Bennett Graphics consistently delivers excellence without surprises.
When it comes to holding large amounts of solid ink on a page, Bennett Graphics does exceptional work. Clients who are looking for consistency of brand typically let Bennett Graphics manage the majority of their work, because of their ability to hold color. Densities for example can always run at the same percentages. One printer can also watch out for standard papers being used consistently — anything that worries you in keeping a company’s brand in check.
The quantities that typically are placed here run as low as 1 to as high as 100,000+ depending on the job. Clients print everything from a one-color invitation to a 32-page magazine that’s has six colors and an aqueous coating.
What no surprises means…
It starts with an abundance of pride in the quality of one’s work for each and every one of Bennett Graphics’ employees. Whether it’s in typing an order, making a delivery, running a press, or making a deadline, being the best so it’s seamless to the customer is the utmost priority.
Customers know that when Bennett Graphics commits to a deadline that as long as they have held up to the approval timeframes set for the job, that they will get on-time delivery in all but the rarest circumstances. If there is even a possibility a deadline is too tight for us to make given with what’s in the house already, Bennett Graphics is the first to turn the job down. It’s a trait clients really appreciate.
Because printing is such a complex process with lots of details that can easily go astray, Bennett employees take every step to take the unexpected out of the process for its clients—that’s not only true of deadlines, but also of your end bill. Bennett Graphics strives to make sure you know exactly what you’ll be charged up front. Be weary of quotes that come in really low from other printers as often they’ll try to make it up in alteration charges once the job is in house. Know that everything possible has been done to make sure there are no surprises when it comes to working with Bennett Graphics.
Curves, shades, lighten, & darken
Anyone who has manipulated photography or illustration in Photoshop can tell you that it takes a special eye and a lot of patience especially if you don’t do it on a regular basis. Brightening or darkening an image or a face is one thing. Attempting to add elements to photos that were never there to begin with is quite another. Bennett Graphics notably has one of the top experts in the field when it comes to color correction and retouching.
Graphic designers find that even if they could make the adjustments themselves, that it would take them longer and cost their clients more money as a result. Upon request designers often work side by side with Bennett Graphic’s prepress experts manipulating the photography in their designs. Making sure that the desired effect and vision of the designer is there is a big benefit that few printers will match to the same extent Bennett Graphics does. The monitors in prepress are calibrated to the presses, so what you see on their screens is much closer than what you might see on any other machine. Saving time and money, it’s a primary reason why our photography and illustration alteration is considered the best of the best.
When it comes to scanning, we have a piece of equipment that knocks the socks off any scanner sitting in any business or agency. Many customers will drop low resolution scans in their documents for placement and let Bennett Graphics drop high quality scans into their files for final printing. Irregardless, rest assured this is one of Bennett Graphics true strengths when it comes to mastering every detail.
- Special Effects
- Color Correction
Call ’em up, move ’em out!
Getting files ready for printing takes an enormous skill set. There are a plethora of design tools, platforms, and not to mention fonts. There are also dozens of things that can go wrong with an electronic file, some human error, but some purely technical. Sometimes it seems that things just wildly happen without reason. Every detail has to be perfectly prepared. Making sure the insanities of printing don’t slip past prepress is the exact mission. Bennett Graphics clients time and time again will say that this prepress department makes printing a breeze.
Unlike other printing companies, if clients have a question about a file and its set-up, they are welcome to call into prepress directly without going through their sales representative. Not having the extra step makes getting an answer easier and faster and nothing is lost in the translation between prepress and the client.
This group is also notorious for catching the small typos and errors that a client or designer happened to miss because they had either made the mistake themselves or they had looked at it so many times it became transparent.
Everything under the sun…
Most of the files prepared for printing typically come from design software packages. They can be sent on CD, loaded on the ftp site, or emailed to email@example.com. It is always a good idea to copy either your account executive or customer service representative so they will know something has been posted.
Bennett Graphics supports both PC and Mac platforms of the following software in all the latest versions or earlier versions. If for some reason a program is not listed here, please contact us. It is rare when this prepress department can’t help when it comes to software. The current list includes:
- Flight Check 4.0 (OS 9)
- Flight Check Professional 5.0 (OS X)
- Suitcase 10.0 (OS 9)
- Suitcase 11.0 (OS X)
- We also support Type 1 (Postscript), Truetype, and Open Type Fonts
- Illustrator 8.0 – 10.0 (OS 9)
- Illustrator CS (OS X)
- Freehand 3.0 – 11.0 (OS 9)
- Freehand MX (OS X)
- Photoshop 5.0 – 7.0 (OS 9)
- Photoshop CS (OS X)
- InDesign 2.0 (OS 9)
- InDesign CS (OS X)
- QuarkXPress 3.0 – 5.0
- (OS 9 and Windows XP)
- QuarkXPress 6.0 (OS X)
- PageMaker (OS 9 and Windows XP)
Portable Document Format (PDF):
- Acrobat 4.0 – 5.0 (OS 9)
- Acrobat 6.0 Professional (OS X)
- Brisque 4.1 (Creo)
Electronic Prepress Portal:
- Synapse InSite
By identifying file issues early, valuable time and money can be saved.
Bennett Graphics uses a preflight software program, called Markzware Flightcheck, which flags an array of possible issues that may affect the production of a job. Using the program helps expedite the process getting your job on press faster as a result.
Technology certainly has its advantages. Imagine if someone had to check for all the following issues on every file. This way the prepress specialist knows exactly where to go to fix any hiccups prior to the proofing stage. It’s during this stage that they also check to make sure that the pages are correctly ordered so that when your piece comes together, it reads exactly as intended. The technical term for that is “page assembly.” They also check for “trapping” issues, which means that photos are lining up with solid blocks rather than overprinting for example. The checklist of other items includes:
- Missing fonts
- Font conflicts
- Missing images
- RGB images
- Images provided are low-resolution
- Images exceed maximum printing densities of 320
- Bitmapped tiffs are low-resolution and jaggy
- Duotones were created incorrectly
- DCS files were created incorrectly
- Photoshop vector data was used and will need special attention
- Bleeds were not set to 1/8″
- Document size is incorrect
- Hairline rules were used
- Halftone eps files carrying ICC profiles will rip as 4/c on a Postscript 2 RIP
- Illustrator attributes and export preferences are set too low
- Pages for perfect bound books are not staggered with four-sided bleed
- Transparency is used and will need special attention–may add additional time to the job or make trapping difficult.
Check and check again
It’s all in the proofs. Everyone agonizes over proofs. Making sure the color is just perfect or that the text hasn’t re-scrolled because of an alteration can just be mind boggling. There are also several ways to go through a proofing process. Bennett Graphics account executives will recommend the best process for a particular job however each is described below to aid you in the decision-making.
1. Epson color proof
An Epson color proof proof is necessary on most first-run jobs or on jobs where illustration or photography is in play. It is typically one of the first proofs seen and therefore usually has the most alterations. Color manipulation of photography and type changes are noted at this stage. Making text changes at this stage make the job more cost efficient than at the blueline stage. When this proof is signed the colors in the job are final. The blueline will not show color accurately.
This color proof despite its limitations is sufficient for the majority of jobs that Bennett Graphics prints. It’s entirely built out of cmyk and therefore all photography is extremely accurate according to what you might see on press. Anything not built out of cmyk will have some variance. PMS spot colors and duotones are a prime example. So make sure to check against your PMS book to see how the spot color is interacting with cmyk builds if there are any. Duotones will be close, but expect some variance. Bennett Graphics prepress experts are used to making allowances for duotones so what is seen on screen comes close to what will result on press.
One last variable…if the final piece is being printed on an uncoated stock, automatic adjustments are made to open up curves to account for dot gain and ink absorbtion. Keep these tips in mind. Printing is a fine art.
If there is special concern over a piece of photography or screen mix and how it will appear on press, it may be wise to go to the extra expense for a higher quality proof. The spectrum proof is a closer one-to-one relationship to how the plates that go on press are actually made. The Epson color proof does a good job at mimicking the process, but it’s by no means an exact match. The spectrum proof actually creates an electronic dot for every dot on a plate. There’s no other proof that’s closer. Bennett Graphics recommends this proof more sparingly, but when it’s needed, it’s exceptional.
While some of the simpler jobs do go straight to blueline, the majority of first time jobs have been through one or both of the above color proofs. When looking at a blueline proof, be sure to make sure the pages are in the right order and that the piece is put together correctly. Also make sure any crossovers line up and that bleeds are set correctly. While the proof is in color, none of the color here will be accurate. The approval on color for the job has already taken place. Do make sure that the colors are listed correctly on the approval tag before you sign as a double check. This is most often the last proof seen, so make sure to do a final read for typos in the text on the off chance something was missed in the previous round.
4. Digital press proof sample
What’s great about a digital press is that the proof you receive is an actual sample of your printed piece. There is no variation from proof to press; your proof was run on the exact machine. Make sure you’re are satisfied with the color here as changes will need to be made to the original files in order to change or alter them.
5. PDF or electronic proof
Typically only used for uncomplicated jobs or for times when a few alterations have been made and other proofs have already been looked at and agreed upon. Examples of when pdf proofs are the best option include: business cards where only personal information is changing or reprints with very minor changes
Computer to Plate
When people talk about computer to plate it’s usually in relation to film to plate. Two processes that end in the same result: the making of plates. Plates are loaded on the press in order to create the printed piece. How many plates are needed depends on how many colors are used for the job.
So what’s the difference between “computer” and “film?” It’s not unlike the difference between a 35 millimeter camera that requires film and a digital camera that does not. Film is used to burn the image of what is being printed onto the plate. Computer implies that the printer doesn’t have to take the extra step of creating film to make the plate. The plate is made via the electronic file loaded in the computer. Sometimes this can be called “direct to plate” as well. Bennett Graphics only uses computer to plate because of its efficiencies.
The new technology revolutionized printing. If a mistake was found on press and new plates had to be made, it used to take hours because first film had to be changed and then the plate made. Now plates can be made very quickly. Plates are also more accurate with less dot gain, less registration issues, and less trash on the plates. Long make readies are practically a thing of the past, making press checks and set up quicker than ever before. Valuable time and money is not lost on press, not to mention the important time of the client doing the press check.
Storing electronic files
Clients find archiving electronic files to be a real benefit of working with Bennett Graphics—especially those with long-term relationships with the company. Every file that runs through Bennett Graphics is automatically archived, unless otherwise noted by the client for destruction after completion. With employee turnover and changing vendors, jobs that are two or three years old can easily be pulled from the record for reprint or manipulation. It’s a backup measure that people really appreciate, especially when they’re in a pinch and can’t find a file.
Because there are inevitable changes that occur between the time a client delivers a file to us and the time it prints, Bennett Graphics will also burn a final printed file to a CD or email it as a pdf upon customer request.
Please note, the intellectual property of our customers shall be archived on a LAN-based server with restricted access to authorized Bennett Graphics personnel.
In tune with tomorrow
While nothing will ever replace the fine art of offset printing, Bennett Graphics finally found a digital process that comes unbelievably close. Our latest edition, the HP Indigo 7000, marvels any other product on the market. Customers? needs are changing and there are a plethora of times when you can?t beat going digital. Sometimes 24 hours is all the printing time allotted to get a starring piece to a meeting. Sometimes a marketing campaign ? one that is really going to make an impression – requires every individual?s name be printed on the front of their postcard. Sometimes a print run is small, but needs updating regularly, and a better cost option has to come into play for added flexibility. The digital world makes all this possible.
However, if the quality of the end product isn?t there, it can counter all those benefits. Finding a machine that matches Bennett?s tough quality standards is not easy. This machine prints at a resolution of 800 dots per inch rivals even the trained eye. This seven color ink based press can generate rich full-color as well as stunning black and white photography. It can print on a large variety of coated and uncoated papers with all kinds of finishes. The turnaround time is extremely fast. Best of all, there?s no second guessing what the end product will look like, because the proof reviewed by the client is the end product on the actual stock.
- Special Effects
- Color Correction
Your options are now virtually unlimited.
Digital presses have long been quirky when it comes to papers. Bennett’s digital press has custom paper setup capabilities that can be stored and used over and over again. It can print up to an 11×17 with bleeds, slightly larger without bleeds.
A powerful and personal tool
Digital printing has undergone some tough measures The power of variable data is just starting to be explored in the marketing world. The most sophisticated campaigns can use it to pull not only a person’s name and title into a brochure, but also swap out industry photos according to what company the target prospect is working for. It?s a one-to-one marketing technique that is pretty hard to beat.
In its simplest form, variable data may be used for mailing addresses. Because the mailing address goes directly on the printed piece as it’s printing, it can save valuable time. There?s not a second imprint step for the mailing process. Customizing sales people?s phone numbers on the backs of brochures is another handy use especially if a sales team is spread out around the country.
Why isn?t variable data being used more frequently in marketing campaigns yet? The answer lies in what customer data is readily available in order to make that personalization happen. For example, a marketing exec has to know that Jane Doe has been a customer of the company for one year, versus three years, versus five in order to print her anniversary card with her specific years of service. Sometimes that information is harder to gather than not.
But the rewards of such a customer retention campaign could go pretty far, especially when you tie it to if-then statements. For example, if Jane has been there 3 years, then why not insert variable text offering her a free day of service. Be in tune with the campaigns of tomorrow. Bennett can help you get there
You name it!
Digital printing doesn’t mean sacrificing good quality binding. The finishing of the piece is just as important for the end result to look professionally done. No matter if a job is coming from the six-color offset press or the digital press, Bennett Graphics treats binding the same. The piece will be trimmed to size, scored if necessary, and bound in any way a customer can dream up: from saddle-stitch to wire o, from perfect binding to coil bind, from folded with a tab to shrink-wrapped and boxed.
It’s this careful step that really elevates a digital piece coming out of the Bennett Graphics shop versus somewhere else.
The mailing game
Digital printing has undergone some tough measures when it comes to mailing, especially when it comes to postcards. As the postcard goes through the tracks at the US Post Office, it creates friction. The heat in turn warms the ink and can cause it to smear. Bennett Graphics has come up with a solution to ensure that the piece being mailed arrives at its destination looking as terrific as when it left the shop.
After the piece has been printed, the piece is varnished to seal the ink on the page. Because the digital press?s variable data technique can be used to print the mailing information at the same time, even the personalized addresses are protected in the varnish process. While there are no guarantees, you can feel comfortable that everything possible has been done in advance to ensure that the campaign goes through the mail without a hitch.
The art of the dance
There’s nothing more impressive than to see a Bennett Graphics pressman circle the press. There are about a hundred variables it seems to what makes a fine printed piece come out exactly right. Everything from the paper, to the ink flow, to the humidity in the air can factor in. It takes real problem-solving skills to master it all, some of them near genius. The pressmen take real pride in a perfect product and here again have caught the dreaded typo or two before it causes significant disaster for late detection—post press when costs are greatest to fix.
Bennett Graphics specializes in commercial offset printing, everything from high-end complicated pieces, to the simplest business card. Runs of a couple hundred to tens of thousands are good fits for Bennett Graphics. Two-color jobs to six-color jobs with inline aqueous coating are good fits for the presses as well.
The bindery department can score, trim, fold, and stitch with a plethora of other bindery options available in the midst, including perfect binding, wire o, and coil bind. Bennett Graphics has won awards for odd die-cutting jobs and lamination, embossing, and foil stamping are also options for jobs placed at Bennett Graphics.
Environmental note: Many of the printers in the United States use low-volatility, soy-based inks that aren’t harmful to the environment, Bennett Graphics included. The bindery department also takes great care to make sure that all paper scraps from trimming are recycle.
More than a postmark
Distribution of the printed piece is equally important to the production of the piece itself. If it doesn’t get to your intended audience, the message is never read. Bennett Graphics recognized the importance of mailing to customers’ business strategies and made it an addendum service that ultimately saves customers time and money. They aren’t losing valuable time shipping from one venue to another, let alone having to deal with the management of another vendor. Bennett Graphics also passes along mailing discounts that typical mailing houses absorb as part of profit.
Bennett Graphics mailing experts will also help sort through what can be very confusing and ever-changing postal regulations when it comes to design. Sending the design file over for them to look at prior to printing can save big dollars down the road. Whether your job needs variable data mailing on the Indigo 7000 or prints conventionally and then has to be ink-jetted, Bennett Graphics mails to meet your needs.
Safe, secure and organized storage
Have excess quantity that needs a home for a few months? Bennett Graphics can store large or small supplies and ship them as needed upon request.
A tracking system is in place to make sure that as quantities get low, customers are notified before the stock is completely depleted.
If heavy materials need to be shipped across the country or internationally, Bennett Graphics has even gone the extra mile to double box, wrapping the interior box with bubble wrap to insure that printed materials don’t get damaged in what can be a rough ride up ramps, tossed on trucks, and bumped around on dollies in corporate elevators.