Frequently asked questions

What are NCOA and CASS Processing?

NCOA stands for National Change of Address, and is a database maintained by the USPS of all the companies and individuals who completed a Change of Address in the previous 4 years. It is used to help you qualify for lower postage options in a presorted mailing. To run an NCOA, you would simply send us your mailing list along with a PAF (Processing Acknowledgement Form). We would then send the USPS your list, after which we would receive a report back with the changes and the updated list. NCOA provides a great opportunity for you to keep your list current and thus your deliverability rates higher, and is required by the USPS for presorted mailings.

CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) is a USPS certification system for address validation. It adds 4 digits after a ZIP code to make it a ZIP+4 code and standardizes addresses. It is required for barcoded mail, which can save on postage costs in bulk mailings.

What’s the difference between First Class Mail, Marketing Mail, and Marketing Non-Profit Mail?

First Class Mail can be anything mailable that is 13 ounces or less, including bills, invoices, personal correspondence, or merchandise. (Pieces over 13 ounces can be sent as priority mail.) It is faster, but more expensive than Marketing Mail, and includes forwarding and return services. If your First Class mailing has over 500 ZIP+4 encoded pieces, it can be presorted, giving you a lower postage rate.

Marketing Mail (formerly Standard Mail) includes advertisements, circulars, newsletters, small parcels, and merchandise. It is slower, but less expensive than First Class Mail, and does not include forwarding and return services unless requested. You must have at least 200 ZIP+4 encoded pieces or 50 pounds of mail, with each piece weighing under 16 ounces.

Marketing Non-Profit Mail offers the lowest prices, but only organizations authorized by the USPS qualify for these discounts. It is processed as regular Marketing Mail.

What resolution should my images be?

To avoid pixelation or sharp edges, images should be at least 300 dpi (dots per inch) at final print size. Images from the internet are generally 72 dpi.

Images should be saved in CMYK mode to ensure the best color accuracy. RGB mode images may produce unexpected color results.

We are not responsible for images printed as pixelated or distorted due to low-resolution artwork provided by the customer.

What file formats do you accept?

A packaged and zipped InDesign file is the ideal format for variable data projects. Print-ready PDF's or Microsoft Word files are also accepted, but for projects using variable data, the actual font files used in the project must be submitted along with these documents. Please zip all font files submitted.

If your project has bleeds, (meaning that the artwork will be printed all the way to the edge of the paper) we will need photos and colors along the edge to be extended 1/8" beyond the cut line.

The ideal file format for standard print jobs without variable data is a high resolution PDF exported from InDesign with the "Press Quality" settings.

Database files are accepted as CSV or Microsoft Excel files.

How long will my project take to complete?

There are several factors that go into production time, such as how many pieces are needed, what type of job it is, whether our design services will be utilized, and more. You can get the most accurate answer to this question by talking directly to one of our associates about your specific project.

What’s the difference between coated and uncoated paper stock?

Coated paper, which is generally more expensive than uncoated paper, has a coating on it to make it smooth and less porous. It can range from high gloss to matte, and is more resistant to wear. Printing generally appears brighter and sharper than on uncoated paper.

On the contrary, uncoated paper is less smooth and more porous, absorbing more ink than coated paper. However, uncoated paper is often utilized for “elegant” projects such as college booklets, restaurant menus, or identity packages because of its textured, matte look.

What is a proof and why do I need one?

A proof is a one-off copy of your job that is used to ensure that the content, layout, will appear exactly as intended. After the customer approves the proof, we send the whole project to press. Depending on the nature and complexity of the project, we will suggest either a PDF or printed paper proof.

Can you scan my photograph, image, or film negative?

Yes! We can scan your image, even to several times its original size, at the optimal specifications for inclusion in your project.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We currently accept checks and cash as forms of payment.