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, May 24, 2013

Enjoy your Holiday Weekend!

This weekend marks the beginning of summer.  My neighborhood pool opens.  Many area schools are now out.  And I say, “Let the season begin!”  Don, Rex and I hope you find some down time this weekend and that you get to spend some quality time with your family.

On Monday, Memorial Day, we also hope you will remember and thank the brave men and women that served to keep us safe and free. 

We will be closed Monday, May 27th so that our staff can observe the day too.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fighting Child Hunger in Houston

Hungry children suffer.  And there are hungry children right here in the Houston area.  According to the Houston Food Bank, one in four children in Harris County lives at or below poverty level.  That is above the national level of one in five.


The Face of Hunger in SE Texas 

Of the 137,000 different people who receive food assistance each week:

  • Nearly half of households include at least one working adult
  • 94% are not homeless
  • 47% are children

Hard Choices

  • Hungry families report they must often choose between paying for food and other necessities.
  • Food vs. utilities – 62%
  • Food vs. rent or mortgage – 52%

Hungry children are sick more often and recover more slowly.  They are more likely to experience headaches, stomachaches, colds and ear infections.  They have trouble in school because the lack of nutrition impairs a child’s ability to concentrate and perform well.  They are more aggressive and anxious, and have significantly higher levels of behavioral and emotional problems.  They also develop self esteem issues and suffer in their social relationships.

Kids' Meals is a non profit, meals-on-wheels program, which provides and delivers nutritious meals, free of cost to the families, Monday through Friday, year-round.  In the summer months the number of children serviced jumps from 1700 to 3400 a day.  Kids’ Meals is the only organization that is bridging the gap for hungry preschool aged children; the missing piece for children ages 1-5 who are too old for services from organizations such as WIC and not yet old enough to receive free breakfast and lunch in school. 

Copy Doctor is teaming up with Kids’ Meals during the month of May by sponsoring a food drive.  Non perishable food donations may be dropped off at Copy Doctor locations, 3814 Bissonnet Street, Houston, TX 77005, or 1101 S. Friendswood Drive, Friendswood, TX 77546 during the month of May.  

 “It is sometimes difficult to believe that hunger exists right here in the Houston area.  Most people think of hunger in terms of famine, or major tragedies, but not as something that affects children everyday in our own community,” said Don Sowa, President of Copy Doctor.  “Anything we can do the help our neighbors is not only our responsibility, but our privilege.  We hope our customers and business friends will join us in supporting this great organization.”   

Follow this link for more information:  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What is a "Print Ready" File?

You may have heard us ask, "Will the file be print ready?" but you weren't sure exactly what we mean.  Here is a brief explanation of some printing terms and recommendations for creating the ideal "print ready" file.
A print ready file requires little or no setup to print on our equipment. 
It is sized appropriately and there are no issues with fonts, images and quality.
PDF files with fonts and graphics embedded in a high resolution format are the preferred format.  We also print from Word, Publisher, Illustrator, eps, and photoshop files if the fonts are included and the images are embedded or flattened.

Word and Publisher documents used in business settings usually print in good quality, email a sample and we can determine the quality quickly.  Often times when we receive files in these formats, there is a problem with the formatting or the fonts.  This is due to your computer having different settings, and different fonts installed than our computer.

Quick printing and copying equipment utilize standard size pages to print.  Standard size pages are as follows: 
                        8.5x11 Letter 8.5x14 Legal • 11x17 Ledger or  12x18 
We do not run on odd size stocks in quick printing, those need to be offset printed.

As you set up your files, a non bleed file should have at least 1/4” margins.
If the print is closer than 1/4” inch, it will run as a bleed file and cost more.
When setting up a bleed file, have the file bleed past the cut marks 1/8”.
The following sizes should be set to the papers sizes for bleeds.
8.5x11  should be set up on 9x12 with bleeds.
8.5x14  should be set up on 9x15 with bleeds.
11x17  should be set up on 12x18 with bleeds.
12x18  Can not bleed, must run as HP oversize print.
We do not run on odd size stocks in quick printing, those need to be offset printed.  See our previous post on Bleeds here.

Convert text to outlines or curves in any program that is possible. Include in your email with your file any odd fonts that can not be created to outlines.

Images at least 300 dpi will print with the best quality. If it is very pixeled on the screen, it will print pixelated.Internet images enlarged to any size usually do not print well.

Flatten all images that are created in photoshop and save with at least a 300 dpi. 

If it is saved as high quality or taken from a digital camera at a high resolutions and left unchanged, the quality should be fine for printing.  Jpegs downloaded off of web pages usually have very low print quality.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Social Media and Print Marketing

You seen these social media icons.  You have probably even clicked on them. Don't underestimate the significance of social media for marketing purposes.  Digital Marketing Ramblings reports that right now, Facebook has 1.06 Billion ACTIVE monthly users. YouTube has 800 millions users and more than 4 billion views daily. Twitter has more than 200 million ACTIVE users. LinkedIn has more than 200 million members. Stop and think about adding social media references to your print media to polish off a very coordinated marketing campaign.

It's important that all of your campaigns have the same look and message to create a unified brand identity across the board.  Repetition causes remembrance, so reinforce your message on all media outlets with a uniform appearance.  

Using social media in coordination with print media also bridges the gaps between the generations you may be trying to reach.  The older generations are used to printed media and a clever social media campaign might stand out to them.  Younger audiences live in the world of social media.  They are not very often targeted by printed campaigns so yours could very well catch their attention.

Embrace social media and tie it into your printed marketing campaign.  Let us know if we can help!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lightening vs Lightning

Today we had a customer discover a typo on a project we have been reprinting for them for years.  It was the word lightening instead of lightning.  This is one of those errors that spell check won't catch - and apparently many editors and printers miss it too.

I found the following article by Laura K. Lawless that enlightened me in lightning speed regarding the use of these words.

Lightening vs Lightning

The English words lightening and lightning are only one letter apart in spelling and pronunciation, but worlds apart in meaning. The lightning bolt of comprehension you get after reading this lesson will start lightening your confusion.


Lightening is the present participle of the verb "to lighten," and refers to the process of making something lighter in color. Lightening is the opposite of darkening, or making something darker.

I'm lightening my jeans by adding bleach to the wash. The dark blue will become light blue.
He's lightening the room by painting it white.

also refers to the process of making something lighter in weight. Lightening is the opposite of making something heavier.

By using more plastic in place of metal, and thereby lightening cars, we can get better gas mileage.
The trick to lightening a cake is using beaten egg whites.


Lightning is a noun - it refers to the meteorological phenomenon that is followed by thunder.

Lightning tends to strike the tallest thing in its vicinity.
The lightning storm caused the forest fire.

The Bottom Line

The confusion between lightening and lightning is due to their similar spelling and pronunciation. Just remember that to be quick like lightning, you need to lighten your load by leaving out the e.

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