Frequently Asked Questions

Q

What Factors Can Impact The Colors Of My Prints?

A

Arguably one of the most difficult tasks about making a print is ensuring that the colors match up to the original document. There are many different factors that will impact how a color will turn out.

One of the reasons is simply a trick of the mind. Remember those pictures you used to look at as a kid where you would see two lines behind different colored backgrounds and then realized, in the end, that they are actually the exact same color? That’s called color association and simply put if you have two green lines, one with pink stripes across it and the other with orange, the one with pink stripes will appear to be blue and while the other will be a brighter green. It’s not because of how it’s printed. It’s because of how our brains perceive it.

Another case of this is when you view an image in natural light, fluorescent or just plain office light. A slight change in light is enough to make the color in an image look completely different.

But there are cases where the machines make the color change. From computer to computer, colors can differ because each monitor has a different setting. The same is true from computer to printer. Unless the computer is calibrated with the printer then the colors will always be a little bit off.

The best way to avoid color trouble is to pick a pantone color, which can be found in Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and, if necessary, we can supply a color chart printed on the target material. Pantone colors are universally used in the printing industry and at Speedpro we use the colors under the coated range. By selecting pantone colors it ensures that we can match up the colors perfectly otherwise our production manager is left with the task of selecting colors that are as close of a match as possible. In this case, a proof can be requested and printed out free of charge where it will be signed off by the customer to approve even the slightest change in color.

Q

What Format Should I Use When Sending Files?

A

Since Speedpro Portsmouth prints large, photo quality images, it is best to send us files that are also high resolution so we can be sure to make you the best print possible. For computer generated images, we prefer them in vector formats such as .eps or .ai files. Photographs are best when they are used in .tif or .jpg formats, which will allow them the highest resolution possible. We can also work with Photoshop files.

The file should be a minimum of 200ppi at final print size and preferably sized to the final print specification.

As a result of these formats, the files may be too large to send directly to us through email so we have a place to upload files called “File Share” located at the bottom of the Speedpro Portsmouth website.

Remember when sending an image to please include all files with it so we will be better able to make any adjustments needed when printing. Also, if not using a vector font, please outline your text that way if we do not have your choice of font we will still be able to see its placement.

Q

Why Should I Use a Laminate?

A

Laminates are like the glass cases we use to protect prized trophies and fragile china. It acts as a barrier shielding the print beneath it from finger prints and dirt as well as gives it a longer life expectancy. There are even times where laminates help to improve the rigidity of a print especially in cases where they need to handled, such as for pop-up booths or roll-ups prints.

There are three types of laminates:

GLOSS laminates have the ability to actually enhance the color in a print by making it brighter and more vibrant. The only downside to gloss is that because it is clear and shiny it can cause the print to glare in well-lit areas.

In those cases MATTE laminates are the best. This laminate is best for graphics that are used outdoors because they keep the glare down, but because of the foggy appearance of the laminate it can dull colors.

SATIN/LUSTER is a medium laminate between gloss and matte. It has a low glare and the colors remain the same when it is applied to a print. Also, as the name implies, there is a soft sheen to the image once it is applied.

At Speedpro Portsmouth we use cold-laminate to apply the finish to the print. In this process, the laminate is pressed between two rollers using pressure to apply the film. While hot rollers are a faster method, we choose to use cold because the heat has a tendency to warp or distort the vinyl due to their plastic-base.

After application, it takes around an hour for the laminate to dry before it can be cut or worked on, but your print will have the protection it needs for years to come.

Q

What Is The Difference Between Cast And Calendered Vinyl?

A

Deciding whether to use calendered or cast vinyl is an important part of ensuring a good quality finished product. While both products are named after their manufacturing process and use similar ingredients, the two are very different in terms of where they are best put to use.

Cast Vinyl

Cast vinyl is made by combining materials in a mixing churn and then pouring them onto a cast sheet. They are then processed through a series of ovens, which allow for the evaporation of solvents leaving a solid film behind.

Because the film has not been pulled through a machine and was heated in a relaxed state, the film does not attempt to go back to its original form giving cast vinyl the reputation for having the lowest shrinkage of all vinyl films.

Aside from its low shrinkage qualities, cast is also referred to as premium, high-performance or 2 mil because the film can be made very thin. This helps it to conform easily over substrates with rivets, corrugations and complex curves.

Due to the manufacturing process, cast vinyl is not easy to produce, handle and cannot be made in bulk quantities so it tends to be a bit more expensive.

Cast vinyl is recommended most for use on vehicles or substrates looking for a paint-like finish that will last a long time.

Calendered Vinyl

Calendered vinyl is made with similar materials to cast vinyl, but no solvents are used. After the materials have been mixed, calendered vinyl is then heated to a molten state where it will resemble pizza dough. It is then shaped with a die, and squeezed and stretched through several calendaring rolls in a process like to flattening out dough with a rolling pin. The vinyl is then completed when it has been made into a flat sheet.

Since it has been stretched during the process, calendered vinyl has a tendency to shrink or pull back toward its original form if it has been exposed to heat.

Calendered vinyl can be made quickly and is ideal for bulk production making it less expensive than cast vinyl. It is also thicker than cast vinyl making it easier to handle and increasing the resistance to abrasion. Because of these qualities, calendered vinyl is also referred to as intermediate, 4 mil, short-term or economy.

This vinyl is best when paired with products that are in use for a short period of time such as six months to a year. It is not recommended for vehicles because its thickness and tendency to shrink makes it less conformable and less durable than cast films.

Calender vinyl is best for use with floor graphics, wall murals and displays. It can be used on certain vehicles for cost efficiency as long as it is for an application that does not require the film to stretch or conform around contours. In many cases it has been used to do lettering on trucks.

If still unsure which material to use, Speedpro Portsmouth would be glad to help you figure out which vinyl is the best choice for you.

Q

What Is Pre-Flighting?

A

When sending over a design to be made into a banner or poster there is a check list production must go through to make sure all the digital files required for the printing process are present, valid, correctly formatted and of desired type.

In the printing industry this process is called pre-flighting since the production manager will be unable to start on the printing until all the elements are in place.

Many times designs sent to the printer will present no problem for the production team, but occasionally there will be a hitch. In the process of saving a file as a PDF or transferring it from one computer to another, sometimes layers or pieces of the file end up missing.

This is why it is important to include all linked files when sending a design to be printed. This allows for the production team to check and make sure the file transferred properly while also giving them the ability to repair things if items are missing.

Some of the most common errors found when pre-flighting are color correction and font conversions.

Color Correction

Arguably the most important thing about any graphic is the color and at Speedpro Portsmouth we want to make sure you get the color you want, but what you see on the screen of your computer may not necessarily match what is printed out.

This is the result of the computer not being calibrated with the printer. When the two are not in-tune with each other the colors will always be a little off. That is why it is important for production to have the original images because it allows the production manager to adjust colors on the original image in the design to best fit the color needs.

The easiest way to make sure your colors match up perfectly is through pantone colors. These are specific colors universally used in the printing industry. Every color has a different medium such as coated, uncoated, process and web. At Speedpro Portsmouth we use coated materials so pantone colors should be selected under the coated range.

The coated pantone colors can be found in Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and, if necessary, we can supply a color chart printed on the target material.

While our printers may not be able to perfectly match a color without use of pantone colors, our 6-color, 1440 dpi resolution printer has the ability to match a color better than a regular home laser printer.

If a customer is still concerned about color matching, Speedpro Portsmouth will do a strip test which allows the client to see what the final printed image’s color will look like.

Font Conversions

Fonts are just as diverse as colors, which means it is as important to include necessary file information for your text as it is for your graphic.  At Speedpro Portsmouth, the design process is done using Windows-operated computers. Since Windows and Mac computers are not compatible, files do not transfer over well.

There are universal fonts that both systems use, but unique Mac fonts tend to go missing if not prepared properly. The best way for a Mac user to make sure their font remains intact through the transferring process is by outlining, rasterizing or locking their fonts into place.

By outlining, rasterizing or locking a font, it essentially strips out the font information turning it into a pixel image which allows it to stay with the design.

We suggest using InDesignSecrets.com for help outlining text in a fast, simple manner with the InDesign program.

At Speedpro Portsmouth we want you to have the best banners and signs available and pre-flighting is just one way we can ensure your design comes out how you want it to be.

Q

Why Should I Use Wall Graphics?

A

A fairly new trend that has picked up over the past few years, wall graphics are the perfect way to dress up a blank wall or put a little color into your office setting. Use them to guide people around a building, provide a motivational message to employees or remind visitors what your company is all about.

Wall graphics can be computer cut to all types of shapes and sizes and come in many different forms from a permanent decal to a removable one that can easily be transferred from wall to wall until you find the perfect space for it. They can stick to most types of wall surfaces including brick and stucco without damaging your walls.

Wall graphics are a great way to remodel an office or set up an indoor display at a fraction of the cost.

Q

Why Is A Tradeshow Display The Right Choice For My Business?

A

Three seconds.

That’s the amount of time you have to grab the attention of a potential customer walking by your trade show booth.

With almost 10,000 held every year, trade shows are the most effective way to promote your business and get your product in front of customers.

According to tradeshowhandbook.com, recent studies have shown that over 90 percent of trade show attendees use them to gather purchasing information, while 50 percent make a purchase during the event.

In addition, trade shows have the ability to reach customers traditional ways cannot. Almost 90 percent of consumers with buying power had not received a sales call in the past year, tradeshowhandbook.com discovered.

But with hundreds of booths and only three seconds to grab their attention, how can you possible communicate to consumers who you are, what you do and the product or services you provide?

The answer is simple: graphics.

It’s true what they say about a picture being worth a thousand words. A single image not only can convey all you want to say about your company, but when presented in a high resolution, large format can really catch the eye of consumers.

With a range of styles and sizes, Speedpro Imaging Portsmouth has the tools you need to stand out in a crowd.

From easy to set up pop up booths to retractable banner stands that come down in a snap, Speedpro Portsmouth offers a wide variety of sizes and configurations with convenient carrying cases.

Options include:

  • Table throws – tablecloth printed with a company logo or other graphics
  • Tabletop displays – typically three-paneled displays placed on tables
  • Banner stands – retractable and telescopic types that are usually 30- to 48- inches wide by 6- to 8- feet tall
  • Elaborate booths with graphics displayed from large truss systems
Q

What Banner Options Does Speedpro Offer?

A

Those looking for a banner to use indoors are best placed with a SMOOTH BANNER. The banner has an even, flat surface that is great for banners that will be seen up close. Uses include roll-up banners, ceiling banners and banners with stands.

For outdoor use, SCRIM BANNERS have the advantage. This material is a polyester mesh that gives added strength to the material, meaning it will be more durable for harsh outside weather conditions. Due to the polyester mesh this material does have a texture to it.

Speedpro Portsmouth also carries BLOCKOUT VINYL. This special material is made with a black layer between the vinyls, which light is unable to pass through making the material completely opaque. Blockout vinyl material is useful especially if you are placing banners back to back in the sun or a well-lit area.

Speedpro as well prints DOUBLE SIDED BANNERS. Have a couple messages you need to get across, but not at the same time? Print the messages on the same banner and then turn it over when the time comes. You can save money and material by simply printing “Opening Soon!” on one side and “Now Opened!” on the other.

Additional options are also available to put on your banner such as POLES to hang them, GROMMETS to tie them up, and BANNER STANDS to display them.

Give your banner a nice finishing touch with BANNER TAPE. The tape is an inexpensive way to seam the edges of the banner and is perfect of banners being displayed indoors or short-term use. For long-term use, SEWN HEMS are not only more durable, but will last in poor weather conditions.

Q

Why Should I Use Banners For My Company?

A

Banners offer a type of freedom that other large format imaging products cannot.

They can hang off of a building, be strung across a window, or even used as a backdrop for an event.

Banners can be as large as you want them to be making them an impressive, colorful – and yet inexpensive – alternative to other forms of advertising. In fact, the cost of a banner is similar to the price a person would pay for print advertising or media promotion. It is also a fraction of the cost of direct mailing and television advertisements.

Have a tradeshow to go to? Use a couple banners on stands as a replacement for a costly booth setup!

A full-color, large banner demands attention and Speedpro Portsmouth is here to help get your message across.

Q

How Are Vehicle Wraps A Cost Effective Form Of Advertising?

A

Want to make the most of your advertising? Then choose vehicle wraps.

Not only do wraps reach more consumers than newspapers or television, but they also give the most views for your dollar. In simple terms, a vehicle wrap is almost like a billboard on wheels.

According to a study by Arbitron, a media and marketing research firm, 96 percent of Americans travel in a vehicle each week as a passenger or a driver. Those with especially long commutes or high vehicle mileage are also more difficult to reach with a newspaper ad or television broadcast. Out of these drivers, 35 percent come from households earning $75,000 or more a year.

Vehicle wraps have the ability to attract the attention of those whose lives are too busy they don’t have time to slow down. One single vehicle wrap can gain the attention of 30,000 to 70,000 people daily or up to 8.4 million views in a 12-month period.

This means the price per 1,000 views for a vehicle wrap is around $0.70, a considerable amount less than traditional advertising mediums such as:

  • $20.54 for a prime time TV spot
  • $11.66 for newspaper (1/4 page black and white ad)
  • $5.92 for radio (60 second morning drive slot)
  • $1.79 for a rotary billboard

Furthermore, the Arbitron study also concluded that consumers who were reached repeatedly with a message – such as a truck with a company logo driving a stretch of highway several times a week – showed higher advertiser awareness, brand recall and purchase behavior.

But aside from reaching more potential customers and the cost effectiveness, wraps will not ruin your vehicle’s paint job, are fairly easy to remove and typically last for around five years.

Vehicle wraps are not just limited to those looking to advertise. Full, partial or even perforated window graphics can be done for any person even if they are just looking to give their car, truck or camper a unique flare. Not to mention, wraps are less expensive than a paint job.

Using the latest in 3M high performance vinyl and large format printing technology, Speedpro Imaging can wrap your car, van, truck, trail boat and even commercial fleet at a price affordable to you.