Art Center Student FAQ

Art Center Student FAQ

Hi Art Center! We're honored that you guys give us a chance to work with you! As most of you know, we're a small team so we only have a certain amount of bandwidth but we created this FAQ to help answer some of the most common questions we receive.

Premium Book Binder Contact

Need Smyth Sewing and other ultra premium binding? There's this awesome new ultra premium bookbinder in LA. Matt's been doing some of the best binding for 10 years in Chicago and wanted to bring his craft to LA to serve creatives and artists. 

Email Matt at studio@forthebirdstrappedinairports.com to get your project started. Send him:
  1. a picture (google photo) fine for your binding reference.
  2. cover file for reference
  3. interior page count and how you'd like it bound (160 pages. So 10 groups of 16 page signatures)

Cover Notice
Matt can either use a colored fabric he has in-house or he can even print your design on a linen. He cannot take our lamianted sheets and mount since he currently only has cold glue.

Pricing Questions

What is the quote? How much will my project cost?

This really depends on the direction you want to go but most students spend between $300-$1000 in printing costs with us. We do not quote until we see you submit your request through www.nonstopprinting.com/quote
  1. a solid draft of your files that are print-ready with our PDF settings. If you want to print a cover with us, show us that file too even if you're not sure how to size it yet. We just need to see the art.
  2. pictures of what you want your final product to look like. example image below:
  3. pictures of the paper that yuo'd like to get closest to. example image below



Project Related Questions



How do I see a proof of my work?

We do not encourage hard proofs. We have a small team and no redundancy in our equipment. That means if you want a proof, we have to stop bigger jobs we're working on to print a sample. Therefore, we treat hard proofs as if you want to print 1 of a real job ($300+).

So how can you trust our printing? 
We use color software that has given us a lot more control over color. Reference our Color Guidelines with Nonstop Printing
Once per class, have the TA contact us and submit 1 file. It can be a 30 page 11x17 document that has all the stuff you're collectively wondering about.  We can do that 30 page test print for a special price of $100 but we will not do it for individual students.

How long does it take to print my project? Whats the turnaround?

We don't have a standard turnaround. We price based on our production schedule and when you need it. Price is dependent on when you give us 100% good print ready files and payment.So how can I get the best price and the best turnaround?
Doing everything that this FAQ outlines. The following will give you the best chance for the best price and best turnaround:
  1. send files using the correct export settings
  2. apply the feedback from our reports (after you send your print ready files and we send you the report)
  3. send pictures of what you want your final product to kind of look like
  4. be clear about what you want. we do not have the time to ideate with you. use pictures.
  5. ask thoughtful questions. (the ones that this guide doesn't already answer)
  6. do not do printed proofs (which are really expensive anyway)
  7. submit as early as possible

Where can I see your paper samples?

Someone in Tracey's or Brad's class has them stored somewhere with student artwork in them. Because of the supply chain crises, it's hard to get paper so the best way to get as close as possible to what you want is to send us pictures of what you imagine and we can reverse-engineer and give the best solution.

How does signature printing work? What does my page count need to be?

Signature printing requires the binder to fold sheets of paper and group them into little magazines, then sew those together. So your page count has to be either:
  1. 12 pages
  2. 16 pages
Divide your total interior page count by eitehr 12 or 16. If it's a whole number, then it's good. If not, then add ore remove pages till it's good. Examples of good page counts are:
64, 84, 96, 108, 112, 120, 128...192 etc

You can use our signature validator to see if your page count makes sense.

Technical File Related Questions

How should I export my files?


How do I use InDesign to lay out my book?


How do I upload my files?

If it's your first time contacting us for this particular project, visit nonstopprinting.com/quote

If we're in mid conversation, send us a sharable link (dropbox, google, box) through email.

How do I design for spot UV? How much more does it cost?

It depends but spot UV printing within print image size within 13x26 adds about $150+ to the project.



Binding Technical Questions


Can Nonstop Printing smyth sew or use thread of any kind?

Not yet, but we're hoping to sometime in Q2 of 2023! 

For now, A1 is the most economical and they do good work.

Can Nonstop Printing perfect bind? Is it good?



Yeah we totally rock at perfect binding and we truely believe we're one of the best in the world.
Why are we the best for glued perfect binding?
  1. we use PUR. it's got the best temperature change resistance, the most flexibility, and the longest life. It's expensive glue for a reason.
  2. we found the perfect way to bind so that you get near-perfect crossovers. With our books, you can push down on the spine and full spreads look great and it will not cause pages to fall out.
  3. PUR glue is white, so it looks great
  4. PUR glue is strong so we don't need to put notches into the spine. This also helps with near-perfect full spreads.


Is perfect binding good for my project?

For more advanced classes, we are not. Here's why:
  1. it's difficult to present your book page by page because the book doesn't open as much as a smyth sewn book. This is important ifyou're standing and holdnig your book at an angle for the class to see.
  2. the book will last years, but not decades. With heavy use the pages will eventually fall out.
  3. the book lays more flat with sewing.
  4. even though our glue is flexible, the spine of the book gets creased if you push the spine too hard.

How does signature printing work? What does my page count need to be?

Signature printing requires the binder to fold sheets of paper and group them into little magazines, then sew those together. So your page count has to be either:
  1. 12 pages
  2. 16 pages
Divide your total interior page count by eitehr 12 or 16. If it's a whole number, then it's good. If not, then add ore remove pages till it's good. Examples of good page counts are:
64, 84, 96, 108, 112, 120, 128...192 etc

You can use our signature validator to see if your page count makes sense.

Print Technical Specifications

What is the maximum size you can print?

HP Indigo
  1. Sheet size 13x19
  2. Image size plus bleed: 12x18
Xerox Normal
  1. Sheet Size 13x19
  2. Image size plus bleed 12.25x18.25
Xerox Oversize (costs a lot more because we have to manual feed). Also the image shifts around more.
  1. Sheet size: 13x28
  2. Image size plus bleed: 12.25x27.25

Whats the difference between HP Indigo and Xerox?

The biggest difference is that HP Indigo prints truly matte. The Xerox prints with a slightly glossy sheen and does not work well with uncoated or textured paper.

HP Indigo 7900 Advantages:
  1. prints matte
  2. prints very well with textured paper
  3. gives you the more vintage/premium feel
  4. more accurate color
HP Indigo 7900 Disadvantages:
  1. ink is sensitive to scratching the more in you put on the sheet
  2. struggles with really small text less than 8pt unless it's made of 100% black.
  3. it only works with special treated paper. (Mohawk iTone, Neenah Digital, Sapphire coated papers that specifically say they're designed for HP Indigo)
  4. max sheet size 13x19
Xerox Iridesse Advantages:
  1. strong ink
  2. semi gloss look
  3. max sheet size 13x28
  4. higher resolution printing than Xerox. Good for small text
Xerox Iridesse Disadvantages:
  1. terrible on uncoated stocks
  2. cannot print matte

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