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a list of questions that you might have

At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics?

Resolution should be set to 300 dpi.

Pictures and graphics pulled from the internet are often low resolution, typically 72 dpi or 96 dpi. Avoid these graphics, as they will appear pixilated and blocky when printed.

Also note that you should save all photos in CMYK mode, not RGB mode when possible. Images saved in RGB mode may not print properly. If you are unable to save your image in CYMK mode, please let us know.

What file formats do you accept?

They are a lot of file types out there and we can open most to all. Preferably universal file types such as PDF and or Tiff are recommended. If you are packaging your project be sure to include your links, fonts and especially the file you worked on in a zip file.

Do you accept RGB files?

Yes. Proceed with caution. Our printers output in CMYK, and most likely your file will be converted over to CMYK before printing and there may be a slight color change and an increase in contrast. Please inform us if your project is color sensitive and be sure to provide a sample that you would like us to match to.

Do you accept Microsoft files such as Word, Powerpoint, and Excel?

Yes, although it is not recommended. If any of these formats can be exported to a PDF we highly recommend you do so before submission.

Why do the printed colors look different from the colors on my screen?

In short, printers and monitors produce colors in different ways. Monitors use RGB (red, green, blue) color model, which usually supports a wider spectrum of colors. Printers use the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) color model, which can reproduce most-but not all0 of the colors in the RGB color model. Depending on the equipment used, CMYK generally matched 85-90% of the colors in the RGB model.

When a color is selected from the RGB model that is out of the range of the CMYK model, the application chooses what to thinks is the closest color that will match. Programs like Adobe Photoshop will allow you to choose which color will be replaced. Others mazy not.

What is the Pantone Matching System?

The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a color reproduction standard in which colors all across the spectrum are each identified by a unique, independent number. The use of PMS allows us to precisely match colors and maintain color consistency throughout the printing process.

What is a proof and why is it important that I look at it?

In printing terms, a proof is a one-off copy of your document after all modifications and printing setup processes have been completed. It is your last and best opportunity to make sure that the print job comes out the way you want. By carefully inspecting the proof, you can help us assure an accurate, flawless delivery of your print job on the first run.

How long will it take to get my finished product?

We typically turnaround projects in 5 to 10 working days from the receipt of the final approval. We also realize there are times when you need us to step it up and deliver your projects sooner. We will do our best to honor your requests for quicker delivery if it is in our power to do so. It is always best to check with us early on in the development of a project so that we may help complete your project on time and on budget.

There is a lot to know about menu printing. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers.

What kind of paper should I use to print my menu?

Printing paper comes in various sizes, colors and weights. Most menus are either 8.5 x 11, 8.5 x 14 or 11 x 17. Even though paper stock comes in hundreds of different colors, 90 percent of takeout menus are printed on white paper, whether it’s flat (dull) or glossy stock (shiny). Paper comes in different weights; 20lb., 60lb., 80lb., 100lb., etc. To keep it simple remember the higher the number, the thicker the paper. The thicker the paper the more regal your menu looks and feels.

How many ink colors should I use?

The basic colors used by the majority of printers for this process are: black, red, burgundy, navy blue, light blue, green and yellow. Other prime ink colors picked from a color chart are expensive and have extra clean up and setup charges. If you are looking to save money, stick with the basic ink colors and keep it simple. To get the best out of your full four-color photo quality menu, always print on the thickest glossy paper you can afford. Not only does it look great, but it feels good in your customer’s hands.

How should I fold my takeout menus?

Folding is simple; there are three basic menu folds: A bi-fold, tri-fold and four-fold. Bi-fold is folded in half. Your basic small 8.5 x 11 pizza menu uses this fold. Tri-fold is folded in three (with the left flap folded over then the right). This fold is popular with brochure printing, menu printing and mailers. A four-fold is folded in half and then in half again. This fold is especially great if you want to add a coupon page or catering page to your menu piece.

What is a camera-ready file?

A camera-ready file is when the printer receives a disc that is ready for print and setup to their specifications. A document created with a home office print program or a word document does not qualify as camera-ready. These programs are not compatible with a commercial printer.

Remember, your takeout menu represents your passion, your business and your food. Your business is unique and your menu should be also. Your menu is the most important marketing tool in your promotional toolbox. Knowing the process and working closely with professional printers, designers and photographers will help you to design the best menu you can afford. This is a very important process that many pizzeria and restaurant owners overlook. Take your time and enjoy the process.

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