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File Preparation

What type of files can I send to 3 Rings Printing & Design?

We recommend saving as a .PDF

You may also send the file in the following types: jpg, jpeg, psd, tif, tiff, eps, ai, and png

We prefer that you send .PDF and .EPS files with outlined fonts. These files are easier to handle and will likely speed up your turn-around. Remember to add crop marks and flatten your files before uploading.

We also do not accept multi-page PDF’s, except for multi-page booklets.  Front and Back print files should be sent separately and labeled clearly such as, July4th_PRINT_A.pdf and July4th_PRINT_B.pdf.  Labeling files with ‘A’ will mean front and ‘B’ will mean back.  DO NOT label your print files front.pdf & back.pdf, as this is too generic and will cause confusion and possible production delays.

What color mode should my files be?

If you send us an RGB file, there is a chance that a color shift may occur and you may not be satisfied with your job.  You should always start and finish your designs in CMYK color mode.

What resolution should my file be?

Low-resolution files may be printed as is or will be placed on hold until we receive new files, slowing your turn-around.  We only accept 300 dpi files and no less.

How should I set up my bleed and crop marks?

Bleed is the background image, “bleeding” out past the cut line.  Bleed is .0625” on all 4 sides, which add up to .125” total. Using one of our 3 Rings Printing & Design templates can help you visualize this. Please keep all text and anything you do not want cut at least .125″ away from the cut line.  When sending an .eps or .pdf, make sure you include crop marks so we can cut the job correctly.

Does 3 Rings Printing & Design accept borders on jobs?

If we absolutely have to then yes we do, but if the border is too close to the cutline, the border may be cut off-center slightly.  We cut through many sheets at a time and slippage when cutting does occur (this is the purpose of bleed), so watch your borders to avoid an unwanted mistake.  Its best to avoid borders whenever possible and we do not offer free reprints for borders that are cut off-center.

How should I set up my file for proper rotation?

3 Rings Printing & Design requires Print Ready files with proper rotation. Files submitted are printed HEAD to HEAD as-is based off your files.  Make sure to set up your files so that when we print them HEAD to HEAD the final product will read the way you would like. Also, front and back files need to be set up either both sides vertically or both sides horizontally.  If you would like your back file to be upside down, please send your artwork as shown below.

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If you have a fold-over or greeting card, please send your artwork as shown.

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For files not properly set up, 3 Rings Printing & Design will use our best judgment and will not be responsible for improper rotation.

How can I avoid transparency issues?

Any transparency issue can be resolved before saving your file.  To prevent this, never use shadows, glows, or any other transparency (image or otherwise) on top of a spot color. Always convert your spot color to CMYK and flatten before sending.  All of these effects will cause transparency problems.

Should I send a proof or sample file?

When sending artwork, do not send extra files, like proofs or samples, because they might get printed. Only send the files you need printed.  We are not responsible for these kinds of files being printed. Unless requested by one of our employees, DO NOT send files that you do not want printed.  In addition once your job is received, all edits should be finalized, the copy carefully proofread and all design issues should be settled.  We are not responsible for proofing any submitted jobs and we will not take any responsibility for any designer errors.  3 Rings Printing & Design will print your files as sent.  Poor quality files will result in poor output and files sent as is are not eligible for reprint.

What is overprint, and how can it ruin my file?

Primarily used to intentionally overlap inks for a number of reasons, overprint can cause unexpected results. We suggest that you turn all overprint objects off before submitting your files.  Always check logos and other artwork before submitting.

Can I submit a front and back in the same file?

No. We are now specifically set up to process one side at a time, and this requires that each side of a job must be on a separate file.  Not separating files will cause delays and you might have to send the files again. Remember to separate the pages of your .pdf files as well.

How should I set up a Spot UV job?

When creating a Spot UV job, you must include a Spot UV template file along with the regular full color file. The Spot UV template file is used to show where the UV will be placed.  Use 100% K to indicate where you would like the UV. White will indicate no UV.

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How can I make sure my blues do not come out purple?

When using a blue in your design, always make sure to leave at least a 30% difference in your Cyan and Magenta values.

100% C 100% M 0% Y 0% K

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Blue is close to purple in the CMYK spectrum. Remember, use a low amount of magenta whenever using high amounts of cyan to avoid purple.

EXAMPLE: C-100 M-70 Y-0 K-0

How do I export a .pdf correctly?

When exporting from any program such as InDesign or Illustrator, use these settings to make sure your .PDF files export correctly.

EXPORT SETTINGS FOR .PDF FILES

Adobe PDF Preset is set to: Press Quality

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Compatibility is set to: Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3)

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Compress Text and Line Art is set to: Off

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If you are using any other application please save your files in one of these formats listed (PDF’s, EPS, or TIFF). In all cases please convert all your fonts to outlines.

Below are instructions on how to save your files to make them print ready.

*Corel Draw:

Saving your Corel Draw file as an Adobe Illustrator EPS

  • Embed all Images
  • Convert all your text/copy to outline fonts
  • Export as Illustrator EPS

* Freehand:

  •   Embed all Images
  •   Convert all your text/copy to paths
  •   Export as Illustrator EPS or PDF

* PageMaker:

Saving your PageMaker file as an EPS

  • Embed all Images
  • Convert all your text/copy to outline fonts
  • Export your file as an EPS using the below settings: Postscript Level 2, CMYK Mode, TIFF format, and Binary

* Publisher:

You will need to have the full version of Adobe Acrobat PDF. If you do have the full version of Adobe Acrobat PDF please follow the steps below.

Under File, Print, select Adobe PDF writer – Under Properties select
Press Quality and Save your PDF

How do I get a grayscale image in a CMYK document?

Grayscale images that are converted to CMYK will have a color shift in the final print. That shift may be green or yellow.  Always check the CMYK values of your grayscale in the final CMYK document. If there are other values other than K in your grayscale image, there is a chance that the color will vary.

To eliminate all values other than K, use your Channel Mixer (adjustment layer) in Photoshop, then click “Monochrome” and adjust accordingly.

What is rich black and how can I get it?

Rich black is an ink mixture of solid black, 100% K, with additional CMY ink values. This results in a darker tone than black ink alone. If you print black alone as 100% K, the resulting black may not be as dark as you might like.

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We recommend using
C 60 M 40 Y 40 K 100
This will give you a deep, dark, rich black.

Why do my business card crack around the edges?

Cracking of the edges of a business card sometimes occurs when the card contains high values of ink, as in dark colors such as black.  This usually happens on a small amount of cards in the run. To prevent this, use lighter colors or if you must use dark colors, use as little ink as possible.

What is banding?

Many things can cause banding. Banding can be caused by the program that it is exported from, such as InDesign or Corel. Also, too many gradient steps, for example going from a very light color to a dark color, in a small area will cause banding.  To prevent this, check your digital files before sending. If you use a gradient, make sure it has enough room for a smooth transition.

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Why is there cracking on my scoring job?

When thick paper stock is folded cracking can occur.  Also when a job is coated with UV then scored and folded the job may begin to crack. During use, the cracks will become bigger and the ink may start to chip off.

CLOSE UP SCORING

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Cracking is normal when coated jobs are scored and folded. Ordering the job without UV will help but may not prevent this. As the job is used and folded more and more, cracking will eventually happen.

How can Pantone colors affect the way my job prints?

There are three different ways Pantone colors can affect the way your job prints.

The first is by object effects, such as shadows or glows, on top of your Pantone colors. Here is what the effects will look like on screen:

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Here is what the effect looks like after printing:

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As you can see, when a Pantone color is under these object effects, transparency issues show up during printing. To avoid this, convert all your Pantone colors into CMYK before submitting your order.

The second way Pantone colors can affect your file is when you use transparent images. Here is what a transparent image looks like on screen:

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Here is what a transparent image looks like after printing:

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You can see the image is no longer transparent on top of the Pantone color. These white areas will show up during printing. To fix this issue, convert all your Pantone colors into CMYK. If you need to have a Pantone color in your art, for example when doing a silver 877c job, you must create a clipping mask around the image so the white area will not show up. This must be done before submitting the order.

The last way Pantone colors can affect your order is the color conversion between a Pantone color and CMYK. All of our normal printing is done in CMYK unless you specifically order a Silver, MU, or Custom job. If you use Pantone colors in a job that will print CMYK, your job might print with undesirable colors.

Here are some examples of what the Pantone color looks like in the Pantone color book and what the CMYK print will look like:
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If you send in a job with Pantone colors, the CMYK conversion will change the Pantone color. Before sending your order, make sure all Pantone colors have been converted to CMYK.

How do I use the templates?

Our Certified Templates are a great tool to create artwork that can be printed faster, easier, and more accurately. Here is what each of the lines mean inside the template:

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Here is what an 8.5×11 brochure template looks like:

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These templates will help you identify where the cut line, bleed line, and safety line, are located along with other information so you can design your art correctly.

Some of our templates are labeled as OUT and IN. This means that there is some folding involved with the template. OUT means the FRONT of the job and IN means the BACK. During the upload part of your order, remember that OUT is the FRONT and IN is the BACK.

Here is an example of the fold-over business card template:

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As you can see, OUT is the FRONT of the job and after folding, will be facing outward. You can also see the rotation of the job. The front must be positioned upside down so it can fold correctly.

Remember, do not move or change any part of the template when using them.

How should I set up a Plastic Card job?

When designing plastic cards, it is important to keep in mind that the frosted and clear plastic cards are transparent. Also, all plastic cards come with round corners at no extra charge!

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As you can see, the difference in the transparency is shown in the image above. The clear cards (right) are completely transparent. The frosted cards (center) are semi-transparent and cannot be seen through easily. The opaque white plastic cards (left) are solid white and not transparent at all. Keep this in mind when designing your plastic cards; it will affect how your design will print.

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Since there is no white ink in CMYK, it is important to keep in mind that the frosted and clear plastic cards are transparent. The three designs above are the same as in the first picture. You will notice that the white area in the clear cards (right) and the frosted cards (center) has no ink and will show the transparent material it’s printed on. In this case, the clear cards and frosted cards white area show up with no ink on the printed piece. Also, keep in mind that all colors that are printed on clear cards or frosted cards will be transparent as well.

With the clear plastic cards, there might be a small percentage that may have light scratches. This issue originates from the manufacturer and is due to the material and handling. To help compensate for this, we run overs of the clear plastic cards to help meet the required quantity.

Clear plastic cards will come with a thin protective layer on one side that can be peeled off. This is to prevent the cards from scratching during packaging and shipping.

How do I set up a Foil Worx job?

We offer 2 types of foil, Silver and Gold. Each order can only have one type of foil, Gold or Silver. You can’t order a Foil Worx job with Gold foil on the front and Silver foil on the back.

Foil mask files are set up just like our Spot UV mask files. The file can only be black and white. Black in the areas you want the foil and white in the areas you do not want the foil. If you order a Foil Worx job with Spot UV, you must provide separate mask files for the Foil (foil mask) and UV (spuv mask), in that case up to 6 files will need to be provided.

However, please keep in mind that the Foil and UV can’t overlap. Also please avoid using small / fine text or fonts for foil objects. For best results, please make sure that foil coverage is less than 50% of the artwork area

Also, be aware that there may be up to 1/16″ shift on the placement of the foil. Keep this in mind if you are trying to align foil with other printed artwork on the card.

Please see images below to see what mask files should look like.

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What is 3 Rings Printing & Design’s standard round corner radius?

We offer 1/4″ and 1/8″ radius round corners to all of our customers. The image below shows the two different radiuses for comparison.

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What is Akuafoil and how do I set it up?

With Akuafoil, you can turn a wide range of CMYK colors, into multi-colored foils. Akuafoil uses a special processed foil system that is applied under 4/c process to create an array of foil colors. It’s simple, affordable, and makes your prints stand out from the crowd.

For an Akuafoil job, you must include an Akuafoil/mask file along with your CMYK file. The mask file indicates where the foil will be placed. The file process is the same as spot UV—100% K where foil is placed, 0% where the foil is not placed.

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As shown above, the file on the left is the normal CMYK print file. If you want the logo to be Akuafoil, then your Akuafoil mask file should look like the file on the right. The White indicates no foil and 100% K indicates where the Akuafoil will be.

Here are some more things to keep in mind when creating your Akuafoil artwork:

  • Make sure the mask and CMYK print file are aligned and match up properly.
  • Akuafoil works best on lighter colors. The darker the CMYK color, the less the Akuafoil look.
  • Do not use very thin or small text and artwork with Akuafoil… Use san serif fonts above 12 point for best results.

If you would like only silver Akuafoil to print, make sure to have at least 15% K in that white area. White in the CMYK file that is 100% K in the Akuafoil file will appear as plain silver Akuafoil. However, for a higher quality plain silver Akuafoil, we recommend to have at least 15% K in that white area.

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When creating knockouts in the Akuafoil mask or in the CMYK print file, beware there might be a “Halo” of white around the knockout area. Below are two examples… On the left, a file with a CMYK magenta background with a knockout for the Akuafoil text. On the right, a Akuafoil background with a knockout for the CMYK text.

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You can see the white “Halo” in-between the CMYK ink and the Akuafoil. To prevent this, grow/stroke the Akuafoil area in the mask by 1–2 pixels. This will allow the Akuafoil to bleed into the CMYK area, reducing the white “Halo” effect. You can also fill in the knockout with a color to reduce the effect further.

What are 4D Prints and how do I set it up?

4D Prints is a Lenticular product that allows you to have two or three different pictures in one. We take your images and create a swapping effect, each image vanishing and then reappearing from one to another as you move it up and down. There is a backing that can also be printed in normal 4 color process. Total thickness with both plastic 4D viewer and backing is 21pt. Only the front side will have the 4D effect.  Your images will transition from one to another as you move the card up and down. At the moment, only a vertical transition or flip is available for order.

We require regular .125″ bleed for 4D prints. The total bleed should be .125″ added to the cut size. For example, if you are ordering a business card the final size you should upload is 3.625 x 2.125. The files should still be CMYK and 300dpi as normal. There are some other rules you should follow as well when setting up the front of a 4D card

  • Dark solid colored and/or textured backgrounds work well.
  • White and light colored areas are transparent, other views / flips will show through white areas causing a ghosting effect. White and light colored areas only work well if each view has white/light colors in the exact same area.
  • Use bold san sarif fonts.
  • Avoid small, fine and thin type. Fonts get distorted through the lens / plastic surface, so the bolder the better.
  • Text that varies from view to view / file to file should NOT overlap, it should be in different positions on each view.
  • 4D effect works best when the variation from image to image is subtle and simple.

Another thing to keep in mind is how many files will be uploaded. It depends if you pick a two or three image transition.

Two Image Flip:

  • 4/0 = Two images for the front only
  • 4/4 = Two images for the front, one image for the back

Three Image Flip:

  • 4/0 = Three images for the front only
  • 4/4 = Three images for the front, one image for the back

How do I count pages for multi-page booklets?

The outside cover is “Page 1”, the inside cover is “Page 2” and so on.

What is EDDM and how do I use it?

3 Rings Printing & Design introduces new EDDM sizes! With Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) sizes, you can offer your customers an easy, cost effective way to deliver their message to every door. 4over makes it easy by offering the sizes and stocks that fit into the EDDM restrictions.

  • Use the USPS online tool to target areas you want to reach with your mailing — choose routes by neighborhood, ZIP Code, or city.
  • Get your mailing to every mailbox along the chosen routes — delivered by USPS Letter Carriers with the day’s mail.
  • Spend as little as 14.5 cents per piece on postage.

For more information on how EDDM works, please visit
https://www.usps.com/business/every-door-direct-mail.htm

NOTE: For all EDDM products, you are responsible for setup and delivery to USPS for EDDM processing. 3 Rings Printing & Design will use our standard bulk packaging to process your order. No additional or specific handling is available through 3 Rings Printing & Design. USPS requirements for EDDM include choosing the area for mailing from the USPS system, bundling the postcards in packs of 50 and labeling each bundle for the preselected route. 4over will not be responsible for these requirements.

For more information on how EDDM works, please visit
https://www.usps.com/business/every-door-direct-mail.htm

If you have more questions about EDDM, call USPS for more information:
877-747-6249

What is our cancellation policy?

Due to our fast turn around time we process jobs as soon as they are received.  If you need to cancel an order you have placed, you must call and or email a 3 Rings Printing & Design employee.  If we can catch the job before it gets batched and plated, we will be more then happy to cancel the order for you.  If the job has already been batched and plated, you are responsible for full payment.

What is “Gang Run” style printing?

Gang run printing is a method in which multiple printing projects are placed on a common printing sheet in an effort to reduce printing costs and paper waste.  Gang runs are generally used with sheet fed printing presses and CMYK process color jobs, which require four separate plates.  Gang run printing allows multiple jobs to share the setup cost and has been one of the driving forces in the large drop in the price for full color printing.

Do you guarantee color matching?

Because of limitations with the gang run printing process, the differences in equipment, paper & neighboring image ink requirements, the accuracy of color reproduction is not guaranteed.  This does not mean your colors will be drastically different, but that in regards to gang run printing the industry standard practice is to accept an overall pleasing color, which is 95% – 100% accurate to the image.  By placing an order with us you agree to this limitation.  If you require exact color matching please let us know as we do offer a color specific service for an additional cost.

Do you guarantee exact quantities?

If you plan on using your piece for mailing please allow room for overruns and under runs of up to 10% either way.  We do not guarantee exact count.  Please choose your desired quantity accordingly.

Do you guarantee turn around times?

3 Rings Printing & Design will do everything in its power to correctly produce your job in a timely manner, but cannot guarantee a specific delivery or shipping date.  Turnaround times are based on a wide range of factors including the difficulty of the job, maintenance of the printing press, timeliness of job submission, fullness of the run, etc.  Please understand that the design/print production process is as much an art as it is a science.  Occasionally there will be delays due to technical malfunctions, equipment failures or file problems.  We will make every effort to keep these events from affecting production and or delivery of your order.

Do you guarantee delivery times?

Production and delivery times are not contractual.  If your item is time sensitive, please plan well in advance.  There will be no refunds for jobs that do not arrive in time for your deadline.

What shipping methods do you offer?

We currently use UPS for all of our deliveries and most items are shipped for free via UPS.  However, under certain circumstances, if worked out prior with a 3 Rings Printing & Design employee then we can also ship with FedEx, Delta Dash, Greyhound Package Express and USPS.  These other methods are not offered for free and are up to the customer to pay for all shipping fees.

Does 3 Rings Printing & Design offer split shipments for the same order?

No.  We cannot ship one order to two different places.  That would be considered two completely separate orders.

Does 3 Rings Printing & Design ship to PO Box addresses?

No.  Our shipping partner, UPS, will not ship to PO Box addresses and therefore we cannot ship to a PO Box.

What happens if there is a delay in shipping?

All delivery dates are estimate.  3 Rings Printing & Design is not responsible for delays caused by the carrier.  We have no control over UPS or any other common carriers’ delivery schedules and cannot guarantee when shipments deposited with or released to these carriers will be delivered.

What happens if my order is lost or damaged in the shipping process?

3 Rings Printing & Design packs all boxes in the most safe and secure manner for shipping, however sometimes the carrier will loose or damage the job.  3 Rings Printing & Design will not be responsible for any shipments lost or damaged during shipping.  All claims must be made with that shipping company.

What if I have a problem with the quality of my print order?

If there is a defect in our work, 3 Rings Printing & Design will be happy to discuss a possible reprinting of your job free of charge or a partial printing credit depending on the nature of the problem.  Please understand, 3 Rings Printing & Design may request a 5” stack of the printed piece in question for review.  3 Rings Printing & Design will not pay for the return shipping of these samples.  Usually a picture of the problem emailed to us will suffice, but without either physical samples or pictures of the problem piece in question we will be unable to issue credits or refunds.  Claims for defects, damages or shortages must be received by 3 Rings Printing & Design within 48hrs of delivery.  If no such claim is made, 3 Rings Printing & Design will understand that the job has been accepted.  By accepting the job, the client acknowledges that 3 Rings Printing & Design has fully satisfied all terms, conditions and specifications.  Please note postage is never refundable.

Does 3 Rings Printing & Design offer refunds?

If there is a defect in our work, 3 Rings Printing & Design will be happy to discuss a possible reprinting of your job free of charge or a partial printing credit depending on the nature of the problem.  Please understand, 3 Rings Printing & Design may request a 5” stack of the printed piece in question for review.  3 Rings Printing & Design will not pay for the return shipping of these samples.  Usually a picture of the problem emailed to us will suffice, but without either physical samples or pictures of the problem piece in question we will be unable to issue credits or reprints.  Claims for defects, damages or shortages must be received by 3 Rings Printing & Design within 48hrs of delivery.  If no such claim is made, 3 Rings Printing & Design will understand that the job has been accepted.  By accepting the job, the client acknowledges that 3 Rings Printing & Design has fully satisfied all terms, conditions and specifications.  Please note postage is never refundable.