Common Questions & Answers

What is Cross Media Marketing?

In order to have your clients remember your company, Northstar utilizes Cross Media Marketing. This form of marketing utilizes many different mediums to communicate with your clients. Through Cross Media Marketing, you reach out to your clients through one type of media and they respond to your through a different type of media. Through this avenue you are creating communication and a relationship with your clients and allowing them to also be active in the marketing process. In addition, you are also collecting information about your clients to better learn about what they need.

What is an Aqueous Coating?

An aqueous coating is a fast-drying, water-based, protective coating which is applied right after the ink on a press. It provides a super high-gloss surface, extreme durability which is good for post cards and business cards, dries fast, and is environmentally friendly. If glossy paper isn’t glossy enough for your project, an aqueous coating takes your product’s sheen to the next level.  Some may chose to downgrade to a lower quality, less expensive paper and then apply an aqueous coating. This makes the final product look and feel much more expensive than it really is. Either way an aqueous coating is a great upgrade for your full-color printed product.

What is “print-ready” artwork and why is it important for promotional items and apparel?

When you supply us with a logo or other artwork for a promotional product or embroidered/screen printed item, it is important to provide artwork that is ‘print-ready’. In the past, there were exact technical specifications for what constituted ‘print-ready’ artwork. However, with the advent of advanced image manipulation software, we can be much more flexible with the type of artwork we can accept.

The best format for artwork is EPS, AI (Adobe Illustrator), or any other sort of vectorized digital artwork. If you are not sure if your digital artwork is vectorized, send it to us and we can determine if it is. We prefer digital EPS/vectorized artwork because it can be printed with very little additional manipulation, which saves money and helps accelerate the production of your promo item.

(Vectorized Northstar logo in Adobe Illustrator showing outlines)

We can also accept high-resolution JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP or printed art with solid colors. Our software can vectorize the image or the scan the image, in the case of printed art as long as it is a crisp, clean, large, well-defined image. A small conversion charge may apply in this case.

(Partial high-resolution JPG of the Northstar logo)

The least preferable form of artwork is small, blurry images or images with gradients or non-solid colors. Copying your company’s logo from your webpage definitely does not constitute ‘print ready’.

(Time for a re-design!)

If you do not have print ready artwork, we can still help. Our graphic designers can redraw your artwork or create a new logo that will be both print-ready and a corporate asset for years to come.

What is PMS Color?

Pantone Matching System or PMS color is a standardized color matching system. By standardizing colors, customers and suppliers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colors match without having to contact each other directly. There are literally thousands of PMS colors across several libraries.

What is the difference between Spot Color and 4-Process Color?

Spot colors, such as those in the PMS system, are simply solid colors. Printing in spot color is usually a good idea for text and non-photographic art, because it is much cheaper and faster than 4-process color. For example, most of our envelopes and letterhead are printed using spot colors.

4-process color is derived from printing the 3 primary colors plus black. Printing in 4-process color is generally necessary for photographic reproduction. It is more expensive because each page must be printed on four times for each color.

What is the embroidery setup?

All embroidered artwork must be in finished form that will be put in a program that will set up how the embroidery will be stitched. When designing artwork to be embroidered it is important to note that any text copy must be large enough to write with a crayola in order for the embroidery to look right.

Unlike silk screen, embroidery can be made with up to 9 different thread colors at no additional cost. Embroidery is charged by the per thousandth stitch count and not by the color.