Which computer programs can I use for printing?

We recommend Adobe InDesign or Quark Xpress for all your page layout needs. Adobe Illustrator is best for the creation of artwork that does not include a large amount of text. Adobe PhotoShop is the artwork, image manipulation tool extraordinaire. All of these programs have support for color separation in either CMYK or spot colors.

We don’t recommend Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher, or Corel Draw. These programs can create a number of printing issues.


What kinds of files do you accept?

A slightly different, but important question from the computer program concern. We prefer … PDF, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, and Quark.


How quickly can my project be produced?

Most projects are completed in 2-3 days. These include sell sheets, tri-fold brochures, newsletters, and postcards. Projects which usually require additional time include books (special binding), die-cut brochures, pocket folders, spot gluing, stamping.


Who should I contact at Sentinel Printing for my projects?

Any questions may be directed to estimate@sentinelinnovation.com


Do you do mailings, and what files do you prefer?

Yes, we handle projects from print through mail. We prefer excel files. However, any spreadsheet which is tab delimited works fine.

When creating the spreadsheet, it’s always helpful to keep some basics in mind. If a list is supplied as solid caps, it will mail solid caps. Supplying lists last name, first name (with both names in the same cell) may create a concern when addressing. Well prepared lists will reduce costs and expedite turnaround times.


My photo is 300 dpi, why does it look bitmapped?

Often clients are careful to supply hi-res art for halftone printing. The files come in at 300 dpi. However, when placed inside the Quark or InDesign file they may be enlarged.  For example, a photo that is 300 dpi and enlarged 200% has an effective resolution of 150 dpi.

In contrast, some clients are concerned that the photos they supply are only at 72 dpi. But, a 72 dpi image used at 20% creates and effective resolution of 360 dpi (72 dpi/.2 = 360 dpi).


I scanned my line art in at 300 dpi, why does it look saw-toothed?

Many people remember the 300 dpi limitation for grayscale, but 300 dpi is not acceptable for lineart. Line art should have an effective resolution of at least 600 dpi. I try to keep it at 1200 dpi whenever possible.


Why do I have to supply the fonts, can’t you use yours?

We have a complete font library. However, it may not match the fonts you used in your document. Adobe has a version of Times New Roman, as does Bitstream, AGFA, and a handful of other font licensing companies. It is important to always supply the fonts you used on your project, or to embed them within the file itself.


Should I Email, FTP or supply files on a disk?

Our rule of thumb is as follows:

Email was not created to send attachments for printing.

For files larger than 6 megs, FTP may be appropriate. (For our FTP information, please give us a call.) If the files will take more than 30 minutes to FTP, sending a disk may work best. Please be sure to Stuff or Zip the files before transmitting, even via FTP. If sending original files (i.e. InDesign or Quark) include a pdf as a proof, then use Upload Files page for instructions.

If sending a disk, include a hard copy (printout).


What is an AA?

Author’s Alterations. Unless included in an original quotation, authors alterations can often become more costly than the project itself; especially in today’s automated workflows.

An AA is any change that is made by the client once the project is submitted to the printer. Examples include: new files supplied when the project is begun, type changes, spacing, color corrections, the addition of bleeds, or any change that will affect the flow or the project.


What isn’t an AA?

These are called PE’s or Printer’s Errors. Printer’s Errors are, quite simply, those things that shouldn’t have to be changed. Reflow (unless no proof is supplied), wayward color, missing elements, poor trapping and incorrect pagination could be such examples.