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Offset Printing - Multiple Options Make It Sweet

We offer a complete range of desktop pre-press services. Our pure-postscript scanning solution allows you to move up to four-color – on-time, and on-budget. Various format options give you as much control as you choose. Scans are available as four-color, duo-tones, halftones or line art and can be gang proofed to our inkjets. We can scan original transparencies and negatives in sizes from 35mm up to 5”x14”, and reflective art up to 10”x14”. Your digital jobs and scans can be transferred back to you on a variety of different formats. If no specific blank media is sent along or requested, we will write to a hybrid Mac/PC CD for a nominal fee.

You have several options for placing the scan files into your page layout program: 1. You place low-resolution scans and we will link to high-resolution scans on output, 2. You place high-resolution scans, or 3. We will place high-resolution scans (additional charges will apply). If you choose to place low-resolution files and let us link to the high-resolution scans on output, we will retain your data for six months from the date of the scan. If you wish, we can archive your images for a longer period of time, at an additional cost. We also offer additional services, such as:

  • Photo Outlining
  • Screen Effects
  • Retouching
  • Photo Alteration
  • Color Correction
  • Scan Placement
  • File Compression

Scanning Geek Speak
Confused by what it takes to work with high resolution images? Don't know dpi from ppi, or even lpi? No problem, just read on. After all, an educated consumer is our best customer.

ppi = PIXELS PER INCH Often confused with dpi. Best used in reference to actual scan resolution. A pixel is a unit of unmeasurable length. How many of these units you utilize per linear inch is your ppi. High-resolution images are typically scanned at 300 ppi. Web graphics or screen images are typically 72 ppi

dpi = DOTS PER INCH Often confused with ppi. Best used in reference to the resolution of an output device, such as a printer or imagesetter. Typical resolutions are 1270, 2540 and 3386.

lpi = LINES PER INCH This refers to the number of lines per inch for which things will be screened for purposes of actual printing. Typical screens are 175, 150, 133, 120, 110, 100, 85 and 65. 150 is general standard for good quality on a coated stock of paper. 85 is most commonly used in newspapers where the ink tends to spread (this is referred to as dot gain) .

So how do you know what ppi you should scan at for the expected line screen? Use this simple formula: ppi = lpi x 2. For example: For images in TIME magazine printing at 150 lpi, your scans should be 300 ppi; For images used in the Post-Dispatch printing at 85 lpi, your scans should be 170 ppi.

But what about the dpi? The imagesetter resolution is typically one of only three choices:
3386 - very high quality, process separations, above 175 lpi.
2540 - most common for general purpose separations of 150 lpi and less.
1270 - use only for text, line art or simple spot separations.

How Big is BIG? You can calculate the final file size of a scan before the fact with this formula: File Size (Mb) = width x height x (dpi x dpi) x channels ÷ 1 million, or File Size (Kb) = width x height x (dpi x dpi) x channels ÷ 1 thousand

Width and height should be given in inches. Dots per inch is equal to the output line screen times two, if the scan is continuous-tone (full color or grayscale). For black & white linework, use the actual scan resolution. Grayscale images have one channel, RGB images have three channels and CMYK images have four channels. For black & white linework images, use 1/8 in the channels place.

For example, the formula for an 8.5” x 11”, 150 lpi CMYK image would be:
8.5" x 11" x (300 x 300) x 4 ÷ 1 million = 33.6 Mb

Separation Parameters Use these standard S.W.O.P. settings as a guide for your own scanner if your software allows your input. These settings can also be found in Photoshop and can make a difference when converting from RGB to CMYK.

Total Ink: 300% max. on any one area of the page.
Highlight Dot: 5%C, 3%M, 3%Y, 0%K. This is the lowest percentage of color that can hold.
Shadow Dot: 75%C, 65%M, 65%Y, 95%K. This is the highest percentage of color that can hold, added together they equal the 300% for Total Ink above.
Dot Gain: Web press = 25%, Sheet fed press = 15%. This is the percent the ink will spread when applied to the paper.
UCR (Under Color Removal): Replaces equal percentages of CMY with K in neutrals.
GCR (Gray Component Removal): Removes equal percentages of CMY in neutrals AND colors.

Color Spaces Printed images occupy one of several color spaces – CMYK, RGB, grayscale, and duotone. The color spaces are named for the channels each contains.

CMYK images are made up of four color channels – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. When these four color channels are combined, they yield a full-color image

RGB images contain a Red, Blue and Green channel. RGB images are not intended for use in print. They are optimized for on-screen display – the red, blue and green channels correspond to the three colors of pixels used by TVs and computer displays.

Grayscale images are comprised of a single channel. They are what most people consider “black and white” images, though they can be printed in any single ink color.

Duotones (as well as tritons and quadtones) are grayscale images with additional spot-color channels added. This can yield a wide range of effects, such as a subtle sepia tone, or more aggressive and vivid color styles.

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