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BRANDGUIDE.PRO offers tips and training for producing business communications using Adobe's Creative Suite, Wordpress and other professional software. We also cover related areas like working with data and other variable data, using Filemaker Pro in customer relations management, managing business community portals with the Jamroom content management system, bulk mailing issues and more.
By Bryan Baker, 2016-05-18
When setting up #10 Envelopes for printing, our general rule of thumb is to put the logo 3/8" away from the left and top margin. The press needs a minimum of 5/16" for a gripper.
By Bryan Baker, 2016-05-18
We often get files which, when printed with default settings, produce boxes behind some graphics. What's happening is that there are two elements with different color spaces that won't show differently on the screen but do output differently when printed.
The InDesign Secrets blog has an excellent article about how to deal with this issue:
By Bryan Baker, 2016-05-17
Kevin Muldoon of wpmudev.com has compiled an excellent article about many steps you can take to trim the fat off of your Wordpress installation. It entails getting rid of a lot of the data stored in your database which you probably don't need.
By Bryan Baker, 2016-03-17
We upgraded our Bluehost shared hosting server to a VPS (Virtual Private Server). Bluehost managed the switch with only a few issues for which they patiently found solutions.
Today we attempted our first Wordpress install on the new server and it takes us to the dreaded MOJO Marketplace; something Bluehost began using a couple years back, I believe. I've hated it from the beginning.
Well, this time, it's not working at all and a quick chat with Bluehost support tells me the Quick Installer is broken and there is no known time when it will be working. And they send me this link so I can manually install Wordpress.
I figured I might post here for everyone's benefit. The guide is made for hostgator (which is the same as Bluehost, mostly) but should work with slight differences for many cpanel hosting situations.
Of course it's many more steps than a quick install, but once you do it once or twice there's something to be said for doing it this way. For one thing, it helps you understand that Wordpress is using a certain database with certain credentials and your Wordpress directory is located in a certain place and you can change certain things about particular files to make Wordpress behave as it should.
These things are good to know if you're running a Wordpress website.
By Bryan Baker, 2016-01-21
No one wants their posters and other large graphic prints to have a case of the "jaggies". You know, when the edges of letters look jagged instead of crisp, or when photos look fuzzy and pixelated.
It's actually easy to see if a file is going to print clearly at a larger size.
Open the file in most any graphic program or Adobe Acrobat. Often it will open at a reduced size in order to fit fully within your screen viewing size.
At the reduced size it may look OK to print.
But what you should do is view at it at 100% of size you're going to print (most programs will allow you to zoom in and out). The image above is 50%, while the image below is 100%:
To be certain, there are other factors that determine accurate printing resolution, but in general, this simple test works in most instances. Viewing at the 1:1 size, you will have a good idea how your image is going to look when printed.
One final note. Most, if not all, large format inkjet printers have various quality settings. Your local shop may simply run everything at "production" quality which will probably cause things like gradients to print with what is called "banding" -- it looks like steps of color or bars. A quality conscious service provider will be sure to print at the proper quality for each print run, but it doesn't hurt to alert them beforehand.
By Bryan Baker, 2016-01-21
Assuming you are probably always in Google Gmail, we'll start from there. First, click the Apps menu icon:
Click the "More" button and then click "My Business":
If you have more than one business you manage, you'll see this:
Click the menu icon on the right of the property you wish to manage and then click "Dashboard".
You will see a section with basic metrics for your Google Reviews. Click the "Manage reviews" button.
Next you'll see a list of all of your reviews and buttons that let you review and reply to each one.
Finally the fun part -- responding to all of your client's glowing reviews!
By Bryan Baker, 2016-01-11
The cost of a vehicle wrap is based on the size and complexity of the vehicle, plus any custom design work. Our friendly reps will get you a complete estimate -- just send us a Work Request and we'll get started. Not in Salt Lake? We have a network of shops who install our wraps all over the country. Just ask!
The Real Cost
We got into vehicle wraps by investing in people with years of experience do everything from design to installation. Our people have decades of experience working with every kind of vehicle from semi trucks and bus fleets to catering trucks and even toys! We even set up a website dedicated to vehicle wraps at alphawraps.com.
We realized that vehicle graphics are one of the most cost-effective forms of advertising you can do for your company. In fact, the real cost of a vehicle wrap is the lost revenue your company misses when people don't know about your business.
A wrap can be seen by thousands of people daily for a one-time investment which pays off every day, all day, over the entire lifetime of the wrap. Since we only use top-quality 3M material for all of our wraps, you're guaranteed maximum exposure for many years.
While it's obvious that a car or truck wrap's design matters a great deal, it might not be so clear what makes a superior design. Do you need flash to make an impact or is a simple design with clear contact information best? Can we somehow succeed at both?
This is where BRANDGUIDE.PRO offers the best choice for your vehicle graphics. Talk to design and marketing teams who will consider your whole brand when it comes to communicating your company's message. This is where the design really makes an impact. An explosive design might be perfect for you or you might go with something else entirely -- let our experts with the perspective to look at it from all sides help you decide.
Ultimately it's up to you because a vehicle wrap is probably one of the most personal brand statements you'll make. After all it represents your company to every passerby and you want it to say all the right things.
Let's Get Started
To get started all you need to do is call or send a quick Work Request -- we'll guide you from there.
By Bryan Baker, 2016-01-09
What is a PDF Export Preset?
Most of the Adobe Creative Suite Applications have the ability to access and use a preset setting or specification for exporting PDF files. Using PDF presets is a convenient way to more consistently produce PDF files for specific output conditions or intents. In the preset, we can specify items such as color conversions, tagging or untagging of color profiles to the pdf, image compression settings and font inclusion, and so on.
We have provided you with two basic presets: The presets are together in one Zip file download here Follow instructions below for installation and use.
1 Projects needing to match other collateral printed on a variety of offset CMYK presses.
2 Projects needing to match 4-color offset now and in the future.
3 Projects with spot colors and needing to match a previously printed letterhead or card on uncoated stock, produced using an offset press.
Saving your PDF file with the spot colors used saved as spot colors allows our equipment to process the spot color information separately from that of ordinary RGB or CMYK in order to produce a better match to spot reference books.
Note about spot color selection: It is VERY important to choose spot or specialty colors from a recent swatch book and one based on the printing type, (CMYK or spot) and stock that will be used to produce the order. If you select a Coated spot color, then have part of the order run on an offset press, using an uncoated letterhead paper, the letterhead will be fine, but if you are planning to run a separate order of business cards with a quick turn, such as printing on a Xerox Docucolor, the digital cards will not look the same as the letterhead on the offset press.
Simply selecting the spot based on stock intended for printing will allow our digital presses to simulate the offset printing condition with relative accuracy.
-Choose Coated when using any coated sheet, this can be glossy or matte finish.
-Choose Uncoated when running on a stationary sheet or uncoated stock.
-Choose Process CMYK for all spot colors you do not plan having a separate plate made for over and above the CMYK.
This preset will convert all content, RGB, CMYK, and Spots into CMYK only content, the PDF will be tagged with the GRACol_coated profile for intended output.
1 Projects of one-off presentations needing the most vibrant colors possible.
2 Projects primarily made up of RGB photographic images that need to look as vibrant as possible.
This preset will leave all content unchanged and include icc profile tags for every element in the document. This is a more ricky way to make your PDF, in the elements that have transparencies and sit above or below one another may have transparency issues and blocks of missing color information when printed.
Special Note: this preset will convert all the content back to RGB even if it was CMYK originally. This is used primarily for non-RIP printer drivers. This also leave RGB content as RGB but converts it to sRGB if it’s not already in that RGB color space.
To install PDF presets, open Acrobat, then go to the menu Advanced > Print Production and launch Distiller. Once Distiller is open, drag the PDF export preset files directly onto the distiller box. Distiller will copy the presets into the appropriate area. Next time you open Illustrator and save as PDF or Export from InDesign, the presets will be available.
These are basic PDF exports, primarily focused on color and inks. If you need bleeds, marks, or other elements, start with these as a base and add the items you need and re-save the preset with something to indicate how it is different or why it’s used.
To Export a file from within Adobe InDesign, go to File>Export, Select Adobe PDF in the export type and choose the location to save the file. Give your PDF a name with some indicator of the intent, such as CMYK or RGB.
Next, choose the preset that you installed to give you the PDF style you wish to have for print.
Customize and save your presets for other purposes
It’s a good idea to save presets for your specific working environment. Start with one here and save with other changes, such as the inclusion of crop marks, bars or resolutions differences. Just Click the “Save Preset” at the bottom left corner and specify your new name for the preset.