How to: Choose Your Paper

Topics: brightness | weight | size | surface | texture | opacity | grain direction

  • Brightness/Whiteness

    How bright do you want your paper to be?


    • brightness affects readability.
  • Weight
    • Weight, bulk, and caliper all refer to the thickness of the paper.
    • Given the complex nature of these measurements, ask for samples before making a decision.
  • Size
    • Size refers to the dimensions of the paper, height x length before trimming.
    • GREEN TIP: Consider the best way to use a given paper size before determining the dimensions of your finished design.
  • Surface

    Surface is also referred to as the paper finish.




    • Includes gloss, matte, dull, and silk
    • Smoother than uncoated. The smoother the surface, the less ink soaks into the paper.



    • Includes textured and specialty stocks
    • Requires more ink
    • Less precise, but faster
    • Uncoated stock is less reflective, and is a good choice for finished products that are intended to be written on or read extensively.
  • Texture
    • Texture refers to the subtle (or less subtle) way the paper feels. This also affects the appearance of the finished piece.
    • Examples incude linen, felt and wove.
  • Opacity
    • Refers to the show-through of ink from the other side of the paper
  • Grain Direction
    • Papers can be grain long or grain short, which refers to the direction of the grain relative to the dimensions of the sheet.
    • Grain direction can affect the stiffness of a fold.

How to: Lay Out Your Document

Topics: document layout | working with images | fonts | color management | UD logos

Before you hit send, run through this guide of pre-press tips for preparing your document.

Document Layout

  • Always know the binding style of the book before you lay it out.
  • The document page size should be the same dimensions as the trim size of your book. Avoid “floating” or placing artwork in the center of an art board larger than intended output.
  • Insert blank pages where they would appear in the finished book to keep all odd pages on the right and all even pages on the left.
  • It’s best to leave at least a half-inch of white space from your text to the edge of your page to give your book a professional look.
  • Please make sure your document bleeds. Bleeds are areas where an object extends beyond the edge of the printed page. Make sure items needing to print to the edge of the paper extend or “bleed” an eighth of an inch beyond the edge of the page to accommodate for variances in the printed piece.
  • Please layout your document in single pages. We have software that will impose your document into booklet form.
  • Please use the geometric tools to make boxes & frames. Don’t build them from individual lines.

Sending your Document

  • Quark and Adobe InDesign both have methods for collecting items for transmission. Quark has the “Collect for Output” option and InDesign has “Package.” These options will collect the fonts and links for your project.
  • PDF files are a great way to avoid font and image issues as long as the PDF was made with the “Press Quality” settings. You must also include “bleed” in your PDF file.
  • Do not use special characters (i.e. #@%&) or extremely long file names. Try to limit your file names to 16 characters.
  • See our page on options for sending us your file digitally.

Working With Images

  • When using Adobe InDesign, always remember to PLACE your image in your layout file and never copy and paste them. This allows your layout software to call to a link, which is the hi-res file represented by the preview that you see in your layout.
  • Do not use images taken from the Web. These are not intended for high quality printing. There may be additional copyight concerns with these images.
  • Do not use GIF, PICT, or WMF.
  • Make sure your images are at least 300 dpi.
  • Please convert all RGB images to CMYK.


  • Be sure to provide all the fonts used to create your project.
  • If you are going cross-platform, (i.e., MAC to PC or the other way) remember that the fonts DO NOT travel well. MAC and PC fonts are different animals, even if they are both Adobe Type 1 fonts. Special characters are different key combinations. This is why it is very important that we have a hard copy. Converting your file to a PDF is one way to avoid cross-platform problems.
  • Do not use the style menu to make type BOLD or ITALIC. Unfortunately, this method will allow you to create a font that does not have a screen font to support that particular stylization. Select the appropriate font through the menu selection.

Color Management

  • A “process color” is created by a combination of the four standard process inks: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black.
  • A “spot color” is special premixed ink.
  • Use “process colors” when your file uses so many colors that it would be expensive or impractical to use spot colors.
  • Use “spot colors” when you are only printing a few colors. If your document is going to require 2 or more colors you should consider printing the file in process colors.
  • If you use a percentage of a spot color it will no longer match that spot color. (30% PMS 153 vs 100% PMS 153)
  • A full description of University of Delaware color models and official colors is available from the Office of Communications and Marketing Web page at

University of Delaware logos, trademarks, wordmarks, etc.

  • A detailed explanation for how to obtain and use University of Delaware logos, trademarks, and wordmarks for print is available from the Office of Communications and Marketing Web page at
  • Be certain to review information regarding UD color models and official colors at

How to: Supported Files Types

A partial list of supported file types:

  • pdf
  • eps
  • jpg/jpeg
  • tif
  • TIP: 300 dpi is best for printing and CMYK is preferred over RGB color mode.


  • Adobe InDesign
  • Quark
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Microsoft PowerPoint

How to: Copyright Clearance Procedures

Copyright Clearance Procedures for coursepacks sold through bookstores

  1. University Printing is responsible for obtaining copyright clearance on all coursepacks it reproduces.
  2. The copyright procedure is begun after coursepacks are received and the job is logged in. Using the bibliography or originals, an order is created with Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) on the Web. CCC requires school name, professor name, course name, course number, start date of course, and number of copies to be made. Each article is then entered using the information provided by the faculty member or department including title of book, publisher, copyright date, ISBN number (if available) and page numbers. If an article is part of an anthology, information may be needed regarding original work.
  3. Periodically, the CCC website is checked for updates on the submitted coursepacks. The faculty member or department is notified of any problems. Once all articles have been cleared and/or when the deadline is approaching and articles have not been cleared, the faculty member or department is contacted so that they can make a decision about dropping any articles that are too expensive or that have not cleared. The faculty member or department can make the decision to print what has been cleared and opt to print another packet with the remainder articles once they have been cleared.
  4. All copyright fees/royalities must run through University Printing. Copyright royalties are itemized on the vendor invoice to distinguish from copying charges.

Copyright Clearance Procedures for coursepacks/materials distributed in class:

  1. University Printing is responsible for obtaining copyright clearance on materials it reproduces for a faculty member or department that is distributed in class as a handout (at no charge to students) and is not included on the Textbook Adoption form. If so, the job is logged in and the information is entered into the CCC Web site as stated above.
  2. If University Printing receives materials for copying that a faculty member or department may not recognize as requiring copyright clearance but that University Printing has determined requires copyright clearance. The faculty member or department who submitted the material is then contacted and asked whether they would like University Printing to have the copyrights cleared for them or if they would like the materials returned to them for clearance.
  3. All copyright fees/royalties must run through University Printing. After articles have been cleared and printed, copyright/royalties are added to the per packet cost charged to the retailers.

Closing Procedure for University Printing

Ninety (90) days from the first day of the month that classes begin [e.g., ninety (90) days from August 1 if classes begin on August 29] all orders will be closed and invoiced. Before that date University Printing will have to update any quantities for reorders or orders sent to vendors, reduce any quantities due to returns, and make certain any materials that were not printed are canceled.


updated June 2011


Mailers: Optimize Your Mailer

Topics: Standard vs. First-Class | Letters | Postcards | Postage Costs | Other Important Points

Standard (bulk) Mail® or First-Class Mail®?

  • The minimum quantity for Standard Mail® is 200 pieces per mailing. (Note: this minimum refers to actual mailed pieces, not the quantity of the print order.)
  • The minimum quantity for pre-sorted First Class Mail® is 500 pieces per mailing. Note that pre-sorted First Class Mail® must have the appropriate indicia.

Is it a letter?

  • The maximum size for a letter is 6-1/8″ x 11-1/2″; the minimum is 3-1/2″ x 5″. (hxl; length is parallel to the address)
  • The maximum weight for a letter is 3.3oz.
  • The maximum thickness of a letter is 1/4″; the minimum is 7/1000″.
  • The correct aspect ratio for a letter is 1.3 x 2/5 .

Is it a postcard?

  • The maximum size for a postcard is 4-1/2″ x 6″; the minimum is 3-1/2″ x 5″.(hxl; length is parallel to the address)
  • The maximum thickness for a postcard is 16/1000″; the minimum is 7/1000″.

How much will it cost to send?

  • Contact us regarding pricing your project.
  • Add-on services are available. Again, please contact us for a personalized consultation.

Other important points:

  • Create a design that works well for your chosen format. Also, review our information on laying out your document.
  • Remember to leave room for the address and barcode.
  • Remember that the address must appear in 8 point font or larger.
  • Review our information on mailing lists.
  • For further information on preparing your Direct Mail strategy, visit the USPS Web site at

Producing a Direct Mail piece? Ask these questions before you begin. Then contact us for a personalized consultation.