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Graphic Design

Graphic Design encompasses the use of typography, photography, and illustration, to form a visual representation of ideas and messages. Typography and layout are the essential ingredients in creating a pleasing and effective composition as well as the ease of readability. Color choices are also a key component and, although it’s often driven by trends, can aid in selling a product or idea.

Paper and material selections are also an integral part of the design process and we highly recommend obtaining samples and quotations prior to final production. It’s always easier to make adjustments to the design stage, rather than at the production stage, and our knowledge of the printing industry can help anticipate any issues that may arise.

With over 40 years experience we have an excellent understanding of the different printing techniques and we can apply that knowledge to create a suitable design for the preferred printing process.

To schedule a FREE consultation and view our portfolio please call or email us.

Logos & Stationery

Maintaining consistency of a corporate logo and business stationery is of utmost importance and, although each printing process has its limitations, every effort should be made to maintain the integrity of the design. Similarly, paper selection is a key component in the overall appearance and feel of the stationery package and it’s often determined by cost. Most stationery is printed on 24# or 28# paper stock with matching cover stock for business cards. Paper grades are determined by the rag content
and are commonly available in 25% or 100% rag content.

When you request a printing quote we will supply you with various options of paper grades and finishes and obtain samples for your review. To request a printing quote please click here.

Offset Printing
Offset printing is a printing technique in which the ink is transferred from a metal plate to a rubber blanket and then to the paper. Offset printing is one of the most common ways of creating printed materials such as newspapers, magazines, brochures, stationery, and books. Printing presses are manufactured with 1, 2, 4 or 6 color units and can reach speeds of 5000 or more impressions per hour. Many modern pre-press departments use computer-to-plate systems which increases the image quality and sharpness on press. Offset printing is the most economical method for producing high quality prints in large quantities.

Digital Printing
Digital Printing is now the industry standard for small run printing projects. In comparison to offset printing, digital printing does not require any printing plates and therefore setup costs are low. Textured papers, however, do not print well with digital printing and smooth finishes are recommended. Similarly, UV coating does not adhere evenly to digitally printed material and other coating options should be considered. The break-even point between digital and offset printing is 1000 sheets of (8 1/2” x 11”) and when applicable we are happy to provide you with quotes for both printing methods.

Full Color Brochures
There are several options for printing a full color brochure and the size, number of pages, and quantity, determines the most suitable printing press for the project. For example, a standard 4 page brochure with a finished size of (8 1/2” x 11”) can be printed on both sides of a sheet of paper, known as a signature, and then cut and folded to the finished page size. And depending on the press size multiple signatures can be printed as 6, 8, 12, 16, 24 and 32 pages.

Another important consideration is the binding process that will be used. A standard 4 page brochure with a finished size of (8 1/2” x 11”) presents no problem, however, a 6 page brochure requires that the right hand page is 1/8” shorter than the other two pages. Similarly, a multi page brochure can be bound using two or three staples, know as saddle stitch, or perfect bound which creates a rectangular spine. The number of pages and paper thickness is also a factor in determining the most suitable binding method. For example, with a saddle stitch brochure or book the center pages will creep outwards slightly in the final trimming and, to compensate for this, the margins on these pages must be moved inward toward the spine in order to maintain consistency. The result is usually less noticeable than margin errors on the outside edges of the pages and, whenever possible, these issues should be addressed before the final artwork is prepared. Perfect binding utilizes adhesive to hold the signatures and cover together which, when dry, keeps them securely bound. With both saddle stitch and perfect binding the pages do not lay flat and other options should be considered such as plastic spiral, plastic comb, spiral wire, or wire-o binding.

Presentation Folders
A standard size presentation folder measures 9” x 12” and dies are readily available with 3” or 4” pockets, both glued or unglued. A custom presentation folder requires a new steel die and depending on the final quantity this may, or may not, be cost effective. Most printing companies do not have the in-house capability to perform this process and once a presentation folder is printed on a flat press sheet it is then sent to a specialty company to perform the die cutting, gluing, and any other finishing. Choosing the right paper stock can have a large impact on the overall appearance of a folder and we always present our clients with paper samples fabricated to their specifications.

Business Forms
Single or continuous feed business forms and checks are available with multiple copies using plain or carbonless papers. There are several companies that offer standard forms, specific to each business, using templates, and imprinting the company information. However, when designing a custom form, priority must be given to the ease in completing the form, particularly when they’re hand-written.

UV Coating
UV coating is a very high gloss coating applied to the printed paper and cured on a special machine using ultraviolet light. UV coating is free of solvents and environmentally friendly when cured. The surface is smudge proof and can be easily cleaned. It’s an ideal application for menus, postcards, brochures, presentation folders, business cards, or any printed piece that requires a high gloss appearance. The liquid coating is typically applied to the overall sheet and, in some instances, spot UV can be applied using screen printing to make photographic images and company logos stand out.

Varnishes & Laminates
The right type of varnish or laminate can enhance your printing project and are applied in either a liquid form or as a film laminate. For example, aqueous coating, available in gloss and matte finish, is a water based coating which is typically applied to the entire sheet. Gloss, matte, and satin varnishes are oil based coatings which can be applied to the entire surface or a spot area to specifically enhance a logo, photo or image. Film laminates can be applied on one or both sides of the entire sheet and, with a sealed edge, makes it virtually waterproof. Film laminates also offer much more protection than liquid coatings but generally are more expensive.

Die Cutting
The die cutting process requires a steel die and creating a unique custom product are virtually endless. Typically used for brochures, pocket covers, presentation folders, door hangers, and product packaging, they offer designers limitless creative possibilities.

Foil Stamping
Foil stamping machines use heat to transfer metallic foil to a solid surface. Examples of items that are foil stamped include annual reports, brochure covers, pocket folders, product packaging, letterheads, envelopes, and business cards. Typically applied using a letterpress printing press the printed image has a rich and sophisticated look and there are many color options available.

Embossing
The embossing process requires steel dies and it’s often used to create a distinctive effect. The procedure requires the use of two dies: one that is raised and one that is recessed. The dies fit into each other so that when the paper is pressed between them, the raised die forces the stock into the recessed die and creates the embossed impression. Most types of paper can be embossed, and size is not normally a consideration. Embossing without ink is called “Blind Embossing” and embossing used in conjunction with ink or foil stamping is called “Register Embossing.”

Engraving
Engraving on paper is the finest and most distinct form of three-dimensional “Raised Printing.” The process requires a copper plate or die with the image etched in the die which creates a cavity. On the press, ink is applied to the entire surface of the die and when it’s wiped off the ink remains in the engraved cavity. With the paper in place, pressure is applied to the image area forcing part of the paper into the etched cavity of the die, creating inked, raised surfaces in the paper. The result is a sharp definition image that is associated with the art of engraving. Each color requires a separate engraving plate and a separate pass through the press.

Large Format Printing
Large and wide format printing can be a unique way to advertise your products or services. Both indoor and outdoor graphics attract attention and can be reproduced on a variety of materials and substrates. In most cases, the larger the better as it can be viewed from greater distances. Different types of ink are used in digital printing and, although they perform the same function, each method has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. We can help you in selecting the right format, material, and ink type, to make your large format printing projects a success.

Posters & Displays
Wall mounted graphics and displays can be a great way to increase customer awareness and, depending on the size, material, and quantity required, can be printed either offset or digitally. Frames and display stands are available in different sizes and can accommodate a variety of printed literature and signs including illuminated displays.

Signs & Banners
There are signs and banners to fit all occasions from table top covers to outdoor signs and car magnets. Whatever your needs we can design a custom sign or banner to advertise your message, products or services.

Promotional Products
Promotional products, also know as advertising specialties, are a great way to create awareness of your company’s name and logo. As a member of Specialty Advertising Association of California (SAAC) were are able to offer our clients a variety of promotional products and wearable items. Suppliers and manufacturers of decorated merchandise are located throughout the United States, Canada, and the Far East and, whenever possible, we prefer to deal locally and within the United States.

Specials and closeouts are constantly being offered by suppliers and manufacturers and we will present you with the best options to fit your advertising campaign and budget. To schedule a FREE consultation or request a promotional product quote please click here.

Corporate Gifts
A corporate gift can make a lasting impression and any token of appreciation is always welcome. Gift ideas include writing instruments, desk and tech accessories, drinkware, glassware, watches, corporate toys, leather portfolios, and many more. All items can be personalized or branded with your company logo or business message and we can supply you with a list of options and ideas to fit your budget.

Employee Awards
Employee appreciation and recognition is of the utmost importance in a healthy work environment and everyone welcomes a “Thank You” now and then. Ideas include certificate, plaques, trophies, cups, pins, medals, clocks, vases, figurines, crystal and acrylic awards. All items can be personalized and we can supply you with a list of options and ideas to fit your budget.

Custom Packaging
As the saying goes, “It’s all about presentation.” A well designed package not only compliments the product but encourages buyers to choose your product over your competitors. Custom boxes include folding cartons, product packaging, retail packaging, specialty boxes, and rigid set-up boxes. We work closely with box manufacturers to design a custom package and prototypes are always submitted for final approval prior to production.

Corporate Apparel
Corporate and business apparel portrays a professional image in the workplace and improves brand identity and team spirit. One of the most important aspects in choosing the right garment is the material. Not everyone likes 100% cotton or 100% polyester fabrics and each have their limitations for decoration. For example, a cotton pique golf shirt does not print well with screen printing and would need to be embroidered. Similarly, some corporate logos may not be suitable for embroidery and might reproduce better with screen printing.

When requesting a quote we will supply you with the most suitable option for decoration and obtain samples for your review.

Screen Printing
Screen printing is a stencil method of print making in which a design is imposed on a screen of polyester or fine mesh. Ink is forced into the mesh openings by a squeegee and transferred onto the printing surface or material. It is also known as silk-screen and serigraph printing. One color is printed at a time, and each color requires a separate screen to produce a multicolored image or design. This printing process is most commonly used for t-shirts, golf shirts, sweats, tote bags, drinkware, and other promotional items and images with fine lines will not reproduce well with screen printing. A minimum order of 36 pieces is required.

Embroidery
Embroidery is most often used on caps, hats, coats, blankets, dress shirts, denim, golf shirts, and team apparel. Embroidery is available with a wide variety of thread or yarn color and is stitched with a computerized embroidery machine using patterns digitized with embroidery software. A sew-out sample of the digitizing is always produced prior to production and some images, logos, or fonts may not be suitable for this process. A minimum order of 36 pieces is required.

To request a quote on any of the above products and services please click here.


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