Translation Please! Color Lingo In Print

Print lingo can get pretty intense, but we’re here to act as your translator so you can send your projects to the press with confidence. Color is an integral part of your print project, and having a grasp on the print lingo associated with it is just as important as your finished product. We want your project to be the best it can be, so we’re breaking down the different color models to make printing color confidently a breeze.


RGB is broken down into red, green and blue. RGB is a light based color model, so it is the model of choice for digital design and anything on an electronic screen. RGB is an additive process, so more light means more brightness. This color model is used in digital design to create web-safe colors that will display the same or similarly on a variety of monitors. However, every computer monitor is calibrated differently when it comes to brightness and hue. So even though an RGB system is used, the color you see on your screen might not be exactly what someone else sees.

RGB files are also used in screen printing. Our Color Separation Team will hand separate the colors in your file and match each color to a specific Pantone ink.

Monitor calibration is important to keep in mind when it comes to digital proofing. Digital proofing is faster and more economical, but we suggest requesting a hard copy proof if color accuracy is a priority.

cmyk-transparentCMYK (Process Printing)

Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black make up this color model that is used by a vast majority of the full color print process. The four colors are layered in different quantities to make specific shades, and formulas are developed to achieve  colors. Rich black, a mixture of CMYK colors to make a deeper shade than black ink alone, might look something like C=30 M=30 Y=30 K=100. CMYK is a subtractive process, so more ink means less brightness.

CMYK printing is not guaranteed to produce the same results 100% of the time. There’s room for some color variation from run to run, so the color on a reorder of a print job might differ from the first. But don’t let that alarm you! The difference is pretty negligible, and we offer custom Pantone inks if color is imperative to your print project. We can also match colors on orders you’ve previously printed with us to keep your colors consistent. Just let us know and keep a sample of your last project handy so our press operators can match your new project to it.

This handy video dives a little deeper into the difference between CMYK and RGB.


pantone-jakprintsPMS (Spot Colors)

PMS, or Pantone Matching System, is a system designed by the Pantone Color Institute that standardizes colors. This means different people in different locations can refer to the PMS and produce the same color. Each Pantone is assigned a different number and put into PMS swatch books to make referencing and finding the right hue a breeze. We offer over 1,114 custom Pantone inks to ensure that the color used is your color. We even offer fluorescent and metallic tones to add some print pizzazz .

When color is a top priority for your Letterheads, Apparel or Stickers, providing a custom Pantone is the way to go. Unlike CMYK, spot colors are premixed to perfection so there is less room for color deviation from run to run. 

Now that you know the lingo, you can have the comfort of knowing that the color of your print job is going to be exactly as your dreamed it would be. Now that you’ve mastered color lingo, dive into our finishing options to perfect your project.

The Essence of Spooky With Thirteenth Floor’s Billy Ludwig

vaudevilleHalloween is a big deal at Jakprints. Tons of material for haunted houses and costume parties are rolling off the press, and we love the spooky vibes that come with it. Lucky for us, Thirteenth Floor keeps us busy with eerie prints and apparel all year. We sat down with the man behind the brand, Billy Ludwig, to discuss his newest collection and designing with the eerie crowd in mind.


billy-portraitHave you always had a passion for art and all things creepy cool?

I have. I’ve been an artist since I was able to pick-up a crayon and scribble. As far as the creepy aspect, it just comes out that way. Even some of the stuff I do that I don’t find to be eerie people seem to find dark.


What inspired you to start Thirteenth Floor?

I was bartending at the time and I was broke. Super broke. I had been renting an old storefront in downtown Massillon as my band’s rehearsal spot and decided to open it as an art gallery. I figured I can either be broke bartending, or I can be broke doing something I’m passionate about. Over the years, the business model has changed in order to adapt and move forward. After a couple moves, the brick & mortar storefront has since been closed and we moved into our current warehouse and office in Akron to focus on the online store and pop-shop we set up at various comic cons, horror fests and art shows.


headswillroll-boxWhat presence do your own personal interests have in your art and products?

My personal interest have a HUGE presence in my work. The SWvsWWII series is a perfect example of that. I love the style of the 1940s, and Star Wars has always been a constant in my life. I love mixing the two together.


Was it difficult to pinpoint a demographic for your products?

I think some of my work is definitely geared towards the geek and horror crowds, but it has been surprising how the fan base for my work is all over the map. Young and old, and all different types of backgrounds and interests have taken a liking to my work. I’m very fortunate for that.


tradeshowMarketing yourself is everything when it comes to brands. What tips do you have for marketing to your target audience?

I think the best thing to do is to maintain your audience’s interest and keep them informed without ‘spamming’ them. That can be a tricky equation. Finding the perfect balance is important.

All the elements of your brand should be cohesive and have some sort of overall theme without being redundant. Think of it in terms of one of your favorite bands and your favorite album from them. The album cover, the songs, the merch…it all goes hand and hand.



 Are pop up shops your go to for getting the Thirteenth Floor name out there?

Bands go on tour to get their name out there and build their audience. It’s the same concept for the TF pop-up shop. That combined with social media is how we find and reach our audience.


455892It’s the spookiest time of year, and we love your new Vaudeville Phantoms collection. What’s the story behind the collection?

“Jasper” was the first character to come of the VP collection. I was still, for the most part, learning Photoshop (I’m self-taught), and “Jasper” was more or less me experimenting and trying to create something new. That series has grown into something I am very proud of and is very important to me. I am working on their back story, and I’m hoping I can present that to everyone sooner than later.


Your Norman Reedus shirts are a big hit. Have you met him? Is he as cool as he seems?

Yes, I have met Norman. The shirts are officially licensed and approved by Norman and his agent Sean Clark. Norman is a great guy. The first shirt I did for him was the Reedus/Ramones image. In the Summer of 2015, we were in Chicago for a con and we went to dinner. Afterwards we were heading back to the hotel, and Norman had the idea for the Reedus/ KISS ” Dressed to ****” design. We’ve discussed some ideas for future designs, so stay tuned.


Tell us about your most successful comic con or convention and what made it so successful?

Success of a convention can be gauged from various perspectives. There’s, of course, the financial aspect and then there’s networking, getting the word out and maybe just making your presence known in a new market. Since I’m just coming back from New York Comic Con, I would say this has been, by all means, one of our most successful shows. We were slammed from start to finish all 4 days. People who were allowed access before the show (celebs, vendors, agents, etc.) were buying before the doors opened and the con-goers were lined around the table buying well after the show floor had closed. I signed more artwork than I ever have in one weekend. I had a lot of people bringing their prints from home and materials they had bought at previous shows. It was pretty insane.


The Chicago Comic Con this past August needs to be mentioned as well. At the end of the show Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) stopped by the table with her dog Gary. Not only did she have wonderful things to say about my work, she picked up 16 prints and 2 t-shirts. It was just surreal.

Look for Thirteenth Floor at a Comic Con near you and have a spooky Halloween.

Top Tips To Tackle Holiday Cards


A staple of the holidays are the cards that stuff mailboxes. Whether it’s a card with a family photo, pictures of your cat or one you designed yourself, you want your card to be fireplace mantle worthy. Here are some tips and tricks to help you cross holiday cards off your list. 

bird-wreath1. Start Early

Just like the holiday shopping season, we suggest your start early. You will need plenty of time to double check your mailing list, take photos, perfect your design and get your cards printed.

Turnaround time is another factor that needs to be considered. Our greeting cards have a turnaround time of 5 to 7 business days, so accounting for production time is important to stay on schedule. Holiday cards should reach their recipients around mid-December, so you want to make sure they’re being mailed out the first or second week of December.

Addressing and stuffing envelopes, sticking stamps and trips to the post office can be time consuming. Taking advantage of our Direct Mailing Service works great if you have a long list of people to send cards to. All we need is your mailing list and we can print, address and deliver your holiday cheer.

colored-stocks2.Choose The Right Stock

You want to make sure your design and stock are working together. If your card features a family photo (yes, your cat is family) our 12 or 16pt. Gloss stocks might work best for your design. Elegant, chic designs pair nicely with 16pt. Soft Touch, and 12pt. Uncoated and 13pt. Recycled stocks complete vintage inspired designs. 12pt. C1S is the best of both worlds with a gloss finish on one side and uncoated on the other. Keep the shiny finish while maintaining ultimate writeability.

French Paper offers a unique look and feel that will make your cards even more festive. Colored Stocks in eye-catching seasonal colors compliment holiday designs with a pop of color. Black and Kraft Neenah stocks embody a more traditional vibe that pair perfectly with reds and greens for jovial holiday wishes. Check out our blog on designing with white ink to get the most of colored stocks.

let-it-snow3. Deliver The Appropriate Message

Consider your audience. There’s a little more freedom with this if family and close friends are the only ones on your mailing list, but business owners should take special care when choosing a message. Simple, broad messages such as “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings” are inclusive and can span the entire holiday season.

4. Always Leave A Note

A quick signature inside the card might save time, but a handwritten note is a nice sentiment to include. Something as simple as including the recipient’s name in the card with warm wishes gives the card a personal touch. Small businesses can really benefit from writing personal messages to regular clients. Let them know you appreciate them and keep them coming back.

Businesses can include a coupon or promo code as a special holiday gift that can also boost sales.

The holiday season can get chaotic, but we’re here to help relieve some of that stress. One last tip: Don’t forget Envelopes and Mailing Labels! Deck your cards with finishing options like Foil Stamping and Die Cuts to give the final product more flair. 

Send custom Postcards in place of cards and get unique gift ideas like Dye Sublimated Shirts and Screen Printed Posters to wow everyone on your gift list.

All of the designs featured in this post come from designer and illustrator Nick Matej of Downtime Collective.

The Sticker That Won’t Lose Its Stick

fotorcreatedImagine a sticker that you could stick wherever you wanted and move wherever you wanted for virtually a lifetime without losing its stickiness or damaging the surface it’s on. We have good news. PhotoTex is here to make your wildest sticker dreams come true. There are a number of factors that make PhotoTex Wall Graphics a marketing superstar, and we’re here to break down just why that is.

What Is PhotoTex?

PhotoTex is a printable adhesive fabric made of 100% polyester.

drumheadWhere can it be stuck?

It can be mounted to almost any surface! Aside from brick and eggshell paints (like you see in kitchens), PhotoTex is safe to use on any wall, door or glass surface you wish. We’ve even seen it used on band’s drum heads!

PhotoTex technology makes the fabric durable enough to withstand temperature changes and all types of weather. You can confidently stick this stuff inside or outside for any amount of time.

Does it lose its adhesive properties?

Nope! This material can be moved around as much as you want. This means it can travel with you to tradeshows, move businesses with you or stay stuck in one place for as long as you like. Think of it as a big post-it note for your wall. It never loses its stickiness!

Will it leave any residue behind when it’s moved?

Another PhotoTex perk is that you can move it around without having to worry about scraping sticky stuff off a wall or damaging surfaces. The adhesive stays on the fabric and not on your walls.

good2goHow does it hold up?

High quality wall graphics will not shrink, curl, wrinkle or crack over time. The fabric stays fresh and crisp without ever losing its stick.

Printed in vivid full color and full bleed, you can design without boundaries and take advantage of the entire space. We can even cut your wall graphic into awesome custom shapes!

Market yourself literally anywhere you go. Stick your wall graphic on the walls of your tradeshow booth or use them to advertise during pop-up shops. These graphics go where you do without having to lug around stands or find a place to hang your banner. The ageless material is perfect for evergreen content and keeps it at your fingertips no matter where you are.

Wall Graphic Bonus Points:

On top of all of these amazing attributes, PhotoTex is also non-toxic, eco-friendly and biodegradable. A movable, forever sticky marketing tool that’s green too? That’s a material that Jakprints can stand behind.

Our high quality Wall Graphics ensure that every space is a marketable one. Check out other big ways to market your brand and start creating now.  

Stickers And Writing Make An Impact

stickawallStickers have been an integral part of Jakprints since we started in 1999. Stickers are stuck everywhere in the shop, but one wall in particular is covered– and we mean covered. From top to bottom, the wall underneath can’t be seen. Layers of stickers have accumulated on this lobby wall over the years from bands, businesses and clothing lines. So we were pretty excited when a high school teacher from Pennsylvania reached out to us for some stickers to put on wall of his own.

Tom Mooney started teaching 12th grade English at North Allegheny Senior High School in Wexford, Pennsylvania 14 years ago, but his love for stickers started way before that. We were thrilled to hear that a print product was making such an impact, so we asked Tom how it all began.

Judging by this project, we’re guessing you’re a sticker fan.

I’ve always loved stickers. I’ve covered my basement doors, desks and now a wall of my classroom. Stickers are this small art form that usually has real visual appeal. No one is interested in a boring sticker. A cool sticker gives you pause. You stop and consider the perfect place for it. It has value.

How did the idea for the sticker wall come about?

I wanted to prove to students that writing has an impact, so I had them write a business letter to companies they were interested in. Responses came pouring in, and pretty soon the classroom was covered in response letters. We decided to change things up this year and email companies to request a sticker from their brand. Stickers came in from all over the world, and the wall was the best way to display them. It’s really taken off from there.

sticker-wallHow many companies have responded?

I have personally received 89 responses, and that’s just from the companies I’ve contacted. We’ve had companies from Canada, France and even Norway send stickers. We’ve gotten stickers from local businesses and even a small shaved ice vendor in Hawaii. I’ve lost count of how many responses we’ve received. It’s wonderful.

What response has the school had to the project?

It’s infectious. It’s not just my class that is involved anymore. A student of mine has a younger sister that has started contacting companies on her own. She has a spreadsheet of several thousand stickers she’s received. Thousands! The yearbook is planning a page about the wall. My colleagues have started reaching out to people on their own time. I’m not one for fanfare, but I’ll admit it’s humbling.

sticker-wall2What do you want students to take away from this project?

This project is another way to show students what writing can do. It proves that companies are people and that people like to help. Writing is a powerful tool that can tie people together who might’ve never made the connection without it. The stickers that companies send us are physical representations of that connection.


Tom’s sticker wall is an example of the power that print products and writing hold. Both writing and stickers are thought provoking, raise awareness and bring people together. Jakprints is happy to have contributed to the class sticker wall, and we hope the project continues for years to come.

Keep up with the sticker wall  and get inspired to make a sticker impact of your own.


Die Line Creation With Craig Winzer

cwinzerPrint projects come in all shapes and sizes. Custom Die Cuts are the perfect way to break out of the box and give your product that unique boost. Jakprints wants to make creating a beautiful, one-of-a-kind product as easy as possible, so we offer free die line creation. That’s one less thing for you to worry about when you’re looking to knock out a truly unique product.

We turned to Craig Winzer, a member of the File Creation Team and successful illustrator, to break down die lines and tell us about himself.

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Streetwear and Lifestyle Brands with Byron McKoy

m1There’s a lot that goes into creating your own brand. Luckily, we know some incredible people in the scene that give great advice on starting your own label-like Byron McKoy of Hide & Seek Clothing.

Knowing what your target audience wants is a huge part of making a successful product, and Byron knows just how to do that. With introverts in mind, Hide & Seek offers apparel that lets those less social and more emotional wear their hearts on their shirts.

What got you interested in creating your own brand?

I was in a touring band in the late 2000s, and one of my roles when I wasn’t swinging a mic around was to design merchandise. While this band dissolved a few years ago, my love for designing t-shirts grew. After years of chaotic traveling, my head was full of inspiration. With hands more idle than ever, I dove right in.

What brands or artists inspired you to get started on Hide & Seek?

In high school, all of my favorite bands produced branding that was suspiciously similar. I dug around and found that this was thanks to Rob Dobi. His ability to conjure emotion while working primarily with silhouettes and minimal colors captured my imagination almost immediately. Without Rob, I doubt I would be doing what I am today.

byronmckoyHow do you define streetwear and lifestyle brands?

Streetwear and lifestyle brands go hand in hand. Both represent a style that is more personal and connects with a group more than a major brand or label. They represent a shared and specific disposition.

I design clothing for anxious, introverted people who prefer spending their time on the couch drinking coffee, reading books and petting pets. So maybe seatwear is more appropriate?

IMG_0924What do you think is the most important first step in starting a brand?

Don’t. Well, not until you have something you truly believe in. We’re currently in an amazing place where producing clothing is easier than ever. Don’t abuse that. Put in the work. Spend the hours before and after your day job improving second, third and fourth drafts of designs. Talk with people. Create your brand. The others are already taken. When you’ve got your vision on lock, find a great manufacturer. Make short runs and talk to your customers to see what they want.

Starting a brand of your own is not an easy task. But with a solid idea of what your brand is and constantly striving to improve, it can be a success. Thanks, Byron, for the great advice.


Preserving and Conserving the CVNP


Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 2.47.40 PM

Leaving the planet in better shape than we found it is a top priority at Jakprints, and we want to get everyone excited to take part in environmental initiatives. We’re always looking for new ways to increase our positive impact on the environment, and we have partnered with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park to expand our tree planting initiative and collaborate with an awesome organization.

250 Trees For 100 Years Of Service

You might’ve heard that we plant a tree with every order placed, and we’re always looking to join in on other tree planting opportunities. When we heard the CVNP was planting 250 trees as part of their Founders’ Day centennial celebration on August 20th, we knew we had to get involved.

Founders’ Day gives the community an opportunity to give back to the park through trail work, tree planting and the removal of invasive plants. A group of our incredible employees volunteered their time to help plant 250 trees in the park. These trees will help fill the tree canopy and improve the habitat for the native wildlife. We’re thrilled to give back to the park and work with an organization that shares a passion for nature.

National Parks everywhere are going all out to observe this milestone. Find out how a National Park near you is celebrating a century of service and party in your park!

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 2.48.38 PMCollaborating With The Conservancy

It was a no brainer when the opportunity was presented to partner with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Seeing the breathtaking images of the park roll off the press for their member magazine was a real pleasure, and reading about what the park does for the community made us want to be more involved. We’re giving back with monetary donations, volunteering our time for park service and brainstorming new and creative ways to use our resources to give back to the park.

Whether you have a National Park in your backyard or you have to travel to explore one, these parks are important to our environment. We have to work together to conserve them so generations to come can enjoy them in the same ways we do.

When you print with us, you are contributing to our green initiative efforts. When you print with us, you can feel good about it.

Picture-Perfect: Screen Printing Photographs

Nick Amrhein Photo Screenprint Detail

A lot of cool products roll through the shop here on a daily basis. Occasionally something that really catches our eye comes along-in this case; a t-shirt by Toledo, Ohio Based photographer and videographer, Nick Amrhein. Nick used his creativity and incredible skills behind the camera to make a killer t-shirt. Screen printing an insanely photo-realistic shirt that retains all of the detail of the original photo can be tricky, but our expert screen printing team knew exactly how to take care of business.

Seriously impressed, we sat down with Nick to hear his story and learn more about the idea behind his shirt.

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Plug Into Renewable Energy: We Did it And So Can YOU

If you have a relationship with us already, you’re most likely familiar with our history, culture and character. You know that one of our main values is leaving the Earth better than we found it by balancing our consumption through recycling and planting one tree with every order. We have taken those values to higher altitudes and are beyond ecstatic to announce that Jakprints is powered by 100% Wind Energy!

“Say Whaaat” and “How” you ask? Nowadays anyone can do it, even residential homes. We do it and we don’t even have a wind turbine on our grounds! It’s made possible through RECs, which stand for Renewable Energy Credits.  A renewable energy credit (REC) is created for each megawatt-hour (1 MWh, or 1000 kilowatt-hours) of renewable electricity generated and delivered to the power grid.

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