Printing – Offset & Digital

Whether you’re printing 200 or 2 million pieces of publication, each copy carries the same amount of weight to the end user. Spotlight Strategies ensures your company will be ready to hit the streets with the highest-quality marketing materials.

How We Help

Our team collaborates with you throughout the entire process as we help you strategize the initial design, create content and efficiently execute your materials. Best of all, we understand that it’s critical to be budget-conscious, so we create cost-effective solutions that won’t break the bank.

We offer offset and digital printing services for whatever unique need your business requires. Below is a quick analysis of how printing works from pre-press to post press production.

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  • Pre-Press Design

    With full-time typesetting and a graphic design staff, we are ready to assist in creating professional printed materials. Our designers can create original designs, work with your self-created files or collaborate with third-party graphics vendors to import popular design publishing and word processing files.

  • Digital Printing

    The modern (and most common) way of everyday printing for offices and homes alike, digital printing is a more affordable and practical option for users looking to print fewer units onto a number of mediums.

    Smaller quantities of 4-color printing are done digitally to reduce the costs associated with the traditional printing press. Spotlight Strategies offers digital printing for both color and black and white projects including direct mail postcards and brochures. We can create static images or images including variable data to personalize your pieces.

  • Post-Press

    Our in-house bindery is equipped for: Cutting, Drilling, Perforating, Scoring, Folding, Numbering, Die-Cutting, Collating, Stapling, Padding, Saddle-Stitching, Comb-Binding, Shrink Wrapping, Mailing, Tabbing, Spiral-binding, laminating and booklet making.

    Contact Spotlight Strategies for all your digital and offset printing needs. We focus on superior quality, excellent customer service and competitive pricing. Our friendly staff is happy to answer any of your questions!

  • Offset Printing

    An oldie (invented in the fifteenth century!) but still a goodie, the printing press is still a viable option when it comes to your business. This traditional printing method provides the widest and most precise range of color reproduction, including vibrant Pantones, varnishes, foils, and metallic inks.

    It also lends itself to many different paper weights, sizes, colors, and textures while still adjusting for varying ink densities and qualities. It’s also the fastest option on the market with a very quick turnaround when creating up to hundreds of thousands of copies.

We Have the Ability to Handle All Types of Commercial Printing

  • Envelopes
  • Letterhead
  • Forms
  • Labels
  • Note Cards
  • Business Cards
  • Programs
  • Books
  • Reports
  • Flyers
  • Brochures
  • Posters
  • Postcards
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The Most Commonly Asked Questions

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is generally the preferred file format for submitting a document for printing as it works with virtually all professional printing and digital output devices. By design, a PDF file incorporates the information needed to maintain document consistency from system to system. Most other file formats such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Microsoft Word are easily converted to PDF format.

The technology of design, layout and printing has come a long way to the point where much of the work is done in a WSYWIG (What You See Is What You Get) digital environment. However, there are sometimes noticeable differences in color calibration and spatial conformity from monitor to monitor and consequently from screen to print.

The process for minimizing any variance begins with adjusting your monitor for optimal color and clarity according to the manufacturer’s recommendations as outlined within its product manual or website. Doing this will alleviate a number of potential issues.

Beyond that, for the greatest conformity in color from screen to print, there are tools available that will ensure exact color calibration. Perhaps you have already invested in such a tool. If so, let us know what you use and we’ll work with you to achieve the best results. If you are considering investing in a color calibration tool, talk to us first and we’ll be happy to offer our advice.

A proof is a one-off copy of your printed document used for visual inspection to ensure that the layout and colors of your document are exactly how they are intended to be. A proof is made prior to sending the document to the press for final printing.

Typically, we will produce a proof that will be sent to you online in PDF format or on printed paper, which can be either viewed in our store or delivered to you in person. For multiple-color jobs, we can produce a proof on our output device to show you how the different colors will appear on the final product.

Your approval on the final proof is the best assurance you have that every aspect of our work and your own is correct, and that everything reads and appears the way you intended. Mistakes can and sometimes do happen. It benefits everyone if errors are caught in the proofing process rather than after the job is completed and delivered.

The basis weight of a given grade of paper is defined as the weight (in pounds) of 500 standard-sized sheets of that paper. With that in mind, here are different examples of paper grades and their respective basis weights:

Bond: Most commonly used for letterhead, business forms and copying. Typical basis weights are16# for forms, 20# for copying and 24# for stationery.

Text: A high-quality grade paper with a lot of surface texture. Basis weights range from 60# to 100# with the most common being 70# or 80#.

Uncoated Book: The most common grade for offset printing. Typically 50# to 70#.

Coated Book: Has a glossy finish that yields vivid colors and overall excellent reproduction. Basis weights range from 30# to 70# for web press, and 60# to 110# for sheet press.

Cover: Used in creating business cards, postcards and book covers. Can be either coated or uncoated. Basis weights for this grade are 60#, 65#, 80# or 100#.

Uncoated stock paper is comparatively porous and inexpensive, and is typically used for such applications as newspaper print and basic black-and-white copying. Coated stock, by contrast, is made of higher quality paper having a smooth glossy finish that works well for reproducing sharp text and vivid colors. It tends to be more expensive, however.

In the digital age of printing, it means that an image file submitted for printing is ready to be transferred to the printing plates without any alterations.

Color separation is the process of separating a colored graphic or photograph into its primary color components in preparation for printed reproduction. For example, to print a full color photo with an offset printing press, we would create four separate printing plates each accounting for one of the four basic printing inks (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) needed to reproduce the image.

As the paper is fed through the press, each single-color plate puts onto the paper the exact amount of ink needed at exactly the right spot. As the different colored wet inks are applied, they blend together to create the rich and infinite pallet of complex colors needed to reproduce the original image.

Halftone printing converts a continuous tone (solid areas of black or color) photograph or image into a pattern of different size dots that simulate continuous tone. When examining the page closely, you will see a series of dots spaced slightly apart. At a normal viewing distance, however, the spacing between dots becomes essentially invisible to the eye and what you see is a continuous tone.

Pantone colors refer to the Pantone Matching System (PMS), a color matching system used by the printing industry whereby printing colors are identified by a unique name or number (as opposed to just a visual reference). This helps make sure that colors turn out the same from system to system, and print run to print run.

There are four popular sizes for sticky notes: 3″ x 3″, 3″ x 4″, 3″ x 5″ and 4″ x 6″.

Materials for labels and their application include:

Paper, High Gloss: Use when you need good printability. Keep in mind that it cannot be written on easily by hand.

Vinyl: Use vinyl for outdoor environments, or if applying a label to a vinyl surface.

Acetate: Use when the label needs to be transparent.

Mylar/Polyester: Best for applications where the label needs to be applied to an object with sharp, angular corners.

Some of the common methods of binding books and other multi-page documents include:

Perfect binding: Gluing the outside edges of the pages together to create a flat edge.

Saddle-stitch binding: Using staples along the folds of the pages to bind them together.

Spiral binding: Wires in a spiral form threaded through punched holes along the binding edge of the papers. Allows the document to lay open flatly.

Plastic comb binding: Similar to spiral binding but using a tubular plastic piece with teeth that fit through rectangular holes punched into the binding edge.

Three-ring binding: Holes are punched into the pages and fitted into a binder.

Case binding: Sewing the pages together and then attaching them to a hard cover.

No. White is not generally considered a printing color as typically the paper itself will be white. If a colored paper (something other than white) is chosen, then white becomes a printing color if any text or graphics require it.

Standard sizes for catalogs and booklets are 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″, 8 1/2″ x 11″, 8 1/2″ x 11 and 11″ x 17″.

Common brochure sizes are 8 1/2″ x 11″, 8 1/2″ x14″ and 11″ x17″.

Business envelope sizes are referenced by a number such as #9 or #10. The chart below indicates the most common sizes in use today:

Size Width x Length

  • #6 3/4 3 5/8″ x 6 1/2″
  • #7 3 3/4″ x 6 3/4″
  • #7 3/4 3 7/8″ x 7 1/2″
  • #8 5/8 3 5/8″ x 8 5/8″
  • #9 3 7/8″ x 8 7/8″
  • #10 4 1/8″ x 9 1/2″
  • #11 4 1/2″ x 10 3/8″
  • #12 4 3/4″ x 11″
  • #14 5″ x 11 1/2″

The address window on a typical business envelope measures 4 1/2″ x 1 1/8″.

These are the U.S. Post Office requirements to keep in mind when designing an envelope:

All mail pieces 1/4″ thick or less must be rectangular in shape, at least 3 1/4″ high and at least 5″ long.

Any mail piece less than 4 1/4″ in height must be at least .007″ (7 pt.) thick.

Any mail piece greater than 4 1/4″ in height or 6″ in length must be at least .009″ (9 pt.) thick.

Postcards are found in three common sizes: 4″ x 6″, 5″ x 7″ and 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″.

The most common card stocks used for postcards are:

  • 100# stock coated on both sides: The most popular postcard stock.
  • 100# stock coated on one side: Well suited to mailing.
  • 12 pt stock coated on both sides: a premium paper with a high luster finish.

The three most popular sizes for personalized notepads are 4″ x 6″, 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ and 8 1/2″ x 11″.

Minimum of 300dpi for printing.

Ultra violet coating (UV coating) is featured on the front of business cards and postcards from Spotlight Strategies. UV coating is a high-gloss liquid compound coating that is dried with ultraviolet light. The UV finish enriches the vibrancy of colors and the crispness of text and logo designs, and it also serves as a protective layer that is resistant to tearing, smudging, scratching or corner bending.

The soft matte finish on the back is subtle and smooth – which is easy to write on if needed.

Our Promise to Our Clients

Solutions Focused – Team Power
  • Being solutions focused means creating a strategy, idea or process to end a problem.  Our best solutions are created by team members who are inherently optimistic, creative, and energetic.  We take great pleasure in delighting our customers. We love it when our solutions help our customers “Hit it out of the Park”.  Whether we are making them look good and feel great in their logo’d apparel, or their tradeshow giveaways and printed marketing pieces help land a big customer, seeing our customers “WIN” is a super charge to get up and do it all over again tomorrow.

Servant Leadership – Win Win
  • A servant leader is a leader that shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. We believe that every day is a fresh start and an opportunity to learn something new. There is no endpoint to servant leadership development. It begins with knowing who you are and what you bring to the table. As Iron sharpens iron, we as team members sharpen each other’s skills when we are faced with customer challenges by brainstorm together to solve problems which gives us a competitive advantage. We have the power and the accountability to make good judgments under tight timelines.

Efficiency – Git-r-Done
  • We measure efficiency by having the ability to do something or produce something without wasting materials, time, or energy. Spotlight Strategies is most successful in an atmosphere where team members and systems consistently optimize the standard processes (and roles) as defined by the company, yet, where a spirit of flexibility prevails when customer and production needs require team members to assist and support one another to deliver on company promises and points of differentiation. Team members have a passion for exceeding customer expectations while preserving the company’s ability to grow and thrive (strategically and financially).

Integrity – No Excuses
  • Integrity is the quality of being honest and fair and at Spotlight we value that our customers can count on us. If we make a mistake, we own it. If our vendors make a mistake, we get it fixed. If we say it will be done at a certain time, it is – No Excuses.

Ready to discuss your project with the Spotlight team?

Fill out the form to the right to get started or give us a call at 317.458.9812

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