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Help Center: Knowledge Center

DigiKNOW

Paper Overview

Your paper choice can make a big difference in the look and feel of your printed piece.

Commercial printing paper is divided into two broad categories — Coated and Uncoated Within each of those categories are sub-categories by weight — - Text and Cover stock. Text stock is the lighter weight paper used most frequently for the inside or body of a book or catalog. It is less expensive than cover weight paper. Cover stock is a heavier and more durable paper used for the outside cover of a book or catalog, postcards, and business cards too. With heavier paper weight is greater thickness, this will provide a more upscale look and feel.

Coated Paper

Gloss, Matte, Dull and Silk stocks are all coated papers. Gloss stock is a coated paper with a shiny or highly reflective finish. It is most often used in four color printing to have full color photographs, images and graphics appear more vivid, real and appealing. Most brochures are printed on 80 # gloss text stock but 70# and 100# gloss text can be equally good choices depending on your needs. For an even greater upscale look and feel, you might choose 80# gloss cover weight stock.

Matte, dull and silk coated stocks have a flat, unreflective or dull finish. These types of paper are frequently used to make pages easier to read that are text or type intensive. Accordingly, 80# matte text might be appropriate for a statistical or technical intensive catalog or brochure with lots of text and charts. The choice is dependent on your objectives and how the piece will be used.

Uncoated Paper

Offset is today's most commonly used stock as it is the paper used in our desk top printers, copiers and books. The body or text pages for books are usually printed in black ink on white offset stock. The most commonly used weights are 50#, 60# and 70# white offset text. They are named based on the weight of 500 sheets (a ream) of the 25"x38" size of the respective stock.

Bond paper was originally given to paper that was used to print bond and stock certificates. Today it is most frequently used for letterheads and envelopes and is sometimes referred to as fine paper. The most common weights are the 20#, 24# and 28#. They are named based on the weight of 500 sheets (a ream) of the 17"x 22" size of the respective stock. Both bond and offset weights are often used interchangeably for uncoated papers. For example, 20# and 50# offset are identical except for the sheet size on which the weight is determined.

When choosing paper for the body of your book, you may want to consider 60# if you have heavy ink coverage for copy other than typed text such as many black and white photographs or graphic images. Another important consideration is the number of pages in your book. Several different choices are available for the cover of a book. For self-cover books (where the cover paper is the same as that used for the body) 50#, 60#, and 70# offset text is frequently used. For perfect bound books where a heavier stock is required (usually above 50 to 80 pages) or for saddle stitched books where a more durable offset stock is needed, 65# white offset cover is a good choice. For that upscale look or when using full color, you might use 80# or 100# gloss cover.

Printing Terms


A to Z Look Up

Accordion fold

Folding paper by bending each fold in the opposite direction of the previous fold creating a pleated or accordion effect.

Acid-free paper

A paper containing no acidity or acid producing chemicals that degrades less over time than acidic papers.

Against the Grain

Running a sheet of paper through a printing press at right angles to the grain direction of the paper, as opposed to with the grain. This is usually suboptimal for both press operation and registration of the 4 color process inks. Sometimes called cross grain.

Airbrush

A compressed air tool that sprays a fine mist of paint or ink, used in illustration and photo retouching.

Anti-aliasing

The process of averaging between pixels of different colors. This results is a smoother, more blended transition between the edge of two areas rather than a distinctly jagged appearance.

Aqueous Coating

This clear coating is used to protect your printed pieces. It provides a high-gloss surface that deters dirt and fingerprints. Aqueous coating improves the durability of postcards as they go through the mail, and protects business cards as they ride around in people's pockets. It also looks beautiful on brochures, catalog covers, and stand-alone flyers.

Ascender

Any part of a lower case letter which rises above the main body of the letter such as in "d", "b" and "h".

   
   

Backslant

Any type that tilts to the left or backward direction; opposite of italic type.

Back Up

How an image on one side of a printed sheet aligns with the image on the other side.

Balloon

In an illustration, any line that encircles copy or dialogue.

Base line

The imaginary horizontal line upon which stand capitals, lower case letters, punctuation points, etc.

Basis weight

Basis or basic weight refers to the weight, in pounds, of a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to a given standard size for that particular paper grade.

Bindery

A business or department within a printing company that does the cutting, folding, collating, drilling and other finishing operations used on printing projects.

Blanket

The rubberized surfaced material secured onto a cylinder onto which the ink is transferred from the plate and then to the paper.

Bleed

Any element that extends up to or past the edge of a printed page.

Blind emboss

A design or bas relief impression that is made without using inks or metal foils.

Blocking

When ink or coating causes printed sheets of paper in a pile to stick together, causing damage when they are separated. This is normally caused by not enough anti-offset powder or too much ink, and usually ruins the printed job.

Body

In typography, the main shank or portion of a letter character other than the ascenders and descenders.

Bond

A grade of durable writing, printing and typing paper that is erasable and somewhat rigid.

Book Paper

Types of paper usually used for printing books. Book paper text weight and is divided into uncoated or offset paper, and coated paper, which includes matte or gloss coating.

Bristol

A board paper of various thicknesses having a smooth finish and used for printing or drawing.

Bulk

A term given to paper to describe its thickness relative to its weight.

   
   

C1S and C2S

Acronyms for Coated One Side and Coated Two Sides paper stock. A cover stock with a glossy finish on one side and uncoated on the other, usually between 8pt (.008") and 18pt (.018") in thickness.

Caliper

The measurement of the thickness of paper measured in thousandths of an inch or mils.

Case binding

Books bound using hard board (case) covers.

Carbonless Paper

Paper that is chemically treated to transfer the impression from the first page to the subsequent pages. See Carbonless NCR Form Printing for more detailed info.

Cast coated

A paper that is coated and then pressure dried using a polished roller that imparts an enamel like hard gloss finish.

Center spread

The two pages that face each other in the center of a book or publication.

Coarse screen

Halftone screens commonly used in newsprint; up to 85 lines per inch.

Coated stock

Any paper that has a mineral coating applied after the paper is made, giving the paper a smoother finish.

Coil Binding

Where a metal or plastic wire is spiraled through holes punched along the side of a stack of paper. Commonly used for reports, proposals and manuals. Documents bound with coil have the ability to lay flat and can rotate 360 degrees. Also called spiral binding.

Cold color

Any color that is toward the blue side of the color spectrum.

Collate

To gather sheets or printed signatures together in their correct order.

Colophon

A printers' or publishers' identifying symbol or emblem.

Color balance

The releative amounts of process colors used to reproduce an image, either digitally or when printed on a press.

Color bars

A color test strip that is printed on the waste portion of a press sheet. It helps a press operator to monitor and control the quality of the printed material relative to ink density, registration and dot gain. It can also include a Star Target, which is designed to detect inking and press problems.

Color cast

Unwanted color tone or overall color shading distorting the normal color balance of a photographic image.

Color correction

Using a computer to adjust, change or manipulate a color image, such as retouching, adjusting color balance, color saturation, contrast, etc.

Color gamut

The entire range of hues possible to reproduce on a specific system, such as a computer screen, or four-color printing press.

Color separating

The processes of separating the primary color components (CMYK) for printing.

Color Sequence

The order in which process inks are printed on a printing press. Also called the color rotation or laydown sequence.

Color transparency

Transparent film containing a positive photographic color image.

Comb Binding

Binding a stack of paper together by inserting the teeth of a flexible plastic comb into holes punched along one of the edges. Commonly used for catalogs, reports and manuals.

Condensed type

A narrow, elongated typeface.

Contrast

The degree of tonal separation or gradation in the range from black to white.

Cover

A term describing a general type of paper used for the covers of books, pamphlets, etc., also used for business cards and postcards.

Coverage

The extent to which printing ink covers the surface of a printed sheet. Ink coverage is frequently expressed as light, medium or heavy.

Crop

To reduce the size of an image.

Crop marks

Small printed lines around the edges of a printed piece indicating where it is to be cut out of the sheet. Sometimes referred to as cut marks.

Crossover

An image, rule or line art on one printed page that carries over to an adjacent page of a bound or folded work.

Cyan

A shade of blue used in four-color process printing. The C in CMYK. Also referred to as process blue.

   
   

Deckle edge

The rough or feathered edge of paper when left untrimmed.

Densitometer

An optical device used by printers and photographers to measure and control the density of ink or color.

Density

The degree of tone, weight of darkness or color within a photo or reproduction measured by a densitometer.

Descender

A term that describes that portion of lower case letters that extends below the main body of the letter, as in "p".

Die Cutting

The process of cutting paper in a shape or design by the use of a wooden die or block in which are positioned steel rules in the shape of the desired pattern.

Digital Proof

Color separation data is digitally stored and then exposed to color photographic paper creating a picture of the final product before it is actually printed with ink.

Dithering

The process of averaging between pixels of different colors. This results in a smoother, blended transition between the edge of two areas rather than a jagged or 'stair-step' appearance. Also a method used on ink jet printers where colors are produced by mixing colored dots in a randomized pattern.

Dot

The smallest individual element of a halftone.

Dot gain

A term used to describe when dots are printing larger than they should.

Drill

The drilling of holes into paper for ring or comb binding.

Drop shadow

A shadow image placed offset behind an image to create the affect of the image lifting off the page.

Dull finish

A semi-gloss finish on paper that is less glossy than gloss and more than matte paper.

Dummy

The preliminary assemblage of copy and art elements to be reproduced in the desired finished product, also called a comp.

Duotone

A two-color halftone reproduction generated from a one color photo.

   
   

Electronic Proof

A process of generating a prepress proof in which paper is electronically exposed to the color separation negatives and passed through electrically charged pigmented toners, which adhere electrostatically, resulting in the finished proof.

Embossing

The molding and reshaping of paper by the use of special metal dies and heat, counter dies and pressure, to produce a raised image on the paper surface.

Enamel

Another term for gloss coated paper.

EPS

Encapsulated Post Script. A standard file format used to transfer postscript formatting information between applications.

   
   

Felt side

The smoother side of a sheet in the paper. The wire side is the rougher side of the paper. The difference happens in the papermaking process. The differences are eliminated when papers are gloss or matte coated.

Finish

The surface quality of a paper.

Fit

The registration of the different colors on a printed sheet.

Flexography

A printing method using flexible plates where the image to be printed is higher than the non-printing areas. The inked areas are then contact the material to be printed, transferring the ink from the raised areas to the material. Fast drying inks are usually used in this process. Common uses are the printing of cans and bottles and other non-flat items.

Foil Embossing

Stamping a thin sheet of metallic foil onto a sheet of paper and then embossing a pattern under it, creating a three dimensional raised area, usually text or an image. See a sample of foil embossing.

Foil Stamping

Impressing metalic foil onto paper with a heated die.

Font

The characters which make up a complete typeface and size.

Free sheet

Any paper that is free from wood pulp impurities.

   
   

Ganging

The combining of two or more different printing projects on the same sheet of paper.

Gate fold

A three or four panel fold where the two outside panels fold inward to meet in the center. In an open gate fold, there are three panels, the bottom of which is twice the size of the folded panels. In a closed gatefold, there are four panels of roughly equal size where the outer panels are folded inward together.

Gathering

Assembling sheets of paper and signatures into their proper sequence. See also collate.

Ghosting

Also known as gloss ghosting. A condition occurring during the printing process when vapors from drying ink on one side of a press sheet interact chemically with dry ink or blank paper on sheets in contact with or on the reverse side of the same sheet creating unintended faint images.

Grain

Paper fibers lie in a similar direction in a sheet of paper. This direction is called the grain. Printing is usually done so that if folding is required, the fold is done parallel to the grain.

Gravure

A printing process using recessed areas on a metal cylinder that hold the ink.

Gripper

A series of metal fingers that hold each sheet of paper as it passes through a printing press.

Gripper edge

The side of a piece of paper held by the gripper fingers as it passes through a printing press. Nothing can be printed in this area.

Gutter

A blank space or margin between components on a printed piece or press sheet.

   
   

Halftone

Using small dots to produce the impression of a continuous-tone image. The effect is achieved by varying the dot size and the number of dots per square inch.

Halftone screen

A sheet of film or glass containing ruled right-angled lines, used to translate the full tone of a photo to the halftone dot image required for printing.

Hickey

The effect that occurs when a spec of dust or debris (frequently dried ink) adheres to the printing plate and creates a spot or imperfection in the printing.

Highlights

The lightest tones of a photo, printed halftone or illustration. In the finished halftone, these highlights are represented by the finest dots.

Hot melt

An adhesive used in some binding processes, which requires heat for application.

House sheet

This is a term that refers to a paper that a printer keeps on hand in their shop.

   
   

Image area

That portion of a printing plate that carries ink and prints on paper.

Imposition

The correct sequential arrangement of pages that are to be printed, along with all the margins in proper alignment, before producing the plates for printing.

Indicia

An image and/or text pre-printed on mailing envelopes in place of a stamp.

Insert

A piece of printed material that is inserted into another piece of printed material, such as a magazine or catalog.

Italic

Text that is used to denote emphasis by slanting the type body forward.

   
   

Jacket

Or dust jacket. The paper cover sometimes called the "dust cover" of a hardbound book.

Jog

To vibrate a stack of finished pages so that they are tightly aligned for final trimming or binding.

Justification

Adjusting the spacing or hyphenation of words and characters to fill a given line of text from end to end. Sometimes referred to as word spacing.

   
   

Kerning

The narrowing of space between two letters so that they become closer and take up less space on the page.

Keyline

Lines that are drawn on artwork that indicate the exact placement, shape and size of elements including halftones, illustrations, etc.

Kraft

A coarse unbleached paper used for printing and industrial products.

   
   

Laid finish

A parallel lined paper that has a handmade look.

Lamination

Applying thin transparent plastic sheets to both sides of a sheet of paper, providing scuff resistance, waterproofing and extended use.

Layout

A rendition that shows the placement of all the elements, images, thumbnails etc., of a final printed piece.

Leading

Space between lines of type. The distance in points between one baseline and the next.

Letterpress

Printing that utilizes inked raised surfaces, usually type, to create the image.

Letterspacing

The addition of space between typeset letters.

Line copy

Any copy that can be reproduced without the use of a halftone screen.

Linen

A paper that emulates the look and texture of linen cloth.

Lithography

The process of printing that utilizes flat or curved inked surfaces to create the printed images.

Logotype

A personalized type or design symbol for a company or product.

Loupe

A small magnifier used to observe the details on a printed sheet.

   
   

M weight

The actual weight of 1000 sheets of any given size of paper.

Magenta

One of the four process colors, or CMYK, the M is for magenta. Magenta is a predominately red color with some blue. Magenta, cyan and yellow are also the three subtractive primary colors.

Magnetic black

Black ink containing iron oxides, used for magnetic ink character recognition used for check printing.

Make-ready

Paper that is used in the press set-up process before the printing run actually starts.

Matte finish

A coated paper finish that goes through minimal calendaring.

Metallic Ink

Ink that looks metallic when printed. Made with powdered metal or pigments that look metallic. The most common colors used are gold and silver.

Moiré

An undesirable halftone pattern produced by the incorrect angles of overprinting halftone screens.

Mottle

A term used to describe spotty or uneven ink absorption.

   
   

Natural

A term to describe papers that have a color similar to that of wood, also called cream, off-white or ivory.

Newsprint

A light, low-cost unbleached paper made especially for newspaper printing.

   
   

Offset

An erroneous variation of the word "setoff". Ink that is unintentionally transferred from a printed sheet to the back of the sheet above it as the pieces are stacked in a pile when printed.

Offset printing

The most commonly used printing method, where the printed material does not receive ink directly from a printing plate but from an intermediary blanket that receives the ink from the plate and then transfers it to the paper.

Offset paper

A term for sometimes used for uncoated book paper.

Onionskin

A light bond paper used for typing and used with carbon paper because of its thinness.

Opacity

Quality of papers that defines its opaqueness or ability to prevent two-sided printing from showing through.

Opaque ink

Ink that completely covers any ink under itself.

Overlay proof

A process of proof-making whereby the color separations are individually exposed to light sensitive film. This film is then set in registration with a piece of white paper in the background.

Overprinting

Any printing that is done on an area that has already been printed.

Overrun

Quantities of sheets printed over the requested number of copies.

   
   

Pagination

The numbering of individual pages in a multi-page document

Parchment

A hard finished paper that emulates animal skin used for documents, such as awards, that require writing by hand.

Parent sheet

A sheet that is larger than the cut stock of the same paper.

Perfect Binding

A binding process where the signatures of a book are held together by a flexible adhesive.

Perfecting press

A printing press that prints on both sides of a sheet in a single pass through the press.

Pica

A typesetting unit of measurement equaling 1/6th of an inch.

Picking

An occurrence in printing whereby the tack of ink pulls fibers or coating off the paper surface, leaving spots on the printed surface.

Plastic comb

A method of binding books whereby holes are drilled on the spine, and a plastic grasping device is inserted to hold the pages together.

PMS

The abbreviation of the Pantone Color Matching System.

Point

A measurement unit equal to 1/72 of an inch. 12 points to a pica, 72 points to an inch.

PostScript

A tradename of Adobe Systems, Inc. for its page description language. This language translates a digital file from an application into a language a compatible printer or other device can use to create its output.

Ppi

Pages per inch or pixels per inch.

Premium

Any paper that is considered better than grade #1 by its manufacturer.

Pressure-sensitive

Self-adhesive paper covered by a backing sheet.

Process printing

A system where a color image is separated into different color values (cyan, magenta, yellow and black or CMYK) by the use of filters and screens or digitally with a software program and then transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press, reproducing the original color image.

Progressive proofs

Any proofs made from the separate colors of a multi-color printing project.

   
   

Quark

Short for QuarkXPress, one of the primary computer applications used in graphic design.

   
   

Rag paper

Papers with a complete or partial content of cotton fibers.

Ragged left

The term given to right-justified type that is uneven on the left.

Ragged right

The term given to left-justified type that is uneven on the right.

Ream

500 sheets of paper.

Register

The arrangement of two or more printed images in exact alignment with each other.

Register marks

Any crossmarks or other symbols used on a press sheet to assure proper registration.

RGB

The color space of Red, Green and Blue. These are the primary colors of light, which computers use to display images on your screen. An RGB computer file must be translated into the CMYK (the primary colors of pigment) color space in order to be printed on a printing press.

Right angle fold

A term that denotes folds that are 90 degrees to each other.

Running head

A title at the top of a page that appears on all pages of a book or chapter of a book.

   
   

Saddle stitch

The binding of booklets or other printed materials by stapling the pages on the folded spine.

Safety paper

A paper that shows sign of erasure so that it cannot be altered or tampered with easily.

Scoring

To crease paper with a metal rule for the purpose of making folding easier.

Screen angles

The placement of halftone screens to avoid unwanted moiré patterns. Frequently used angles are black 45º, magenta 75º, yellow 90º, and cyan 105º.

Screen ruling

A measurement equaling the number of lines or dots per inch on a halftone screen.

Scum

Unwanted deposits of ink in the non-image area of a printed piece.

Self cover

A cover that is the same paper stock as the internal sheets.

Sharpen

To decrease the dot size of a halftone, which in turn decreases the color strength.

Sheetwise

The printing of two different images on two different sides of a sheet of paper by turning the sheet over after the first side is printed and using the same gripper and side guides.

Show through

When the printing on one side of a sheet is seen from the other side, a frequent problem with thin papers.

Side stitch

The stapling of sheets or signatures on the side closest to the spine.

Signature

A printed sheet with multiple pages on it that is folded so that the pages are in their proper numbered sequence, as in a book.

Smoothness

That quality of paper defined by its levelness that allows for pressure consistency in printing, assuring uniformity of print.

Soy Inks

Inks made with soy oils instead of petroleum as the base. They are considered to be more environmentally friendly, a standard component of green printing.

Spiral bind

A type of binding where a metal or plastic wire is spiraled through holes drilled along the binding side of a document.

Stock

A term for unprinted paper.

Super calendaring

A machine procedure that produces a very smooth paper surface that is exceptional for printing.

Synthetic papers

Any non-wood or cloth paper, usually petroleum (plastic) based.

   
   

Text Paper

A high quality light weight printing paper.

Thermography

A printing process whereby slow drying ink is applied to paper and, while the ink is still wet, is lightly dusted with a resinous powder. The paper then passes through a heat chamber where the powder melts and fuses with the ink to produce a raised surface.

Tint

A halftone screen that contains all the same sized dots.

Trapping

The overlapping of one color over a different, adjacent color to ensure that no white space is visible where the two colors meet, especially when there are slight variations in the registration of the two colors during the printing process. Or the process of printing wet ink over wet or dry previously printed ink.

Trim marks

Marks placed on the printed sheet to indicate where cuts should be made.

Typo

A spelling mistake in printed material resulting from a mistake in typing or setting type. See common printing term misspellings.

   
   

Up

A term used to describe how many similar pieces can be printed on a larger sheet; two up, four up, etc.

UV Coating

A very shiny and durable high gloss coating applied to printed material. Applied as a liquid then cured with ultraviolet light.

   
   

Variable Data Printing

Is a form of on-demand printing in which elements (such as text, graphics, photographs, etc) can be changed from one printed piece to the next, without stopping or slowing down the press, using information from a database. For example, a set of personalized letters, each with the same basic layout, can be printed with a different name and address on each letter.

Varnish

A clear coating added to printed material as a protective layer for improved scuff resistance and usually higher gloss.

Vellum

A finish of paper that is somewhat bulky and is slightly rough.

Vignette

A photo or illustration, in which the tones fade gradually away until they blend with the background they are printed on.

   
   

Warm color

A color with a reddish tone rather than a blue tone. Browns, oranges, reds, and yellows are generally considered to be "warm" colors.

Washup

The procedure of cleaning a particular ink from the unit of a printing press.

Watermark

A translucent mark or image that is embossed during the papermaking process, or printed onto paper, which is visible when the paper is held up to the light.

Web press

A printing press that prints on rolls of paper passed through the press in one continuous piece, as opposed to individual sheets of paper.

Widow

A single word or two left at the end of a paragraph, or a part of a sentence ending a paragraph, which loops over to the next page and stands alone. Also, the last sentence of a paragraph, which contains only one or two short words.

Work and Turn

A printing production format that has the front and back of a printed piece on one side of the paper, that is then printed the same on the back side, producing two copies of the piece.

Wove

A smooth paper with a gentle patterned finish.

   
   
   
   

Yellow

One of the four process colors of ink, or CMYK. The Y is for yellow.

   
   

Zip file

Zipping a file compresses one or more files into a smaller archive. It takes up less hard drive space and less time to transfer across a network or the internet.

   
   

80# Gloss Text

Standard glossy paper stock, about as thick as a light magazine cover. The shiny finish provides an excellent opaque base for rich process color printing. This is our most popular stock for: Brochures, Catalog Inserts, Flyers, Posters, etc.

100# Gloss Text

Similar to the 80# gloss text, but 25% thicker and heavier, for a piece that feels more substantial. Standard Uses: Brochures, Information Sheets, Self-mailers, etc.

80# dull/matte text

This stock is finely coated with a non-gloss finish. It provides an excellent opaque base for easy to read, crisp typography. Standard Uses: Brochures, Catalog Inserts, and Flyers, etc.

80# Gloss Cover

As a "cover" stock, this paper is stiff, about like a postcard or baseball card. This stock is coated with a glossy finish, making photographs and other images look beautiful. Standard uses: durable, heavy-weight Brochures, Catalog Covers, Product Spec Sheets.

100# Uncoated Cover

An option for business cards, rack cards and bookmarks. This bright white smooth #1 grade cover stock is 14 pt in thickness and matches the 70# text-weight stock we use for letterhead and envelopes.

120# Gloss Cover

We offer this high-quality, thick 14 pt stock on all of our card products. The glossy, coated finish makes photographs and other images look beautiful. Consider adding aqueous coating to your four color sides for added protection and shine.

70# Uncoated Text

We use 70# Lustre for stationery and envelopes and 70# Cougar Opaque Offset on calendars and newsletters. These uncoated (non-glossy) white stocks are guaranteed safe for desktop laser printing. Many common stationery stocks are not appropriate for 4-color printing, so we have selected these for best results. Feels thick and substantial in your hands.

24# Uncoated and 28# Uncoated

This is a standard stock commonly used for envelopes, also called White Wove. The 28# is thicker and heavier than the 24#.

10-point C1S

A bristol stock, gloss coated on the outside and uncoated on the inside. Used for Greeting Cards.

Postage & Mailing FAQ's

What services am I paying for when I purchase Mailing Services?

You are paying for a merge/purge of lists, list processing through NCOA (National Charge of Address) and CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) for postal regulation and standardization compliance, postal presorting, custom programming, data conversion, postage estimate and statement, and data confidentiality.

Is the cost for postage included in my written estimate?

No, postage is always additional. After list processing, you receive a postage estimate for the amount due prior to the mail drop. Make the postage check out to USPS or US Postmaster and deliver to DigiLink. The check travels with the final job to USPS.

Can I use my own mailing permit?

Yes, provided the mailing permit is with a local Washington DC Metropolitan Area post office. Additional delivery charges are applied for out-of-area post offices.

Can I apply my non-profit status to postage for Mailing Services?

Yes, provided you are registered as non-profit through our local USPS offices.

More Information...

How can I design my mailing piece to ensure that it qualifies for the service class I need?

The best way is to refer to PE.USPS.com, click on Mail Piece Design. They show where clear space (free of any design elements) is needed to facilitate bar coding, addressing and permit imprinting so that the mail piece is eligible for your preferred mail service class.

What will you do with any duplicate or questionable addresses from my list (CASS Certification)?

On every mailing order we remove duplicate listings and CASS Certify the list, which allows us to identify "undeliverable" or questionable addresses. We generally remove any addresses that are deemed Undeliverable As Addressed (UAA) as a result of the CASS certification process. Occasionally, we will retain some addresses that are deemed UAA but are still deliverable, such as universities or hospitals. Please call if you have any questions or special requests.

Can you send the questionable addresses or clean list back to me?

Yes, we’re happy to email the "cleaned up" version of your list to you, and/or send you the list of the questionable addresses we removed at your request. Just contact us to let us know what file format you would like to receive.

Can you use my mail permit?

Mailing permits are tied to local USPS offices and may only be used in the locality where they are issued. If your mail permit is within the Washington DC Metropolitan area, your mail can drop at your post office. If your post office is out-of-area, shipping/delivery charges are applied.

What mailing list format should I send you?

The best file formats are Microsoft Excel or a tab or comma delimited text file.

Please contact us if you're not sure what format you have or if we can use it. We can walk you through getting your address list into a viable file format and uploaded to us. The most common file formats and extensions for mailing lists are:

  • .CSV Comma Delimited
  • .ASC ASCII text file
  • .TXT ASCII text file
  • .XLSX or .XLS Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet
  • .ACCDB or .MDB Microsoft Access

What's the best way to break out the address fields or column names when exporting or preparing a mailing list?

The minimum required fields are: Name, Address1, City, State, Zip. Optional ones might be Business Name, Address2, Dept., etc. There is a limit of 5 lines for any address which in turn limits the number of different fields we can include. There is also a limit of 40 characters in the “name” field, so you should be mindful of that when a name might be “The Honorable and Mrs. Jackson J. Jacksonville, Jr.” The line will break at the “o” in Jacksonville and delete the balance of the line.

Will you insert additional pieces into my envelope, flyer, etc.?

Yes. Please contact us to discuss your particular needs and to get an accurate price quote.

Do you offer tabbing (also called wafer sealing)?

Any mailing piece that requires tabbing is automatically tabbed according to postal regulations. There is no additional charge for tabbing, as this is automatically included in the original estimate. If you need tabbing, but you don't need us to mail your material, please call us for pricing.

Will aqueous coating interfere with addressing and mailing?

Not with our equipment! We can easily address aqueous-coated pieces. In fact, adding aqueous is a great way to avoid scuffing that can occur during the sorting and delivering of your pieces in the mailing process. If you plan to have us print your products but have someone else address and mail them, please check to make sure the aqueous coating won't interfere with their process. Some bulk mailing services have problems printing on aqueous coating.

Can I have you mail some of my order and ship the rest?

We'll ship the quantity that is not mailed to the shipping address you provide to customer support. (Add'l charges may apply.)

Is there a fee for a Return Service Request?

No, not if mailing first class. The use of most service endorsements for returning pieces and updating addresses when needed are included free for customers mailing via First Class and First Class Presort, as long the piece includes a return address.

Yes, if mailing standard mail. In order to purchase this service from USPS, a line must be added near the indicia, “Return Service Requested.” If the piece is returned, you are charged the first class postage rate for the return. A return address is required to be in the mailing panel.

Without a request for return service on your bulk mail (standard mail), any pieces not delivered are discarded at the post office without further charges. If you wish, we can add "Or Current Resident" after the primary name or business to ensure that someone at the address receives the piece. Please contact us if you need return service or change-of-address options and rates for bulk mail.

I'd like to keep my mailing list up-to-date.

Yes, we offer this service with First Class mailings at no charge. We add an endorsement line to tell the Post Office you are attempting to keep your list up to date. An endorsement line for this would say "Temp-Return Service Requested" and when printed on the mail piece, it ensures its return to you with the new address or reason for non-delivery attached.

Using an endorsement such as Temp-Return Service Requested is optional for customers using Bulk mail. If you'd like this option, you are charged for all returned or updated addresses by the USPS, at first class rates. Please contact us to arrange this optional service.

Do you offer mailing lists?

Yes! If you don't have a mailing list yet or would like to enhance the one you have, just contact us. Our mailing experts will work with you to find a targeted list that meets your needs.

Lists can be rented for single use, two times use, or unlimited use for one year. Renting your mailing list through us assures you'll get the highest quality addresses to minimize undeliverable pieces and maximize your direct mail campaign results.

Do you offer mailing services for items not printed with you?

Yes. Please call for a price quote and schedule.

Can you mail to Canada or other non-U.S. addresses?

Yes. If you have a mail piece that folds, most countries require that it be sealed on all sides or placed in an envelope. Stamps are used for quantities under 200 pieces.

What is NCOA (National Change of Address)?

Over 40 million Americans change their address every year. The National Change of Address (NCOA) system uses the USPS database to check for people and businesses that have filed a change of address with the USPS within the last 48 months. Performing this update on a list saves you money on printing and postage by updating a list. Studies have shown that this service can save users a significant cost of their mailings (in many cases up to 15% or more) plus help increase response rates. NOTE: The post office does not forward bulk mail to the new address — they just recycle it.

NCOA — How it Works

We compare your list with the change orders given to the post office, and the program automatically updates your list with the person’s or business' new address. We provide you with this a list of the names with changes and their new address (some change to valid addresses, others change to non-updateable addresses).


MAILING SERVICES GLOSSARY OF TERMS

  • CASS Certification: Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) improves delivery of your mail piece and maximizes postage savings by adding Zip+4 codes to your mailing list where possible. The CASS Certification process also helps determine certain address problems and standardizes addresses to Postal Service formatting. The correct Zip+4 allows us to apply postal barcodes to your mail pieces, qualifying your mail for Mail Class discounts.
  • Zip+4: The standard ZIP Code is a system of 5 digit codes that identify the individual post office or area delivery station associated with the address. The additional 4 digits identify a specific range of delivery addresses.
  • Barcodes: Barcodes are small vertical lines printed in the bottom right corner of the piece to be mailed — we call this area the clear space. Much like a grocery scanner, barcodes represent the numbers which make up the address and Zip+4 codes. These codes make it possible for the mail processing equipment to quickly process these pieces, lowering mail-processing and delivery costs. The savings are passed on to consumers through lower postage rates.
  • Clear Space: Area in lower right of a mailing piece where the address and bar-code is printed. (Please refer to our FREE product templates). This area must be blank or with less than 10% ink density, to ensure machine readability and therefore be eligible for your desired mail service class. Refer to our "U.S. Mail Layout Guides" for more information and help in preparing your layout.
  • Ancillery Service Endorsements (such as Service Requests): These are usually imprinted directions on a mail piece to tell the Post Office what to do with the piece if it becomes undeliverable, such as: Change Service Requested, Forwarding Service Requested, Return Service Requested and Address Service Requested. These are normally required on a First Class Presorted pieces.
  • Ink Jet Addressing: We use state of the art, high-speed, ink jet technology for accurate addressing and bar coding that meets or exceeds USPS addressing regulations. In addition our addressing equipment can print on aqueous coating. This scuff-resistant gloss coating enables your piece to resist scratches and marks as it travels through the postal system to have a better chance of arriving at its destination looking clean and sharp. Many mailing services cannot print on aqueous-coated stocks.
  • NCOA (National Change of Address): Over 40 million Americans change their address every year. The National Change of Address (NCOA) system uses the USPS database to check for people and businesses that have filed a change of address with the USPS within the last 48 months. Performing this update on a list saves you money on printing and postage by updating a list. Studies have shown that this service can save users a significant cost of their mailings (in many cases up to 15% or more) plus help increase response rates. NOTE: The post office does not forward bulk mail to the new address — they just recycle it.

Sustainability

OUR SUSTAINABILITY COMMITMENT...

Since 2011- GREEN POWER CERTIFICATION

DigiLink is proud to participate in the Dominion Green Power program. DigiLink believes that this is a practical and economical way to support renewable energy.

Over the past decade, we have become the company that you rely on. And we are all about the same dedication to preserving the environment, a concern we all share. At DigiLink we know that printing green not only saves precious resources but also saves time, which in the end saves you and your business money.

We strive to reduce our energy consumption, pollution and waste by establishing efficient and green business practices — minimizing our impact as a company — as well as offering the most eco-friendly printing and mailing options available, therein reducing our impact as a printer and minimizing yours as a consumer.

Our Customer Service experts can guide you toward the cleanest and greenest options for all your printing, packaging, and mailing needs. Our commitment toward sustainable printing doesn't end with our FSC Certified and recycled papers.

OUR ECO-FRIENDLY PRINTING PRACTICES

  • Sourcing only sustainable products, including 100% post-consumer recycled and FSC-certified papers.
  • Using soy or vegetable-oil based inks for our traditional presses.
  • Using recyclable print cartridges and printheads.
  • Using cleaning and processing solvents free of environmentally harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
  • Eliminating toxic chemicals from our plate making and plate processing by utilizing process less technologies.
  • Providing in-house finishing, distribution, and mailing services, which saves natural resources by avoiding unnecessary transport from our warehouse to a second vendor.

ECO-CERTIFICATIONS

Since 2005 we have been an FSC Certified printer. Forest Stewardship Council ensures that products used throughout the printing process supply chain — from logger to printer — are sourced from responsibly managed forests.

Carbon Fund, we offset our carbon footprint through investments in renewable technologies such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric methods of generating energy.

Our certification code; BV-COC-001078
For more about FSC visit their website, http://www.fscus.org/.