Author Archives: Shawn Nag

Tip – PMS Printing Overview


     1a – What are PMS Colors?
PMS or Pantone Matching System is a specific brand of inks used for color matching. The process of using PMS colors in generally know as Spot Color printing and are a way of printing without the use of 4 Color Process Inks (CMYK – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black).
     1b – Why use PMS Colors?
The Pantone Matching System is the most well know ink matching system in the world. Most spot color jobs will be using this as reference and it has been an industry standard for a long time. Also, they have a larger gamma range than CMYK so colors can be more vibrant. But even more importantly, PMS colors are consistently reliable because they do not require the combination of 4 colors such as CMYK.
     1c – How to Color Separate art from Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop?
We suggest following the below steps in the order presented but its good to note that some of the steps may not pertain to your art. For instance, if you don’t have gradients in your art then you can skip that step. Clicking on the links will take you to their prospective pages.
2. How to create Color Separations in Adobe Illustrator?
     2a – How to Converting Strokes to Fills in Adobe Illustrator?
     2b – How to Turn Active Gradients to Spot Colors in Adobe Illustrator?
     2c – How to Convert an Active Drop Shadow to Spot Colors in Adobe Illustrator?
     2d – How to Convert Rasterized images to a single Spot Color in Adobe Illustrator?
     2e – How to Create Two Color Artwork in Adobe Illustrator?
3. How to create Color Separations in Adobe Photoshop?
     3a – How to Prepare Channels for Spot colors in Adobe Photoshop?
     3b – How to Separating Colors into the Spot Channels in Adobe Photoshop?
     3c – How to Preview your Color Separation and Saving in Adobe Photoshop?
4. How to use Adobe Photoshop separations in Adobe Illustrator?
     4a – Importing Adobe Photoshop Separations into Adobe Illustrator?
5. General Reference.
     5a – What swatches to use for PMS printing?
     5b – What is Pantone Matching System (PMS) and how does it differ from CMYK?
     5c – Spot Color VS Process Color
     5d – Pantone Color Chart

Tip – How to prepare your files for Screen Printed Products?

[Maximum imprint sizes for garments can vary from brand to brand.]
The following is for reference only but should work on most standard infant, youth and adult t -shirts.
Please verify final imprint sizes with an actual garment or allow for possible size changes prior to production.

imprint guide

 Full Front / Back  14” Wide x 14” Tall (Maximum imprint size)
 Left Chest  3.5” Wide x 3.5” Tall (Average imprint size)
 Sleeve / Leg  3.5” Wide x 14” Tall (Maximum imprint size)
 Infant 6-9 Mos  3.5” Wide Max  &  3.5” Tall Max
 Infant 9- 12 to 18-24 Mos  5” Wide Max  &  5” Tall Max
 Youth XS  9.5” – 11” Wide  &  10” – 11” Tall
 Youth S  12” – 13” Wide  &  11” – 12” Tall
 Youth M  14” Wide Average  & 14” Tall Average
 Youth L and Up  14” Wide Max & 14” Tall Max

Ideal file formats:
• Adobe Illustrator CS6 or earlier version – (Vector Based) Solid / Hard Edge / Simple Halftone Art All fonts outlined at 100% to size with PMS colors specked out in art file.
• Adobe Photoshop CS6 or earlier version – (Pixel Based) Photographic Reproduction 100% to size or larger @ 300dpi or larger . Compressed files such as jpgs & gifs may have unwanted artifacts that may translate to press. So we do not r ecommend using any compressed file formats.
• Non Camera ready art such as Scans & Hand Drawings will be quot ed on an hourly basis.
• PRINTPAPA prefers to produce our own Color Separations & Films. Unless re -worked by our in-house graphics department we can not guarantee print quality .
• Programs such as V iso, Power Point, Excell, W ord, Paint, etc. are not graphics programs. In most cases we will need to do art to make them usable, but on occasion they may be salvaged.

Garments to use:
• Low quality garments will look washed out compared to 100% cotton Tee.
• The tighter the mesh the more detail can be held.
• This also makes a difference if halftones should be used. (ex: PK Polos = not half tone friendly)

(CMYK) 4 Color Process:
As often as possible use one or two colors to make up your design ex: (C) (M) (Y) (CM) (MY) (YC)
• Tertiary colors made of (CMY) should only be used to create browns or color can become muddy.
• Black should be used for gray scale and the darkening of tints only.
• Rich black (100% CMYK) can be used to make a deeper black but using a spot black is preferred.
• Grays should not include any colors other than black unless it is supposed to have a specific hue such as Warm or Cool Grays. Black dots can be extremely noticeable, so we recommend a gray spot color when possible.

Spot colors:
• PMS Color Swatches should be specked out in all vector art. No CMYK / RGB values are allowed.
• Please review a PMS book for color comparison.
• All WILFLEX colors we carry in stock do not require PMS matches.

Stock colors

Placed images:
Separate files for each placed image @ true 300 dpi & 100% to size or larger is required.
If available please supply the original layered RAW file of each as well with all fonts used.

Dot gain, 1/2 tones, ink bleed:
When INK BLEEDs and 1/2 tones open up in a screen as you produce a job, DOT GAIN occurs.
Most colors do not exceed 30% DOT GAIN but there are exceptions such as Red / White which can gain to over 50% in some cases. To achieve the desired % of color, it is essential to consider INK BLEEDS and DOT GAIN. Making multiple shades of various colors try using increments similar to the ones listed below . Please note that this is a general recommendation, different colors have different attributes such as translucency that will affect how a color is affected by underlaying ink, shirt colors,
underbases, etc…
• To achieve 20% differences after printing ———- (0% – 10% – 40% – 65% – 100%)
• To achieve 33% differences after printing ———- (0% – 20% – 60% – 100%)
• To achieve 50% differences after printing ———- (0% – 35% – 100%)

Tip – CHECKLIST For Print Ready Files


Here is a quick checklist to help make sure your artwork is print ready and avoid any delays:
        Be sure the file is setup as CMYK instead of RGB. If you’re not sure, you can add a PDF proof and we will throw in the conversion free!
        Add a quarter inch bleed to your height and width (1/8″ to all sides). Please be sure to check our template if you have borders in your artwork. If not setup properly, the borders may look like different thicknesses.
        Full size images should be no less than 150 DPI to get good quality but 300 DPI is perfect for maximum print quality. If you’re providing a file at half the size, please make sure to double the DPI
        Its VERY important to use our templates to confirm proper placement and sizing. Design work should not alter the template in any way.
        When saving as PDF, be sure that you DO NOT DOWN SAMPLE in the options or you will lose resolution on the print.
        Build files for final product size, problems emerge when trying to scale small files to larger sizes.
        Do NOT set to overprint, must have white ink knocked out of the bottom layers.
        Should be 100% black, NOT a mix of CMYK, especially when working with small text. This helps avoid registration issues.
        If your job has folding, PLEASE use our template to confirm the panels are sized correctly and folds line up properly.
If you have any questions, please visit to check out our extensive Knowledge Base or call us at 408-567-9553

Tip – Light Up The Way Through 2018!

You’ve seen them in subways, BART stations, all over your favorite movie theater, in sports arenas with sponsor logos, but did you know you can have one in your own home or business?

That’s right folks, it’s VERY possible!

These are called “Back Lit Displays” or also known as Light Boxes. The frame itself is a one time buy and the interchangeable films are very affordable @ They can be used for everything from bright window signage for businesses open after dark, to in-store displays and POP signage.


Let’s say you aren’t a business owner, but just want some cool artwork to place in your home. Why not get your favorite sports team design or your favorite city skyline printed on a backlit film for your in-home theater or living room. Maybe your favorite painting or family portrait, backlit over the fireplace. There are tons of applications and ways  you can use Backlit Films to brighten your business or home.

Get all the attention you seek with beautiful custom printed backlit films that showcase your artwork in a clear and bright way. At PrintPapa, our backlit films offer excellent outdoor durability due to its water resistance coating and qualities.

Tip – Take Your Banners To The Next Level

If you’ve ever been to a Trade Show or Convention, there’s a 99% chance that you’ve seen vertical banners or Banner Stands.

The truth is, times are changing and people are excelling to find new and creative ways to present their product or service.

Enter the banner stand.

These are a little more versatile than your conventional horizontal hanging banners and MUCH easier to put up without the hassle of finding something to hang from.

Imagine 2 store fronts. Store 1 has a hanging banner that stays stationary and never moves. On the other hand, Store 2 has a Banner Stand that they can move around daily and even place further away from the store to gain more viewability. Store B is able to bring their banner inside  as well and use it for in-store POP (Point of Purchase).

Now there is NOTHING wrong with the conventional banners. They will always have their place, but the banner stand is an excellent way to elevate the banner. Book signings, art displays, birthdays, concerts, special events…the list goes on and on.

To print the best banner stands, you will need the service of a quality printer. PrintPapa is your one stop print solution for all your print needs. With a long list of satisfied clients, there’s no need to look further, VISIT US NOW!

Tip – How Important Is Logo Design?


The first impression customers have of your company, more often than not, will come from your logo. There are truly a ton of guidelines that various designers and “experts” have come up with over time in regards to the right and wrong way to design your logo but folks still seem to ignore and/or bypass.

Here are a few tips that come highly recommended from the professionals:

1. MAKE SURE IT LOOKS GOOD. This may seem like an obvious rule but, you’d be surprised how many people disregard it. Share your logo idea with trusted friends and if you aren’t a graphic designer, have someone professionally create the logo for you. That being said, if you cant afford a graphic designer there are a few free services that will help you get started like,, & There are some fees involved on most “free logo” sites but, they are considerably lower than hiring someone.

2. KEEP IT CLEAN. The image you want to represent your company is up to you but be sure not to sacrifice legibility and cleanliness of the design. If people can’t read your company name, it defeats the purpose of a logo. Don’t be afraid to have an “abstract” design but, there has to be a method to your madness. Your logo should also transfer well from medium to medium like paper, shirts, websites etc.

3. BE INSPIRED. Most designers prefer for you as the client to have some idea of the direction you want the logo design to go. The only problem is, you often don’t know what looks good. There are sources of inspiration everyday in life throughout the day and in this generation, online! Look at other companies and see how simple or complex their ideas are. There are sites that showcase logo design and it wont cost a penny to peek. and are two good ones.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that your logo needs to leave a lasting impression. You’ll notice that some big companies will change their logo every few years, either for good or bad reasons. That’s because a great logo makes branding easy and branding equals success.

Tip – Importance Of Customer Reviews

Customer testimonials are a great way to reinforce the quality of your products and services. They can also influence the decision-making process of new prospects. When it comes to trying a new product or service, opinions from actual people who have experienced your products or services firsthand are the most trusted form of advertising and promotion.

Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of customer reviews:

  • Start asking! Many businesses feel embarrassed or don’t have time to ask for testimonials, but the rewards of positive reinforcement outweigh the time you spend asking for them.
  • Suggest specific topics for customers to write about like what part of your product or service they liked best, how you were the best value or saved them money, how helpful your customer service was, etc.
  • Get people talking. In addition to static testimonials, encourage customers to post reviews or talk about your company via social media.
  • Focus on quality, not quantity. Descriptive, quality reviews will garner much more trust than generic, one-line quotes. And remember, gathering reviews is an ongoing process, so don’t rush your customers to respond either, or your responses may suffer as well.

Tip – 2 Color Offset Printing vs 4 Color Digital Printing

So, should you print your job 2 color or 4 color?

Back in the day, this question would never have been asked because 2 color offset printing was the only option available. With the growth of digital printing and technology, we now have new high quality options available for commercial printing.

4 color printing is the most cost effective option for all businesses in the 21st century but the innovation has left people confused on why 2 color is even an option. For this, its best to understand the advantages and disadvantages of both print processes.

2 color offset printing is one of the most common for high volume printing. This process requires the image to be inserted on a plate and then transferred from the plate to a rubber blanket, which is moved again to the print surface. Ink rollers supply the required ink to the images while the non printed area attracts a film of water. The film of water keeps the non printing area free of any ink. In the 4 color digital print process, the mechanical steps such as manually stripping the pieces to create a plate and making films for color proofs are not needed.

Now let’s look at the advantages of both print processes to compare:

4 Color Digital Print Advantages

  • Provides a shorter turnaround since it does not require much manual work.
  • There is less wastage, accurate counts and the colors remain constant as there is no need to balance the ink and water during digital printing.
  • High volume printing costs less now. Even though the unit cost is higher than offset printing, you will find that four color printing costs much less nowadays as the there is no setup cost in digital printing.
  • There are customization options in 4 color printing without slowing down the print speed. The information stored in the databases can be used to provide unique copies every time, such as ones for personalized letters used in marketing. That process is called Variable Data Printing.

2 Color Offset Print Advantages

  • Can print on many types of surfaces other than paper such as cloth, metal, wood, plastic, leather, etc.
  • If you order larger quantities then the unit cost goes way down.
  • Modern 2 color or 4 color offset presses use computer to plate technology which assures higher quality.

If you’re still not able to make up your mind? Then use this checklist:

  • Quantity: If you are ordering for a large number of prints then the cost per unit would be considerably less via 2 color offset printing, but if you are looking for short run printing then 4 color digital printing is your definite choice.
  • Print Medium: If you need unusual printing surface, special type of paper, unique size, etc. then offset printing is the better choice. Though the options are gradually increasing with four color printing too.
  • Color: If you require only black and white prints then the 2 color process is a choice you can make. While if you want many colors to be used in your prints then the 4 color or digital printing is your cup of tea.
  • Turnaround: 4 color printing is totally automated and controlled by the computers so it will give you a faster turnaround. If you have a time constraint, 4 color printing should be your choice.
  • Proof Checking: 4 color digital prints offer better proofs as they produce a hard copy sample of how the actual printed piece would look like.

All in all, choose based on your requirements. You may also ask for suggestions from the experienced service providers such as PrintPapa. They have expertise in offering high quality printing for various promotional materials such as rack cards, greeting cards, posters, short run books, NCR forms, etc.

Tip – Make Your Envelopes Pack A Punch!

Envelopes are not just a office stationery anymore. Smarter business organizations have realized this and have turned their envelopes into marketing tools. This does not involve any extra cost and widens your reach. To act as a promotional tool, the envelope has to be more than the traditional protective cover for letters and documents. Here are a few things that you can do to make sure your envelopes pack a punch:

  • Add Color To Background – Traditionally white has been the favorite when it comes to envelope color. However there are no rules which prohibits from using other colors. You can use some bright shades of color attract the eyes of your recipient. You can also try a few gradients to make it look more attractive.
  • Play with the Flap – Although envelopes have a single flap which opens upwards or on the sides you can try a few creative ideas. You can play with the flaps and divide them into two parts. If you plan to deliver the envelope by hand you can also stick a small creative button on the top of the flap to make it look creative.
  • Add Shine – Once your envelopes have been printed you should ask if your printer can add gloss or a coating that may add a shiny element. This will make your envelope standout among a crowd of others. You need to make sure that your envelope is printed on high quality paper for this purpose.
  • Use Texture – One good idea to add punch to your custom envelope would be to have textured paper. This isn’t used very often so being rare may help. This will definitely attract the recipients and immediately impress them.
  • Images/Graphics is Must – You can ensure that your envelope packs a punch by printing images and graphics on the top and the back of the envelope. This is especially great if you have some products you’d like to promote!

A good envelope will always be the result of good printing. You need to make sure that your envelope is printed from a professional printer like PrintPapa. They have expertise in handling such jobs and have delivered high quality results to their clients. With over 25 different sizes & types, you’ll be sure to leave a happy customer!