FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

 2621 Brooks St, Missoula, Montana 59801.
 We're next to HockeyWolf, across from Subway, the Dollar Tree and Missoula Nissan Hyundai, near Southgate Mall.
  Absolutely. Generally we don't travel outside of the Missoula area but we are willing to go further if necessary, just consider that there will be additional expense for the travel time. We also do not have an electrician on staff, so any electrical work on your sign location should be performed by a certified electrician. We're willing to work with the electrician or any other contractor to make sure that our combined efforts get you the best installation possible.
  We will install graphics provided by other print shops, however, we strongly prefer and reccomend to have us produce the graphics. One of the best reasons is if something goes wrong with the install we can and will make whatever graphics are needed to make the job right, however if you provide the graphics you're responsible to replace any graphic panels and parts needed if something happens during the install. We also have no control over the production of the graphic panels so we make no guarantees that the vinyl has dried long enough, can remove properly, and will not damage the substrate or have their full expected life.
We will gladly accept : InDesign Packages with all fonts and linked images included; Adobe Illustrator Packages with all fonts and linked images included and/or fonts outlined - keeping in mind we cannot generally edit or adjust files with outlined fonts; Adobe Photoshop PSD and PSB. From there we let you know if there is a problem (such as it's too small), or prepare it for output. Many other file formats can also be imported.
  If you're not sure how to save your project you can send us the original native file from your setup program.

  We use the latest version of the Adobe Creative Suite (Creative Cloud) so we can use any file that those programs understand. However, setting up jobs for large format prints has different considerations than for web or typical page sized prints. For example there are major resolution concerns with raster images when made large, and sometimes the technology to make a properly large raster image does not exist. Typically we like to see at least 100-150 pixels per inch at full size, 240 ppi being preferred. But, you can't simply go into PhotoShop and increase the image size. We've found upscaling is an art that should usually be left to us. If the original file does not contain enough information to upscale it to the size needed there isn't much that can be done. This is why we like to see vector only artwork whenever possible as scaling is not a concern. Jobs that will be plotted in pigmented vinyl require vector artwork and there are size and complexity limitations to what can be physically produced (usually the item being too small and intricate, large is usually not a problem). Vector graphics are required because the vector lines are used as the tool path for our plotters.
  Direct to print file formats are properly constructed PDFs, AIs, and TIFs at 1:1 scale in CMYK color space. Keep in mind that PDFs by default save raster images contained within as JPG and image quality will suffer unless you change your save settings. If you need to know how to save your file properly give us a call or e-mail and one of our designers will let you know how to make what we need. We generally will not, and often cannot, adjust or alter these files prior to print so what you send is what you get.
  Direct to plot file format is Adobe Illustrator. EPS and sometimes PDF can also be acceptable. These files must be 100% vector as raster images cannot be plotted, including PNGs and TIFs with a transparency channel.
  JPG and PNG are poor file formats for large format prints. JPG is almost always over-compressed, upscaling makes the compression very obvious, and will likely print poorly. Sometimes compression can cause artifacts in the print such as random boxes of color in an area that should be white. For any other file format or production program give us a call and we'll advise on how best to get it to us.
  Probably not.
  First problem is the image likely has a copyright attached to it and we will not make it at all due to legal concerns. Second problem is the image is very likely too small to print at any reasonable size.
  It's okay to show us signs or graphics from the Internet showing us something similar to what you'd like, but we cannot make you exactly the same thing in order to avoid lawsuits for us all.
  No. We'll likely need to get in touch with your designer and get the real logo or make a proper vector one ourselves. The one on your website is probably far too small and will look like a mosaic when printed. Internet graphics are designed to minimize page load times, we need maximum quality instead. Your designer probably has a better quality version, or gave it to you. It may be the file you can't open as vector graphics packages are not standard on most computers.
  No. The laws of physics prevent us from making our product properly in that short of a time span even with already prepared artwork. The ink should dry for at least 24, and preferably 72 hours before lamination, then after lamination another 24 hours of cure time before cutting and/or application. Banners should generally dry for at least 24 hours before finishing. We've found that adhering to these dry time recommendations given by 3M and Oracal is the wise choice to prevent reduced life, product failure, and in the worst case damage to the substrate.
 For plotted jobs, weeding can take quite a bit of time so also cannot be made right away. In addition there are usually many clients in the queue expecting their orders and sometimes we cannot accommodate an insertion into that queue. If you have a deadline and want to know if we can help, please ask, but please understand it may be impossible.
  Typically you see 1-2 days to a proof, unless the project is complex.
  Proofing can be time consuming and require several revisions. If an in-hand deadline is needed please let us know prior to proofing so we can advise and guide you during the proofing process to make sure that artwork is ready in time and special materials can be ordered if needed.
  Production time-line is generally 1 week from proof approval. Printing & plotting will then likely occur later that day or next day once the proof is approved. As soon as the material has been expended no emergency revisions can be made, so make sure you are absolutely sure of the proof before you hit approve.
Missoula City sign permitting is set up so the sign owner fills out the forms and pays for the permit directly. We can advise and will provide any materials needed when asked; however compliance is up to the property owner / sign buyer. More information on sign permits can be found at the City of Missoula Website

Color change wraps can be done, however, it costs about the same as painting the vehicle. It is not cheaper. Vinyl is not paint, and does not perform as paint, especially car paint.

Where wraps really shine is for the kinds of designs that would require airbrushing, or would be impossible to do with paint. Commercial designs for advertisements are the best use case. Specialty vinyls such as carbon fiber or iridescent also exist and are a good use. Finally when only part of the vehicle should be covered wrap vinyl can be a good option. Another good use for a vinyl wrap is when the color change is meant to be temporary, say for a year or less.