File Submission Guidelines
Are you looking to have a design or image printed for personal or professional use? Here at Ajalon, we are happy to print our clients one-of-a-kind artwork. However, when submitting your own designs for printing, there are a few guidelines that need to be followed in order to insure that it’s print-ready.
By checking your work with the guidelines below, prior to submission, you can insure a smoother printing process and a quicker turn around time. If you are unsure of how to go about making your documents or images ready for print, we have graphic designers on staff that can make the required alterations to your files. Our graphic design work is billed hourly.
Acceptable Document Formats
PDF (saved in Press Quality export format)
Illustrator (all fonts must be outlined and graphics embedded)
InDesign (all fonts must be converted to outlines and linked files included)
While we can work with web image formats such as .jpg, we cannot guarantee quality image results due to low resolution and file compression.
If you send us a file from Microsoft Word or similar personal-use program that does not create print-ready files, we may have to modify the file to meet print specifications. File edits and modifications are billed at our current hourly graphic design rate.
Monograms, Graphics and Images We prefer vector art files saved in either .pdf, .eps or .ai formats, and raster image files saved in .tif format at 300 dpi or greater. While we can work with web image formats such as .jpg, we cannot guarantee quality image results due to low resolution and file compression.
Letterpress Ink Colors All elements printing in spot colors must be defined as the exact Pantone solid uncoated color numbers at 100% value (no tints or transparency). Elements printing in black must be defined as 100% black (no tints or transparency).
Bleeds Define bleeds at 1/8″ (.125″) bleed on all sides and output with crop marks.
Line Widths For letterpress art, line widths must be at least .25 point.
Additional Notes Please contact us if you have questions about acceptable file formats and specifications.
Mobile-geddon is upon us!
Google recently made changes to their search engine to favor websites that are “mobile-friendly.” Though this change only affects users searching on their tablets or smartphones, it’s a change that will be felt by millions of small businesses that have yet to make the switch. Making these adjustments should be at the top of your to-do list if you haven’t made them already.
Making the necessary changes can be time consuming and costly, but now that Google is playing favorites when it comes to non-PC or desktop searches, it’s well worth it. Those whose sites don’t make the cut will be demoted in the rankings, while those whose sites fit the bill will appear closer to the top of the search results.
If you have yet to make the change to a mobile-friendly web page, you can check out Google Developers Mobile Guide for a step-by-step of the transition process. Have you started making the transition and want to know if you’ve done enough? Google is also providing site owners with Mobile-Friendly Test Tool which will will review your site for free and tell you if your page makes the cut.
Die cutting is a process that has been around for nearly 200 years and is widely used throughout multiple industries. Its purpose is to generate large numbers of the same shape from a material such as wood, plastic, metal, fabric, or in our case, paper. Using a steel rule cutting die, we can cut decorative or functional shapes into your paper of choice.
A functional die-cut might be something like index tabs or half-moon thumb hole on an open-ended envelope, or a pocket in a presentation folder. There are many possibilities for die-cutting, and you’re only limited by your imagination. Interested in uniquely-shaped business cards? What about advertising products such as coasters, magnets or post-its?
Below are gift card holders for Osmosis Day Spa being die cut using our Kluge. The process not only cuts the general shape of the holder, but also creates the notches to hold the card and tab to hold it closed.
Step one: Load printed paper into the press (Kluge).
Step 2: Attach the cutting die and begin die cutting.
Step 3: Remove excess paper.
Step 4: Enjoy the fruits of your labor! A beautifully cut gift card holder.
Interested in creating your own die-cut product for your business needs? Contact us today for a quote!
Embossing is a printing style that has been around since the early 19th century and continues to be popular today. As with most things, the art of embossing has changed with the times. It is now possible to add texture, color, foil and extreme detail to your die while printing. This allows you to create a one of a kind look for your business cards and other office stationery.
Depth is an important factor to consider when embossing. The deeper the emboss, the more dominant your logo or text will be. It is also imperative to consider the use of the item you’re working with before moving forward. A deep emboss isn’t preferable for a business card as they will usually end up in clients pockets or wallets and would get depressed. However, it would be a great option for a presentation folder.
In addition to depth, another customization you can make is texture. By choosing to texture your die, you are adding another eye-catching layer of detail and interest. There are dozens of textures to choose from including a variety of graphic patterns.
Once you’ve decided upon depth, texture and level of detail, it’s time to create the die or plate which can be made of either brass or copper. The die is what makes the impressing on your paper of choice.
At this point, you will need to have decided if you are going to use a blind impression (displayed above), or a register emboss which can be comprised of either ink or foil. Blind being the most cost effective.
Are you considering printing up some new business cards? What about letterhead, envelopes, or labels? When you’re tackling a print project for you or your business, the options are endless. What type of paper should you choose? Should your logo or design be classic, modern, or ornate? With so many question, where do you begin?
One place to start is to figure out which print method is right for you. When it comes to commercial printing, there are several options to choose from. Digital, is a flat print option that is both fast and affordable, and allows you to print in full color or CYMK. The next step up in flat-printing is off-set, which provides you with a better quality product and a choice of CYMK and PMS colors. Letterpress, is a more time consuming process but with a stunning result. This process presses a plate with your text and logo into the paper for a richer, three-dimensional look. However, if you are truly looking for a business card that blows people away, nothing is more elegant and opulent than foil.
Foil printing begins with the creation of a copper plate that includes your logo, text or whatever part of your card you want to shine. A heating element in our Kluge, warms the plate which allows a transfer of the metallic foil to the solid surface of the paper. The end result is stunning. This process can be combined with any of the other print methods or can stand alone.
Interested in incorporating foil into your business stationery? Contact Ajalon Print, Web, & Social Media.
Are you and your business staying active on social media? If not, you should be. Simply having an account and posting the occasional blurb is not enough anymore. In order to have any real success with marketing on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, you need to be connecting with your followers on a daily basis. Not only will this help you maintain your current following, but it will also increase your visibility and help to expand your network.
There are countless social media sites out there for your business to join. It is crucial for your business to be involved with all the top sites and also try out newer social platforms as they appear. As a new platform rises in popularity, you can easily shift your focus to keep on trend.
Consumers search and shop differently, so you never want to have all your eggs in one basket. By marketing through multiple platforms, you are able to capture a broader audience. Identifying your target market and which social media apps they frequent is an invaluable tool.
- Over 90% of people who use Instagram are under the age of 35 making it perfect for marketing apparel, technology, and entertainment.
- For promoting your brand, the best time to post on Twitter is Monday through Thursday between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
- LinkedIn is the ideal place to market and network to white-collar professionals as it primarily consists of a high-income, highly educated user base.
- Pinterest has become one of the top four social networks and consists primarilly of women between the ages of 20-50 years old.
Creating and actively managing a social media marketing strategy will help your business to grow by reaching a broader consumer base. Need help? Ajalon can assist you in maintaining your social media for you. Contact us for more information.
With so many options on the internet today, it’s hard enough get potential customers to your web site. Choices are endless, and competition is plentiful. So once you’ve found a way to get people to your site, you want to insure that you can keep them there. A great way to get people past your homepage is by getting them involved in the site itself. Ask them questions and get them to do something!
Here are a few “calls to action” that you can easily incorporate on your webpage:
- Insert an online pricing tool so potential customers can see what products or services you offer and can get an idea of the cost.
- Create a “contact” form where they can contact you with specific questions or for a more detailed quote.
- Do you have newsletter that you send out to clients? Create a sign up form so people browsing your site can join the mailing list and get notified of new products and specials.
- Incorporate a comments section on your blog or product pages so your satisfied customers can leave testimonials about your products and the incredible service they received. These client review are priceless to growing your business.
Whatever you chose to incorporate, be sure your call to action is prominently displayed on your site. Make things as simple as possible for the consumer and avoid numerous steps that make it difficult to access or more time consuming than necessary.
This month, Ajalon Print, Web & Social Media is offering an excellent printing special. For every letterhead order placed by the April 30th, we will take 10% off the price. We offer letterhead in full color, black and white, and in a wide array of high-quality print methods. You can choose from offset, digital, letterpress or impression, embossing, debossing, foil printing and more. We also have a variety of metallic, colored and eco-friendly papers to choose from. Need help with branding? Our graphic designer can help you perfect your company’s logo.
We are also offering customizable specialty items perfect for marketing your business. This month we are featuring a double-walled, stainless steel thermos with a leather carrying case. You can personalize this and many other items with your logo. Hand them out as promotional items to gain new customers, or give them to repeat customers as a way of saying “thank you for your business.” Contact us for further more information.
Black Pig Meat Co. is the brainchild of chefs Duskie Estes and John Stewart from Zazu Kitchen + Farm in Sebastopol, California. These two chefs decided to make bacon the right way by curing their sustainability-raised, heritage pork for up to 21 days and smoking it with applewood for close to 12 hours. The finished product is sweet, salty, smoky and delicious!
Looking to taste some of this award winning bacon for yourself? You’re in luck! If you live in or are visiting Sonoma County, you can head to Zazu Kitchen + Farm and enjoy some artfully crafted dishes from Duskie and John and see why their bacon so sizzling.
“Delicious, delicate and nuanced with just the right amount of parliament funkadelic to make George Clinton happy. This is a perfect bacon for a smokin carbonara…” – Mario Batali
“The best bacon I’ve had. Great pork flavor…not too sweet or smoky, absolutely delicious.” – Traci des Jardins
Want to incorporate Black Pig into some of your own recipes? This amazing bacon can be found in in multiple markets across the North Bay Area, such as Andy’s Produce, Big Johns and Oliver’s Market, just to name a few. If you live outside the area and want to try some for yourself, you can shop their online store.
Brussels Sprouts and Black Pig Bacon with Sebastopol Apples
1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, render the bacon until slightly browned, a few minutes. Add Brussels sprouts; cook until browned on at least one side, about 3 minutes. Add shallots; cook 1 minute more.
2. Add vinegar, then toss to combine. Add frisee, apples, almonds and olive oil; toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with cheese.
— Duskie Estes and John Stewart, Zazu Kitchen + Farm
In today’s tech-heavy world, more and more consumers are choosing to shop online rather than in-store. Options are endless, with new companies launching every day. This onslaught of choices gives them the chance to shop around – not only for the best deal, but also for what suits their individual taste. This makes the visual aspect of shopping all the more important. Currently, the best social media platform for marketing to these visual shoppers is Pinterest.
Let’s talk strategy:
- KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE: Research shows that approximately 75% of Pinterest users are female, and most are between the ages of 20-50 years old. It is important to keep this in mind when creating boards, choosing what images or videos, and deciding what keywords to use in your text.
- MAKE EACH “PIN” COUNT: Pinning is the most important part of Pinterest because that’s how people find you. If you are marketing your business using this social media platform, you want to get the most out of your time and effort. Studies tell us that most users are logged in, and active between 8pm to 11pm, so it would make sense for you to also be active during this time. Now there are two ways you can choose to pin but we recommend using both.
- The first thing you should do is upload new images of your own products to your boards. Be sure to link these images directly to your website so consumers can click through to your site. Continue doing this whenever new items are added to your site.
- The second thing you should do is look through Pinterest at what others are posting. You can choose to either follow or repin their items to your boards. Your level of participation will make other users more apt to follow or repin your items, expanding your reach.
- USE KEYWORDS: While you are uploading and repining items to your boards, you will also need to add text to attract your desired audience. In order to ensure you are reaching the correct demographic, or showing up in the appropriate searches, you need to know which keywords to use. A great free resource is Google AdWords. By using the Keyword Planner, you can enter different keywords that you’re thinking of using, and see how often those words and phrases are actually searched. This tool also provides you with alternative word choices with search ratings.
- PINTEREST ANALYTICS: Once you have set up a Pinterest account and started creating boards and adding pins, you can start viewing your analytics. There is a drop down on your home screen with the option to review your analytics. This is a priceless tool that will allow you to see how successful your marketing is. What it does is it breaks down your daily profile views, your engagement, and how many of the pins viewed are actually linked to your website.