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Frequently Asked Questions


Providing effective solutions means answering your questions and addressing any concerns you may have regarding the production process. While every project has its own unique logistics, there are many common questions that come up quite often. We've collected a number of them here. If you cannot find the information you're looking for, we encourage you to contact us directly. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist you.

Do you offer graphic design services?

Yes. Oil City Press Ltd. offers complete graphic services, utilizing the very latest design and page layout applications. Whether your looking for a simple logo design for your new company or a full promotional package to market your growing business, the graphics team at Oil City Press Ltd. can help you get the look you're after.

What applications can you work with?

We can accept files from the following applications:

  • Adobe InDesign CC
  • Adobe Illustrator CC
  • Adobe Photoshop CC
  • Adobe Acrobat v10.0
  • CorelDraw v12.0

What file formats can you work with?

We can work with the following file formats:

  • *.pdf
  • *.eps (vector and bitmap)
  • *.indd
  • *.ai
  • *.cdr
  • *.psd (minimum 300 DPI at finished size)
  • *.tif (minimum 300 DPI at finished size)
  • *.jpg (minimum 300 DPI at finished size)

What if the application I'm using isn't listed?

Don't worry. Simply save or export your file as a hi-res (300 DPI) PDF. If the application allows, include trim marks and allow for bleed if necessary (see "How do I create a press-ready PDF file?" below).

How do I create a press-ready PDF file?

There are a variety of ways to create a press-ready PDF file depending on the application you are using. Download our comprehensive PDF guide to help get you started. You can also download our PDF export plugin for Adobe InDesign CC. If you have any questions regarding press-ready PDF files, please call us at 403-255-9466, or contact us via email at oilcity@oilcitypress.com.

What is "bleed"?

Bleed is the excess image beyond the trim size of any given document. A layout with background coverage which runs to the edge of the sheet must bleed beyond the page parameters to allow for trim variance. The standard bleed dimension is 0.125" on all sides. Therefore, an 8.5" x 11" page with full background coverage will have a bleed area of 8.75" x 11.25".

What resolution should my images be?

For offset printing, images should be a minimum of 300 DPI at their finished size to print at 150 LPI, and 400 DPI at their finished size to print at 200 LPI. For large-format printing, images should be between 100 DPI and 150 DPI. Please note that bitmap resolution cannot be increased after the fact without compromising image quality.

What colour space should I use when creating my files?

That depends on how you want to print your job. The 3 methods of offset colour printing are "process colour" (CMYK), "spot colour" (usually Pantone Solid Coated / Uncoated), or a combination of both. Layouts containing full-colour images (bitmap or vector) must print as CMYK. Colour images saved as RGB will be converted to CMYK when processed through our workflow, though for best results we recommend saving colour images as CMYK. Because the colour options vary from job to job, please contact your Oil City Press Ltd. representative to discuss the best method for your project.

Do I need to send fonts with my files?

Yes. Send all the fonts used in your document along with your document files (we recommend using Postscript or Open Type fonts, but we can work with True Type fonts). Exceptions to this rule are files where fonts have been converted to outlines, flattened Photoshop files and PDF files with embedded or subset fonts.

Can I use images I've downloaded from the internet?

No. In addition to being illegal if used without permission, the resolution of internet image files is generally too low for print production. Instead, consider inexpensive stock photography from sources like www.istockphoto.com (one of our favourites).

How should I send my files?

The easiest way to send us your files is via our online File Transfer System. You'll receive an email confirmation once your files have been uploaded, and an Oil City Press Ltd. customer service representative will contact you to review as soon as possible. We strongly recommend that you compress your files and/or directories (ZIP / Stuff-It) prior to uploading them.

We can accept files saved to CD-ROM and DVD-ROM. Files under 10MB may be emailed to your Oil City Press Ltd. representative. Compressed files up to 1GB may also be uploaded by placing an order via our Instant Online Quoting System.

Do I need to impose and trap my files?

No. The Oil City Press Ltd. Prepress Department will handle all imposition and trapping. Files should be saved as 1-up, with a document page size equal to the trim size of the job (plus bleed where applicable). Multi-page documents (books, magazines, etc.) may include facing pages, but pages must be in consecutive order.

Can you work with Microsoft Office documents?

Yes, though because these applications offer extremely limited font and colour management capabilities, we recommend that they be reserved for data input rather than page layout. Whenever possible, we recommend that Microsoft Office documents be saved or exported as hi-res (300 DPI) PDF files. Alternatively, the Oil City Press Ltd. design team can transform content from your MS Office documents into professional-grade layouts using industry-standard design tools like Adobe Creative Cloud.

What kinds of printing methods do you offer?

We offer superior quality offset printing, large-format digital printing, high-speed digital printing and letterpress (for foiling, embossing, die-cutting and numbering).

What printing method is right for my project?

That depends on the project itself. Because the specifications vary from job to job, please contact your Oil City Press Ltd. representative to discuss the best method for your project.

What kind of substrates can you print on?

With offset printing, we can print on a variety of different paper stocks from lightweight to heavy cardboard, as well as a range of plastic materials and label stocks. The Acuity Advance UV Digital Flatbed Printer can print on almost anything up to 2" thick, including wood, metals, acrylics and more.

What is the largest image you can print?

Our Speedmaster CD74 6-colour offset press has a maximum sheet size of 23.82" x 29.13", and a maximum image area of 23.03" x 29.13". Our HP Z6100 Design Jet Plotters have a maximum image area of 41" x 95". The Acuity Advance UV Digital Flatbed Printer can print up to 96" x 48" with a full bleed on rigid media up to 2" thick. On roll media, the Acuity can print up to 86.2" wide by nearly the full length of the roll.

Can you cut to custom shapes?"

Yes. The Kongsberg i-XL Digital Cutter can be programmed to cut complex shapes from your artwork on a wide range of substrates up to 2" thick. For large-quantity press runs, we also offer conventional die cutting services on our Letterpress. Choose from our large selection of house dies or create a custom die specific to your project.

How do I get a high gloss effect on my printed product?

A high-gloss effect can be achieved by a number of in-house finishing options.Choose from inline gloss and matte printed varnishes, inline aqueous coating, UV coating or laminating. We can also combine these techniques to create a variety of elegant special effects.

What if my job needs to be folded?

Depending on the thickness of the paper, your project may need to be scored prior to folding. Certain folds also require a gap to allow air to escape in the folding process. Depending on the complexity of the fold, some configurations may only be achieved by hand folding.

Can I order online?

Yes. Simply select Place A New Order under Customer Services, complete the form and attach your files. We'll generate a proof for you to review before we start production.

In addition to generating accurate printing quotes, our Instant Online Quoting System also enables you to place custom orders and upload production files.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We can accept debit, corporate cheques and all major credit cards.

How do I request a quote?

Visit our Instant Online Quoting System. Simply register and enter your project parameters. The system instantly and automatically calculates the most suitable and cost-effective production method to complete your project. You can easily edit parameters, or save projects and revisit them later. You can also proceed to place an order and upload files if you're ready to move forward. Registration is free, so give it a try!

Of course, we are always available to discuss your project in person. Give us a call at 403.255.9466 and one of our customer service representatives will be happy to assist you.