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Blog . The DOC and You


The DOC and You

09/23/14  |  Posted by Zachary James  |  Posted in Digital Creativity

What is The Digital Output Center?

The Digital Output Center (DOC) is CIA’s print shop. Services are provided to students, staff, and faculty at CIA. The DOC is located in the Gund Building in room 308b. Josh Werling is the Output Center Coordinator (aka the guy in charge) and is generally there on weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm. The DOC is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 11 pm, and is also open on Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm (Josh is not at the DOC on Saturdays except for certain circumstances). The DOC provides customers with top notch printers to produce high quality prints of work in any size. The DOC can also provide help with scanning large pieces of art and mounting work.

Prep Your File

When creating files to be printed at the DOC, 8-bit images should use the “Adobe RGB 1998” color profile and for 16-bit images “ProPhoto RGB” color can be used. If using a Color Laser Printer or a CMYK device to print, use “U.S. WebCoated (SWAP) v2.” When printing photographs, the recommended resolution for printing is 360 dpi.

NOTE: A very brief summary of 8-bit vs. 16-bit: 16-bit color mode is great to work with when editing photography and causes less “damage” to your photos when using filters and adjusting (16-bit images have more colors than 8-bit images). Not all tools are available when in 16-bit mode, but there are not many taken away. It is a good idea when you are finished editing to save your file as both an 8-bit .psd and a 16-bit .psd. That way you have your 8-bit file that is ready to print, and you also still have your 16-bit file in case you need to go back and edit. (You can choose to either save and print your 16-bit image with the color profile as “ProPhoto RGB,” or save it as an 8-bit file. If you are unsure which to use, ask us at the DOC and we’ll help you.) If you need more help with 8-bit vs. 16-bit click here.

Saving and File Types

For images created in Illustrator and InDesign, it is best to save your file as an Adobe PDF using the “PDF/X-4: 2008” preset. Also, be sure to include any linked fonts, pictures, or other things that may be linked with your PDF in a separate folder when submitting work.

For any files that do not use vector graphics, a flattened TIFF (.tif) file is the best choice. JPEG, PNG, BMP, and others are not recommended. (Also, don’t submit a .psd, or any other unflattened type of file; this will make life harder for everyone.)

Following these steps will make the workers of the DOC happy and will help maintain the quality of your work as it gets printed. It will also assist with getting your prints finished in a timely matter.

Paper Types and Quality

There are many types of paper to print on at the DOC, and all are of high quality. Our largest rolls are 44” wide, so as long as one side of your print does not exceed 44”, you can print as big of a file as you wish (just don’t forget about the cost!) There is a sample box of all the paper types there we have, so you can see exactly what you are going to print on. These are just a few of the paper types we have: Bond, Matte, Luster, Gloss, Vinyl, Adhesive Matte, and Translucent Matte Film.

Filling Out Your Order Form

The order forms are provided by the DOC, so don’t worry about figuring out how to get your own. If you need assistance there will be someone there to help. Include as much information as possible like the name and extension of your file (.tif, .pdf, etc.), your file’s dimensions, and most importantly your contact information.

If something goes wrong with your print your phone number, e-mail, or whatever your provide us with is all we have to get in contact with you. Please be sure to include this information on your order form so we can correct any issues as quickly as possible.

Cost of Prints

The DOC has a sheet of all the information you need to figure out how much your print is going to cost. Prints must be paid for before printing, and will not be printed until sufficient funds are available.

Print credits may be purchased via credit/debit card at papercut (your username and password for papercut should be the same as your username for all of your CIA logins). Print credits may also be purchased via cash/check from the Student Accounts office in the JMC. All students get $20 in print credits at the start of each semester.

Print costs are figured by the square inch, to find your print cost it would go something like this:

  • length × width ÷ 144 × price of paper
  • So let’s say I want to print an 11”x17” file on Matte paper ($2.50/sq. foot):
    -multiply 11×17 = 187
    -divide 187÷144 = 1.2986…
    -multiply the answer by the cost of the paper 1.2986×2.50 = 3.2465…

So after I round up, my total cost for the print is $3.25, that’s not bad!

Everybody Likes to Be Happy… Right?

It is very important to be sure you submit your prints ahead of time. The DOC is apt to go from being completely dead to abhorrently overworked. It happens faster than you’d think too. There will not be an exact ETA of when your print will be finished, but if it’s important that you know when it is done, tell us on your order form to give you a call or send an e-mail as soon as it’s finished.

During midterms and finals, the DOC is bound to be pretty busy. Be sure to allocate plenty of time for you to submit and pick up your print. (The Spring Show and BFA’s are also a time of DOC build-up. Be sure to plan ahead!)

Also, showing up five minutes before the DOC closes, and then coming the next day as soon as it opens expecting your print is going to be pretty disappointing on your end. The print will more than likely not be finished due to how late it was submitted, and how long it takes for jobs to be processed.

Don’t worry though, all of this isn’t supposed to scare or intimidate you. The workers at the DOC are friendly people who are there to help. Time management is just nice for everyone, especially you!

Parting Messages

Well, If you didn’t know how to use the DOC before you read this, hopefully this armed you with some knowledge as to how printing here works! It is a lot of information to shove in your head, but after a print or two it will come as second nature.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. The workers at the DOC aren’t there to only print your work – they are there to help you too. Ask questions so that your print comes out right; don’t throw your money away. The DOC has great prices, but printing is going to cost a bit no matter where you go Double check your work and make sure your file is ready to go.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments feel free to stop on by the DOC in room 308b in the Gund Building or call us at 216.421.7477.

Happy Printing!

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