If you are planning for the business presentation file or projects, color copies are better to use than black and white copies. Color copies make your presentation attractive and impressive and can show your commitment and professionalism in the work.
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If however you think that color copies are not necessary and would be a waste of money you can use black and white copies and make the work impressive by using the nice envelope for the project. Black and white copies are suitable for many of the work when you want to provide simplicity and some simple designs. These are proper for some of the niches in your business work.
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Getting the Envelopes PrintedOnce you have youre envelopes picked out, you need to figure out how to get your design printed on them. Sounds easy right? It will be much easier if you know a few key points about envelope printing.Some Folks to Know: The Pre-Press DepartmentNow that you've made your way past the fast talking (but hopefully friendly) sales rep, you may have to talk with another type of envelope enthusiast -- the Pre-Press department. While not as intimidating as speaking to an ink-covered pressman in the middle of a loud warehouse, pre-press workers are still pretty techincally involved and close to the front lines. They may sit at computers all day like most office workers, but they will spout out print jargon you've never heard. Someone in the department is bound to have some customer service skills, so you can usually ask for some clarification. Going through your sales rep for artwork issues is not usually a good idea, because they often do not have any artwork training.Your artwork will always come to pre-press if it is new art or if anything has changed with the art. They get it ready for the presses by making sure all the colors separate properly, that you've complied with postal regulations, and that your design is actually printable (some things are not!). They get the artwork to a point where it can be printed on plates, which will be inked, put on the press, and used to print your envelopes.Pre-press can also make changes to your art if necessary, in the event that you cannot make the changes yourself. Some changes may incur fees, but you should be notified of these. Most pre-press departments also handle typesetting. If you have absolutely nothing, they can at least type up an address for you, in the font of your choice and stick it on an envelope!Postal RegulationsI know this ruins the fun, but before you print a design on an envelope, you must make sure it fits within the U.S. Postal Service's regulations. If you are ordering envelopes for a business, you will more than likely be mailing multiple pieces at one time. Failure to comply with regulations can result in the return of your mail, or additional charges from the post office. You can get away with some wacky designs if you are planning to pay First Class postage for every piece. But in order to qualify for discounted bulk rates, you had better listen to what the man says! We will attempt to warn you of some of the pitfalls here, but you should contact your local post office with any further questions (the USPS website is not very helpful).The Major Postal Regulations Pertaining to Envelopes: The OCR Read Area -Your address on the reply envelope needs to be within the area that the postal machines read. This is called the OCR read area. If you are unsure whether your address fits, you can go to the post office and look at one of their plastic templates. Your printer probably owns one of these templates and can make sure you are within the read area. However, if you design the address too big or otherwise out of the area, pre-press may have to shrink it or move it for you, which could result in charges. The Return Address - Most return addresses will fit within guidelines, but if you have a particularly large logo in the corner, plus an address underneath, the address may be "out of postals" as we call it in the biz. This is usually OK in most cases. In fact if you are paying first class postage you can put it anywhere on the left or even on the back flap. But if you plan to send bulk mail or pre-paid postage, you had better comply with regulations! Your logo may have to be shrunk to fit the address up into the corner, or you can move the address to the right of the logo so you don't have to lose any size from your precious design. All this is because the bottom line of the address (city, state, zip) needs to be at least 2-3/4 inches from the bottom of the envelope, because that's where the readers will look for it if your bulk mailings get returned. FIMs and Postnets - Also known as "those lines at the top" and "barcodes," which need to go on some reply envelopes. The FIMs (facing identification marks) help the post office identify what kind of mail is being sent, and the postnets are a barcode for your ZIP+4 code. Find out what kind of FIM you need (or if you need one at all), and provide an accurate ZIP+4 to get a postnet. If you don't have the software to make these yourself, pre-press can make them for you (for a fee). These need to fit into their own read areas, with a much smaller margin of error than address info. Pre-press can put them there, but make sure you don't have background designs all over the envelope that are going to conflict with printed codes and other important stuff. Save the fancy designs for the mailings inside the envelope! Business Reply Mail and Postal Indicias - If you are a big business you've probably done BREs and have your own pre-paid permit number. If this is all Greek to you, than it would be best to contact the post office if you are interested in Business Reply Mail or other types of pre-paid postage. If you get a permit number and have no idea what to do with it, pre-press can make an indicia (the little thing in the corner that says POSTAGE PAID US PRE-SORT PERMIT NO. blah blah...) or a BRE graphic for your envelope (again, for a fee). They can also make you one of those little indicias that tells your customer PLACE STAMP HERE, just in case your customers are the kind that forget things like that... Ok, you can stop sweating now. Most of this wont apply if you are just a little guy getting #10 envelopes for regular mailings. Now we can move onto the fun part.Your Return Address DesignBy far the most common thing printed on an envelope is a simple return address, sometimes with a logo. Aside from the return address information above, there are a few things that you need to pay attention to as far as the printing process goes. The edge of the envelope - Depending on how many colors you are printing, you can put your logo at different distances from the edge. For 1 or 2 colors, you can get it as close as 1/16 inch from the top and left sides, although 1/8 inch is usually recommended. The press has what we call "bounce" which means very small distances can't be guaranteed to stay true, and your logo might end up going off the edge. For 3 or more colors, a different type of press is used, and you may need to put the logo up to 3/8 inch from the edges. The white space around the logo is used for what we call a "gripper." The 3 color press needs an edge to grip to pull the envelope through the press. Check with your printer to see how much room you need. If your logo is already set up and it needs to be moved away form the edge, your printer can usually do that for you without a fuss. Bleeds - Many logos include a square of color or another design behind the text that goes off the edge of the envelope. Anything that goes off the edge is called a "bleed." There are often extra charges for bleeds so consider whether the look is absolutely necessary for your design. The charges are not that prohibitive for 1 or 2 color jobs, but when those special 3 or more color presses get involved, they may need to print your envelopes unfolded, and then fold them after printing. Another thing that would require the envelopes to be printed flat and then folded is if the ink coverage is too heavy so be careful!! All this extra work takes more time and comes at a higher cost. Address font - Make sure your address is legible. Humans are much better at filling in the blanks when we can't read something, but the machines will just chew up your envelope and spit it out, so to speak. If it takes any effort for a human to decipher the numbers, you need to use a different font. Make sure it is at least 8 points as well. The legibility rule goes for your reply addresses too, but use at least a 10 point font for those. An envelope is not the place to show off all the new fonts you've just downloaded. Pick something simple that goes with your company's "feel" and, again, save the fancy stuff for the mailings inside. Pre-press can probably recommend something. This may all seem very simple but I have seen a lot of strange things come through prepress. Sometimes a very weird design that is too busy or can't be made to fit postal regulations sits in the to-do bin waiting on an answer from the customer, and several follow-ups later it gets canceled because they couldn't decide what to do to make their envelopes work. Design with these things in mind, and you won't miss deadlines or have to cancel jobs altogether.Designs for Remittance EnvelopesOne of the most complicated designs because it prints on all four parts of the envelope (face, back, flap, back of flap), it always needs a bit of tweaking when it gets to pre-press. We printers love to work on these when they are well made, but some designs can be nightmarish. What you need to know about "remits" as we call them, is how much area needs to be left over for glue on the flaps, folds in the envelope, etc. Your printer can provide you with a template, but it would help to keep a few things in mind as you design. Front and Flap- Remits usually print with the flap open, so your design should include what goes on the front (the reply address, etc.) and the design you would like on the flap. Keep in mind that when the envelope is closed after printing, you'll want the flap to read right-side-up...therefore it needs to print upside down. Also, most remit flaps are slightly tapered, so you can't design all the way to the edge of the envelope. Back or "Inside" - On the flip side of the open envelope, you'll have the back of the envelope and the back of the flap. The back of the flap needs to have glue put at the top for sealing. Allow room at the top of your design for the glue. The top is usually where the contribution information is given (yes I will donate, how much is being donated ...), as well as a statement from you about where the funds go, etc. The bottom is where you put lines for the donator to write his address information, and that's where things get sticky (pun intended). When the generous donator seals the flap, the glue strip is going to adhere to the bottom part of the envelope. There cannot be any lines for information there, because they will get ripped off when the envelope is opened by your eager fundraising team! Make sure you use a small enough design without too many lines of information. Pre-press can tell you how far from the bottom you need to be for each size envelope. You can print things near the bottom for the donators benefit or to balance out the design of the envelope. Often you'll see a website or logo down there, because it doesn't matter if it gets ripped off. There are many more envelopes that have specific designs, and pre-press can give you some guidance.The Colors - Understanding Separations and Traditional Printing The first important thing to understand about traditional printing is that it is not Kinkos. Traditional printing requires properly color separated artwork, with only one color on each plate, and high resolution artwork. It is too often that a customer replies, when told their artwork is not printable, that they had their business cards printed from the same art last week. The business cards were most likely printed at a quick-print shop on an inkjet printer which requires no color separations, and the resolution is probably mediocre. Traditional printing requires the colors to be physically applied to the envelopes by plates of different colors on a highly calibrated machine, not mixed on the fly by a computer printer.Process and Spot ColorThese strict rules don't mean you can't have every color of the rainbow in your design. The magic of screens (those little dots you see when you look close up at a magazine) allows for infinite possibilities of mixed colors, in much truer tones and higher resolutions than allowed by inket printing. In most four color applications, the process colors Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK (CMYK) are applied in varying screens to create realistic, gradiated color. This can also be achieved with screens of spot color.Spot colors are industry wide colors that are standardized (to some degree), and include Pantone matched colors. Some examples are black, reflex blue, and any Pantone number you can think of. They are often printed solid, and used for 1 and 2 color jobs.Making the Art SeparateThe most important part of all this color nonsense is to make sure you design your image with color in mind. You may need a professional designer to get your digital logo to work for this kind of application. Some logos just need minor adjustments that can be done by pre-press for a fee. Just remember that if you are printing spot colors, you can't submit something that's CMYK, and vice-versa. Pre-press may be able to convert it, but the colors may be altered in the process.Fonts and File FormatsCheck with pre-press to see what kind of artwork they prefer. Universally, line art or vector art (not Photoshop art!) is in use in the graphics industry. This provides the highest quality resolution and the best color separations. Again, if this is Greek to you, it may be time to call in a professional designer.Three tips for sending files that I can't stress enough: Line art only! (except for photo graphics and the like) created in Illustrator or another vector art application. Save fonts to outlines! Because not everyone has your fonts, and Mac/PC fonts often conflict (pre-press will have mostly Macs). This turns the font into artwork that can be read on any computer. Call pre-press if you don't know what to do! Save everyone precious turn-around time and get your envelopes done right. We hope these little articles haven't hurt your brain too much. We just want the printing customer to be aware of all the choices out there, and all the pitfalls to avoid when printing envelopes. Trust your sales rep and your pre-press helpers. It's not always fun to admit, but they know more than you do about printing envelopes.This portion of Envelope Printing was brought to you by Printing You Can Trust, Chicagoland printer of fine envelopes, letterheads, brochures, posters and more.
Envelope you use to carry your letters and documents gives the first and the last impression to your work. It is therefore necessary that you give whole lot of commitment and invest time for making it perfect.
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Unattractive or simple looking envelope may not be appealing to your business clients whereas if you use the printed envelope and use some good quality envelope printing, you can get much attraction towards your projects.
Today more and more business companies are hiring professional printers and printing companies that can serve them best and can help them in increasing their business. Business growth generally depends on the confidence you have and the attraction that you can create towards your business clients to get them attracted towards your successful business.
Top quality letter heads, postcards, memo cards, files, envelopes, brochures, and many other sort of documents, if well presented can help increase your business to great extent. These should be made attractive and impressive with the aim to attract your customers and business clients. It is therefore essential that you choose the best printing partner that suits all your needs and can satisfy all your requirements on time.
Envelope Printing - Impressing New ClientsIn the past lithography and traditional printing methods were used if the artist wanted to market reproductions of original artwork. While effective, these methods had serious drawbacks:First and foremost, a high output number would compromise the value of any reproduction. Second, the quality of 4 color copies limited the color rendition of such reproductions. Also, the choice of substrates was dismal compared to giclée. The advent of high-end digital printmaking has opened a new world for artists: more paper choices, better color, limited production.On a pure marketing standpoint, artists who have shows and lectures can now suggest giclees to potential buyers. Collectors in particular want to buy art that is not made in mass quantities. When buying a giclée they are assured to possess something rare and exquisite.Giclees are well established in the art world; they are bought and sold in world class auctions as well as in galleries. Many museums display giclees. Listen to your clients: I recently had a call from a portrait artist. She has a business where customers come to her for family portraits she makes on watercolor paper. She had a few inquiries regarding making copies so that more than one household could have the portrait of their loved ones. At the same time they asked for a quality print, possibly on the same paper. We reproduced the original and it was virtually impossible to distinguish it from the giclée. Now the artist was happy to make additional income and the families had as many portraits as they wanted!No matter what the market is, whether it consists of commissioned art or not, high quality reproductions can generate an additional stream of income given the proper marketing.How can you increase the value of your artwork?One proven method is to create posters (It has been done for a long time by artists and photographers) and sell the posters at art shows. This creates a buzz and facilitates the selling of your work in a poster format to be displayed in various locations. A well designed poster is one of the best advertisements!Second, create art and make high quality giclée reproductions without ever selling your originals. Make for example an artist proof edition of 25, sign it and release it as the only art available.If you wish to be able to sell your original you can do so and still increase the value of your art. Start with small limited editions. As soon they are sold out the value will increase. Always establish and maintain a personal relationship with every past, current and potential buyer of your art! Buyers connect emotionally with the art as well as the creator. They will be more receptive to collecting more work if they feel a bond. Use the InternetCreate a website with a portfolio so people can see the art. Add the URL to business cards, posters, postcards etc. Optimize the site for keywords you want to target (i.e. abstract paintings, oil paintings of flowers, portraits on oil etc.)The artist is encouraged to pre-sell the complete limited edition if a LE is decided. It is a good idea to track the collectors and notify them when the particular edition is sold out. Another advantage of having a website is to create a newsletter notifying people of limited edition publication as well as accomplishments and new art. These practices reinforce the added value of their current (or potential) purchase. Last but not least, ask for a Certificate of Authenticity from the printmaker.We have more information available at Our guide to giclee printing and marketing.
Color copies are best when they come out of a new (latest technology) machine.
Mailroom Solutions For The 21st CenturyAt least 70% of being a great salesperson is based on the ability of the sales rep to ask relevant questions in an open-ended manner. If you are reading this, my guess is that you are considering the acquisition of a new copy system. During my seven year tenure at two leading copier companies, I trained new Sales Trainees in the fine art of asking all of the right questions. It might be helpful to you if you had an idea of what your copier rep SHOULD be asking you. In order to receive the most accurate sales solution for your corporations needs, be prepared to answer the following questions:1. Can you take me on a tour of your facility so that I can see your current equipment? (During the tour, the sales rep should be writing down model numbers, equipment accessories, location, and copy volume.)2. How many black/white copies do you make monthly? Color copies? Is your volume seasonal or even throughout the year? Do you see any reason for your volume to increase or decrease throughout the next 2-3 year period? (Volume is an indication of the speed and size of equipment you require.) 3. How many Black/White Prints do you make monthly? Color prints? Is your volume seasonal or even throughout the year? Do you see any reason for your volume to increase or decrease throughout the next 2-3 year period? How many scans do you send and receive monthly? How many faxes do you send and receive monthly? (You are being asked this question because the digital imaging product line is now multifunctional and systems can copy and print in monochrome and color, scan and fax. Providing you with an all-in-one system often leads to substantial cost savings.)4. Do you currently outsource any printing or copying jobs, particularly color copies and prints? (The rep wants to assess whether or not she can save you any money by bringing any of those jobs in-house and completing the work on the new system.)5. Do you currently lease your system? If so, from whom? When does your lease expire? What is your current payment? Do you want to return your current system to the leasing company when the new one arrives? Do you own your current system? Do you want a quote for a trade-in amount on the old system? (Lease buyouts are a tricky thing and your rep wants to make sure you even have the option to end your lease and return your current equipment. The rep also doesn't want any surprises if you expect a trade-in on your equipment.)6. Do you have the following information in writing regarding your current lease: lease expiration date, buyout to return amount, buyout to keep amount and return instructions for the equipment? (The rep wants to make sure you have everything in writing so that she can figure the buyout of your current lease into the proposal for your new equipment.)7. If you could change anything about your current model, what would it be? If you could change anything about your current vendor, what would it be? (You can bet that the rep's product and company is going to be pitched to be everything you want and more.) 8. Do you wish to purchase or lease your new equipment? What amount have you budgeted for this acquisition? (The rep wants to find out if your cost expectations are reasonable. If you wish to lease, the rep might not even show you an actual purchase amount. If you want to see a cash purchase amount make sure you tell your rep to design her proposal accordingly.)9. What do you look for in a new vendor? (She wants to find out what criteria you will base your decision on.)10. When do you want your new equipment installed? (She wants to know how quickly you intend to make a decision and just how important this acquisition is in your long list of priorities.)If a digital imaging rep does not ask you some variation of these questions, I would seriously question the professionalism and thoroughness of the rep and the company he represents.