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Can you print responsibly? Let us help you!

We all want to be good stewards of our resources. Right?  And can you consider the environment, your Green Initiatives, and still use printing in your business or organization?  The answer is YES!  And here is how:
• Be smart in your design saving paper, ink and money; use standard paper sizes, avoid bleeds that require trimming and paper waste, and limit ink usage by avoiding large solids.

• Utilize our “Print on Demand” document services. Print only what is needed - when you need it. This eliminates unneeded pages, the expense of printing storage, and allows you to revise the content as required.

• Proof your job online whenever possible to save the time and gas of driving to the shop, and the cost and waste of printing a proof.

• Drive traffic to your website, blog, twitter account, or Facebook page with your printed pieces, making the most efficient use of multiple communication medias.

• Use recycled papers whenever possible. If 100% recycled costs too much, shoot for 30% post-consumer waste. List this fact on your printed piece. Copy Doctor carries a large selection of recycled papers.
Our paper salesman uses this statement on the bottom of his emails:
Notice: It is OK to print this email. Paper is a biodegradable, renewable, sustainable product made from trees. Growing and harvesting trees provides jobs for millions of men and women, and working forests are good for the environment, providing clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat and carbon storage. When you don't need it anymore, be sure to put it in a bin designated for recycling, and it will come back to us as new paper or paperboard!
He is sort of a comic, but what he says is true.  You CAN print responsibly!