Arvest Press Inc.

252R Calvary Street
Waltham, MA 0245

Fax: 781.894.4434

Open Monday thru Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


Directions to Arvest

Arvest Impressions:

An inside look at the printing process

In Armenian, the word Arvest means "art". At Arvest Press we love what we do, and treat each new printing project with the artistic care of a skilled craftsperson. This passion translates to a high level of customer satisfaction, and top quality products.
Next Steps: Ink, Paper, Scissors


Ink and Paper on the press:


We need ink to create an image on the paper, simple as that. At Arvest, we switched over to the environmentally friendly soy based inks before it was in fashion to be green, primarily as part of our committment to being more green in our printing, but also because we discovered the soy inks are actually brighter and economical too. The soy oil is clearer than a petroleum based product and so the pigments are less muddy, also, we found it took less ink to get the impressions we needed than when we used an oil based product. And of course, oil based inks are affected by the fluctuations in oil prices just like the gas for your car. All in all a win-win for us and our planet.


As for the ink pigments, the most common colors we produce at Arvest are the four color process colors; Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK) and the PMS colors. PMS stands for the Pantone Matching System, and are specially mixed inks that provide a wider gamut of specific color, for instance Reflex Blue, which could not be produced with a standard mix of CMYK. Pantone colors are trademarked and allow for an easier way to match color across multiple formats and paperstocks. PMS colors are often found in a company's logo. CMYK, on the other hand, provides more color choice withing a piece. For instance, a design that includes multiple photographs or illustrations. This type of design might be further enhanced with the addition of a single PMS run inline on a 5-color press, like the one here at Arvest.


Along with the standard inks, there are also many specialty inks like metallics or flourescents that can be added to further accent a design. Varnish is also a common addition to brighten (gloss) or soften (dull) a particular piece.


Choosing the right style of paper for your project is an important part of the process as well. There are too many options and combinations to cover in a single post, but typically our customers are choosing a weight or "feel" for their piece and also the finish or coating the piece is printed on.


For paper weight the customer is usually choosing between a text style stock, similar to the paper you might run through your computer printer at home, and a thicker, card style stock. In a booklet, for example, it is common to run the inside pages on a text style stock while having the cover be thicker, more firm on the outside. A booklet described in printing terms would probably be a 60# to70# text weight paper on the inside with an #65 or #80 cover piece. Think of an annual report or the directory for the local Chamber of Commerce. Magazines also follow this model, though some will use what is called a self cover, the cover is the same weight as the inside pages. A pocket folder would take a thicker style of paper too.


There are three common styles of finish to paper. A shiny, bright finish would be a gloss coating, an eggshell style finish is called satin and a dull style finish is a matte style look. In the above booklet, one might find the inside pages done in the dull, matte look, while the cover may have more of a sheen with a satin finish. Or the finished style might be something like gloss throughout, like your favorite travel magazine with bright, welcoming images on every page. Then there are custom finishes like textures, metallics and weaves. Or the different looks your piece might have printed on recycled materials. As with the inks, the paper choices are too numerous to list, but making the wrong paper choice would be a disaster.


Never hesitate to consult with your printer about the paper options, and try to get a sample when you can. For our digital output, Arvest always makes a proof on the intended stock so our customers know exactly what the final output will look like. This is not an option for offset work, obviously we are not going to fire up the press and output one proof, but there are ways to generate a proof that comes close to what the final offset printed design will be.


Lastly, the scissors. And all we really need to know about that is paper comes in big sheets, we print on those sheets and then cut your design down to size. Ink covers paper, paper dulls scissors, scissors opens Ink. Voila'.


Next blog: Makeready

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