Frequently Asked Questions

General
What are your business hours?
Our business hours are from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday through Friday. Call us at 604.682.8307 or 1.866.372.6567 during those hours or email us at vancouver@colourtime.com.

How can I contact you?
For our complete contact information, please visit our Contact Page.

File Preparation
What file formats and types do you accept?
We accept native files from the most common desktop publishing programs including Mac or PC versions of InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Quark, CorelDRAW, Publisher, PowerPoint or Word. If there is an issue with your file that we can easily fix, we do so for free. As a result, your job moves forward without delay.

PDF (Portable Document Format) is the most common and preferred file format for submitting digital documents. With the installation of a PDF print driver on your computer, virtually any program can generate a PDF file suitable for printing. Both commercial and free PDF print drivers are available online for download from different sources.

We also accept JPG, PDF, PS, PSD, TIF and EPS files.


How come 300 dpi resolution for my images is so important?
Colour Time prints on offset printing presses using the latest in direct to plate technologies. To achieve the sharp, bright colour and image reproduction that only an offset press can deliver, images of 300 dpi are required. Your images need to be saved at a resolution of 300 dpi in the final size that they will be used. Some people take images from the Internet in preparing their print publication. These Internet images are usually only 72dpi in order for the web pages to load quickly. Use of them will result in very poor print quality.

What are the differences between RGB and CMYK colour spaces?
Read on for a simplified overview:

RGB is a colour space based on light – used in digital cameras, computer monitors, digital scanners and some desktop printers.

CMYK is a colour space based on ink – used for commercial offset printing press projects.

CMYK stands for the 4 colour process inks used offset press printing – Cyan (blue), Magenta (red), Yellow and Black (K is used so as to not confuse it with blue or cyan). Combining these colours of ink allows for reproduction of thousands of colours, and is sometimes called “full colour” printing. The issue in commercial printing projects arises from the fact that the RGB colour space does not correspond exactly to the CMYK colour space. It is therefore possible for you to see colours on your computer monitor that cannot be reproduced by an offset printing press.

RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue. Colour is a form of light energy that comes in waves. The visual spectrum is continuous. However, most dominant colours in the spectrum are red, green, and blue.

RGB colour is in fact to colour as we see it – or to be more specific, light waves, such as the ones that come from your computer monitor. Colours displayed on computer monitors and captured by scanners and digital cameras are in RGB. When designing for the Internet, RGB is the colour space that you use. Many desktop colour printers are designed to interpret RGB colour, and translate it into ink on a page.


How should I prepare my files to be “print-ready”?
The following check list will help ensure that your file is print ready:

  • We accept native files from the most common desktop publishing programs. If there is an issue with your file that we can easily fix, we do so for free. As a result, your job moves forward without delay. Refer to: What file formats and types do you accept?
  • Be sure that all files have been converted to CMYK colour mode. We can do a conversion from RGB to CMYK for you. However, we do so using standard Photoshop conversion values, which may or may not yield the result you are looking for.
  • All images need to be 300 dpi.
  • Text must be at least 1/8th inch inside of the cut line on all sides.
  • If your page bleeds, please provide 1/8″ on each edge.
  • Outline all fonts when working in Photoshop or Illustrator, embed fonts in other programs and flatten all layers.
  • Include all files needed to process the job: page layout files, imported images, fonts and other support files.
  • If your files are large (above 10 mb), compress all the files into a single file for uploading.


What is the Pantone Matching System?
The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a colour reproduction standard in which colours all across the spectrum are each identified by a unique, independent number. The use of PMS allows us to precisely match colours and maintain colour consistency throughout the printing process.

Products – Ordering
How do I go about getting an estimate from you?
Since you are here, we would suggest you use our online estimate request form by clicking Get A Quote. Otherwise, the best way to ensure that we get all the information necessary to do an accurate quote is to give us a call and speak with one of our customer service representatives.

What is a proof and why is it important that I look at it?
In printing terms, a proof is a one-off copy of your document after all modifications and printing setup processes have been completed. It is your last and best opportunity to make sure that the print job comes out the way you want. By carefully inspecting the proof, you can help us assure an accurate delivery of your print job on the first run.

Can I make changes in my file before it is printed?
Yes. We perform a series of pre-flight steps with all customer electronic files received to determine if it is in a print-ready format. If it is print-ready, we then provide a hardcopy or PDF proof for your approval before printing your job.

Will my printed job match what I see on my computer monitor or a print from my desktop printer?
There are differing technologies and wide variations in calibration used by each device. As a result, there may well be some differences in colour as seen on your computer monitor, your desktop colour printer and the final printed piece produced on a four-colour offset press. Also see “What are the differences between RGB and CMYK colour spaces?” above for additional information on this subject.

Is white considered a printing colour?
Not typically. Because white is the default colour of paper, it is simply recognized as the absence of any ink. However, when using coloured paper, white ink may be used if any text or graphic requires it. For more information, visit our Digital Printing section.

What are the paper options for printing my job?

Overview

Your paper choice can make a significant difference in the look and feel of your print communication piece. Commercial printing paper is divided into two broad categories – Coated and Uncoated (sometimes broadly referred to as offset stock). Within each of those categories are sub-categories by weight – Text and Cover Stock. Text Stock is the lighter weight paper used most frequently for the inside or body of a book or catalog. It is less expensive than cover weight paper. Cover Stock is a heavier and more durable paper used for the outside cover of a book or catalog. The heavier the paper’s weight with a resulting greater thickness, the more upscale is the look and feel that will be achieved.

Coated Paper

Gloss, Matte, Dull and Silk stocks are all coated papers.

Gloss Stock is a coated paper with a shiny or highly-reflective finish. It is most often used in four-colour printing to ensure full colour photographs, images and graphics appear more vivid, real and appealing. Most brochures are printed on 80# or 100# gloss text stock. For an even greater upscale look and feel, you might choose 80# gloss cover stock.

Matte, dull and silk-coated stocks have a flat, unreflective or dull finish. These types of paper are frequently used to make pages easier to read that are text or type intensive. Accordingly, 80# matte text might be appropriate for a statistical or technical intensive catalog or brochure with lots of text and charts. The choice is dependent on your objectives and how the piece will be used.

Uncoated Paper

Offset is today’s most commonly used stock as it is the paper used in our desktop printers, copiers and books. The body or text pages for books are usually printed in black ink on white offset stock. The most commonly used weights are 50#, 60# and 70# white offset text.

Bond paper was originally given to paper that was used to print bond and stock certificates. Today it is most frequently used for letterheads and envelopes and is sometimes referred to as fine paper. The most common weights are the 20#, 24# and 28#. They are named based on the weight of 500 sheets (a ream) of the 17″x 22″ size of the respective stock. Both bond and offset weights are often used interchangeably for uncoated papers. For example, 20# and 50# offset are identical except for the sheet size on which the weight is determined.

When choosing paper for the body of your book, you may want to consider 60# if you have heavy ink coverage for copy other than typed text such as many black and white photographs or graphic images. Another important consideration is the number of pages in your book. Several different choices are available for the cover of a book. For self-cover books (where the cover paper is the same as that used for the body) 50#, 60#, and 70# offset text is frequently used. For perfect-bound books where a heavier stock is required (usually above 50 to 80 pages) or for saddle-stitched books where a more durable offset stock is needed, 65# white offset cover is a good choice. For that upscale look or when using full colour, you might use 80# or 100# gloss cover.


Once I submit the documents, how long will it take to finish my job?
Most digital jobs take a day to complete (small or large format). Typical press jobs take about 3 working days. Some jobs, however, may take several days to complete depending on their complexity and size. We always strive to provide an accurate estimate of the turnaround time for each job we do. And we’ll always work with you to find ways to complete your project when you need it.

Security
What are your privacy and security policies and procedures?
Colour Time takes your security and privacy very seriously. We take every precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via our site, their information is protected both online and off-line. We use state of the art Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption software to protect submitted information. We do not share, sell, rent or otherwise disclose information to others in ways different than as necessary to process and ship orders and communicate with our customers.