What is Bleed & Why do Print Files Require it?

File Bleed Example

To bleed or not to bleed – that is the question. When it comes to print, the answer is to bleed. So what exactly is bleed, and why is it required to be included in your print files?

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To bleed or not to bleed – that is the question. When it comes to print, the answer is to bleed. So what exactly is bleed, and why is it required to be included in your print files?

Bleed is the extra area included in a print file that allows ink and finishes to be printed all the way to the edge of the printed piece. Bleeds extend further than the cut line to ensure that a white edge does not remain after the cutting process. If the incorrect amount of bleed or no bleed is included in the print file then any shift when cutting would lead to a small amount of white area remaining on the product.

All of our file setup templates include a bleed area so that you can be sure your artwork contains the correct amount of bleed. The background of your design should extend past the trim line to the edge of the file. We require all files to be submitted with bleed. The area between the red and gray lines in our templates is the bleed area. This is the area that your artwork is required to extend to.Business Card File TemplateThe majority of our standard print products like business cards require a bleed of 0.0625″ on all sides. Your bleed can be larger than this just keep in mind that you may get a warning when you upload your files.  As long as the previews look good, you should be all set.

Check Your Files with New File UploaderLarge format products such as banners and H-stake signs do not require any bleed. If you any questions regarding bleed or the setup of your print files please contact one of our awesome customer service representatives. They will be happy to review your files.

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How to Use Pinterest for Printspiration

Pinterest for Print Design Inspiration

From sports to wedding ideas, Pinterest is the go-to for the latest trends and creative ideas. Dubbed “the world’s catalogue of ideas” on its website, Pinterest has been in business since 2010. Whether you’re designing your wedding invitation or choosing the stock for your baby shower cards, Pinterest offers a plethora of inspiration.

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From sports to wedding ideas, Pinterest is the go-to for the latest trends and creative ideas. Dubbed “the world’s catalogue of ideas” on its website, Pinterest has been in business since 2010.

Whether you’re designing your wedding invitation or choosing the stock for your baby shower cards, Pinterest offers a plethora of inspiration.

Color Trends and Design

Announced earlier this year on Pantone’s website, the 2017 Color of the Year is Greenery (Pantone 15-0343). A “fresh and zesty yellow-green shade,” the color is viewed as nature’s neutral and a symbol of new beginnings.

Simple greenery weddings and illustrated green leaves are an anticipated wedding trend for this spring and summer. You can expect designs incorporating tropical foliage, rustic wreaths, romantic garland, and a mixture of succulents.

Floral is also expected to be highly welcomed in 2017, especially for outdoor, boho and vintage themed weddings.

Luxurious metallic touches are expected to make a comeback this year. Inline or stamped foil for borders and flourishes are the perfect way to incorporate this trend. Printsocial offers nine inline foil options and numerous metallic stamped foil options for your printing needs.

Themes and Color Palettes

With so many wedding color palettes and themes out there, it can become a challenge to select the perfect one to set the mood. With the help of Janie Kliever’s article, “100 Brilliant Color Combinations and How to Apply Them to Your Designs,” I found 5 color combinations for popular wedding themes.

Nature

Using warm, grayish undertones makes the cooler greens contrast nicely for a nature themed wedding. This invitation was inspired by #4 “Crisp& Dramatic” artwork on Kliever’s page.

Pinterest for Printspiration

Garden

The berry and yellow-green shades contrast nicely with the neutral shades of gray, making for a lovely spring color palette. This invitation was inspired by #15 “Birds & Berries” artwork on Kliever’s page.

Invites Using Garden Colors

Tropical

Using warm and cool colors in both bright and subdued shades, this color palette is perfect for a tropical destination wedding. This invitation was inspired by #12 “Surf & Turf” artwork on Kliever’s page.

Invites Inspired by Tropical Color Palette

Rustic

This palette of neutrals creates a shabby chic and rustic feel. This invitation was inspired by #80 “Shabby Chic Neutrals” artwork on Kliever’s page.

Rustic Invite Design

Vintage

The neutral brown and warm gray combined with the rose and honeysuckle create a charming vintage theme. This invitation was inspired by #68 “Vintage Charm” artwork on Kliever’s page. 

Invites and Vintage Color PaletteInterested in learning more about our variety of invitations and announcements? Click here.

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Why College Grads Need Business Cards

College Grads Use Business Cards

Whether you’re a recent college grad or you’re wrapping up your final collegiate semester, it’s important to dive into the job hunt prepared. In this digital age, it may be hard to fathom that business cards are still relevant. Well, I’ve got news for you; print isn’t dead.

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Whether you’re a recent college grad or you’re wrapping up your final collegiate semester, it’s important to dive into the job hunt prepared. In this digital age, it may be hard to fathom that business cards are still relevant. Well, I’ve got news for you; print isn’t dead.

By combining tech savvy knowledge and modern business cards, you’re sure to stand out among your fellow competitors.

Using business cards during networking and social events give you a huge advantage. Here’s how:

Benefits of Business Cards

1) While it’s nearly impossible to find someone without a smartphone, that doesn’t mean it’s easier or faster to share your contact information. Instead of typing his or her information in on the spot, you can simply hand someone a business card. This gives the person the opportunity to plug in your information at his or her convenience.

2) Business cards are more personable. Engaging in eye contact and cultivating a conversation is key for starting a strong business relationship. It’s better to create that personal interaction by handing out a physical business card.

3) Business cards give you the opportunity to showcase your creativity.  It can be hard to show diversity by simply texting your contact information or only sending an invite via LinkedIn. Make sure your business card stands out; don’t be afraid to use unique color combinations, styles or finishes. If you’re looking to give your business cards a playful edge, our Painted Edge Business Card gives off a pop of pearlescent color. If you’re wanting to add a special feature, explore our Matte with Spot UV Business Card, which offers a spot gloss feature against a dull matte stock. Creative business cards stand out; your business card is a physical representation of your self-branding. When a prospective employer or colleague takes away your card from an encounter, your brand stays with them.

Green Painted Edge Photography Business Cards

4) You can use your business cards to promote your online presence. When creating your business card, your name and contact information is a must. However, your contact information doesn’t have to stop at your email and phone number. Does your Instagram showcase your creative side? Perfect, you can add your handle. However, make sure your content is appropriate for professional use. Any professional websites or online portfolios are also extremely beneficial.

Remember, your business card is one of your key marketing tools. When you meet a professional at a networking or social event, you’ll be able to exchange business cards with confidence.

Choosing the right printing company to create your business cards can be a little overwhelming. If you’re looking for affordable, unique, and socially responsible business cards, check us out! We offer a wide variety of different styles and finishes.

Unsure of where to start? Our in-house designers can work with you on creating your dream business card. Here at Printsocial, we’re dedicated to making a difference; because of this, we donate a minimum of 5% of our gross revenue to charity organizations and fundraising efforts of your choice. Feel good about your purchase; Print with Purpose.

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InkTank: Wedding Ideas

Unique Ways to Incorporate Print into your Wedding.

With wedding season right around the corner, now is the time to start thinking about those small details that can add so much personality to your wedding.

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With wedding season right around the corner, now is the time to start thinking about those small details that can add so much personality to your wedding.

Everyone knows you need a save-the-date and an invitation, but what you may not realize is that there are a ton of additional printed items you can take advantage of, even on a small budget. We’ve put together a variety of unique examples that will take your wedding to a whole new level!

Beautiful Wedding Invites and Stationary

In the above Jenson-Baker wedding, this couple created eight different pieces that tied their entire wedding together. They started with the save the date and a matching envelope. A few months later they set out a coordinating wedding invitation with matching envelope. This also included a small postcard for the RSVP card. (No need to put this in an envelope. This will save you the cost to print the envelopes, plus you can get a break on postage by mailing it as a postcard.)

While at the wedding, each guest received a wedding program and when they got to the reception, the guests had a little place card with their names on it. The cards were printed with the design and then each name was hand written for that personal touch. After the wedding was over, the couple sent out a personalized thank you card that included a photo from their wedding.

Another example of wedding pieces was done for a couple named Emily & Joel. They did their save the date and invite with us, but also added a few other fun pieces. At the reception, they had business-card size cards sitting at each person’s place setting, asking everyone to give a little advice for the bride and groom. When cocktails were ordered, guests received square, silk card to use as coasters. And lastly, for the guest gift, each person received a mini bottle of wine. The couple printed white BOPP labels to go on each bottle, making it a little more personal.

Custom Wedding Stationary Design

Another idea, that I thought was clever, is that during an engagement party, Stefan & Reshma asked each of their guests to suggest a honeymoon location. They printed the below hangtags and had a large map of the world hung on the wall. Each guest wrote down their suggestion and then hung the tag, with pushpins, to the map. So much fun!

Wedding Shower Ideas

A few more ideas for you:

  • Hangtags are great to tie on to your guest gift, whatever it may be. Put a little “thank you for coming” message on there with your names and the event date.
  • Need directionals? Or just fun signs as guests drive in? Don’t forget about yard signs. You can purchase quantities as small as one sign and they come with the stakes to inset into the ground.
  • Step and Repeat banners are a great way to get your guests taking photos and creating memories. Print your names repeatedly (like a special even step & repeat) or create a nice photo backdrop. Either way, your guest will be excited to take their photos and remember this great event.
  • Do you have a hashtag or wedding social media page? Create a small card that directs your guest to your social pages so they can share all their photos with you. For hashtag inspiration, take a look at the blog by The Knot: 20 Creative Ways to Display Your Wedding Hashtag.  

When designing these pieces, one thing to keep in mind is that each piece should represent you and your theme. From the save-the-date all the way to the final thank you card, they should all coordinate and express your theme. Before starting your save-the-date, really put some time and thought into your colors and feel of the wedding. Not only will the guests notice these special touches, but they’ll make a wonderful keepsake for you to remember your special day.

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Print with Purpose: Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte

RMH Charlotte

Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte has teamed up with Printsocial to be part of our Print with Purpose program. This means you now have the opportunity to choose to have 5% of your order donated to their truly incredible organization. Here at Printsocial, we believe it’s important to share their story so others can learn […]

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Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte has teamed up with Printsocial to be part of our Print with Purpose program. This means you now have the opportunity to choose to have 5% of your order donated to their truly incredible organization. Here at Printsocial, we believe it’s important to share their story so others can learn more about their cause and the impact they have on not only our community, but communities worldwide.

Carrying for a seriously ill child can become a financial burden for families.With the medical bills and travel accommodations, it can become overwhelming. The Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte (RMH Charlotte) works to alleviate some of these hardships.

According to Emily Ransone, Annual Support Manager, RMH Charlotte opened its doors in 2011.

Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte

“With Ronald McDonald Houses in general, worldwide, they’re always affiliated with some type of hospital system…so, as hospitals start developing and becoming more advanced, they start having patients coming in from other places—that’s when you’ll see Ronald McDonald Houses popping up because then there become a need for the houses,” she said.

The opening of Carolinas Medical Center’s new 240-bed Levine Children’s Hospital in 2007 and the expansion of Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital created the need for a facility located nearby.

“Our hospitals are becoming more of a destination for care,” Ransone said.

The Charlotte house is able to accommodate 28 families, with one room per family unit. There is no minimum or maximum for how long a family can stay.

“We serve 550-600 families per year,” Ransone said. “Last year, our average stay was 14 nights, but we’ve had families for several months at a time. I think that the longest time was almost a year. It really depends on the type of treatment the child is receiving.”

RMH Charlotte hosts families with children suffering from a variety of illnesses.

“The highest diagnosis we have is children in the NICU,” Ransone said. “So we have a lot of premature baby’s families staying with us. But they could be in the NICU for a lot of different reasons, different diagnoses. For example, the child might be in the NICU but also have cancer. We’ve had a lot of cancer patients, children with sickle cell anemia, etc.”

According to Ransone, there are three requirements a family must meet in order to stay at RMH Charlotte: the child must be between 0-22 years old, the child must be actively receiving treatment, and the family must live outside of Mecklenburg County.

“There’s not an income cap or maximum,” she said. “It all depends on these three factors.”

Bedroom at Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte

RMH Charlotte strives to be a home-away-from-home for these families. Upon checking in, each family is given a private bedroom and bathroom. Amenities include a large living room, dining room, full-service kitchen, playroom, playground, teen room, and a laundry room. Every evening, families are provided with a hot meal by volunteers. In addition, families get a home-cooked breakfast every Saturday and Sunday.

“We have a pantry full of food, so for breakfast and lunch during the week, they don’t have to go out to the grocery store, even though the volunteers aren’t making those meals for them,” Ransone said.

Toiletries and laundry essentials are also supplied to the families during their stay.

“It’s all done by volunteers and donations we receive from the community that we’re able to offer all of that free of charge,” she said.

While families are asked to make a donation during their stay, the Charlotte RMH website states that “no one will ever be turned away due to an inability to pay.”

“A lot of our families can’t donate, or they’re not able to donate a lot because they’re going through a lot of financial hardship with the medical expenses,” Ransone said. “It costs us $142 a night per family to keep the house running. So any donation that is made to the house goes to our Fund-A-Family program and covers the cost that it costs us so that we never have to turn a family away.”

According to Ransone, there are many ways the community can support RMH Charlotte.

“We get all of the supplies we need through what we call in-kind donations, picking out items on our wishlist,” she said. “Anything you need in your house you would multiply that by 28 since we have 28 families. 

Frances Williams, a House Operations Volunteer at RMH Charlotte.

Volunteer Power is also essential for the day-to-day operations. With only 14 full-time staff members keeping the house open 24-7, the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte relies heavily on its volunteers.

“We rely on volunteers to clean, sit at the front desk, give tours, make the meals, do activity nights for the families,” Ransone said. “We call our volunteers the ‘heartbeat of the house’ because we really rely on them to help things run smoothly.”

Overall, Ransone feels there is a strong connection between the charity and the Charlotte community.

“Since I’ve been working here, I’ve been really amazed by the community, and how this community especially, supports the Ronald McDonald House,” Ransone said. “We see folks from every walk of life coming in to donate or volunteer—churches, civic groups, schools, sports teams, big corporations, small businesses, retired teachers—all different types of people…I’ve been very impressed by the diversity of folks that have been involved and get behind this mission because I think almost anyone can relate to having a sick child or sick family member and knowing what that feels like. The heart that’s poured into this place is pretty cool.”

Annual Support Manager, RMH Charlotte

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What is Print Resolution & Why Does it Matter?

300dpi compared to 72dpi

300dpi: What is it, and why does it matter?

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300dpi: What is it, and why does it matter?

Have you ever zoomed into your monitor so close that images no longer look crisp, but rather a close-up of a Monet painting? When you really zoomed in, the images lose their visibility and turn into little dots of color. Those dots are called pixels. The more dots (or pixels) you have, the better the image will look when printed. This is also what we refer to when we say “dpi” or “dots per inch”.

300dpi

A high-resolution file will have a higher number of dots, which is required for printing. 300dpi (dots per inch) is the resolution we recommend for print files. Files submitted to print that have a resolution lower than 300dpi will likely result in a lesser quality or blurred print product.  We often receive files that are 72dpi which is the required resolution for digital outputs such as computer screens. These low-resolution files will appear clear on screen but will print quite blurry. See the example below of two business card files. The left image printed at 300dpi and the right image printed at 72dpi.

Print resolution comparison

If you receive a resolution warning when uploading your files please send your files to info@printsocial.com. One of our file processors will be able to check the files and let you know if higher resolution images need to be provided.

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Introducing Painted Edge Business Cards

Edge Painted Business Cards

Ready to take your business card game to the next level? Printsocial is excited to release its 32PT Uncoated Painted Edge business card.

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Ready to take your business card game to the next level? Printsocial is excited to release its 32PT Uncoated Painted Edge business card.

This creative and daring card breaks the mold of the traditional business card, offering a blast of pearlescent color along its edges. Using thick 32PT card stock, we’re offering five options: gold, pink, blue, green, and purple. The cards are also available with white unpainted edges. At this time, Painted Edge cards are offered in quantities of 250 and are 2’’x 3.5’’ with standard corners.

Painted Edge Inforgraphic

Crushing Our Competition

We’re dedicated to bringing you guys high-quality and affordable products. For $69, we’re offering the single sided card, while our double sided card is priced at $89. Currently, our competitors such as Oubly offer cards for $119, and Thikit’s cheapest painted edge card comes in at a whopping $127.08. Printsocial’s standard production is 2-4 business days.

Pinterest Fails

Pinterest and other DIY sites claim that making painted edge business cards are a piece of cake. While there are those who may attempt to replicate our methods, our Painted Edge business cards offer a superior alternative to messy DIY attempts.

Painted Edge business cards offer a fun, unique and modern alternative. Whether building relationships with customers or networking with colleagues, the Painted Edge business card is guaranteed to make you stand out.

SEE ALSO: InkTank: Creative Uses for Business Cards

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InkTank: Creative Uses for Business Cards

A creative blog series from Printsocial.

InkTank is a blog series that highlights unique and creative uses for print products. We encourage readers to th”ink” outside the box when it comes to your next print project. The following post shines the spotlight on business cards and shows how our clients are using the traditional product in modern and unique ways.

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InkTank is a blog series that highlights unique and creative uses for print products. We encourage readers to th”ink” outside the box when it comes to your next print project. The following post shines the spotlight on business cards and shows how our clients are using the traditional product in modern and unique ways.

The 3.5 x 2 card, commonly know as “the business card,” has a lot more uses than just a handout of contact information. We have seen many people take that small piece of paper and use it for some very creative things. These small cards are perfect for getting information into the hands of potential customers. Here are a few uses of “the business card” that you may find helpful with your business.

Social Media Promotions

Have a blog or a social media page you want to share with the world? You can easily create a card that is specifically geared towards getting people to your site. Keeping it simple will make the card more intriguing.We encourage you to th"ink" outside the box when it comes to your next print project. Check out some Creative Uses for Business Cards.

Advertising & Coupons

Dress Direct chose to create cards to let people on the streets know that they have opened their doors, while Hawthorn 64 created a card to advertise a big sale they were having on some of their clothing.We encourage you to th"ink" outside the box. Here are some creative ways to advertising with business cards and using them for coupons.

Frequent Shopper Punch Cards

Everyone likes getting free stuff! Why not reward your loyal customers with a little something extra once in while? Punch cards are a great way to do this. Whether you actually punch them with a special hole punch or use a stamp, these cards are a great way to keep people coming back.Frequent shopper business cards are a great way to keep customers coming back.

You can select from a variety of printing options to make your card unique.

SEE ALSO: What is Bleed & Why do Print Files Require It?

Check back each month for new and creative ways to use print products. And most importantly… don’t be afraid to th“ink” outside the box!

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CMYK Black Builds – Our Suggestions and Why

Suggested CMYK Rich Black Configurations

Printing a true or rich black can be tricky, so we’re breaking down CMYK configurations for both our recommended black builds and explaining why some of the frequently used black builds are not recommended.

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Printing a true or rich black can be tricky, so we’re breaking down CMYK configurations for both our recommended black builds and explaining why some of the frequently used black builds are not recommended.

The printing industry suggests many variations of CMYK configurations for printing a true or rich black. After a lot of testing and calibration, we’ve selected two configurations that work best for our presses. The two different configurations are dependent upon the stock and/or finish that you are ordering.

Using rich black results in a darker tone than 100% black ink alone. For the best possible results, we recommend a rich black value of C60, M40, Y40, K100 for coated and/or laminated products as well as our custom flags, 20PT plastic cards, and magnets.

For matte products, uncoated products, and our vinyl banners, we suggest a rich black value of C40, M40, Y20, K100.

The chart below shows our recommended black CMYK configurations in relation to the stock and/or finish it should be used for. Simply find the stock and/or finish that you are planning to order and use the recommended configuration for the best printing result. We’ve created a useful chart that shows our recommended black CMYK configurations in relation to the card stock and/or finish it should be used for.Rich Black CMYK ValuesC0, M0, Y0, K100 will usually result in a very dark gray, but not a rich black. We commonly see the default black in Adobe Photoshop used instead of our recommended rich black build. The issue with using C75, M68, Y67, K90 is that it will not print a truly rich black. That configuration is the result of converting true black in RGB to CMYK. The print result will generally be muddy due to the oversaturated color build.

For the best results, we recommend using the values listed in the above chart. Have any questions? Feel free to contact our awesome customer support team for further assistance.

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CMYK vs RGB… In the Print World, CMYK Wins Every Time

CMYK color mode wins in the print industry every time.

CMYK and RGB are acronyms that refer to color models used to create images and files. CMYK color mode is used for printing. RGB (not to be confused with Cleveland Browns quarterback RG3) color mode is used to display images that are intended to be viewed on monitors and screens only.

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CMYK and RGB are acronyms that refer to color models used to create images and files. CMYK color mode is used for printing. RGB (not to be confused with Cleveland Browns quarterback RG3) color mode is used to display images that are intended to be viewed on monitors and screens only.

CMYK color model used for 4 color process printing.CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These four basic ink colors are combined together in varying amounts to create a wide variety of colors for printing. You should always request a CMYK copy of your logo or any other file that you would like to have printed from your Graphic Designer. The above Blissful Bicycle logo and marketing materials look as though they were just printed with blue ink; in actuality, the blue color is made up of 55% Cyan ink and 22% Magenta ink. When the two color values are combined for printing, the above blue is the result. RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue. These colors are actually lights that are mixed to create and display digital images on screens and electronic devices. RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue. These colors are actually lights that are mixed to create and display digital images on screens and electronic devices. Images created using RGB color mode are able to display very vibrantly, but those bright neon colors are not able to be reproduced using CMYK inks.

When you try to print files that are intended to be viewed digitally on a screen, the print color outcome will be much different than what appears on your screen. Here is an example of what an RGB file looks like on screen in comparison to how it looks when converted to CMYK for printing.

What RGB color values look like when converted to CMYK for printing.

If your file is going to be printed, it needs to be set up in CMYK color mode. How can you make sure your file is set up in CMYK? Below are the steps to check your print files using popular Adobe design software. 

Adobe Photoshop – Image > Mode > CMYK Color
Adobe Illustrator – File > Document Color Mode > CMYK Color
Adobe InDesign – File > Document Setup > Intent: Print

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