Q & A
Printing Quality Assurance Questions
Do You Guarantee Your Products and Services?
Absolutely! We 100% guarantee your satisfaction and quality of our print products, and also guarantee your satisfaction in our graphic design and web design services or your money back.
Read the full guarantee here.
Will I receive proofs prior to printing?
Yes, absolutely. We have a strict policy of not printing anything until the client has explicitly approved proofs. This ensures nothing gets printed until you say it’s right.
How can your prices be so good?
Two reasons. One, by operating online we maintain a much lower overhead than many of our competitors. That way you are not paying for our store-front overhead when you buy your Business Cards. Two, we print in larger volumes from a larger customer base making it possible to get lower prices from our suppliers, which we then pass on to you!
Is your product good quality?
Yes! Our products are some of the best you will ever come across. Our paper is bright and thick and our printing process among the best in the world. Check out our products video, or request a print sample kit to see for yourself.
Are there any hidden fees?
There are no hidden or surprise fees. For a complete cost including tax and shipping (if applicable) give us a call at 1-888-587-2383.
What if I’m not happy with my design? Do I’d lose my deposit?
Should we not be able to bring you to a place of satisfaction with your design, we will refund any deposit or fees paid up to that point. You can read the full guarantee here.
If I have a problem, what do I do?
We work very hard to ensure our jobs and projects go smoothly. That being said, on the rare occasion when something does go wrong, we pride ourselves in resolving matters quickly, fairly and thoroughly. We think this is what sets apart the great businesses from the good businesses.
What is colour variance? How does my computer monitor affect things?
Computer monitor manufacturers do not make monitors with accurate colour reproduction in mind. Because people associate brightness with better quality, monitor manufacturers almost always make monitors significantly brighter than is actually accurate. This is true across the board. Even if you have a high quality Apple monitor, there is a very strong chance this will be the case. Monitors also provide you settings to adjust brightness and contrast to your taste and there’s certainly no guarantee from anybody that this will produce an accurate representation on your monitor.
The problem this can cause is that your graphics, in actuality, are darker than they appear on the screen. This is often discovered when a print job comes back darker than it appeared on the monitor. A monitor can also be displaying too much red, or blue or any number of problems. However, having too much brightness is the most common problem.
We seriously recommend that, unless you have significant experience with offset printing, you consider brightening your files by 20% or so, or request that Vertical Thinking brighten them on your behalf, to have them come out closer to what you were expecting.
IMPORTANT: If you are wanting a print job with us to come out like a previous print job you have done elsewhere or are significantly concerned about the accuracy of the colours and brightness, we strongly recommend you send us a hard copy you are happy with so we can adjust your files on our end, using our calibrated monitors.
Printing Files and Graphic Design
Do you have blank printing templates?
Sure do. Click here. Use these in your design program of choice to ensure proper resolution, size, bleed and text safety. Please be aware, that our specialty is making things work and being the expert when the client is not :-) if you don’t understand what bleed, text safety or other terms mean, simply do your best, send us what you have, and we will figure it out for you. Thoroughly confused? Call 188-587-2383 ext 1.
What file formats do you accept?
Virtually everything under the sun! However, PDF, TIFF, or JPG are best. Please be sure to save everything at the highest quality or at a resolution of 300. Here is a partial list of the formats we can work with:
- Microsoft Publisher
- Microsoft Word
What are your desired file specs?
We can make anything work, so if none of this makes sense to you, don’t worry about it. Just send in what you have and we will make it work. The ideal specs are as follows: 300 dpi (resolution), with a 1/8th inch bleed and a 1/4 inch text safety. Blank Templates are here.
Bleed Definition: Bleed is the 1/8th inch extra added to each edge of a print job. For instance, a 4×6 postcard should be submitted at the size 4 1/4 x 6 1/4. The reason for this is that the cutting process in printing is not absolutely perfect. The extra 1/8th inch will be cut off at the cut line and just in case the cut is off a tiny bit you will see the bleed rather than plain white. Practically speaking you need to extend any graphics or pictures to cover the 1/8th inch bleed.
Text Safety Definition: This is essentially the opposite of a bleed. Because of the slight margin of error in cutting mentioned above, you should not put text (or anything important) within 1/4 inch of the desired cut line.
How Does Your Graphic Design Service Work?
It really is a pain free and easy process. We simply ask you to provide us the text information as well as some creative direction. We can use your supplied photographs, or we can find stock photography to suit your needs.
After we have your instructions, we create your design and send you proofs. You then respond with your approval or necessary revisions by phone or email. We repeat the proofs and revisions process until you are totally happy with the design.
We receive a steady stream of excellent feedback about how wonderful Kenny and the rest of our design staff is to work with. Check out our Testimonials page, or Facebook page to see for yourself.
Paper Stock & Card Stock Questions
Can you explain your 100 pound Glossy AQ stock?
This stock is what you typically see used for high-quality brochures and flyers. This is very high quality in that many brochures and flyers you see are printed on stock literally half the thickness. The AQ (short for aqueous) finish is a gloss varnish applied after printing which seals everything in giving you a very attractive ‘magazine quality’ finish.
Don’t be fooled by competitors selling you 100 pound glossy stock. If they have not explicitly said it’s AQ finish, it just means they are not applying a coating which results in a finish that is inconsistent and only slightly glossy.
Can you explain your 14 point stocks?
14 point stock is a thick card stock. 14 point is thicker than what you typically see with the average card stock thickness being approximately 10-12 points. To give you another frame of reference, a credit card would typically be around 20 points.
AQ (short for aqueous) and UV (short for ultraviolet) are types of glossy coatings. The AQ finish is much more common. To give you a point of reference, most marketing material you receive in the mail would be an AQ gloss as are most magazine covers. The UV finish is a very high-gloss finish to the point of looking almost liquid. If you’re not sure which finish you want, we would generally recommend the AQ as the vast majority of people are very happy with this. Also of note is that you can write on AQ finish with a ballpoint pen while the UV is too glossy to write on.
Can you explain your 18 point Matte (Silk) Laminated stock?
18 point Matte (Silk) Laminated stock is extremely attractive. It starts with 16 point card stock printed full-color and then laminated with a matte finish layer of plastic on both sides. The end result is an extremely thick and luxurious 18 point thickness card. This is for the extremists out there! To give you a point of reference on what Matte Lamination feels like, Apple uses Matte Laminated stock (although thinner than 18 points) for all of its laptop, iPhone, iPod boxes. The resulting feeling is somewhat silky, explaining why some people call it silk stock.
Can you explain your 20 point Plastic?
20 point Plastic is what you often see used for plastic gift cards, and is comparable to many credit cards. It comes in white (which can be printed full-color) as well as clear/transparent, and a frosted finish.
Can you explain your 60 pound & 70 pound Uncoated stocks?
We use the 60 pound stock for the sheets of our notepads, and 70 pound stock for envelopes and letterhead. Uncoated simply means there’s no coating applied. To give you an example, the typical paper you would be using in your photocopier or home printer is uncoated.
Because this paper is offset press paper, the numbers mean different things than your typical 20 pound bond office paper. To be clear, if you were to convert your typical 20 pound bond office paper into offset text paper weight, it would be 40 pound. That means the 60 pound is 50% thicker than your office paper, and 70 pound slightly heavier still. Just think of it as printer paper but a bit heavier.
Can you explain your Stickers 60 pound Glossy Crack-n-Peel Stickers stock?
This is a glossy finish sticker with the backing broken up so you can bend/crack the stickers to easily remove the backing and apply the sticker. The stickers are permanent adhesion, although if you’re looking for permanent outdoor use, please call us to discuss vinyl options.
Can you describe your 25 point Magnets?
These start as 14 point thickness card stock which is nice and heavy to begin with. They are printed and have the glossy aqueous (AQ) finish applied. For cutting, a thick layer of magnet is adhered to the back resulting in a total thickness of 25 points.
*Don’t confuse these high quality magnets with some of the cheap magnets being sold online right now. Something came out a few years ago called ‘magnetic paper stock’ which is just a very thin layer of magnet which is coated/painted white on one side and then run through a digital printer. The resulting product looks terrible, has a terrible finish, and has so low a magnetic power that they often fall off the fridge.
Miscellaneous Printing Questions
What methods of payment do you accept?
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal payments, e-mail money transfers as well as business cheques. As long as we can put in the bank, we will take it :-)
What is the difference between digital and offset printing?
Digital printing is generally used when printing smaller quantities. This is because there is much more time and cost involved with preparing for an offset (printing press) job. Offset printing is used for larger quantities where the higher cost of setup is justified by the lower cost of production per piece. The quality of our digital and offset product is very comparable and on most products, it is very difficult to tell the difference. However, the industry consensus is that offset printing produces the preferred quality. As a general rule of thumb, quantities of 100, 250 and 500 are printed digitally, while quantities of 1000 and above are printed offset.
Is your product environmentally friendly?
All of our products are created very Green! At each step of the production process, we are very environmentally conscious. Here are a few examples of how we are attempting to respect our planet:
- All paper stock is created using approximately 30% recycled content.
- We use soya-oil based inks instead of traditional petroleum-based ink.
- We use coatings that consist of very low to 0 traces of VOC.
- Fountain solutions are free of or use reduced VOC solutions.
- We use alcohol substitutes rather than alcohol.
- We use paper that is produced specifically for paper-making. This means our paper is not produced from illegally forested trees.
What type of equipment do you use?
From start to finish, your orders are processed on state-of-the-art equipment to ensure your printed materials are of the highest quality. We use the latest technology in software, printing equipment and processing procedures along with the latest in Pre-Press equipment, Computer-To-Plate Technologies, Sheet fed Presses, both Full and Half Web Presses, inline coating capabilities, several cutting systems, multiple folding machines, stitching lines, drilling and assembly stations.
What does shipping cost?
Shipping costs vary drastically depending on where you are in the country, as well as the weight of the product or products you are ordering. For a complete cost including tax and shipping, please call 1-888-587-2383 ext1 to discuss your job.
How long does the shipping take?
Shipping time in the Greater Toronto Area is usually 24 hours. The rest of Canada can expect three to five business days. Next Day delivery is available upon request.
What is bundling in 100s?
This is done primarily for customers who are going to be distributing with Canada Post. Canada Post (and sometimes other distribution companies) require that everything be bundled in 100s. If you choose this option, your postcards or brochures will arrive to you separated into groups of 100s using elastic bands.
Can I use two sets of graphics for my print job?
You cannot split an order, such as 5000 flyers into 2500 of one version and 2500 of another. To do this, you need to order two sets of 2500. The runs are defined by the fact that the graphics are the same for every piece. That being said, we are happy to pass along multi-item discounts when possible. Please call 1-888-587-2383 ext1 to discuss your job.
Web Design and Web Marketing Questions
How does the web design process work?
Website development basically happens in four phases:
- The graphic design of the website. Approximately one week from your initial consultation and the supplying of instructions, we get in touch with you via e-mail with mockups of how the website could look. A series of back-and-forth revisions via e-mail and telephone occurs to perfect the way the website will look. At this point, mockups are simply JPEG’s and don’t function as a website. This is purely to nail down the visuals.
- The coding of the website. Once you’re happy with the way the website looks, the site is coded into HTML, CSS etc. and begins to function as an actual website, although only on our development server.
- The population of the website’s content. The content for your website which you will have provided including text information for the individual pages, pictures, slideshow galleries etc., is populated into the website.
- Training on how to use your content management system. Training is conducted via phone call and a screen sharing session to make sure you understand how to manage the website yourself through your backend content management system.
How long does web design take?
The amount of time a website takes to develop varies dramatically depending on how large the site is, functionality of the site, as well as how quickly the client deals with revisions and communicates with us. That being said, a loose average time to complete a website might be in the 3 to 5 week range.
Please call us to discuss your project for further details at 1-888-587-2383 ext2