FAQ & How-To
Here you'll find a collection of articles, how-to guides and more to help make things easier on you. If there's something you think we ought to have on this page, let us know!
What resolution should my photos/graphics be for a print project?
Resolution should be set to 300dpi at 100% of the final print size. Pictures and/or graphics pulled from the internet are often low resolution, typically around 72dpi to 96dpi. If used for print these graphics will result in poor quality on the finished piece and will appear pixilated or blocky. It is also worth noting that images acquired online from sources other than stock photography sites may be unknowingly copyrighted.
Photos/graphics should be in CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) format. Images supplied in RGB (red, green, blue) will not print properly. Images taken from a camera phone or digital camera are saved in RGB format and will need to be converted to CMYK.
How long will it take to complete my project?
Turnaround time will always vary from project to project. There are a vast amount of variables that determine when a project is going to be finished. Vriables such as if the project requires design work, if the supplied files are print-ready, the quantity of the order, the paper, the complexity of the finishing (scoring/folding/gluing/bindery), etc. We will always give the best estimate of completion that we can once we know the specifications of the job.
How can I prepare art our digital files for print work?
There are steps that can be taken to ensure we receive your files in the most efficient way. Please be sure to include all necessary files that it takes to create the piece in whatever program you used. This means to include all fonts, support art such as images, Photoshop® files and logos. To collect all of these files you can use (File/Collect for Output) in Quark® and in Adobe InDesign® you can use (File/Package). If possible we would please request that you send a low resolution PDF proof of the finished design so we can make sure everything on our end matches up correctly. When saving files, please include 1/8" bleed past the edge of the paper (see definition below.)
Why doesn't my hard proof look like the PDF on my screen?
To answer it simply, printers and monitors don't produce color the same way.
The monitor/screen that you use to view a PDF uses the RGB (red, green, blue) color model which will always support a wider spectrum of color and show you subtle variances in the design that a printed proof will not. The CMYK format that most printers use covers around 85% of the same colors that RGB can produce. So, when a color is missing or has changed from RGB to CMYK it's because the CMYK format has tried to replace the missing color with the best possible replacement. (this can be seen especially when Pantone colors are used) Programs such as Photoshop give you the ability to try and fix this as much as possible but there is never a perfect way to get what you see on screen to match perfectly to an actual print.
What does Bleed mean?
"Bleed" means that the ink coverage goes all the way to the edge of the paper. On the other hand, printed pieces that show a white border around the art will not have or need Bleed.
To produce a piece with bleed, it must be printed on paper larger than the final page size and trimmed down to the proper size. This will make sure that no white area shows at the edge of the piece after it's trimmed to size.
To make sure that you set your files up appropriately, be sure to extend any color or art at least 1/8" beyond all crop marks or the finished size of the page.
How many pieces do I need to use bulk mail?
A minimum of 200 for standard, and 500 for first class.
How much clear space do I need for the address?
From the right hand side, 4 inches, and 2 1⁄2 inches from the bottom, both minimum.
Do I need a permit to use bulk mail?
No, CS Kern has a permit you can use, either standard or first class.
What format should my mailing list be?
We prefer an excel spreadsheet, with each element of the address in a separate column, i.e. Name in one column, address in another, and city in one, state in one and zip in another. We can also use comma delimited lists.
Does CS Kern supply mailing lists?
Yes, we can purchase mailing lists using your criteria for selecting recipients.
What is the minimum size postcard that can be mailed?
3 1⁄2 by 5 inches is the minimum, up to 6 1⁄8 by 11 1⁄2 inches. Anything bigger than that is considered a flat, and the postage rate increases.