FAQ


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.
  • 
Real-time print quotes and online ordering.
  • State-of-the-art recycled papers.
  • Certified environmentally responsible printing.
  • Shipped directly to you with zero climate impact.

Greenerprinter has been providing printing services to the California Bay Area for more than 30 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 certifications here: 
GP's Certified Green Practices.**link**

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?

In addition to featuring recycled papers exclusively, we also:

  • Adhere to the strict environmental standards of being a Bay Area Certified Green Business.
  • Operate on 100% Wind Power through investments in Renewable Energy Credits (REC's).
  • Print using only water-based coatings and soy & vegetable based inks.
  • Offset the carbon emissions of our shipments through the purchase of carbon offset credits.
  • Adhere to the practices outlined in our FSC Chain-of-Custody Certification.
  • Eliminate dangerous chemicals and compounds from our production facility.
  • Invest in printing technologies that reduce makeready and ink wash-ups, and eliminate plate processing.

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.

What do all of those numbers and terminology mean when talking about recycled papers?

To make sense of all this, please visit our Paper section.

What is "Carbon Free" shipping?

All finished orders at Greenerprinter are shipped "Carbon Free", as certified by Carbonfund. This means that the 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.

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 4 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. When you chose your shipping method you will be given the estimated cost for each option. 

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 a colleague to upload files after you have placed an order. Simply click on the "Invite" button and enter their email addresses. An email 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?

Our shopping cart allows as many items at a time as you wish. 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. Note that your order will ship when all items are complete. If you have a priority items, please order them separately.

Can I ship an order to multiple destinations?

Absolutely! 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. This workflow eliminates the waste and toxic chemicals associated with film-based prepress processes. Our inkjet proofs are matched to our presses 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?

Yes, contact customer service at csr@greenerprinter.com or 1 (800) 655-583. If you are emailing, please provide your address and the type of product you want to see. If you're in the Bay Area, please drop by our facility at 1003 Canal Blvd., Point Richmond, CA 94804

How do I place an order through the website?

There are 4 simple steps to placing an order:

  • Add desired product(s) to your cart
  • Choose your shipping method
  • Confirm the total cost and checkout
  • Upload your files (you can also upload later if your files aren't ready)

How do you offer such low prices? I thought eco-printing was expensive!

By producing thousands of eco-print orders each year, we can buy our paper at favorable prices, enabling us to offer cost-effective, environmental printing for nearly the same price as printing on non-recycled, virgin stocks.

How do I apply for a credit account with Greenerprinter?

Just 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) 898-0012. Once approved, you will be able to select your Greenerprinter account when you 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 been scheduled to print. A refund will be given for the portion of work that has not yet been completed. A minimum of $15.00 fee or up to 2.5% of an order may be charged for cancellation, depending on the circumstance. For orders already on press, no refunds will be given. Orders cancelled after 45 days from order date are only eligible for store credit. To cancel your order, call Customer Service at 1 (800) 655-5833. Please have your order number or email address ready to reference your order.

Is the Greenerprinter website secure?

Yes. Our checkout system uses the latest 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 csr@greenerprinter.com or 1 (800) 655-5833.

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 size, paper stock, special inks or finishing options (such as diecutting or embossing) you are looking for, submit your project specifications in the Custom Quote tab in the product page or Custom Estimates. You will receive a quote within 1 business day.

What is the resolution of your press output?

This depends on which press your order is printed on. On our offset presses, we print at 200 dots per inch. Smaller quantity orders (usually 250 and below) print on our Hewlett-Packard Indigo Press, which uses an 812 dots per inch screen. (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.

What file formats do you support and how do I properly set up my files?

Our preferred file format is PDF, as our workflow is PDF-based. Please see the "Preparing PDF Files" **link** section of this web page for information about creating print-ready PDFs. If you are not comfortable creating PDFs, we can accept Adobe Illustrator, Adobe PhotoShop or Adobe InDesign files. Be aware that these files can incur additional charges and time.

What are the most common problems you find with files?

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 extends to the edge of the paper, you need to add bleed so there won't be white slivers on the page. Please extend your artwork beyond the trim edge of the page by at least 1/8" (.125"). The artwork supplied for an 8.5" x 11" document that bleeds on all four sides should actually measure 8.75" x 11.25".

Trim Edge & Safe Guide 

Any text or images that are not meant to run off the edge of your final printed piece should be at least 1/8" (.125) from your trim edge. This is called the safety area. Each step in the production process introduces slight movement which can add up to 1/16" variance in positioning. Text or images that are too close to the trim edge may be cut off or show inconsistent margins.

Fonts 

Please make sure that the "Embed Fonts" option is chosen when your create your PDF. For more information about PDF creation, please visit our PDF Creation Guide

Image Resolution 

Please make sure your images are at least 300 ppi at the size used in your layout. If necessary, you may send files that are as low as 200 ppi, but anything below that will tend to look pixelated.

Color Space 

Our presses print in the cmyk color space, meaning there is a Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK 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.

Do not use screen captures or scans for text. That will not print sharp. Please use vector type. If the text is meant to look black, make sure the it is colored either 100% grayscale or Cyan 0%, Magenta 0%, Yellow 0%, Black 100%. Any other values or RGB colored text will not print sharp.

How do I indicate folds or perforations?

To indicate the location of the fold or perforation in your file, use solid lines for folds and dashed lines to for perforations. These must be placed in the bleed area of your design or as an editable layer.

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 a colleague inviting them to upload files for you. We can also accept files on CDs or DVDs. Note: We cannot begin your order until we receive and inspect the files that you ship to us.

Is there any limitation on the size of files that I can upload?

No, but we recommend uploading files that are larger than 1 GB to our DropBox account. Contact customer service at csr@greenerprinter.com or 1 (800) 655-5833 to get a link to upload files.

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. These are generated directly from our workflow system and will reflect any color conversion processes (RGB to CMYK) that 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.

For color critical orders, we recommend a hard proof which will be shipped to you via overnight mail.

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. If the latter, you will need to contact us at csr@greenerprinter.com or 1 (800) 655-5833. After two revisions, you will be charged $15 for each additional proofing stage,

Which products are available for mailing services?

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. Mailing using Standard Mail usually takes from three to seven days, but is discounted from the First Class rate. If your company has obtained non-profit authorization from 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 must have the following aspect ratio: length divided by height = 1.3 - 2.5. 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. Leave at least 3.75" of white space on the right side of the mail panel. 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).

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.

What is included in the mailing cost?

Our mailing services include:

  • Processing your mailing list (removing duplicates, verifying street addresses and updating addresses of recipients who have moved)
  • 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 printed product?

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."

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.

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 (.xlsx), 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 your artwork files and the mailing list.

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 fixed by the software.

Can I get my "clean" list back?

If you want your list back after we've processed it for mailing, simply let us know when you place your order.