Most questions you may have are fully addressed in our “Frequently Asked Questions” below.
What type of files can I send to Copy2Copy?
We recommend saving as a .PDF. We would prefer you to send .PDF and .eps files with embedded or outlined fonts. These files are much easier to handle and will likely speed up your turnaround. You may send .eps, .tiff, .PDF, .jpg, .psd, .ai, and .ind.
File formats like GIF or JPEG compress the picture’s color and pixel resolution and this can cause color shifts and blurring. JPEG and GIF are the most commonly used image types on web pages and are not adequate for printing.
If you send us Microsoft Office files (word, excel, PowerPoint, publisher) we will convert it to .PDF and have you proof it. There will be a charge for it.
How do I convert to .PDF?
It is best to print a postscript file to the disk and then use Adobe Acrobat Distiller to convert the postscript file to a PDF file. Be sure to use press, pre-press or High Resolution quality settings to ensure images will be Hi-Res. Always embed your fonts. Some programs can generate PDF files without having to print a file to disk and then use Adobe Acrobat Distiller. No matter which method you use to create the PDF file there are some basic rules to follow to create PDF files that will produce the highest quality output.
1. Always embed all fonts.
2. Use image files that are bitmap, grayscale, or CMYK, using RGB can result in color shifts.
3. In Photoshop, Tiffs must be flattened, in CMYK mode with no LZW compression. Do not save Photoshop files with halftone function or transfer function.
4. In Illustrator EPS, fonts must be outlined. Images must be embedded and in CMYK mode. Save the file as Illustrator EPS with Postscript Level 3 Flatten all transparencies. Select all objects and select flatten transparency from the menu.
A PDF proof is what we call a soft proof because it is only viewed on your computer monitor. Because of variances in monitors, PDF proofs are not accurate to color. They are accurate to composition and trim size. If color is critical we strongly recommend a hard copy proof.
What resolution should my file be?
Low resolution orders may be printed as is or will be placed on hold until we receive new files, slowing your turnaround. Minimum resolution is 200 dots per inch (dpi) at actual size. Optimum resolution is 300 dpi, and not more than 400 dpi. We print 4-color process (CMYK) and as such we require files that are CMYK. Converting color from any other color space (RGB, LAB, etc.) will result in a color shift/variation. Convert all images to CMYK before submitting files for printing. When using a black background be sure to make it a rich black. The CMYK values for this are: Cyan: 60%, Magenta: 40%, Yellow 40%, and Black 100%.
If you are enlarging the image files when you place them in your document then the resolution requirements change based on the size the document is placed at. Files pulled from web pages are not appropriate for use in files that are intended for printing.
What color mode should my files be in?
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 save your artwork in CMYK mode.
In Adobe Photoshop — open the file go to image — mode — cmyk
In Adobe Illustrator — select all — filters — color — convert to cmyk
Difference between the RGB and CMYK color space and why it matters
RGB refers to the additive color space, Red, Green and Blue, this color space is used primarily in monitors, television screens, digital cameras, scanners etc. When all three of these colors are combined they produce white. CMYK refers to subtractive color space used in process printing: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. These are the inks used in the 4-color process printing commonly referred to as full color printing. When these four colors are combined they produce black. Because of these fundamental differences in the two processes it is impossible to exactly match colors from one color space to the next.
What are bleeds and how should I set up my bleed and crop marks?
Bleed is when an image prints off the edge of the paper. In order for us to have the image trim off the edge of the paper we must start with an image that is slightly larger than the finished trim size. The easiest way to make sure we have enough of the image is to make the picture overlay the document by 1/8 in. i.e. 0.125 in. wherever it is going to bleed. For example, if your page is 8.5 in. x 11 in. the bleed size is 8.75 in. x 11.25 in. When you make your PDF file it needs to have the bleed included or it will not work. Bleed must extend further then the cut line. Using our Copy2Copy templates can help visualize this. Please keep all your text and anything you do not want cut at least .125 in. away from the cut line. When sending an .eps or .PDF, make sure you include crop marks so we can cut the job correctly.
Borders on jobs
If the border is too close to the cut line, it may be cut off-center slightly. We cut through many sheets at a time, so watch your borders to avoid an unwanted mistake.
Overprint and how it can ruin your 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. Unexpected results may occur if you have accidentally set certain things to overprint.
Can I put text over an image?
Be careful about using photographs for backgrounds. If you put text (any color) on top, it can be very hard to read. So the secret is to lighten the photograph a lot more than you may think is necessary. Use a photo editing program like PhotoShop, Paint Shop Pro or Adobe PhotoDeluxe. To screen back the photo, a good rule of thumb is to output the photo at no more than 30% of its original density.
Avoiding transparency issues:
Any transparency issue can be resolved before saving your file. To prevent this, never use shadows, glows, or any other transparency on top of a pantone color. Always convert your pantone color to CMYK.
How can I make my files smaller by compressing them?
Compression softwares are programs that can significantly reduce the size of the files to be uploaded. We highly recommend that all jobs submitted to us be compressed using either StuffIt for the Mac or Winzip or PKZip for the PC. The best way to compress the files is to first gather all the necessary components of the job into a folder. Make sure you have all the desktop publishing pages all the high-resolution pictures (EPS, Tiff or JPEG) and any special fonts. Place all of these components into a file folder and then use the compression software to compress the entire folder. This will keep everything together and make it so you only have to upload 1 file. In the event that the compressed file is larger than 25 megabytes take some of the component (perhaps an exceptional large picture or two and make another folder, compress it and upload 2 files instead of one large file.
Publisher 2000 files – Pack and Go compression:
Please do not use the Publisher 2000 Pack and Go feature. Please gather all the associated files (pictures, fonts and any other graphic used in the job) into a single folder and compress it into a Zipped file. Compressing complete job folders with Winzip or PK Zip (or Stuffit on the Mac) is recommended for all jobs. This will greatly reduce the upload time.
What is Aqueous Coating?
An Aqueous coating is a fast-drying, water-based, protective coating that is applied in-line on press to achieve a variety of finishes at a more economical price.
Protect your image! Aqueous coatings provide excellent rub and scuff resistance. They give protection that far exceeds standard varnishes. Your product will be resistant to smudges, fingerprints and scratches during shipment through to end use. They are available in gloss and matte finishes.
Aqueous coatings are applied to your printed sheet immediately following the inks. Directly after the coating is applied, the sheets are sent through a heated air system that quickly dries the coating. The printed sheets can move on to the finishing department within minutes, as opposed to conventional varnishes which may need hours or even days to dry.
What are UV Inks & Coatings?
Uv inks and coatings are desirable because they essentially do not contain solvent that must evaporate during the curing phase. The cure takes place under a strong UV (ultra violet) light source in a dryer (or reactor). Since UV contains little or no solvent, there is a lot of interest in using it because of the lack of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). VOCs can be potentially hazardous to breathe and dispose, thus the reduction is appealing to the environment.
Setting up a Spot UV job:
When creating a Spot UV job, you must include a Spot UV template file along with the CMYK color printing file. The Spot UV template file is used to show where the UV will be placed. Use black to indicate where you would like the UV and white where you do not want UV.
Difference between 4-color process vs. PMS spot colors:
Process color printing uses the color model that describes each color in terms of the quantity of each secondary color (cyan, magenta, yellow), and key (black) to produce virtually any color. PMS color matching uses a Pantone color guide to pick an exact color specified. We have press capabilities that can print up to 8 colors, which gives you the opportunity to use 4 color process with additional spot colors and/or finishes to get a truly desirable finish.
How do I check for proper imposition or backup?
Imposition and backup refer to how the front of a printed piece is oriented front to back. We will always post the front and the back in the orientation that they will print in relation to each other. So, if page 2 appears upside down, that is how it will be printed on the back of page 1. If you are not sure if we have oriented the piece correctly print out a copy of your online proof, attach the two sides together by lining up the register marks on the proofs and attach the two sides together. You now have a working dummy that you can manipulate to make sure it is imposed correctly. This is especially important on jobs that fold.
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 file you need printed. Do not send these kinds of files! donotprint.pdf, sampleonly.jpg, lowres.png, proof.bmp. 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.
How should I take pictures with my digital camera?
It is very important to make sure that the camera is set to the highest quality setting possible. Remember that images should be at 300 dpi in their final size in the layout!
More often than not, we notice that images that come from digital cameras print darker than expected on the printing. Check to see if you have a brightness option in your image-editing program to lighten the entire piece. If you have the opportunity to change the color space from RGB (red, green, and blue) to the printing press colors of CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black), then do so! It is always better to have you change the color space if you can, than for us to do it. Remember, not all colors that you can see that are created by elements of light (RGB) can be created by the elements of ink (CMYK) on press. If you do not have this capability on your camera, please use software such as Photoshop to change it. Finally, we recommend that you apply a little sharpening to the image. This will make the image a little crisper and will print better on press.
What is foil stamping?
Foil stamping is a process where a shiny metallic leaf is physically stamped with heat and pressure onto the substrate. Benefits are a highly reflective finish that demands attention.
When High Gloss Metallic Printing is preferred, foil stamping is the answer. The most popular foils include gold, silver, and copper.
What is Embossing/Debossing?
Embossing and Debossing is the process of leaving a relief imprint on substrate. It is applied in the same process as foil stamping, in which a metal die is pressed to leave an impression.
When looking for subtle image qualities, embossing or debossing create a textured surface. Embossing and debossing give an upscale appearance to almost any logo or type. Use it with silk-screening or foil stamping for an even more elegant look.
Embossing/Debossing is used when printing turned edge loose-leaf binders, custom covers, index tabs, presentation folders, and media packaging applications.
What is Die Cutting?
Traditional die cut windows can be made to any size. Custom Shapes can also be used to create the distinctive image your design team requires to maximize the impact of your graphic communications. Die cutting is used when printing poly binders and boxes, custom covers, index tabs, presentation folders, and media packaging applications.
Create information windows or through custom shapes. Die-cut solutions break through the clutter and make your materials more distinctive.
What is Silk Screening?
This method of printing works on most substrates and can be used to print PMS colors. Multiple colors can be applied as well as half tones and bleeds. Silk-screening is used when printing custom combs, poly, turned edge and vinyl loose-leaf binders, and cover applications.
With the capability to print up to six vibrant colors on almost any material, silk-screening is a great way to get your brand noticed.
What is Bundling and how does it work?
Bundling offers the convenience of sorting print orders into predetermined quantities for ease of use by you, your customers or for EDDM purposes. Orders will be bundled in quantities of either 50 or 100 pieces and they will be banded in accordance with USPS EDDM banding requirements.
Processing time for bundling your product may not be included in the turnaround time that you select when placing your order.
Please add 1 to 2 days to your turnaround time for this service.
The type of band we use may vary subject to availability.
The maximum quantity offered for bundling is 25,000 pieces.
What class of mail is offered?
200 pieces required to qualify for Presort Standard.
Post office delivery time is estimated two weeks.
Cheapest postage rate but longest delivery time.
Presorted First Class
500 pieces required to qualify for Presort First Class.
Post office delivery time is estimated 1 – 3 business days.
Non-Presort First Class
200 pieces to qualify for Non-Presort First Class.
Post office delivery time is estimated 1- 3 business days.
Non-Presort First Class is the same as placing a stamp on an envelope (no discount).
200 pieces to qualify for Non-Profit mail.
Customer needs to provide proper documentation to qualify for Non-Profit rate. *(PS Form 3623)
Post office delivery time is estimated two weeks (Same as Presort Standard).
Uses customer’s Non-Profit account with Copy2Copy’s permit number.
What types of files are acceptable for mailing list?
We accept the following formats: .xls (Excel [recommended]), .csv (Comma delimited).
Can an extra line be added to the addressing lines?
Our standard pricing includes a maximum 5 lines. Additional lines may require an extra setup and setup charge. Please call for details.
Does Copy2Copy mail for Non-Profit organizations?
Yes, if you have a Non-Profit account with USPS
Can we use our own permit instead of Copy2Copy’s?
Yes, mailing service is offered to all customers that want to use their own permit or Copy2Copys permit.
What happens to the remainders that are not mailed out?
If requested, the remainders will be available for pick-up / delivery. We can also recycle them for you.
How do we pay for postage?
Postage has to be paid by check only.
How do we pay for mailing services?
Mailing services charges will be paid along with your print Order.
Is postage included in the mailing service cost?
No, postage is a separate charge.
How do we get postage estimate?
Actual postage costs will be determined once we process your provided mailing list.
What is the turnaround for mailing?
Mailing turnaround begins once the proof is approved. Here are the turnaround times for data processing:
200 – 25,000
1 – 3 business days
30,000 – 60,000
3 – 5 business days
70,000 – 100,000
5 – 7 business days
How much is mailing service charge?
The mailing service charge is based on the quantity of your mailing order.
What is included in mailing services?
Data process of one mailing list (a charge will be applicable for each additional list)
C.A.S.S. Certification (Coding Accuracy Support System)
N.C.O.A (National Change of Address)
Ink-jet setup and addressing
Post Office delivery
What is the address/indicia layout for mailing?
You must have: 4w x 2.5h inches of blank space at the bottom right hand corner for addressing and barcode. 1w x 1h inches of blank space at the top right hand corner for the indicia/permit. (see figure below)
What type of paper can we ink jet for mailing?
We can ink jet on paper that does not have UV coating on postage side and address block.
4/1 14 or 16pt
4/4 Spot UV or UV Front
Matte 14pt or 16pt
70lb bright white
What are the specifications for post cards?
STANDARD SIZES AND WEIGHTS:
FIRST Class- up to 4.25 X 6 – the weight for this sized card must be a minimum of 7 PT
PRSTD Standard – up to 4.25 X 6 – the weight for this sized card must be a minimum of 7 PT
LARGER SIZED CARDS:
PRSTD Standard (only) from 4.25 X 6 through 6.125 X 11.5 the weight must be a minimum of 9 PT (NOTE THAT 80# GLOSS COVER DOES NOT QUALIFY AS A MINIMUM OF 9 PT, 80# MATTE COVER MAY QUALIFY BUT YOU MUST DOUBLE CHECK THE WEIGHT OF THESE STOCKS AS THIS CAN VARY FROM MILL TO MILL).
DO NOT TRY TO MAIL ANYTHING SMALLER THAN 3.5 X 5.5 as these will not mail.
Often times it is less costly to send a post card (up 4.25 X 6) First Class Mail/Post Card Rate as opposed to sending it PRSTD Standard.
You do not want to send an oversized post card (above 4.25 X 6) First Class as it will be more expensive than PRSTD Standard.
For best postal rates: address along the long side of the piece. If you address along the shorter side then you will pay a surcharge as high as 10-12 cents per piece.
Your project aspect ratio is very important (i.e. Aspect Ratio is length/width).
For the best postal rate the aspect ratios should NEVER be between 1 and 1.3 but should always be between 1.3 and 2.5. To make this easier to understand: if the piece looks like a rectangle you are probably okay, if it looks like a square you are in trouble.
Anything larger than 6.125 or 11.5 in one dimension will ship as a FLAT instead of at PRSTD Standard / bulk rate.
FOR FLATS — THE ABOVE WEIGHTS AND ASPECT RATIOS DO NOT MATTER BECAUSE YOU ARE ALREADY PAYING THE HIGHER (PREMIUM) POSTAL RATE.
Using colors, screens and/or patterns beneath the address area of a mail piece is not recommended. White is the safest and easiest of all colors to use in the address area, all other colors and screens are subject to scrutiny from the post office. Reflectivity/reflectance must be above .5 according to USPS standards. The darker the area being addressed/inkjetted – the lower the reflectance. A patterned background is a bad idea as well since a barcode will be printed on top of a pattern and the pattern will render the bar code impossible to read with automation. The post office may bounce the entire project if there is a pattern behind the address portion of the inkjet.
Your addressing window size should be 4 X 2.5. The addressing box should be a half inch from the right side and 5/8 in. from the bottom of the fold for best mailing.
How can I mail to a particular sub-division?
This involves research as to the zip code, and carrier routes of the area you are trying to target. Give us a call or use the link to the USPS Zip Code look up.
Can I rent a mailing list through Copy2Copy?
Yes. We work with a number of list brokers/compilers and can assist you in researching and acquiring the list that is best suited to reach your target. It is important that you have a clear picture of your client. Your Customer Services Representative can assist you in developing a strategy to identify your best prospects.
What’s the difference between Presorted and Automated?
Presorting is defined as preparing your mailing so that it is sorted to the lowest level available for the type of mailing whether First Class, Standard or Non-Profit. In automating your mailing, a barcode is applied in the address area to assist in processing at the Post Office. Discounts off regular postage rates are applied to Presorted and Automated mailings. Copy2Copy uses the latest software technology to maximize any postage discounts for which your mailing may qualify.
What is CASS?
The Coding Accuracy Support System examines each address in your mailing list for proper formatting to standardize spelling, abbreviations, addresses and adds +4 Zip to improve the accuracy of delivery. At Copy2Copy all database(s) are CASS certified; and processed through delivery point verification. We NCOA update every mailing even though it is only required every 95 days. We are able to return undeliverable addresses for your review and/or correction.
What is the qualification for a First Class Postcard Rate?
Postcards up to 4.25 in. x 6 in. with a thickness of .007 for Presorted First Class available for quantities of 500 or more. There is no Postcard Rate for standard class. A standard mail piece that is larger than 4.25 x 6 is considered a letter.
Can I get notification of a bad address on Standard mail?
The USPS has a number of Optional Ancillary Service endorsements that can be used to instruct the Postal service as to the appropriate disposition of your mail. Contact your Account Manager for a more detailed explanation.
What’s the difference between First Class and Standard mail delivery?
First Class mail is more expensive than standard, but usually has a faster delivery. A presorted first class letter weighing over 2 ounces requires additional postage. Standard mail, if prepared to meet automation specifications, can be mailed for about half the cost of first class. Standard letters can weigh up to 3 oz. without increasing postage. While delivery is not as fast as first class, in most cases, depending on destination it is still efficient.
What is Personalization?
Personalization, also known as Variable Messaging or Customization, is a method of printing portions of the direct mail offer in such a way that it is unique to each recipient. By speaking directly to each recipient by name and addressing their specific needs, you can increase the response to your mailer. Make the most of direct mails ability to deliver a mass audience message in a way that feels personal and confidential.
How can I get the best results from my mailing?
Keep in mind the 40/40/20 Rule: 40% List, 40% Offer, 20% Creative.
List – Do all you can to be sure the people who get your mailer are qualified candidates to purchase your product or service. This includes getting the right mailing list and examining and updating addresses to ensure delivery.
Offer – What you are selling must be relevant and attractive (irresistible if possible) to the recipient of the mailer. Remember that direct mail advertising is still the only way to pinpoint and individually reach your market.
Creative – What you are selling must be presented in an easy to understand, interesting, attractive and compelling manner. Copy2Copy will review your objectives, can assist in designing your mail piece, examine your mailing list to help maximize your results and assure that it meets USPS requirements. Whatever your objective, do not forget to ask for action.
Why should I consider a direct mail marketing campaign?
Direct Mail is one of the oldest and most effective means of reaching a specific demographic. In many instances, it is a less expensive means of reaching your customer and can be targeted with your message on your time schedule within your budget.