Dealing With Us
Our goal is to make dealing with TableCovers.ca (Signs Plus Inc.) easy, reliable (and maybe even enjoyable!) for you. We know your time is valuable and we won't waste it. If you've never dealt with us before, please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with this section of the website. Many headaches can be avoided by knowing a bit more about what's involved in and required for the production of spectacular graphic table covering products.
- Placing An Order
- You can place an order several ways:
a) On This Web Site, navigate to the product you'd like then click "Continue to main site for more product details and to easily order online now!". A new browser tab will open directly to that same product on our main web site (secure online store) at https://www.signsplus.ca. Make your option selections there and complete the order online in just a few minutes. If you chose to supply the final graphics professionally built into our Adobe Illustrator design template, then we will email you the template shortly after the order is placed. If you requested us to do the graphic setup work, we will contact you to get suitable logos and design direction.
b) Email Us description of the order including quantity (number of artwork versions), details of your order including company info (including shipping address), quoted prices and payment method, delivery instructions (your courier account if it's to be shipped) and date required (noting normal production times - rush charges may apply for faster completion).
c) Phone Us with the same details as above and verbally suppy us with a credit card number to process the deposit payment on (usually 50% of the order value).
If you are not ordering directly through the web site, the following items are needed before production begins:
• Description of Order including quantity and description of what you are ordering along with quoted prices, delivery instructions (your courier account if it's to be shipped) and date required.
• Deposit Payment of 50% of the total order, with the balance paid at time of pickup or before the order is shipped (payment on orders placed directly through the web site is usually done at the time of the order directly through the secure payment processor). We accept major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express), electronic funds transfer, email transfer, debit cards and company cheques. We destroy the physical card information after your order is completed or on request the card information can be retained by our credit card processor to be used for repeat future orders. For resellers who regularly deal with us, an account can be set up once a Credit Application has been completed and approved. However, the first order does not qualify for account terms.
• Properly Supplied Files. If you are supplying fully designed computer files ready to run, the files or logos have to be prepared to our specifications (see Supplying Artwork & Logos) to avoid additional file preparation costs. Files can be supplied by ftp, web file transfer service (e.g. DropBox), portable storage (cd/dvd/flash usb) or emailed to us (maximum size for internet email transfer is usually about 10mb). You can send larger files (up to 2GB) using WeTransfer, or any size can be uploaded to our DropBox account (we'll send you details on request).
- Supplying Artwork and Logos
- Before designing computer art for digitally printed graphic table coverings production, please read this section. Supplying us with files that are clean and properly built will help us meet deadlines, produce better results, and save you money. If we have quoted a job based on receiving artwork that is "ready to run" and it is not actually prepared in a ready to run state, then we will apply additional file preparation charges to the job.
Most of our custom printed table covering products require the graphics to be built directly into our Adobe Illustrator design template, which we will send to you on request. There are designer instructions within each template, but summary guidelines are as follows:
• build your design right into the appropriate template file using Adobe Illustrator software
• ALL your content must be on the "Your Art Goes Here" layer. If you build it on the "Template" layer additional charges will apply
• keep important content away from stitch lines and areas where fabric is seamed together
• use CMYK colour space mode (but colours should be Pantone, see next item)
• for important colours, define using 100% values of PANTONE solid coated colours (e.g. pms 300c)
• don't use spot colour percentages (e.g. 40% of pms 300c) as the results are very unpredictable
• for black elements use 100% K black only - don't use Pantone black or rich black (e.g. not 100C/100M/100Y/100K)
• minimize use of fine, light colour blends and very light colour mixes (e.g. 3C/5M/2Y/1K)
• bitmap images should be embedded and 100-150 ppi at 100% actual size
• make sure no objects have "OVERPRINT" set to "ON" (on fill or stroke)
• convert all fonts to outlines
• make sure all linked graphics are embedded
• type in your Standard Colour Fabric choices into the template (if applicable)
• save .AI template file (as the same .ai version as it was supplied) with layers intact
• send the file to us using either email, web transfer sites, or ftp
The way we make sure that our colours are accurate to the colours you expect is by asking for any supplied files to be built using Pantone (PMS) Solid Colours. Our printing system is calibrated to produce accurate matches to over 90% of Pantone solid colours and we maintain Pantone colour charts so we have a visual reference of how the colour should look.
For files supplied as CMYK or RGB process colours we have no real target for how the colour should appear, so we simply assure you that the result will be a "pleasing match. Advertising agencies and customers who are very concerned about the colour are welcome to provide a content proof as well (a professionally printed brochure, for example). The reason that this helps is that different print methods, media, and ink type produce drastically different colours from the exact same computer file. Our equipment is calibrated to be a good match for most professionally printed materials, but we can only make sure there's no file problems and check our printed colours if we are supplied with a physical proof of the content. If you want colour matching to your supplied materials, additional charges apply based on the time required (it can be quite time consuming). Please note that we don't necessarily match to unaccurate colours on the content proof and we don't match colours to consumer-level inkjet or laser printed proofs, though, because their colour is much less accurate than ours.
• native Adobe Illustrator files are most suitable for almost any large format digital graphics printing and fabric dyeing work. Save the file as an Illustrator .ai format as it will be much smaller than an Illustrator eps. Also, any bitmap images in the design should ideally be embedded images (as opposed to linked). If for some reason you need to use linked images they should be tiff format with LZW compression
• vector-based design elements are preferable to bitmap elements
• if bitmap elements are required, their resolutions don't have to be as high as you may be used to using for offset printing projects (usually 50 - 150 ppi resolution at final size works well) but tiny web-formatted jpg files and others used on web sites are almost always unusable
• convert text to curves (outlines); we ask to have all text supplied to us as "curves" or "outlines", which eliminates the need for separate font files and possible font problems
• create your artwork in a CMYK colour space - not RGB
• images / logos within a file should be embedded, not linked
• define logos and other colour critical elements as the 100% value of PMS Coated colours (e.g. PMS300C) - not CMYK process colours. Make sure you use the Pantone Coated swatches where the numbers end in C (e.g. PMS300C - these are in Illustrator v 10 and above). Our digital printing workflow is calibrated for these colour libraries, but if you're using an older software application CVC colours are the next best option. Do not use Pantone Uncoated swatches (the numbers end in U e.g. PMS300U) - they will look different
• never use a percentage of a spot colour (e.g. 30% of PMS300C) - it may print totally wrong and we will not be responsible for that. Either choose a lighter spot colour at it's full 100% value, or convert that lightened spot colour object to CMYK values
• limit the use of complex gradients, but when you have to use them, simplify as much as possible. Design it in Illustrator and make a vector gradient, using simple process colours (for example, a simple gradient from 100C/0M/0Y/0K to 0C/0M/0Y/0K will produce a more predictable result than 98C/5M/5Y/0K going to 3C/2M/5Y/0K - small percentages can sometimes give distorted results)
• for black elements use 100% K black only - don't make a rich black mix of 100% of each colour as more ink is not better - it causes other problems and will incur extra charges
• don't use trim marks, registration marks or bleed unless we ask for it. If there is no template for your product, draw a rectangle to the exact size of the graphic and we'll trim just inside that. For other files (.pdf, .psd, .tiff, etc), use your document setup size to show us where the finished edge of the graphic is - and we'll trim just inside that. Don't have the software automatically place trim or registration marks - they are not usable to us and will incurr extra charges. Most large format graphics don't need to be exactly a certain size, so if we trim about 1/16" smaller, it's not usually a problem
• don't use overprinting. With digital printing or dyeing, objects with overprint settings will not print correctly, so turn all overprint settings off
• even if exact sizing is not crucial, be precise with dimensions, and don't have any elements extend beyond the image area (use a clipping mask, if necessary to clip elements to the image area)
If there is no design template for your product and your artwork is:
• a general page layout with mix of vector and bitmap elements, a native Illustrator .ai or .eps is preferred (make sure the vector output resolution is set to 800dpi, but don't get confused between this setting and bitmap resolution, below)
• a logo only, a native Illustrator .ai is preferred
• a photo or bitmap only, a native Photoshop .psd or .tif is preferred
High quality pdf files are also usable but if possible, make them Illustrator-editable pdfs
When building bitmap files, keep the following in mind:
• don't make files bigger than they need to be - if your file is too large extra rip charges may apply
• import elements at 100% size (or they may print pixelated)
• crop images before importing (to reduce size of file)
• delete any objects which are off to the side of the document (extra objects cause problems and may result in additional charges)
• text that is imported as a picture in your document or that is in a placed graphic must be converted to curves in the source file before it's placed in your document
While there are many variables that can impact what resolution is required for bitmaps, here are some general guidelines:
• For viewing distance of 1-4 feet, image resolution should be about 150ppi (at actual size)
• For viewing distance of 5-9 feet, image resolution should be about 100ppi (at actual size)
• For viewing distance of 10+ feet, image resolution should be about 50ppi (at actual size)
Another way to determine it is by file size:
• For Close-up viewing, you need about 6.5MB per square foot of image area (at actual size)
• For Midrange viewing, you need about 3MB per square foot of image area (at actual size)
• For Distance viewing, you need about 1.2MB per square foot of image area (at actual size)
Supplying Files For Heat Transfer Vinyl Film Graphics (e.g. Economy Table Throws with 1 colour HTV logo):
• only vector files are suitable (Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw only)
• art elements must be welded where necessary
• no strokes or outline colours can be used (to create an outline effect, a second full layer of the object must be made slightly larger and positioned behind the object that has the fill colour
- Downloads and Design Templates
- We use Adobe Illustrator design templates for all of our standard models of table covering products and if you're supplying ready to print artwork (i.e. avoiding design/layout/proofing charges from us) the art must be built into the template for your product.
If you place an order directly through our web site at www.signsplus.ca and select the option that you "have a graphic designer: we will send you the .ai template file", then you will be sent the template file by email usually within hours. You can also just request the template be sent to you prior to placing an order, or if you order by other methods. Just let us know the model number SKU of the product (e.g. TC3f723029f).
- Frequently Asked Questions
- This section is under construction.