Universal Printing's Elite Eight!

Posted by Universal Printing on Fri, Mar 18, 2011 @ 03:15 PM

NCAA March Madness 

"It's NCAA

Tourney Time,

Baby!!!" 

- The Legendary
"Dickie V"
Dick Vitale

Yes... Universal Printing produces a bunch of of projects and ships them all across the country and throughout the world, but our base of operations is smack in the heart of North Carolina. Specifically, the Triangle — That happy bustling region that includes Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, but also encompasses Apex, Carrboro, Cary, and Morrisville. 

Around here, we like our College Basketball!  We're surrounded by 4 of the 12 ACC teams (UNC, Duke, NCSU, and yes I'm counting Wake Forest!) and when it comes down to "Tourney Time," we are right here in the thick of it!

So in honor of "March Madness" and the NCAA Basketball Tournament, we're posting our own "Elite Eight" of our 8 most popular blog posts.  We hope you'll take the time to read or re-read them, or share them with friends and colleagues!  In the meantime, we'll be rooting for Duke and Carolina, and the other ACC teams representing the Atlantic Coast this weekend.

  1. Choosing Inks for Color Printing - Coated vs. Uncoated

  2. Tips to enhance your graphic design portfolio

  3. More about Color: Digital Color | RGB vs. CMYK

  4. Choosing Inks for Color Printing - Spot Color vs. Process Color

  5. Direct Mail... Back-in-the-day or Future Play?

  6. Choosing Inks for Color Printing - Metallics and Other Specialty Inks

  7. How to Save PDF files for Better Printing!

  8. Tweet me... Social Media and Commercial Printing CAN work together!

 

Universal Printing Blog Logo

Universal Printing
Offering quality printing and communications solutions to
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the Triangle since 1979.
www.universalprinting.com

 

Tags: graphic design, tips and tricks, commercial printing, Universal Printing, blog, Social Media, direct mail, poster printing, Photohop

What Did YOU Learn about Full Color Printing Today?

Posted by Universal Printing on Fri, Mar 11, 2011 @ 02:42 PM

 

“All I need are minds for molding.” – Jack Black (as Dewey Finn in School of Rock)

 

School of Rock promo picIf you haven’t seen the movie School of Rock, it’s about a man named Dewey Finn, hard rock singer and guitarist, who is kicked out of his band.  He disguises himself as a substitute teacher at a private prep school and forms a rock band from his fifth-grade students in order to compete in the upcoming Battle of the Bands.

Ok, that being said:

… I’m not as crazy or edgy as Jack Black
… and I wasn’t working grade school kids
… and we didn’t learn anything about Rock Music

But we WERE working on one of my favorite annual projects. 

Each Spring we print posters, flyers, and other materials for the Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, a four-day festival of art, music, and dance held in Chatham County, NC and features  bands from all around the world.  Our friends at Shakori Hills are proud supporters of the arts and of the community. One of the ways they demonstrate both is in their work with the Digital Print Production class from Alamance Community College, who creates and designs these pieces as one of their class projects.

Denise Archuleta, professor of Advertising and Graphic Design, takes great care to ensure these students understand how to design and build their files FOR PRINT!  Part of their class project includes a field trip to Universal Printing for a tour of our company and to take part in their press proof.  During their visit got to learn all about who we are and what we do.  We talked about how printing works, the importance of color, and also our status as a G7 Master Printer and our sustainable print initiatives that help preserve the environment. 

These students are generally interested in listening to what we have to share,  and they’re always curious to see the Art Department and all of the computers, scanners, and output devices.  Field Trip photos: Follow us on FacebookWhen we enter the plate room, they start to get a little more interested: Curious about how we image directly onto the aluminum plates and such.

But then, it happens…  my favorite part of the tour; and it happens the same way every year.

We enter the Pressroom: A large, wide open space with 30ft ceilings, the humming and whirring of running machinery, and the sweet unforgettable scent of fresh ink. Eyes widen, lips curl into smiles, and these eager young minds are now FULLY engaged and ready to soak it all in.  I can’t help but get excited when these students start asking questions. You can almost see their minds churning, wanting to understand and learn.  Sure, we can “talk” about process color and how it works, but to actually show them single pulls of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, and let them see the ink keys on the press and how they affect the color THAT is when it all makes sense. For the rest of their stay they are “all in.” Even when they leave, you can see their smiles and hear them talking about everything they saw and everything they thought. 

As I said… it’s one of my favorite projects each year. All I need are minds for molding.

 

Universal Printing Blog Logo

Universal Printing
Offering quality printing and communications solutions to
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the Triangle since 1979.
www.universalprinting.com

 

Tags: graphic design, commercial printing, printing services, G7, green printing, environmental responsibility, color correction, master printer, calibration

6 sites EVERY Graphic Designer or Printing Professional should know

Posted by Universal Printing on Fri, Mar 04, 2011 @ 02:50 PM

These six websites are LOADED with great tools and information.  If they aren't bookmarked in your browser yet, they SHOULD be!


www.foldfactory.com

Trish Witkowski (self-described “Folding Fanatic”) is the driving force behind this creative informational site. If their handy InDesign plug-ins don’t interest you, maybe their YouTube Channel will.  It's full of creative ideas for custom folds that can make any of your design pieces standout from the pack.  They even have additional Fun Fold Facts available to impress and inspire you.

 

new.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont

Trying to figure out what font was used for that logo or headline?  Simply upload an image file of the type in question, and they will search their extensive library of fonts to find the closest matches along with links of where to the purchase them, if needed.  They also feature Hot New Fonts and a vast array of additional typography tools and resources.

 

www.universalprinting.com

Of COURSE we are going to toot our own horn a bit, but it’s our blog and we make the rules!  In all seriousness though… our traffic doesn’t lie, and the numbers of links and referrals we get only help support our belief that we have one of the most informative websites of any printing company out there today.  We have assembled a bunch of handy tools (like our Proportion Calculator, Folding Guides, and Envelope Diagrams) and our Blog continues to have more and more helpful hints and information.  In fact, feel free to fill out the Subscribe by Email form at the upper right of this page to have our blog posts delivered right to your inbox.

 

www.brandsoftheworld.com

These folks proudly claim “the world's largest library of brand logos in vector format available to download for free.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that!  It doesn’t matter whether you need the logo for AAA or ZhuZhu Pets or anything in between, these guys probably have it available as a vector file.

 

www.graphics.com

As host to several utilities, downloadable resources, and user forums, this website is a place where any graphic designer or graphic communications professional can submerge themselves in for hours.  Their forums are a great resource for sharing information, tips, and critiques (whether solicited or not!)  Their ever-changing gallery of images helps to get your creative juices flowing. They even have current job listings for Full-Time or Freelance Graphic Design positions available all across the country.

 

www.colorschemedesigner.com

Petr Staníček describes himself as a “professional designer and developer, amateur musician and bardling, dropout typographer, happy father of two beautiful daughters, mathemagician, lazy linguistician, and almost professional cook.”  To us, he’s the cool creator of this handy web app that does EXACTLY what it says: Helps you design color schemes.  Every graphic artist and web designer runs into a mental block at some point, trying to figure out new ways to make your pages stand out. This tools is very easy to use and when your satisfied with the results, you can export the palette as HTML or XML, or as an ACO to import right into Photoshop.

 

 

Universal Printing Blog Logo

Universal Printing
Offering quality printing and communications solutions to
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the Triangle since 1979.
www.universalprinting.com

 

Tags: graphic design, tips and tricks, setting up your files, commercial printing, printing services, business solutions, product reviews