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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who can use Printing and Imaging?

A: State agencies are Printing and Imaging’s most frequent customers, but the program also offers services to:

  • Cities and counties
  • Public schools
  • Native American tribes
  • Nonprofit organizations that receive government funding

Q: How are printing costs determined?

A: DES Printing and Imaging charges only the actual costs for the labor and materials involved in creating your job. Cost centers have been established for each printing operation. The labor cost is determined by multiplying the time spent at each operation by the charge rate for that cost center. These rates reflect the actual cost of the equipment, maintenance, and staffing, so there are variations in cost between each piece of machinery used. Material costs such as paper and ink are added to the cost center charges to determine the total billing. If you have any questions about the costs incurred on your order, please contact your Customer Service Representative. We’ll be happy to discuss the charges with you.

Q: How long does a printing order take?

Several factors determine the length of time a printing order will take to be completed. Copy center orders are usually printed within 24 hours, or may be printed on-demand for rush jobs. The turnaround time for jobs printed at our main plant varies according to the complexity of the job. Most jobs can be completed within five working days after we receive approval of your proof. Complex orders or large quantities will require more time. Press checks, special-order binding, and mailing services will each add two to three days to the turnaround time.

If you have questions about the amount of time it will take to complete your order, please call your Customer Service Representative. They will gladly work with you in establishing a timeline to fit your needs.

Q: How do environmental concerns affect DES Printing and Imaging?

DES Printing and Imaging is continually working toward a cleaner environment. We encourage and support the use of recycled products, and take advantage of all possible recycling initiatives. Our in-stock paper contains 30 percent post-consumer waste, and over 95 percent of all other paper we use contains recycled fiber. All of our waste paper, corrugated cardboard, film, metal plates, and camera paper is recycled. The use of hazardous chemicals is strictly limited in our operations. In addition, our plant uses an aqueous (water) plate system to eliminate solvent-based processing, and we use only vegetable-based inks. We are always interested to learn new and productive ways to lessen our impact on the environment, and we welcome your suggestions.

Q: What are the responsibilities of a DES Printing and Imaging customer?

As a printing customer, you have five main responsibilities including:

  • Obtain necessary approvals. Follow your internal procedures and obtain approval for your order.
  • Plan the design. You should know how many copies are needed, the format and style, the content, graphics, and any other special considerations required by your order. We will be happy to work with you to come up with the most useful, cost-effective way of producing your order, but you should have an idea of what you need before beginning the process.
  • Place the order using the appropriate form. Complete an A21-A form for main plant printing or an A24-A for copy center printing, and make sure the necessary signatures have been gathered before submitting your order. If you don’t know whether your job will be printed at the main plant or a copy center, don’t worry. Our staff will determine which area will produce your job most quickly and cost-effectively while maintaining the level of quality you need. As long as we receive the order on either an A21-A or an A24-A, we can do the job. Just remember that it’s more difficult to find the negatives for reprints if you have submitted the previous order on an A24-A copy center request.
  • Approve proofs. If you request a proof, return it as quickly as possible after reviewing it. We can’t proceed with production until we receive your approved proof, so the speed with which you return the proof directly affects the turnaround time of your job.
  • Product acceptance. Please inspect your order immediately upon delivery and notify us if there are any errors. We want you to be pleased with your order.

Q: What is the cost difference for printing in two colors of ink as opposed to one?

On average, printing in two colors costs approximately 20% more than printing in one color. The difference in cost varies with the amount ordered. The smaller the quantity printed, the greater the difference in price. On small runs, less than 500, the cost of two-color printing may be close to twice that of one-color printing because of the extra prepress and set-up costs. Please contact our estimating staff if you would like to receive price comparisons between one and two-color printing for your next job.