Winner of Best of the Best

Ad and Plaque

For 13+ years we have been voted Best of the Best by the readers of the Auburn Journal, and we couldn’t be more thankful to our community and our fantastic customers.

Since opening the business in 1946 we have striven to be been involved in the community and has enjoyed giving back. In 1984 Brad and Merrill purchased the business and have since continued to be involved and continue the tradition of giving back and supporting many community events. Being a big part of our community, being involved and giving back is what I am passionate about. I do it because I see a great future for our community and all there is to benefit from for me, our company and my kids.

Besides being such a staple of the community we work hard at being a partner to the land trusts and non-profits locally. We give back to many non-profits and work closely with them to find new ways of attracting donors and new revenue. Using print, email, direct mail, signage and promotional products to elevate their clients message in a cohesive, timely and branded manner. Our clients have seen that the value improves exponentially with a multi-touch approach.

I strongly feel that we are a one of a kind shop in this area with all the equipment and up to date technology that we have in our North Auburn location. Feel free to stop by and see all that we have to offer.

What can YOU build out of a pallet?

If you are on any social media platform you have most likely seen at least one project made out of a recycled pallets, especially if you follow us on social media! There are so many ways to take a plain wooden pallet and make it into something AMAZING and NEW! We ran a contest amongst our employees to see what they could make out of the pallets that our paper is delivered on. It was such a huge success and fun project that we decided to do it again, but this time we are inviting our customers, friends and family to build something.

We started this project because we like the idea of recycling. Here at APi-Marketing we do a lot of that, whether its pallets (our employees are always making stuff from them), 99% of all paper we use, press plates, or just soda cans. We try and let as little go to the landfill as we can.

Project time starts now! Come over to our shop and grab a pallet or two or ten and start building! We get new pallets almost every day so if we don’t have what you are looking for, check back again. Look on Pinterest, Google, any social media platform, or just something you have been contemplating in your head and find a fun, useful or extravagant project to build out of pallets. These projects will be displayed at our VIP Open house in Mid-October. There is a kicker, for those who want to be included in a silent auction on the projects, 100% of the money raised will be donated to a local non profit organization (to be determined prior to event).

How do I win and what do I get you ask? WELL, the winner will be determined by votes cast at the VIP Open House. The winner will receive $250 worth of gift cards to one or more of the following: Flyers Gas Stations, Old Town Pizza, Center for the Arts, Machado Orchards, or Local Heroes (or a combination of them).

Of course there are some rules….

  1. Has to be made mostly of pallets.
  2. Anything added on must be recycled from something else, not purchased new for this project. (Exceptions are anything used to fasten such as nails, glue or staples and anything used to decorate such as paint or stain)
  3. Must “RSVP” your project prior to or on September 11th, 2017 (whether or not it is finished) so we know how many projects to be expecting and to make sure you and a guest are on the list for an invitation to the Open House.
  4. Must be able to bring your project to APi-Marketing or arrange for us to pick-up for our VIP Open House in mid October.

That is all, now go have fun and create a new masterpiece!

Protect Your Images from Decay and Bad Prints

In last month’s post we went over knowing the specs of what is being purchased/designed before getting too involved in a project. Those topics included: trim size, margins/safety zones, spot colors, kind of paper, printing process or special processes, and why the kinds of mailers matter. This month, in Vol. 2 and 3: Designing For Print, I’ll discuss how to work with all the images and objects that go into the printed piece and help start the design process to ensure success. 

Image Resolution

Image quality is surprisingly often overlooked in design process. An ideal image for print is 200-300 ppi (pixels per inch) at the size it will be printed and CMYK. A tiff file is best.

popular image sizes and a visual of the equation in the text

Continue reading Protect Your Images from Decay and Bad Prints

Steps to Success That Every Print Designer Should Know, Vol. 2


Images and color: cameras deal with the colors of light, which are RGB (red, green and blue). If you were to take three flashlights with red, green and blue lenses and overlap them, you would create several other colors. CMYK deals with pigments, or ink. When crossed, pigments behave differently than the colored flashlight lenses. It takes four colors to make as many color combinations. Because CMYK is a representation trying to mimic the colors of light, it will never be quite the same as viewing your image on a computer screen (also RGB) or as when you were actually there taking the picture. Nevertheless, we are stuck with CMYK for most prints, and in order to keep your expectations from growing wild about color, please convert your images that go into documents and publications, posters, etc. to CMYK. To the trained eye, they will appear a little less brilliant but the color space conversion is more important.

chart describing RGB vs CMYK
Check out this graphic from PDW Global. It helps visualize how the two color systems work.

For the same reasons as explained above, color for print will be more accurate if you start the document as CMYK. Printers use percentages of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and K (black) pigments or dies. If you have ever had a case where you’ve tried to make a color 100% black and as soon as you save the document it changes to a different percentage of black, you may want to check how the document is set up. When this problem occurs, it is usually because the document is RGB and is overriding your attempts to use CMYK color swatches.

Check if your document is CMYK:

From Indesign click on File, Document Setup. Make sure that Print is selected from the Intent dropdown menu. Use only CMYK swatches and images and you’ll be fine.

From Illustrator click on File, Document Color Mode, and ensure that CMYK is checked. Use only CMYK swatches and images and you’ll be fine.

From Photoshop click on Image, Mode and make sure CMYK is checked. If it is not checked (RGB is default), go ahead and click on it. Photoshop may ask you if you want to flatten the layers because changing color modes will likely have unexpected results in some kinds of layers. Personally, I would save a copy of my file and flatten that one.

If you use Microsoft Publisher go here to get a great comprehensive tutorial:

For Quark Express see this:

Microsoft Word doesn’t retain CMYK values reliably. If it is the only tool you have available and you’re on a budget, just be advised that in some cases you printer (that’s us, not your desktop printer) may convert the file to CMYK but the conversion could produce results that you did not intend. For example, when we use Adobe Preflight to convert files for digital printing, an occasional red tone will insert itself into the images. Red faces are no fun! Additionally, if you get a digitally printed proof using RGB images, but the job will be printed on the offset press, the color will be very different.

About the Color Black

Black is great. It’s sophisticated and professional. Getting the best black prints require some finesse and it depends largely on what your document contains. There are two kinds of black: %100 Black (C0, M0, Y0, K100) and Rich Black (a combination of CMYK to make black). 100% black can be a bit dull in large surface areas (unless you are printing on a laser printer), and Rich Black can be, well, rich! It is velvety, or can have a slight hue of any color you like.

This is why it’s important to communicate to designers how many colors are needed and likewise, designers need to tell clients how many colors are used. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and K (black) are all colors and if you use a rich black, you will likely be charged to use all four of those colors.

In projects with color images (you’re using all four anyway) it’s recommended to use rich black in large areas with no text to get a deep black color. Our favorite Rich Black build is C40,M30,Y20,K100.

For text, whether it’s black or reversed out of a black background, we recommend %100 Black (C0, M0, Y0, K100). If you use Rich Black ,the text will be a little fuzzy from lining up all four layers on top of eachother.

graphic showing 100 black and rich black
As you can see, black is not always just black.

Watch out for images that look black but are really a build of all four colors. If you are making a document that prints only in black, be sure to convert that image to greyscale.

Steps to Success That Every Print Designer Should Know

Design. Seems simple, right? A message, an audience and some graphics. Well it’s not really that simple, and even the best visual people sometimes have limited to no knowledge of the printing process. In this post I use the terms “designer” and “client” loosely, because there can also be a designer/boss or perhaps a client/printer relationship. I’ve compiled a list of the most import tips and tricks for getting the best bang for your buck when it comes to print material. In this segment, Vol. 1, I will go over some basic groundwork for starting a project for print so that you know what to expect.

info illustrating how specs are used

Know the specs of what is being purchased/designed before getting too involved in a project. There is often a disconnect between designers and their clients when it comes to what the end product will do. Being upfront about some things will not only make your printer happy, but will make your project less costly and avoid unnecessary miscommunications between designers and clients. Make sure you/your designer know and communicate: Continue reading Steps to Success That Every Print Designer Should Know