Ask the Copy and Print Expert - Doug Free

Updated: Apr 13

April 2021

When you stop to think about a printer what comes to mind? Is it the grey box on the corner of your desk that spits out paper with ink on it, or do you perceive things deeper. Like a group of people all working together to bring your project to completion. Do you see an old Heidelberg press turning out page after page or do you see a digital machine run two sided sheets, three hole punched and stapled popping out all collated.

And it is amazing how much technology has changed things this century, like copiers that print 120 copies a minute in full colour and yet we still use a stapler that was built in the 70’s because it does it’s job well. Even paper has improved - like recycled content and yet many of the choices we had years ago have disappeared. Not enough demand, colour copiers needing white paper, people’s preferences. Who knows what the rest of the century will bring about in terms of print, advertising, and media. Maybe talking letters or moving newspapers like in Harry Potter? Either way I’m excited to see what the world will invent but I will hold on to what works for people today. Although we are always watching for ways to improve or enhance what we can do and offer our customers.

March 2021

Life’s Journey

We all come into this world with nothing and we are totally dependent on others to bring us what we need, take care of us, teach us, promote us and get us going on this journey we call life.

At some point along the way, we have learned enough to strike out on our own, to promote and direct our own path (well kinda).

But then the time comes when we are again back to relying on others to help us in the journey. That’s life in a nut shell – but what does that have to do with printing?

Well who do you think is going to help you with those birth announcements, or school manuals, or print your Masters’ Thesis, what about printing your 1st set of Business Cards. Who’s going to help you promote your new business and get those brochures ready for distribution. The same guys who will eventually be preparing your funeral service folders - A PRINTER.

It’s inevitable that you will need us thru various stages of your life’s journey. Since the invention of papyrus scrolls, printers have recorded people’s journeys. Today we are a little quicker than a scribe with a quill pen, so make sure you look us up next time there’s something you need to get down on paper.

CopiesNow, over 30 years in the journey.

February 2021

New Stuff

In an effort to expand the Services we offer to our customers, CopiesNow is moving into Promotional Products. Late last year we secured sublimation equipment that allows us to print on things like: coffee mugs, coasters, slate, T-shirts, tote bags, license plates, bibs, wine bottle bags, mouse pads etc.

We can print your image on something as small as a poker chip or as big as a bbq apron. Your face on the side of your car will have to wait.

This process works best on products that are designed for sublimation. We are building up some of the more popular items to provide a quick and economical turn-a-round.

So if you’re looking for a unique gift or a special thank you, check out these new products at CopiesNow. We have a number of samples for your consideration.

CopiesNow – More than just


January 2021

Welcome to the New Year. I’m sure like me, you thought 2020 would never end, but here we are. We still don’t know what the New Normal will look like, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. So what next…? You can’t just wait for the world to come to you, you have to reach out and let your existing and potential customers know that you are still here and ready to help them.

Through all of last year we learned to appreciate friends and family, shop local, value what we have and not take things for granted. This year let’s build on these characteristics.

CopiesNow is here to help you succeed in getting the word out that you think your customers are great and your products and services are perfect for them. We are starting the year off by offering 15% off Business Cards, then in February we are doing Banners at 10% off. Then in March we are following that up with 15% off color Brochures, Flyers and Handouts, so that you can really promote yourself properly.

Don’t forget to give us a call when you are ready to proceed. Thanks for keeping us in mind.

December 2020

I know the World has changed and it’s not done changing yet.

I find it funny how the attack on Petroleum Based Products rages on from behind Plexi-glass screening !

You see them everywhere, protecting people while trying to allow some semblance of normalcy. But wait, Plexi-glass is a Petroleum based Thermoplastic… Seriously…!

You see we live in a world of Miss information and Half-truths. How do you know what to believe? Let’s start with some basic truths. TREEs are wonderful things, they can be used for making many things including paper. (Don’t even think of touching the West Coast Old Growth Forest, you can make your money out of other things like plastic) Trees are the Ultimate Renewable / Recyclable resource. That brings us to some other new facts – companies are working again at making paper from other renewable / recyclable materials, like Straw, Hemp and Blue Jeans. The cost is a little higher and the color selection is limited, but it’s a changing world and we can adapt. So get off your petroleum based plastic phones, park your electric cars with their potentially hazardous batteries and get on the renewable resource bandwagon. Paper in one form or another is amazing…think about all its uses…especially if your reading this article while sitting in the bathroom. Know what I mean..!

When you’re looking for a real satisfying tactile experience, grab a glass of wine and a good printed book, sit back and isolate with a purpose. Oh and Enjoy.

CopiesNow…just looking out for you. Merry Christmas and All the Best in the New Year.

November 2020

Well the Christmas Season is almost here… I don’t know what this time of the year holds for you, but after the rough start to 2020 we had, maybe we need to end on a positive note.

We aren’t getting together with all the family for the 1st time in years, we aren’t even drawing names between my brothers and sister. So I wanted to do something a little special without a lot of expense.

I was thinking of custom Note Pads or a Family Calendar, just so they don’t forget I exist. We just made up 500 Custom Calendars for a client that featured the kids’ artwork and special moments per month.

It’s always nice to send out Christmas cards to your clients that simply says;

“Thanks for your Business this year, Hope 2021 is better to all of us…”

We also see alot of craft projects come through the door this time of year. Quilting projects that need enlarging, music CD’s, Carving projects that need extra copies or “How To” instruction for something you’ve never tried before. It’s this time of year the Symphony Orchestra gets copies of their music selections and the local theatre group and churches gets their Christmas scripts printed. Whatever your Holiday Season holds, if you have an upcoming project that we can help you with - give us a call, or even better drop by. Give yourself enough time to create the masterpiece you imagined.

October 2020

You know what it’s like when you wake from a dream with this wonderful idea that just needs to be written down before it fades away. Think of COVID as a Bad Dream and you are just waking up with a great idea that needs to get out there.

People are always excited to see new ideas, promos, sales and product. Anything that will catch their eye and break the doldrums we find ourselves in. It’s time to let the world know you are still here and working on being better than ever.

That idea you were dreaming about just needs a professional publication to bring it to life. Full color, quality graphics and crisp concise content, whether it’s a Business Card, Door Hanger, Post Card or Flyer, CopiesNow is here to help you get that amazing idea on paper so you can get it into the hands of a waiting world. Your idea might just be the spark someone needs to take your product to new heights.

CopiesNow – More than just Copies.

September 2020

So, after the last issue, you’ve got your brochure ideas ready to get into CopiesNow to take advantage of the September Monthly Special.

Now it’s time to prepare for your next Special Event. We have Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day, Anniversaries, Birthdays and Weddings and of course Christmas. Don’t let these special events sneak up on you, plan ahead and beat the stress.

Corporate Calendars to get out to your faithful clients for next year,

What about Company Christmas Cards and envelopes.

Maybe your staff are going to pull together an office Cookbook.

It’s not too late to send out Post Cards offering a Holiday Savings Coupon or maybe you have a “Save the Date” event coming up.

CopiesNow is here to help you with all of these and much more. Our 30+ years of printing experience is at your service - because “We are More Than Just Copies”

August 2020

So you have decided to send out a new brochure to drum up some business. You’re going with color because you’ve decided not to blanket a neighborhood, but to send these to specific businesses. I might suggest the personal touch of hand delivering them to add value to your effort.

Now it’s time to get down to producing these brochures. Here are some steps to consider before you start;

• What size do you want these to be…8.5 x 11, 8.5 x 14” or maybe 5.5 x 8.5”…

• Is it going to be folded so that each panel reveals more information and if so are we going with a half fold, a roll fold or maybe the z fold…

• Are you going to supply a print ready PDF for us to print from or…

• Do you require us to do the design layout for these brochures…?

• Have you considered text content, graphics and white space in your layout.

• Will you be supplying quality graphics, pictures and logos.

• Is the brochure intended to bleed off the edge of the page or will there be white edges

• Are you going to include current pricing or do you want these brochures for all year.

• That brings us to the question of quantity..100, 250, 1000, 5000…

Remember to leave sufficient time for the design and production of your new brochures.

And just to help you with this new venture, CopiesNow is offering 15% off the printing of color brochures in September 2020.

July 2020

Although we are just starting Summer, it’s always a good thing to plan ahead for the Fall.

When you say it out load most people think “I’ve got time” , but that little preparation now can save a whole bunch of stress later on when you’re trying to gear up to get back at it.

If you have work crews to get back to work, they are going to need Time sheets, Drivers Daily’s, FLHA and an assortment of other forms.

Students are going to need manuals,

Teens moving to college are going to need “How to Cook” and other Help books.

What about craft projects, Christmas Calendars…all those things that sneak up on you.

Whatever you think you might need to get ready for the Fall start-up…CopiesNow is here to make things easier. Get those items ordered now so that they will be there when you need them instead of the last minute scramble in the fall.

Remember “CopiesNow Succeeds by Helping you Succeed.”

June 2020

Spring Time

Welcome to Spring Time – it’s that time of year when you get outside and enjoy the great outdoors, green leaves bursting forth, fresh air and birds signing all from the comfort of your lawn chair.

This year spring feels like a reprieve from that isolation sentence we’ve all endured, at least you’re still here with us...reading this paper and dreaming about things getting back to normal, whatever that looks like.

After this time, we will all recognize how important it is to keep in touch with each other, whether friends, family, customers or the gang. We have the advantage of phones, skype and facetime, but if you’re looking for a more lasting impression – try paper or chalk.

My grandchildren have been sending us home-made “We Miss You” notes that are prominently displayed on the fridge and piano. Every time you look at these notes you remember them fondly and smile to yourself. That tangible element could be important to all of us when we’re coming out of this economic crisis. Paper fills that requirement and we are ready to help you put your message down so you can have something tangible in some-ones hands. The kids went as far as to do large chalk drawings on the sidewalk for us to see from a distance – another great idea (until it rained) but if your business needs a “We’re Open” sign, don’t forget CopiesNow is here for you.

May 2020

That’s right, CopiesNow is Open for Business. It might be with a skeleton crew and reduced hours but we are here to support other Essential Services and Individuals that need us. CopiesNow knows many of our regular customers are closed or experiencing a significant slowdown in work and we can sympathize, but if you need us, reach out; 403-343-1155 So whether you are running out of Drivers Daily Log Books, looking for Social Distancing Poster or need to print off your childs’ school work….We are Here. Good luck to all, stay safe and we’ll see you on the other side of this.

April 2020

Begin with the End in Mind Part 2 Designing a Project to be Printed Printers encounter the situation where a company is looking for a booklet but they have too many panels. NOTE: When you fold a normal sheet of paper in half you get a front panel, 2 inside panels and a back panel = (4 panels) 5, 6, & 7 panels don’t work without adding blank pages. Another thing to consider is if your project is folded, where do the folds fall and will there be a crease thru the best picture on the sheet? You also want to be aware of how close the text is to edges. Copiers and Presses need a little “strip” along the outside of the sheet that can’t have print in, unless you are going for that bleed we mentioned earlier. All these things and so much more goes into designing and printing a project. If you’re going to tackle your own designing, start with a clear image of the end product before you begin. You can also talk to CopiesNow first so we can get you started in the right direction, before you bring it in for printing.

March 2020

Begin with the End in Mind

Part 1 Designing a Project to be Printed

Since we all have computers, we can all create a business card, flyer or brochure, but will it print the way you imagine it…? Designing a project to be printed can be tricky if you don’t follow a few guidelines. Designing is a creative process that starts with an idea and builds it like a puzzle, and when all the pieces come together it makes a complete picture (or brochure…).

One of the things we need to note is paper comes in specific sizes and machines can only handle certain sizes of paper as well. The Standards are 8.5 x 11”, 8.5 x 14” (not used often), 11 x 17”, 5.5 x 8.5. 18 x 24”, 24 x 36”, yes, as you may have noticed, it is in imperial (inches).

So given these paper sizes, how big is your project and how many can you fit on a page ? A standard business card is 3.5”x 2”. How many can you get on an 8.5 x 11” sheet ? Now let`s throw in a bleed. A bleed is where the ink goes to the edge of the paper…actually it has to go beyond the edge and then it is cut down, now your business card is designed bigger so that it can be cut down to the correct size (with the bleed). This means you can’t get as many as you wanted on that standard size sheet of paper. This reality affects all printing projects and it can affect pricing too. (more next month)

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