You want to have something professionally printed, but you're nervous about getting good results. You're already on the right track by talking to the experts at Keith Fabry. While we make every effort to ensure your prints look great, our work is only as good as the files we are given. Many of you do not have graphic arts backgrounds, some of you don't have access to quality design software, and at least one of you thinks a tiny gnome lives in the office copier. Don't fear, everyone can get improved printing results by reviewing this guide.

WORKFLOW

TURNAROUND

CHECKLIST

FILE

SUBMISSION

FILE TYPES

PERFECT

PDF

TEXT TO

OUTLINES

RESOLUTION

IMAGE

QUALITY

VECTOR VS.

RASTER

CMYK

VS. RGB

GLOSSARY

What are your business hours?

Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. Please phone us to make arrangements if you need weekend work.

 

Where are you located?

We are located on the western edge of downtown Richmond at 7 East Cary Street between Foushee and First Streets (2 blocks from the Jefferson Hotel). View map.

 

Do you offer pickup and delivery?

Yes! Please call (804) 649-7551 to schedule pickups and deliveries or to obtain price estimates for these services.

 

Where/When do you deliver?

We have a fleet of delivery vehicles whose drivers make rounds in the Richmond, Virginia area during our business hours. Please call (804) 649-7551 to inquire about delivery availability to a specific zip code.

 

Can you courier my printed material around the Richmond area to several locations?

Yes. Please specify a “split delivery” when placing your order.

 

What shipping methods do you offer?

We prefer UPS but can also ship via FedEx.

 

Do you carry USGS topographic maps?

Yes. We stock the entire map collection for the Commonwealth of Virginia — USGS 7.5 minute series 1:24,000 scale. The maps are priced at $6.60 each.

At Keith Fabry Reprographics we house some of the fastest and most efficient equipment our industry has to offer. With these resources we are capable of meeting even the most demanding of deadlines but this doesn’t mean that there are not standards to which we try to adhere to insure everyone gets the best possible service possible.

 

Preferred Turnaround

In order to provide you with the best possible quality and pricing on your orders, we need sufficient time to produce your work. This typically means a 5 day turnaround. We can produce your work sooner, but this can lead to both an increase in cost and an increased risk that there will not be enough planning time to ensure our highest quality of work. The nature of the printing world is a fine balance between material stock levels and machine/file setup. Many of our materials are ordered days in advance and jobs are scheduled with similar jobs to keep time and material waste to a minimum.

When providing print ready files:

1. Create your files to the size you want them to be printed at (if possible).

2. Save your files as either .pdf or .tif (see Sections 5 & 6).

3. Review your files to ensure they appear as intended.

4. Upload your files at www.keithfabry.com (see Section 7).

5. You should receive an automated file upload confirmation within minutes.

6. You should receive a detailed order confirmation within an hour.

7. Your prints will be produced and made ready for you.

If you have a billable account:

Your prints can be shipped, locally delivered, or ready for pickup at our front counter when finished.

If you do not have a billable account:

Your prints will be ready for pickup at our front counter after payment. Shipping and delivery options are available upon request.

 

When Keith Fabry is designing your files:

1. Compile as much content as possible. This includes photos, logos, text, and other information that applies to your project.

2. Call (804) 649-7551 or email print@keithfabry.com to start discussing your job.

3. You will consult with our designers (in person or by phone) to plan your project.

4. You should receive a detailed order confirmation via email.

5. You will receive proofs of the design for review. Please approve or request changes as soon as possible (promptness has a great impact on project completion within the desired time frame).

6. Your prints will be produced and made ready for you.

If you have a billable account:

Your prints can be shipped, locally delivered, or ready for pickup at our front counter when finished.

If you do not have a billable account:

Your prints will be ready for pickup at our front counter after payment. Shipping and delivery options are available upon request.

TIP

Use a simple, understandable description of your job when naming your files. Also, be sure to avoid using punctuation in your file names. Example:

JohnDoePosters24x36.pdf

TIP

If you have access to other printed materials (i.e. mailers, magazine ads, brochures) that appeal to you, please share them with our designers so we get an idea of what inspires you. The more we know, the faster and less expensive your design process will be).

There are several ways to get your files to Keith Fabry from submitting media in person to using our online upload site.

 

CDs, DVDs, USB flash drives

Visit our office at 7 East Cary Street and deliver your files in person. One of our friendly staff members will connect your job to our order system. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm.

 

Email - print@keithfabry.com

If you have a file or folder that is less than 5MB in size, you can email it along with as much information as you can provide about your job. You should receive a detailed order confirmation within an hour during regular business hours.

 

Website Upload - www.keithfabry.com

This is the preferred method of transmission. Simply click the File Upload link on the top of the page and follow the steps. It will package all your order information with the associated files directly onto our servers. You should receive an automated file upload confirmation within minutes. You will also receive a detailed order confirmation within an hour during regular business hours.

There are literally hundreds of file types in existence used by thousands of different applications. Many of these file types are specific to the exact application and in some cases even the exact version of that application (building and architectural design software especially). This makes things rather difficult if a printer is receiving files for software that they don't have access to. This is why there are file acceptance standards in effect at Keith Fabry. The file types we work with are listed below.

 

PDF (.pdf)

The PDF (Portable Document Format) is a universally-compatible file that can be created by most word processing, design, presentation, and spreadsheet applications (among many others). This file has the unique ability to retain the formatting and appearance of the original file even when opened in other applications. It is very important in the print industry and helps to insure that Keith Fabry's printers produce your file as you intended it to look. It truly provides “what you see is what you get” confidence.

 

TIFF (.tif)

The TIFF file (Tagged Image File Format) is an industry standard image format. Think of it as an image file on steroids - the file size is huge and so is the image quality. This format is ideal when you need a very high resolution photograph enlarged or if you need an image scanned and can’t risk losing quality. If working with large photographs this is the file type you want to work from. If your software does not allow you to select .tif in the Save As or Export menu options, or if you are uncertain what any of this means, chances are you don’t need a TIFF file - just stick with the tried and true PDF.

 

Other (.doc, .ppt, .ai, .indd, .eps, .pub, .psd, etc.)

If you cannot create either .tif or .pdf files we will happily help you convert them. Alternatively, we can convert them for you for a nominal fee. There are also third party file converters available on the internet that you can download to automatically convert files from one type to another. We can’t stress enough, though, that you should always compare your original file to the newly-converted version to make sure that nothing has changed in translation.

PDF files can be saved from many applications, most of which already have a Save As PDF or Export to PDF function. Simply select .pdf as the intended file type to save as and your application will do the rest. After you have saved your PDF we strongly recommend opening the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat Pro and taking a close look at your file on screen. If it looks the way you want it to your're ready to send it out for printing. If not please call us at (804) 649-7551 for assistance.

 

Below is a list of commonly used applications with a quick overview of how to create a PDF from within them.

 

Adobe InDesign

1. Click the File button at the top of the toolbar and select Export.

2. In the Export window, name and select the desired destination for the saved file.

3. Select Adobe PDF from the drop-down list of file formats at the bottom of the window.

4. Click Save.

5. In the Export Adobe PDF window select High Quality Print from the drop-down menu at the top.

6. Click Export.

7. Open the PDF and compare it to your original InDesign file.

 

Adobe Photoshop

1. Click the File button at the top of the toolbar and select Save As.

2. In the Save As window, name and select the desired destination for the saved file.

3. Select Photoshop PDF from the drop-down list of file formats at the bottom of the window.

4. Click Save.

5. In the Save Adobe PDF window select Press Quality from the drop-down menu at the top.

6. Click Save PDF (if warned about “Preserving Photoshop Editing Capabilities” continue by clicking Yes).

7. Open the PDF and compare it to your original Photoshop file.

 

Adobe Illustrator

1. Click the File button at the top of the toolbar and select Save As.

2. In the Save As window, name and select the desired destination for the saved file.

3. Select Adobe PDF from the drop-down list of file formats at the bottom of the window.

4. Click Save.

5. In the “Save Adobe PDF” window select High Quality Print from the drop-down menu at the top.

6. Click Save PDF.

7. Open the PDF and compare it to your original Illustrator file.

 

Microsoft Excel, Word, & Powerpoint

1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, point to the arrow next to Save As, and then click PDF.

2. In the File name list, type or select a name for the presentation.

3. In the Save as type list, click PDF.

4. Next to Optimize for, click Standard (publishing online and printing).

5. To specify various options for the file, click Options. Select your options then click OK.

6. Click Publish.

7. Open the PDF and compare it to your original Microsoft Office file.

 

Microsoft Publisher

1. On the File menu, point to Pack and Go, and then click Take to a Commercial Printing Service.

2. In the pane at left, in the "How will this publication be printed?" list, click High quality printing.

3. Click Printing Options.

4. In the Print Options dialog box, select the options that you need then click OK.

5. Under Select an item to fix, repair any problems that Publisher has identified.

6. Under Export, select the Create a PDF check box.

7. Click Save.

8. In the Pack and Go Wizard, select the location to which you want to save the pdf, click Next.

9. Open the PDF and compare it to your original Publisher file.

From time to time it is necessary for us to open your PDF file in Adobe Illustrator. If your PDF was created in Adobe Illustrator is it beneficial if you have converted your text to outlines before saving your PDF. Through this, you are converting all of your editable text into vector shapes. This means when we open your files we will not encounter the dreaded “Font Missing” prompt for which we would need to call and ask you to send us a font.

 

Within Adobe Illustrator

Save your document.

Select everything in your document, Click Select from the top toolbar, scroll down and click All.

Click Type on the top toolbar.

Scroll down and click Create Outlines.

Save your document with a different name using Save As.

Important: Do not overwrite your non-outlined editable document.

The quality of your final printed piece has much more to do with the quality of the file than it does with the printer or materials used. At Keith Fabry we pride ourselves on offering our clients access to the latest and greatest printers and media that the industry has to offer, and in most cases these machines are capable of much higher image quality than the files they are printing. This means that almost every image quality issue is directly associated with flaws in the files, not in the printing process.

 

Resolution (DPI)

Resolution is the term that references how much image information exists in a file. Most image files are composed of tiny pixels, which are little blocks nested together. These blocks consist of many different colors and make up each image. If the blocks are large, the picture will look blurry and distorted. If the blocks are small, the picture will look sharp and clear. The number of pixels found for every inch of image is referred to as Dots Per Inch (DPI) and the higher the number (let’s say 300dpi), the sharper the image. It follows, then, that the lower the number (let’s say 72dpi), the blurrier the image. This is very important to understand when increasing the size of an image. As you increase the measurements, those tiny blocks (pixels) are increasing in size, which means a 4” x 6” / 100dpi image (which looks decent printed) is increased to 8” x 12” / 50dpi (which looks blurry printed).

Good

High Resolution Photos (300 dpi or greater) Also enlargement of images to many times greater than the original. This means that the image will print sharp and clear.

Bad

Low Resolution Photos (72 dpi or less) Website images that are intended to be viewed on computer screens do not enlarge well.

Will it look good when it prints?

Resolution is the term that references how much image information exists in a file. Most image files are composed of tiny pixels, which are little blocks nested together. These blocks consist of many different colors and make up each image. If the blocks are large, the picture will look blurry and distorted. If the blocks are small, the picture will look sharp and clear. The number of pixels found for every inch of image is referred to as Dots Per Inch (DPI) and the higher the number (let's say 300dpi), the sharper the image. It follows, then, that the lower the number (let's say 72dpi), the blurrier the image. This is very important to understand when increasing the size of an image. As you increase the measurements, those tiny blocks (pixels) are increasing in size, which means a 4″ x 6″ / 100dpi image (which looks decent printed) is increased to 8′ x 12″ / 50dpi (which looks blurry printed).

In the real world, this chart has many variables such as final size, viewing distance, and material choice. All these factors have a big impact on what resolution your original art should be.

How to test the resolution of your image before printing it.

 

You will need:

1. A ruler (the smaller the measuring increments, the better)

2. A computer with a monitor to view your file on

3. An application that features on-screen rulers along the side and top of your file

 

Step 1

Open your file in the program you created it with. Make sure that your on-screen rulers are enabled.

 

Step 2

Holding your ruler against the monitor, carefully line it up with the digital rulers. Zoom in (or out) until 1” on screen is the same as 1” on the ruler in your hand.

 

Step 3

Set your ruler down and take a look at the image on the screen. If it looks blurry now, it will look blurry when printed. If it looks good now, you guessed it, it will look good when printed.

Along with resolution (see Section 8), image quality is a major factor in image output. Image quality references how the image data has been saved by the computer or camera that created it. Two files with the same resolution could be saved in different ways, yielding entirely different image qualities when printed. This phenomenon is associated with compression.

 

Compression

Compression has to do with the way software tries to squeeze image data together to save space. If software tries to do a lot of compression it will take similar shades of a color and make them all the exact same color (inadequate in the printing world). This creates a smaller file but causes images that look blocky in undefined areas (i.e. skies, smooth colored walls, and dark shadowy areas). These blocky areas are called artifacts. Once artifacts are present in a file there is no way to retrieve the lost image quality. The unfortunate thing about image quality is that there is no defined measurement for it and different applications and cameras have different standards for data management. We recommend using the TIFF (.tif) format when saving large images it uses little or no compression and will keep your images looking great (see Section 5).

 

File Size

Quality images that are not vector (see Section 10) should have large file sizes. These files can easily be 100Mb or more and can cause some computers to run slowly (but this is the price you pay if you want high quality images for print).

 

Web Images

If you look at most of the images and logo files found on the internet you will notice that they are typically less than 100kb in size. They are small because compression was applied to them when they were saved. This effort was put in place to make them load quickly on a web page while still looking good on computer screens. Web images are typically poor in quality when printed larger and should not be used as a resource when creating your printed materials.

TIP

Typically all the photos and logos used on websites are created from high resolution photos that were saved as lesser quality so they would work online. Ask around for information on the website design and someone will most likely be able to track down the original images used.

Good

Low Compression TIFF (1.5Mb file size) Allows for very clear details even in undefined areas such as the sky. Notice the amount of detail in the shadows of the buildings. These dark areas are also a place where many lower quality digital cameras fail. Their onboard software cannot handle the size of the image file so they exclude details in the dark or shadowy areas of photographs.

Bad

High Compression JPEG (200Kb file size) You can quickly see how this highly compressed file has lost image quality. Even at 200dpi it has lost much of its detail, especially in the sky and the shadows. This type of compression is typical with images used for web design. The compression has greatly reduced the file size from 1.5Mb to 200kb but in printing large file sizes are produced just as quickly as small ones.

When learning about resolution you learn that images are made of small blocks of color called pixels. What we haven’t told you is that this isn’t always true. Photographs, scanned images, web graphics, and other media are made of pixels. These images are called raster images and everything you’ve learned about resolution applies to them. Now, close your eyes and imagine a world free of pixels, a world where you can increase image size indefinitely without ever increasing file size or losing image quality. A world where text is always sharp and logos are always crisp and clean – this world is called vector.

 

Vector images are specialized image files that use mathematical information rather than pixel information to store visual data. The file tells the computer or printer to draw a line or shape between a set number of points, which guarantees that the lines and shapes are always smooth. Another reason you should save your files as PDF is that the PDF will not convert your vector images to raster images (a process known as rasterisation). In many cases when saving to PDF your fonts and logos are preserved and can be enlarged without sacrificing image quality. The easiest way to tell if your PDF has vector information in it is to zoom in on the text and logos in the document. If these features are still sharp even when viewed at 1600%, the image is vector and will look good printed at any size.

Good

Vector Logos (PDF, AI, EPS files)

Vector images have no pixels and therefore can be enlarged indefinitely, yielding the sharpest images possible. These are the holy grail of logo files

Bad

Low Resolution Raster Logos (Less than 150dpi at final size)

Typically pulled from websites and letterheads, these files are very low in quality. Notice how jagged they get as their pixels are enlarged.

“Why does the color of my print look different from what I saw on my computer monitor?” is the single most asked question of printers. This is because your monitor and our printers work through different technologies to reproduce color. Our prints reflect light off pigments in four colors called CMYK. Your monitor emits light in three different colors known as RGB.

 

CMYK

CMYK is the term used to describe the type of color printing most commonly used by modern digital printers. CMYK stands for the inks used in the process – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These four inks are capable of reproducing a very wide range of colors (excluding metallic and fluorescent colors) however, they tend to lower the intensity of some colors that your RGB computer monitor can show.

 

RGB

RGB is the term used to describe the color of light, usually in reference to computer monitors. RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue – the colors of the glowing phosphors used in your monitor. Due to the nature of RGB being produced by light, it is capable of producing very bright and intense colors that cannot be reproduced through CMYK printing. This strong point is also a weak point, as RGB has trouble reproducing some neutral colors and tends to bleach out light images. If the brightness and color settings of your monitor are calibrated incorrectly, the color of your printed images will appear different than they do on your computer’s monitor.

CMYK is produced by small droplets of overlapping Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black inks.

RGB is produced by Red, Green, and Blue light emitted from glowing phosphors.

At Size

Creating your file to the size of the final print. If you want a 24 ”x36” poster and the art was created at 24”x36 ”, no further scaling or cropping is necessary.

 

CMYK

Color produced by small droplets of overlapping Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black inks.

 

Deadline

The time by which the job needs to be completed.

 

DPI (Dots Per Inch)

The unit of measurement for resolution. The number of pixels for every inch of image. The higher the number, the more image data there is and the lower the number, the less image data there is.

 

Drop-Dead-Deadline

This is the absolute latest a job can be completed in order to still make the final deadline.

 

File Size

How much data exists in a file, typically in reference to the amount of hard drive or disk space it occupies. The most common forms of measurement are Kb (1 Kilobyte =1,000 Bytes), Mb (1 Megabyte =1,000 Kilobytes), and Gb (1 Gigabyte =1,000 Megabytes).

 

File Upload

This is a feature of our website where you can upload your files 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The link to upload can be found by clicking on the red file UPLOAD button in the top right corner of www.keithfabry.com. You will be required to fill out a form with your contact and job information along with the location of your file(s)(See Zipped Files).

 

Finishing

This is the phase in the printing workflow where any lamination, hardware, framing, or other non-print related processes are applied to the printed piece.

 

Image Compression

A process by which certain applications and file types group similar colored pixels (see Pixel) together into one large area of a single color that is an average of all colors in the grouping. This creates a smaller file size; however, image quality (see Image Quality) can be drastically reduced.

 

Image Quality

How much compression (see Image Compression) or digital image processing is applied to an image. High image quality is noted by smooth areas of color and sharp details while low image quality can be identified by loss of detail in shadows and blocky looking areas in the background.

 

PDF (Portable Document Format)

A universally-compatible file type that retains the appearance and formatting of the original file in which it was created. This is a preferred file type at KeithFabry.

 

Pixel

The basic building block of an image. These are tiny colored squares that stack up to form an image.

 

Preflight

The process of examining a file and checking its parameters before sending it to print.

 

Print Ready

The file is already saved as either a PDF or TIFF and was created to the size of the final output. (See At Size)

 

Raster Image

An image that is composed of pixels (see Pixel). Raster images typically originate from photos and scanned documents.

 

RGB

Color produced by Red, Green, and Blue light emitted from glowing phosphors.

 

Resolution

How many pixels (See Pixel) exist in a given area of an image. Measured in Dots Per Inch (DPI).

 

Rush Job

Any job that requires the interruption of already scheduled work. Rush jobs incur special fees to offset their disruption of the workflow.

 

TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)

A robust image file type that retains large amounts of uncompressed image data (See Image Compression). Ideal for large photographs that need the highest level of quality.

 

Upload Confirmation

This is an automated email sent to you after you have successfully uploaded a file through our website (See File Upload). If you do not receive this email (and have checked your junk mail folder), please call Keith Fabry to make sure we received your files.

 

Wait Job

Any job that involves someone dropping off files and waiting for order completion on demand. Wait jobs incur special fees to offset their disruption of the workflow unless previous arrangements have been made.

 

Web Image

An image optimized for fast viewing on a web page. These images are almost always 72 dpi (see Resolution) and of poor image quality (see Image Quality). Web images are not suited for printing and are typically marked by extremely blurry edges and rough stepped colors when printed.

 

Work Order Confirmation

This is an email that is composed and sent to you shortly after your job has been submitted. It covers order specifics and turnaround information. It is very important to read this confirmation as the job will be processed accordingly. If there are errors or changes, they will not be known unless you contact us.

 

Vector Image

An image that is composed of mathematical coordinates that tell software where to place shapes and what colors they should be. They are noted for having a smooth, clean appearance even when enlarged many times over.

 

Zipped Files

Files that are zipped are packaged together using special software. This makes the files smaller and less prone to corruption when uploaded. Most computers have some sort of file zipping software included with them, otherwise they can be downloaded online for free.

Site Map

Copyright © 2017 keithfabry  |  Privacy Policy  |  Refunds & Returns Policy