WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING
Brian Murdoch is an excellent Acct Exec
Jeff K. Wilson Sporting Goods Co.
Emily has been wonderful To work with. Replies quickly to my emails and hit my tough deadlines
Mckensie K. GTI
customer service has been good! i appreciate the willingness to print proofs for us so we can make an informed decision
Emily B. SpaDerma
Appreciate the fast turnaround.
Diane K. Perritt Capital Management
Your company is the absolute best. Great and speedy communications, quotes, quality materials and impressive packaging!
Melissa W. Hogsalt Restaurant Group (Small Chevaul - California Clipper)
Very efficient overall- the customer service and quality of product was top-notch. Will definitely be using this company again.
Lissa B. Greenspeed Painting
Brian Murdoch is always outstanding. Super responsive, transparent and accommodating. Eager to go to bat for the customer. Thank you to Brian and your team!
Aubrey L. Lincoln Park Community Services
It was extremely fast, and my wedding programs came out perfectly!
Nathalie S. Nathalie Serrano
I had a few questions so I called the office and both representatives that I spoke with were very helpful, informative, and courteous while assisting me.
La T. Heartland Alliance - AG Online Ordering
Great customer service. Extremely prompt responses to any requests we have. Ken D'Souza is fantastic!
David D. American Financial Exchange, LLC
Very responsive and quick
Hayley M. Golub & Company LLC, Mich Ave
Charlotte Schultz was awesome! very responsive and very friendly
Melissa H. Melissa Henley
Brian is highly professional and gave us excellent service. Very satisfied with the end results.
Cedric W. Cedric Williams
Ken D'Souza has been taking care of my orders and he's been great, friendly and very professional. Everything has been on time and of the highest quality.
Paola B. Nexo Chicago Tours FKA Chicago Liaison Tours
Ken you Rock!
Rick K. Fast Signs
All email communications were very professional and timely , all deadlines were meet
Le'Mikas L. Heartland Alliance
Emily Sorodon was a genuine pleasure to work with, and the poster looked great! The whole process was incredibly easy. (You may use these comments in your marketing efforts, but *not* my company name--our brand protection folks frown heavily on that.)
Ian C. University of California Berkeley
AlphaGraphics gave me not only fast, but quality service.
Latifah U. Latifah Usman
Love working with Emily, she is so helpful and always so prompt with her responses!
Valerie B. Ashley Buziecki
I enjoy working with the team. Its affordable and professional printing
Michelle S. Sheridan Contract
I had an idea of what I wanted in my head but struggled to describe in using the industry-standard terms. Emily was able to quickly and accurately translate what I was looking for and helped facilitate a speedy (24 hour) turnaround of a finished product that exceeded my expectations. I will not be using another printing service in the future since I have certainly found the best one.
Nicholas T. CAMP - A FASD COMMUNITY
My account executive was very helpful since I was coordinating from out-of-state. I have been pleased with both experiences that I have had utilizing your firm.
Dina S. New Jersey Funeral Directors Association
Business card quality exceeded expectations! Cost was great too - we're never ordering on Vista Print again!
Chad J. digs
Everything was wonderful.
Lauren S. Convergent Claim Services
I appreciate the speed and follow through.
Mimi B. Delos Therapy
In the case of our situation, we had to reprint a block frame adhesive poster. We had sent the original out for the installation along with a PDF file. The associate in charge of my order made me aware that the print was not the same color as the original and allowed us to get a revision. I was worried we would be charged extra for the faulty file and misprint, but the associate was understanding and thoroughly communicated all steps of the process from the pickup, installation, and delivery.
Anthony H. MiQ
Charlotte is the best - Very responsive service and orders are always finished on time.
Jeff K. Sacred Hemp
Ken was very helpful and accommodating.
Marianne L. UIC - College of Nursing
I worked with Brian Murdoch on multiple orders and he was great! He was very friendly and helpful.
Hadallia B. Hadallia Bergeron
I have used Alpha Graphics for work and knew that when I needed some items printed for my own wedding they were the group I trusted for the job. The Alpha Graphics team were not only able to meet my tight turnaround time for delivery but did a fantastic job! Even when we had a hiccup that the file types I sent wouldn't print properly, they quickly reached out and were very helpful to find a solution.
Vanessa L. Vanessa Legutko
Quick response, no nonsense, demonstrated domain expertise, made my life easier!
Tina K. Canadian Consulate
Ken Was great to work with! And everything arrived as scheduled
David O. Networld Media Group
Everyone at alphagraphics was super helpful and accommodating. I put in an order that was completed in 24 hours. Flawless experience.
Hiu T. GCE Lab School
As always, great job!!!
Daniel O. Chicago's Finest Tours
The team who installed the window graphics were absolutely fantastic. They were informative, joyful, and quick!
Kelsey D. GirlForward
Charlotte is always very helpful and prompt!
Donna S. FV & FMV Valuation
Quick turnaround, easy to communicate with, easy pick up.
Sarah S. VS Networks
The cost is a bit steep for most of my friends but the quality of the product was excellent and the turnover was quick!
Michelle Z. Michelle Zacarias
You are all perfect
Jim W. J. Warner Inc
Brian was a true professional and made my experience amazing. We will be using him again in the future, we would recommend him to any business owner.
Justin C. 235 Insurance
Started up a small project after a year hiatus. Ken was very personable and prompt with his emails. Top-notch with his customer service. A+
Bruce G. Bruce Greene
Alpha Graphics has been providing services to us for a few years now. We don't need much in the way of graphic design, but when we do, I never consider going anywhere else. The response from Rob Halverson is always prompt and clear. AG has earned the title of "my graphic design team".
Justin J. Chicago Electrical Company
Everything worked perfectly. My client was very happy. The quality of the print and the customer service was all fantastic.
Jason S. Jason Swearingen
Our sales representative is always responsive to our needs and requests. Our orders are always accurate and received in a timely manner allowing us to keep things flowing within our business.
Camille B. Insight Medical
Was able to get a last minute print job done and delivered. Great service.
Blake E. LocaliQ
Brian Murdoch has been great to work with. He's quick to respond and thoughtful with the recommendations he makes for our needs. Brian is awesome.
Jake P. Redwood Logistics
Brian Murdoch is great to work with. He has been extremely helpful every time we've placed an order and the finished product always exceeds our expectations. Overall, we have receive excellent customer service from him and I am looking forward to placing more orders!
Jane S. Redwood Logistics
Charlotte is an amazing project manager. I know that we're in good hands with her!
Meghan C. Wilson Dow Group
I was impressed with the speed at which revisions were made when collaborating on the development of my new business card. Since picking up these business cards, people who know me and saw the previous version of my card seem to like the changes and design improvements. Great job alpha graphics! In addition, I would also like to mention that Brian Mudoch made the entire process seamless and it became easy to submit revisions until the final proof was ready to be printed.
Adam G. Beyond NSight
Great work and super quick turnaround time
Steve T. Minuteman Press West Loop
ALL ABOUT PRINTING
ARE THERE PRINT SIZE LIMITATIONS?
Yes, and no. Our digital copiers will take sheet sizes as small as 4.25” x 5.5” up to 13” x 19”. Traditional offset can accept sheet sizes up to 12” x 18”. Our in-house large format printers can produce graphics up to 41.5” wide. If you have specific questions about our sizing options, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
WHAT IS A PROOF AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
In printing terms, a proof is a one-off copy of your document after all modifications and printing setup processes have been completed. It is your last, and best, opportunity to make sure that your print job comes out the way you envisioned. By carefully inspecting the proof, you can help ensure an accurate, flawless delivery of your print job the first time.
DO YOU REQUIRE MINIMUM QUANTITIES ON ANY OF YOUR PRODUCTS?
Nope! Some printing methods may be more cost-effective than others, but our professional staff are happy to work with you to determine which printing method is best for your project.
DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COLOR SEPARATIONS OR HALF-TONE PRINTING TO GET MY JOB COMPLETED?
Absolutely not! We handle all the "back-end" production for you.
The terms are pretty easy to understand, though. Color separation refers to our offset printing process, where we use cyan, magenta, yellow, and black in four separate plates that go directly to the press. These four colors can create almost any color you can imagine!
Half-tone printing refers to converting a solid tone of black ink or one color into tiny dots that are invisible to the eye to create your image. You see a solid image, but it’s really created from the spacing of these tiny dots.
IS WHITE CONSIDERED A PRINTING COLOR?
Not typically. Because white is the default color of paper, it is simply recognized as the absence of ink.
WHAT PAPER TYPES DO YOU OFFER?
We have a large collection of “house” stocks in our production area. If you have a specific style in mind, we can check our in-house inventory to see if our selection is able to match your tastes. Or, we’ll check with our paper vendors to see what they have on hand. Keep in mind that special stocks or materials may require bulk purchasing from suppliers.
WHAT IS THE PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM?
The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a color reproduction standard in which colors all across the spectrum are each identified by a unique, independent number. The use of PMS allows us to precisely match colors and maintain color consistency throughout the printing process.
WHY DO THE PRINTED COLORS LOOK DIFFERENT THAN THE COLORS ON MY SCREEN?
In short, printers and monitors produce color in different ways. Monitors use the RGB (red, green, blue) color model, which usually supports a wider spectrum of colors. Printers use the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) color model, which can reproduce most—but not all—of the colors in the RGB color model.
Depending on the equipment used, CMYK generally matches 85–90% of the colors in the RGB model. When a color is selected from the RGB model that is out of the range of the CMYK model, the application chooses the closest matching color. Programs like Adobe Photoshop will allow you to choose which color will be replaced; others may not. We’ll provide you with a sample print right before we print your job to ensure a "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" final product.
COMMON PRINTING TERMS
BIND: To fasten sheets with wire, thread, glue, or by any other means.
BINDING: A name given for any of many procedures used to put pages together.
BLEED: Printing that goes to the edge of the sheet. Trimming is required to make the printing run to the edge of a sheet.
CAST-COATED: Coated paper with a high- gloss reflective finish.
COATED PAPER: Paper with a clay or other coating applied to one, or both, sides. The coating can be dull, gloss, matte, or a number of other finishes. Coated paper generally produces sharper, brighter images and has a more refelctive quality than uncoated paper.
COLLATE: To put pages in a certain order for binding.
COLOR CORRECTION: Methods of improving color separations and definition.
COVER PAPER: A heavy printing paper primarily used to cover books or make presentation folders.
SIDE-STITCHING: Stapling through the spine from front to back. The publication will not lay flat when opened.
CROP: To trim a picture, image, or printed sheet.
CROP MARKS: Printed lines showing where to trim a printed sheet.
GLOSS: A shiny paper coating that reflects light.
LAMINATE: To cover with protective film. Also used to bond or glue one surface to another.
MATTE FINISH: Dull paper or ink finish.
OFFSET PRINTING: Printing which involves a plate that makes an inked impression on a rubber-blanketed cylinder, which, in turn, transfers it to the paper.
PERFECT BINDING: An unsewn, flat-spined book binding made with glue.
RESOLUTION: The degree of sharpness of a computer-generated image as measured by the number of dots per linear inch in a hard-copy printout or, the number of pixels across and down on a display screen.
SADDLE-STITCHING: A type of binding that uses wire stapling at the center of a magazine or pamphlet.
SCORE: Creasing paper to help it fold more neatly.
WHAT TYPES OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE?
AlphaGraphics is a full service marketing communications provider, and offer a wide range of products and services. To see a full listing of our services, check out the Products & Services area of our website.
WHAT TYPES OF MARKETING TECHNIQUES CAN YOU ADD TO MY PRINTED MATERIALS?
OUR MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING OPTIONS INCLUDE:
- QR Codes
- SMS and MMS marketing
- Video production and editing
- Variable mapping
- Social media marketing
- Mobile optimized websites, and so much more!
Call our team today to learn more about the tools we can use in concert with your printed communications to improve your ROI.
MORE OF YOUR PRINTING QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Types of paper: There are two main types of paper; coated and uncoated. As the name suggests coated paper has a coating applied that makes it appear smooth. Uncoated stock has no coating and can appear slightly textured to the touch.
Coated papers tend to give colors a more vibrant finish. It is important to note that when choosing a PMS color, the end result will appear duller and deeper on an uncoated stock and brighter on a coated stock. This is mainly due to the uncoated stock absorbing more of the ink. Uncoated stock is ideal for using for corporate stationery, writing pads or projects where a textured finish is required. Coated stocks are best used for brochures, catalogues, flyers or posters, any kind of marketing or promotional material where the desired end result is a glossy finish or bright colors. Increasing awareness of the environment and climate change has meant that there are also a greater amount of environmentally responsible fiber sources available. These include Recycled fiber and alternative fiber.
Whether you are stopping by our offices at 444 N Michigan or our production house at 811 W Evergreen we have samples of every paper you could want. We also offer hardcopy proofing for prints so that you can see how the print looks on the paper you selected before making your order.
CMYK vs Pantone Color: As noted in our article on Sign Design and Production, color plays a huge role when considering print media. Color can sway thinking, affect mood, change actions and cause reaction. There are two main ways to print color, Process - CMYK and PMS - Spot.
In four-color process (CMYK) digital or offset printing, primary colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black or the 'Key' color) are mixed together to produce any and all of the colors that are seen in magazines and color books. This is often referred to as a ‘full’ color print.
Spot colors, also known as PMS colors, and officially as the Pantone Matching System colors, are specific color formula's used in offset printing that will reproduce accurately in print. Instead of simulating colors by combining the CMYK primary colors, spot (PMS) colors are pre-mixed with existing and published color formulas. Because of this, you can rest assured that the PMS color that you have chosen from your pantone booklet will be matched accurately every time. The use of CMYK or PMS colors largely depends on the print process you choose for your prints…
TWO COMMON TYPES OF PRINTING
Digital vs Offset Printing: The vast growth of digital printing technology has brought a number of technical advancements, exciting new features and more options to today’s commercial printing. It's also brought some confusion. An understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of digital printing and how those compare to traditional offset printing is critical in making the right choice in terms of price and end result.
Offset printing is the most common high volume commercial printing technology. With offset printing, the desired print image is burned onto a plate and is then transferred (or offset) from the plate to a rubber blanket, and then to the printing surface. The process is based on the repulsion of oil and water. The image to be printed gets ink from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts a film of water, keeping the non-printing areas ink-free. Digital printing eliminates many of the mechanical steps required for conventional printing, including making films and color proofs, manually stripping the pieces together and making plates.
Advantages of digital printing include:
- Shorter turnaround.
- Every print is the same. More accurate counts, less waste and fewer variations.
- Cheaper low volume printing. While the unit cost of each piece may be higher than with offset printing, when setup costs are included digital printing provides lower per unit costs for very small print runs.
- Variable Data Printing is a form of customizable digital printing. Using information from a database or external file, text and graphics can be changed on each piece without stopping or slowing down the press.
But, there are also many advantages to offset printing:
- High image quality
- Works on a wide range of printing surfaces including paper, wood, cloth, metal, leather, rough paper and plastic.
- The unit cost goes down as the quantity goes up.
- Quality and cost-effectiveness in high volume jobs. While today’s digital presses are close to the cost/benefit ratio of offset for high quality work, they are not yet able to compete with the volume an offset press can produce.
- Many modern offset presses use computer-to-plate systems as opposed to the older computer-to-film work flows, further increasing quality
We offer both offset and digital printing services at our production house at 811 W Evergreen Ave. Stop by anytime and talk to one of our experienced reps as to what paper, color and print process makes the most sense for you project.