remember me
Live Chat Support Software

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Company and Eco Information
Policies and Procedures
Pricing and Products
File Questions
Mailing & Lists
Company and Eco Information
Who is Greenerprinter?
We are an environmentally friendly printing and graphic communications company dedicated to helping individuals and organizations promote themselves in more sustainable ways.

Through Greenerprinter, you can obtain

* high-quality, affordable printing services...
* featuring real-time print quotes and online ordering...
* using state-of-the-art recycled papers...
* printing by a certified environmentally responsible company...
* and shipped directly to you with zero climate impact!

Greenerprinter has been providing printing services to the Bay Area, California area for more than 20 years, with a strong commitment to environmental and social responsibility. Our state-of-the-art facilities have been certified as a Green Business by the Association of Bay Area Governments.
You can read more about our green practices and certifications here:
GP's Certified Green Practices.

Greenerprinter makes environmentally responsible printing services convenient and affordable, no matter where you are based. We look forward to hearing from you about how we can help your organization align its printing needs with its environmental goals.


How do your practices differ from those of "non-green" printers?

At Greenerprinter, we realize it's about much more than just the paper. That's why in addition to featuring recycled papers exclusively, we also:


How does the quality of your work compare to that of other printers?
It's better. We've worked closely with our ink, paper and equipment vendors to make sure that all of our processes achieve the highest performance possible from recycled papers and green practices. This means special dot gain curves on our platesetters, custom fountain settings on our presses, and eco-friendly coatings that behave well on our recycled stocks. We guarantee that you will see no reduction in print quality when you use eco-friendly printing... in fact, you'll probably see an improvement!

What do all of those numbers and terminology mean when talking about recycled papers?
To make sense of all this, please visit our "Recycled Paper Glossary" section, along with the "Our Papers" section

What is "Carbon Free" shipping?
All finished orders at Greenerprinter are shipped "Carbon Free", as certified by Carbonfund.org. This means that the climate emissions associated with shipping by truck or air freight are offset through purchases of renewable energy credits to achieve a net-zero impact on the earth's climate. For more information about Carbonfund, visit www.carbonfund.org.


How can I contact Greenerprinter?
For questions or for more information please phone us or use the email links below:
Greenerprinter
1003 Canal Blvd.
Point Richmond, Ca 94804
1-800-655-5833 - toll free
(510) 898-0000 - ph
(510) 898-0011 - fax
General inquiries: csr@greenerprinter.com
For a map to our facility in Point Richmond, CA, click HERE.

Back to Top
Policies and Procedures
After my order is placed, how long will it be until I receive it?
Your selected turnaround time does not begin until we receive final approval of your proof. If your proof is approved before 5 P.M. Pacific Time, printing turnaround begins that business day. For example, if you place your order with a 3 business day turnaround and approve your proof at 4 P.M. Pacific time on a Friday, your order will be due to ship on Wednesday of the following week. Once approved you will receive an email with your ship date.

Shipping takes additional time and should be factored in when placing your order. You can use our Shipping Calculator to get a quick estimate of your shipping cost and speed. Shipping methods range from next day air to ground shipping.

What if my files aren't ready yet?
If you know the specifications of your project (size, color, paper, etc) and simply want to get pricing, you can always use Greenerprinter to determine printing and shipping costs before you finish the files. You can place your order without sending files and upload them later, when they are ready.

What if I need someone else to send you files?
If you won't be uploading the files yourself you can invite your designer/colleague to upload files after you have placed an order. Simply click on the "Invite a Friend to Upload" button and enter their email addresses. An e-mail containing a link to your project's upload page will be sent along with links to our file setup guidelines and a phone number for the recipient to call if they have any questions.

Can I order more than one product at a time?
Using our shopping cart, you may order as many items at a time as you wish. And with our advanced shipping options, you can even specify that each of your items ship to multiple locations, using multiple shipping methods.

Can I ship multiple items together?
If you have more than one item in your cart, simply select "Single Shipment" when choosing your shipping method to ship all your orders at the same time to a single destination.

Can I ship an order to multiple destinations?
You may select up to 5 different shipping addresses for each item, Your shipping costs will be recalculated based on the quantities going to each address.

What type of printing equipment do you use?
Greenerprinter uses "Computer-To-Plate" technology, featuring Heidelberg equipment and software, offering a workflow that eliminates the waste and toxins associated with film-based prepress processes. Our inkjet proofs are fingerprinted to our press on a weekly basis, using advanced color management software. Our press is a state-of-the-art 6-color Heidelberg with an aqueous coater and extended drying unit. We also use a Hewlett-Packard Digital Indigo Press for short-run orders, and HP's "DesignJet" system (featuring water-based latex inks and recyclable consumables) for our large format division.

Can I see some samples of your work?
Absolutely, please visit our samples page to request our free sample packet.

How do I place an order through the website?
There are 4 simple steps to placing an order:
  1. Add desired product(s) to your cart
  2. Choose your shipping method
  3. Confirm the total cost and checkout
  4. Upload your files (you can also upload later if your files aren't ready)

Back to Top
Pricing and Products
How do you offer such low prices? I thought eco-printing was expensive!
It used to be expensive, but we're working to change that. We produce thousands of eco-print orders each year for clients throughout the U.S. By producing so many print orders a year, we buy our paper at favorable prices, enabling us to offer cost-effective, eco-printing for nearly the same price as printing on non-recycled, virgin stocks.

How do I apply for a credit account with Greenerprinter?
It's simple to apply for a Greenerprinter credit account. Please download our credit application and follow the instructions below.

Download Credit Application

*IMPORTANT: You must first create an account on Greenerprinter before submitting a credit application

The credit application PDF includes form fields that can be populated within Adobe Acrobat. After you've filled in the necessary form fields, please sign it, and fax it to (510) 898-0013. Once approved, you will be able to select your Greenerprinter account when you at checkout. Please allow 24-48 hours for us to process your credit application.


What credit cards do you accept?
We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and American Express Corporate.

Can I cancel my order after I've already placed it?
Partial refunds are available on orders that have begun processing but have not gone to press. A refund will be given for the portion of work that has not yet been completed. A $15 processing fee may be charged in such cases. For orders already on press, no refunds will be given. To cancel your order, call Customer Service at (510) 898-0000 x3. Please have your order number or email address ready to reference your order.

Do you accept purchase orders?
We accept purchase orders for government organizations, schools, universities and institutions only. Please contact Customer Service at csr@greenerprinter.com or (510) 898-0000 x3.

Is the Greenerprinter website secure?
Yes. Our secure checkout system uses the latest secure server technology. Your order is submitted and retrieved with a secure connection to our server and remains secure at all times. In addition, we use a Comodo Certificate to authenticate and encrypt all your valuable information.

Will I be charged sales tax?
All orders that ship within California are charged sales tax unless you have a valid California resale certificate. Please download and complete our resale certificate and fax it to (510) 898-0010 to remove sales tax from your future orders. If you have any questions, please contact Customer Service at (510) 898-0000 x3.

What type of products do you print?
We excel at printing brochures, postcards, rackcards, business cards, greeting cards, presentation folders, sell sheets, booklets, catalogs, calendars, posters (up to 22x28), newsletters, and virtually any other type of offset printing product.

What if my piece doesn't match any of the items listed in your product menu?
If you can't find the product you are looking for, chances are we can still print it. Please select the "Custom Sizes" option in the product list which will quickly price almost any piece.

If there are still options that you need but cannot select, such as PMS colors, die-cutting, embossing, etc., select "Custom Quotes" which will allow you to request a custom quote from our estimators. You should receive a quote back within 1 business day.

What if I want to print with PMS (Pantone® Matching System) or other special inks?
We can print with PMS and other special inks, however, the standard order forms for Greenerprinter products don't include that option. We do offer "two-color" stationery products (business cards, letterhead, ad envelopes), which can be printed with any combination of black and/or PMS inks.

If you have some other type of item that requires special inks, please request a "Custom Quote Request", and we will get back to you with a quote within 1 business day.

What is the resolution of your press output?
This depends on the paper that you request and which press your order is printed on. On our offset presses, we print at 200 linescreen on our coated recycled stocks, and 150 linescreen on uncoated recycled stocks. Smaller quantity orders (usually 250 and below) print on our Hewlett-Packard Indigo Press, which prints at 812 dpi (we recommend that images be at least 200 dpi at the size they will print).

What types of coatings do you offer?
We use only water-based eco-friendly aqueous coatings to reduce scuffing and increase water and grease resistance. Greenerprinter never uses UV coatings which make printed materials more difficult to recycle.

Back to Top
File Questions
What file formats do you support and how do I properly set up my files?
We accept files from all industry-standard graphics softwares. Our preferred file format is PDF, as our workflow is PDF-based. Please see the "Preparing PDF Files" section of this web page for information about creating print-ready PDFs. If you are not comfortable creating PDFs, we are happy to accept application files, such as:
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe PhotoShop
  • Adobe InDesign
  • QuarkXPress
PageMaker, FreeHand and Publisher files are also generally acceptable, though we'd need to receive a PDF if you're using one of these applications. Please see our "Preparing Files" section for more information. If you are using a software not listed above and cannot create a PDF, please contact us to determine if we can work with your files.

What is "bleed"?
Bleed is the printed content that should be added beyond the edge of the page to compensate for tolerances in the trimming process. If the artwork on your printed piece goes all the way to the edge of the paper, you need to add bleed so there won't be white edges on the page. A good rule of thumb is to extend your artwork beyond the trim edge of the page by at least 1/8" (.125"). For example, the artwork supplied for an 8.5" x 11" document that bleeds on all four sides should actually measure 8.75" x 11.25". If your document doesn't bleed, you can supply your artwork at the trim size. If you are unsure about how to add bleed, please contact a Greenerprinter Customer Service Representative at csr@greenerprinter.com or (510) 898-0000 x3.

how to add bleed to your printing

What are the most common problems you find with files?
Bleed
If your artwork goes all the way to the edge of the page, be sure to double check that you have included bleed.

Fonts
Please make sure to include all fonts used in your files, including and especially fonts that are used in linked graphics such as Illustrator files. If you are sending us a PDF, please make sure that the "Embed Fonts" option is chosen (for more information about PDF creation, please visit our PDF preparation guidelines page.
Image Resolution
Please make sure your images are at least 300 dpi at the size used in your layout. If necessary, you may send files that are as low as 200 dpi, but anything below that will tend to look pixelated.

Color Space
Our presses print in the cmyk color space, meaning there is a cyan (c) ink, a magenta (m) ink, a yellow (y) ink and a black (k) ink. Monitors, digital cameras, and other types of digital devices tend to work and display images in the RGB color space. If you supply RGB files for your order, our system will automatically convert them to cmyk, but you may not be pleased with the results. It's always best to do this conversion first, or work only in the cmyk color space when creating your files. If you intend for your artwork to print black-and-white, make sure the files you supply are in the "Grayscale" color space. If you are sending a Photoshop file that has black text in it, make sure the text is colorized with the black component only. Otherwise the type will be spread across all four inks, which can cause the type to be illegible when printed.

Printing with borders
We don't recommend using thin borders or carefully centered content which hugs the edge of the safe area. All products have a 2mm cutting tolerance, which means thin borders or carefully centered graphics can end up being slightly uneven. The smaller the border, the more apparent this small imperfection will be. To avoid potential disappointment, we'd recommend using a wide border (which extends well inside the safe area) or removing it altogether and making them full bleed. We cut many cards at the same time, therefore shifting during cutting is unavoidable. The industry tolerances are +/- 1/16", which is normal for the majority of our jobs produced. Therefore trying to hold even borders on a card is difficult. We recommend not using a border, or the border is within the safe area which is 1/4" away from the trim edge.

How do I indicate folds or perforations?
To indicate the location of the fold or perforation in your file, place small dashed tick-marks in the bleed area of your design. If your design includes both folds and perforations, use solid lines to indicate folds and dashed lines to indicate perforations. Templates can be downloaded for most of our products which have the fold marks already built in.

How do I send you my files?
The simplest way to send us files is to upload them online once your place your order. You can also send a link to your designer/colleague inviting them to upload files for you. We can also accept files on CDs or DVDs, and most types of removable disks. **Note: We cannot begin your order until we receive and inspect the files that you ship to us.

Should I compress my files?
We recommend that you compress your files prior to uploading them. Compressing your files, prevents file corruption, reduces file size, and simplifies the uploading process.

Is there any limitation on the size of files that I can upload?
No, but we recommend mailing any files that are larger than 250 MB.

Will I see a proof before the printing is started?
Prior to sending any order to our press, we will send you a proof for your approval. All orders include a PDF "soft" proof that you can review on screen. For color critical orders, we recommend you request a hard proof that is shipped to you via overnight mail.

If I choose "Soft Proof", how reliable is the color?
This largely depends on your monitor. Our soft proofs are generated directly from our workflow system and will reflect any color conversion processes (RGB to CMYK) that may occur within the workflow. The PDF soft proof you receive should be accurate to your final printed piece. However, if your monitor is not calibrated to offset print specifications, the color may be considerably different from what you see in print.

If your artwork is color critical or if you have concerns regarding color, we recommend that you order a hard proof, which is color accurate and will be matched on press.

What if my project requires changes after I've reviewed my proof?
You can either make the changes yourself and upload new files or ask our staff to make the changes for an additional fee. In both cases, you will need to contact us at csr@greenerprinter.com or (510) 898-0000 x3..

Back to Top
QUESTIONS ABOUT MAILING AND LISTS
Which products are available for mailing services?
Currently our site provides mailing as an option for the following products: Brochures, postcards, booklets, catalogs, and newsletters. If you are trying to mail some other type of product simply request a custom quote for pricing.

What different types of mailing options are available?
We offer bulk mailing at First Class, Standard Mail and Non-profit rates. First Class usually arrives between one to three days after mailing. Standard Mail takes longer, but is discounted from the First Class rate. Mailing using Standard Mail usually takes from three to seven days. If your company is setup as a non-profit agency with the post office, you can mail via the Non-profit rate. Non-profit mailings is the cheapest mailing option, but can take anywhere from one to two weeks and sometimes longer.

How do I know if my piece can be mailed or not?
Just about anything can be mailed, but to take advantage of special bulk rates, a mailpiece needs to conform to certain criteria. In order for a piece to qualify, it must have the following aspect ratio: Length divided by Height = 1.3 - 2.5 (see graphic below) and have four square edges.
Anything outside this ratio is considered "non-machinable" by the US Post Office and will not qualify for bulk rates.

How should I design the mailing panel of my mailpiece?
The mailing panel needs to be formatted to U.S. Postal Service specifications. A good rule of thumb (in addition to the Aspect Ratio listed above) is to leave at least 3.5" of white space on the right-hand side of the mail panel and 5/8" along the bottom. This space is required to accommodate the indicia, the mailing address, and any barcodes that will be applied. Please leave this area white (though a light color is generally acceptable). The U.S. Postal Service website is also a valuable resource for information about how to design mailpieces.
You may also refer to the visual aid graphic below (click here to download an EPS file of this template).
mail piece design guidelines 2

What size should I make a card that is going to be mailed?

Cards that are between 3.5 x 5 and 4.25 x 6 fall under the less expensive "Postcard" rate. Cards at this size are automatically given "First Class" service.

Cards that are larger than 4.25 x 6 (on either dimension) but under 6.125 x 11.5 fall into the "Letter" category. For these cards you may choose either First Class or a less expensive Standard rate.

Cards that are larger than 6.125 x 11.5 (on either dimension) but under 15 x 12 are considered "Flats" and fall into a higher price category. For these cards you may choose either First Class or a less expensive Standard rate.

We do not recommend mailing cards that are larger than 15 x 12


How can I reduce my mailing costs?

In addition to choosing to mail via Standard Mail, which is a slower and cheaper mailing option, you can also create a smaller piece.

Mailing a piece that is between 3.5 x 5 and 4.25 x 6 fall under the less expensive postcard rate and introduce a savings over "Letter" sized pieces. Cards at this size are automatically given "First Class" service which is cheaper than Standard Mail.

Cards that are larger than 4.25 x 6 (on either dimension) but under 6.125 x 11.5 fall into the "Letter" category.


What is included in the mailing cost?
Our mailing services include:
- Processing your mailing list (removing duplicates, CASS Certification)
- Printing our indicia on your order
- Printing addresses from the mailing list on your job
- Postage costs
- Applying wafer seals (if required)
- Delivery to post office

What if I'm only mailing some of the prints?

You'll notice there is a "Quantity to be mailed" section in the Job Specifications panel. This number will be subtracted from the total print quality and the balance will be shipped to the address (or addresses) you enter in the Shipping section.


How can I confirm that my job has been mailed?

We recommend that you add your address (and some friends) to your mailing list to confirm the timeliness and accuracy of your mailing. In addition, we will send an email confirmation when your order is delivered to the post office.


Can I download the Greenerprinter indicia?
Certainly... click here to download the First Class indicia, click here to download the Standard indicia.

What other special mailing services do you offer?
Lots! Read on:
You can take your mailing a step further by employing powerful variable data and personalization options which allow you to vary the look and content of the mail panel for each individual recipient. For instance, you could:

- Include a special graphic for all of the residents of a certain city.
- Include one graphic on the mail panel for female recipients and another for male recipients (provided gender is one of the fields in your mailing list)
- Include a decorative graphic of the first letter of the recipient's last name.

You can even include short personalized messages, such as:
"Dear <<recipient's first name>>, All residents of <<recipient's city>> can receive %<<rule based on recipient's city>> off on their first visit."

There's also a brand new feature that will allow you to place messages like the one above onto a "sticky note" that's affixed to the mailpiece.

Variable Data Printing within our mailing system introduces almost limitless creative opportunities for you to distinguish your organization's materials from everything else in the mailbox.

If you're interested in using any of the options listed above, please contact Greenerprinter Customer Service at 1-800-655-5833 (toll free).


How should my mailing list be formatted, and what file types will you accept?
The mailing list should contain only the information necessary for mailing:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Company
- Street Address ("Address 1")
- Apartment or Suite number ("Address 2")
- City
- State
- Zip (5-digit or 5-plus-4)

We recommend sending Excel files (.xls), but we can also accept tab-delimited text files (.txt), or comma-delimited text files (.csv).


You can download an Excel template here.


How do I send my mailing list to Greenerprinter?
Once you place your order you can upload both your artwork files and the mailing list(s) for each order. If your order has already been started, you can e-mail your mailing list as an attachment to csr@greenerprinter.com. Please include your order number in the subject line.

Can Greenerprinter combine multiple mailing lists?
We charge an additional $10 per file to "merge" the lists, which will be added to the order total by a Greenerprinter customer service representative after your order has begun.

What does "CASS Certified" mean?
CASS stands for "Coding Accuracy Support System", and was developed to improve accuracy and reduce waste for bulk mail projects. Our CASS Certification software regularly synchronizes with a USPS online database of known addresses. When your list is processed (CASS Certified), the software checks each and every address to confirm that it is a possible address. Addresses that are not known are then removed from the list.

What if my list contains a large number of undeliverable addresses?
If we notice that there is a large number of invalid addresses in your list (usually 10% or greater), we will contact you and offer (for an additional fee) to attempt to "clean" your list. Often there are minor problems in addresses ("Rd." instead of "Ave.", misspelled city names, etc) that can be easily fixed by the software.

Can I get my "cleansed" list back?
If you want your list back after we've processed it for mailing, simply let us know when you place your order.

Back to top
ENVIRONMENTAL CERTIFICATIONS, memberships, credentials & awards
B Corporation logo
Greenerprinter Bay Area Green Business
Greenerprinter Green America (formerly Co-op America)
Greenerprinter CarbonFund.org
Greenerprinter Green Chamber of Commerce
GRACoL G7 Certfified