Experience Piles on at Universal Printing

Posted by Fred Midgett on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 @ 04:11 PM

Bob and Sandi MouraUniversal Printing is Durham's most respected and reliable resource for graphic products like banners, printing and mailing. Over the past 33 years Bob and Sandi Moura have recruited a versatile team of graphic professionals who provide fast, reliable results from the heart of RTP. So it's no surprise to learn that even more experience has recently joined the Universal team.

Fred Midgett Fred Midgett recently came aboard with the title of Project Manager. Fred has life-long roots in the community and a long history of printing excellence. Born in Durham NC, Fred is a graduate of Chowan University in Murfreesboro NC. With over 37 years of industry experience, Fred brings a wealth of expertise in a variety of areas. From prep to presses, marketing to mailing, he has a knack of helping clients find successful ways to communicate their message. We aren't sure if the the title adequately fits all that Fred brings, but we are sure Fred is a great addition to Universal Printing.

Reagan Register Reagan Register joined our roster this summer as as Account Manager. Like Fred he has a heaping helping of experience in the print industry and all of it right here in the triangle. Reagan is a graduate of Wake Tech, and spent a few years in mechanical drafting before that spun off into a printing career - now 24 years and counting. If you haven't met Reagan yet be prepared for some knowledgable and courteous service... with a big smile.  If you're lucky, you've already had the pleasure of working with Reagan. One thing's for sure, we're mighty lucky to have him on our team.

Fred and Reagan were both mentioned in the people section of the Triangle Business Journal. They're just the two most recent additions to the deep well of experience and know-how that is Universal Printing. Next time you need printing, banners, posters, envelopes, mailing or just about anything ink-on-paper, contact us or give us a call. We're right around the corner.

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Tags: commercial printing, Universal Printing, digital printing, offset printing, blog, cross-media marketing

Understanding Resolution – Digital Printing from Digital Photos

Posted by Universal Printing on Fri, Feb 10, 2012 @ 03:48 PM

In our previous blog post, we started our New Year’s Resolution of “Understanding Resolution” (if you missed it, just click the link to check it out.)  This time, we’re helping you put this information to good use by helping you get better images from the very beginning, starting with your Digital Camera.  Maybe you just got a new one over the Holiday Season, or perhaps you’ve had one for a while now.  It’s never too late to review your settings and make sure that your getting the best your camera can offer.

How MEGA are YOUR pixels?

Guess what?  Megapixels don’t matter!  That’s right… I said it, and I’ll stand behind it.  Of course, we need to really know what a “megapixel” is.  “Mega” stands for million, as in 1 million “bytes” is 1 “megabyte.”  So 1 million “pixels” is 1 “megapixel.”  The digital cameras of the late 80’s / early 90’s started out as 640 pixels X 480 pixels (i.e. 640 x 480 = 307,200 pixels). 

So now, let's consider your amazingly impressive HDTV.  Maybe you have a 38" screen or even a 50" screen.  The size of the screen doesn't matter, because it simply means larger pixels.  Even at the highest 1080p, you're looking at 1920 pixels wide, by 1080 pixels high. So you're amazing HDTV, which is sharp, clear, and crisp in your living room, is only supporting an image that's... wait for it... (1920 x 1080 = 2,073,600) 2 megapixels! 

Camera manufacturers know that any print larger than 12" x 18" is going to be viewed at some distance.  It's generally understood that anything over 3 megapixels is adequate at that size, so when we start talking about 5 megapixel, 6 megapixel, 8... and so on; it's more about the hype and sounding impressive.  At the end of the day, it's really all about the quality of the image.    I GREAT photo taken with a 3MP camera will always outshine a blurry, unbalanced, unfocused photo taken with a 12MP camera.  For another point of view on this check out this blog by David Poque of the NY Times.

Get the best resolution from your camera:

If you have not yet taken the digital image, adjust your camera to the highest quality setting.

Taking the photo on the highest setting will maximize both the quality of the image, as well as the range of sizes at which you will be able to use it in printing projects. If possible, save your image as a lossless TIF or EPS file before doing any editing to best preserve color and sharpness.

Determine the resolution and maximum usable dimensions for any images you want to use in your project. Images should have resolution of 300 dpi at their final size in the file; 400 dpi if the image includes text. Resolution and image size are inversely proportional to each other. In other words, enlarging an image will decrease the resolution and shrinking an image will increase the resolution.

2 x 2" image @ 300 dpi = GOOD

...enlarged to 4 x 4" = 150 dpi = BAD

17 x 13" image @ 72 dpi = BAD

...reduced to 4 x 3" = 300 dpi = GOOD

To determine resolution from pixel dimensions, divide pixel width and pixel height by 300. This will give you the maximum size that you will be able to use your image, while maintaining a quality resolution of 300 dpi. Divide by 400 for images that include text.

Example:

  • Start with 1200 pixels x 1600 pixels as the dimensions for an image with no text.
  • Divide your dimensions (1200 ÷ 300 = 4 and 1600 ÷ 300 = 5.33). If the image included text, then you would divide by 400 instead.
  • So, the maximum usable dimensions for the image are 4" x 5.33". It will print crisp & clear at this size or smaller.

Digital cameras primarily use the RGB color space. To print on a four-color printing press, all RGB images need to be converted to CMYK.  When we receive RGB images, we do a standard-value conversion to CMYK, which may not be perfectly to your liking. You're welcome to convert it yourself to control the color in ways that matter more to you.  For a better understanding of the differences between RGB and CMYK images, check out More About Color: RGB-vs-CMYK

 

 

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

 

Tags: graphic design, business solutions, digital printing, Graphic Design Durham, Digital camera, cross-media marketing, Photohop

Why In the WORLD would I go to a Printing Company for Graphic Design?

Posted by Universal Printing on Fri, Nov 11, 2011 @ 11:45 AM

Universal Printing takes great pride in offering the best of all graphic communication worlds: Award Winning Graphic Design, G7 Master Printer level digital output and commercial printing, and the latest in Direct Mail, featuring variable data and cross-media marketing solutions.  Over the years, we’ve worked with a lot of clients and companies who find themselves getting into a 2- or 3-prong approach with their projects: One company for design, another print, and sometimes even a third to handle the mailing.  Not a very efficient process, in our opinion.  WE always want to focus more on what is in the best interest of our clients.  Here’s a few reasons why a “single source solution” makes sense.

Design + Print is time-tested!

Universal offers Graphic Design, with or without LatteThis concept has been used time and time again in the construction and manufacturing industries, known as Design/Build.  We apply the same same principles at Universal Printing. When the people who are designing a piece are the people who are producing the piece, “unexpected surprises” just disappear!  All of our Graphic Design professionals work closely with other members of our production team, giving us the advantage of keeping current on the latest printing techniques, being familiar with folding and finishing requirements, and also having direct access to paper merchants and their pricing models.

“Less Expensive” is
NOT the same as “Cheap”

Often time, our Design quotes are significantly lower than Agency prices.  Some might think that it’s about the talent of our staff or the quality of our product.  “More expensive” must mean “better,” right?  WRONG!  Our Graphic Design team has won several regional and national design awards, and is comprised of graphics professionals from the fields of advertising, magazine production, and Fine Arts.  The reason WE can offer such aggressive pricing is because we don’t have to cover many of their overhead costs.  They need to pay for their office space, utilities, equipment, and the occasional latte or two. Why help pay for the rent and electricity of THREE buildings?  OUR staff is in our own building, using our digital prepress equipment, so keeping everything under one roof keeps our cost down, which is passed onto you.  It’s just that simple!

It’s all about the Bundles!

Contractors do it. Restaurants do it. The cable TV and satellite companies do it. Insurance companies do it.  EVERYONE recognizes the power of bundling products and services. WE are no different.  When you bundle together design, print, and direct mail, you only have one point of contact to deal with.  One person to coordinate with keeps you off the phone and out of your email inbox, and lets you deal with all the other aspects of your job.  “One call does it all.”  “Set it, and forget it.”  “Have it your way.”  We can’t actually use those slogans, but you get the idea.

No More Finger-Pointing!

Keeping everything under one roof keeps it simple and eliminates unnecessary “he said/she said” or “finger-pointing.” Ever dealt with any of these scenarios?
  • The Mailer says the Designer didn’t setup the address panels properly
  • The Designer says the Mailer stuck unnecessary labels or tabs all over the finished piece
  • The Printer says the Designer didn’t set up their files correctly
  • The Mailer says the Printer didn’t supply enough finished pieces to process the mailing

These problems all go away when the Designer, Printer, and Mailer are all under one roof. We know, understand, and can implement those ever-changing Postal requirements at the Design stage.  Our files will always print without surprises and we’ll always print enough to ensure your entire mailing is processed timely and efficiently.  Not only will we save you time, save you money, and reduce your stress; who knows, maybe we'll even throw in a free latte.

 

 

 

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

 

Tags: commercial printing, digital printing, Graphic Design Durham, graphic design raleigh, green printing, internet marketing, email marketing, emarketing, direct mail, multi channel marketing, Adobe Photoshop, variable data, cross-media marketing

New Printing & Marketing Technology: I want it, but where do I go?!

Posted by Universal Printing on Fri, Nov 04, 2011 @ 12:30 PM

Technology makes a lot of things easier and more efficient.  Take QR codes for example.  EVERYONE has taken notice of QR codes, and more people want to know how to use them better.  This is true for a lot of the new technology now available for design, print, or direct mail.

Sure, there are free online service to create QR codes; but if you want to brand them, build in tracking code to see the impact, or use them along with your other marketing efforts to maximize your reach to your clients, then you need to find a graphic communications partner that can help you get the best results possible.

Universal Printing QR Code
Scan or click to see just ONE example
of how QR codes can work.


Direct Mail is another place where technology is making HUGE impacts.  Variable Data Printing can turn each postcard or letter into an individually customized ice-breaker.  Universal’s Symphony does just that AND MORE! Symphony takes your flat mail piece and turns it into a multi-channel cross-media marketing machine.  Immediately, you can see the advantages of customize your message to every individual on your list and track then your results in "real-time."

Universal Printing cross-media marketing SymphonyImagine this: You are using your Marketing and Advertising budget to reach your audience in multiple ways – Billboards, Direct Mail, TV or Radio adverting, email marketing, to name a few.  Without solid, dependable metrics data, you can’t even BEGIN to start making meaningful sense of your marketing spend.  Sometimes, having two or three solutions in place won't give you the apples-to-apples comparisons. This is why you need to consider a more robust solution provider, who can give you all of the tools, products, and services that you need!

After all, it just makes good sense to have ONE mail list that contains all the elements for variable data printing, pURL generation, direct mail processing sorts and requirements, QR code generation, variable image data, and more.  No more worrying about how to compare one list versus another, what special software you’re going to need to purchase, or how you’re going to even get all your valuable data back out you’re finished with your campaign.

Universal Printing has all of the tools needed to give you the fully-formed, robust solutions that you’re looking for.  Contact us TODAY and speak with any member of our helpful staff. Our team of eMarketing Experts will be more than happy to consult with you on any upcoming projects or campaigns, or help you create a custom solution that will take full advantage of all these new wonderful new technologies that you crave!

 

 

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

 

Tags: business solutions, email marketing, emarketing, direct mail, multi channel marketing, variable data, QR code, cross-media marketing