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Serving the Greater San Antonio Area - What's New!
Give us a call: 210.501.3957 or email us: Wylie@satx.rr.com






Web Domains & Hosting Service

Starting from scratch, PrintPrep will get you set up with your site. Scroll down to view working with existing sites. We use GoDaddy for your hosting service. Costs range from $50/yr. for a hosting service for one site to $90/yr. for unlimited sites. Domain names generally run around $13/yr. if the name is not already being used or has been purchased by someone else and is for sale. PrintPrep will then design and build your custom site on YOUR server space (hosting service).

Why on YOUR server space? You should always own your own server space for your site. I have seen many instances of designers using their servers to create sites for clients. We all want to think that everyone is honest but that is not always the case. Last year I became the designer for a political candidates site that was previously set up on another designers server. The designer refused to allow us to work on the site on his server essentially holding the site hostage. We ended up moving the domain over to a new server. This cost us time and money to move. Better safe than sorry.

Your site belongs to you! You will be provided a disc with a copy of your completed site along with login information to control your site Online. PrintPrep reserves the right to use the site as advertising. A small PrintPrep logo will be added to the bottom of your homepage crediting PrintPrep with the design that links to our site.



Pricing

Our web labor price structure is merely $15 per hour. The more labor intensive the site is, the more it will cost. Keep it simple and the cost stays down.

Custom Designs — PrintPrep prides itself on custom design artwork utilizing our vast knowledge of Photoshop skills and other Adobe applications to make your web art shine. Sites that are essentially hand-made. We never use templates that are the trademark of the corporate site builders or less savvy designers.


Check out these basic affordable package deals!*

The Introducer — Affordable single page design only $50. Just need something simple to let them know your out there? A single page like an "Online business card" announcing your presence. You can always add more later!

The Quattro — Four web pages for just $150. Branching out a bit? Offer different services? The Quattro plan is like an "Online rack card" suggesting more than a casual greeting with increased detail.

The Diversified — Six web pages for just $225. An "Online brochure." More than HOME, ABOUT US, SERVICES, CONTACT... Do you need to offer up more comprehensive information?

The Big Picture — Eight web pages for just $300. Working towards an "Online catalog?" Do you have exceptional products you want to display on their own page to make them stand out?

Beyond the Big Picture — At PrintPrep, we are no strangers to massive web sites. The Folk of the Wood site back in the mid to late 90s was over 6500 pages. A massive maze of interweaving pages plump full of content and media. While we cannot place a price on such a site, you should still consider us for the design.

All packages listed above include per page: A Header, Up to 3 images, text, email links, links to site pages and footer. Advanced designs featuring image rotators, videos, social networking, audio, images viewers are available. Any such fees will be discussed in advance before your site is constructed. At PrintPrep we are not about that mystery bill with hidden fees tacked on. Changes to a website after construction are billed separately. If you have any questions regarding these charges, do not hesitate to call or email us!

* Website packages are based on a 3-4 hour per page layout time limit. Other fees may apply for special circumstances involved in the creation of your website. Such fees might include additional photographs, usage of multiple links or additional text.



Working on Existing Sites

At PrintPrep we never criticize other peoples designs. Graphic design is extremely complex and it takes time to learn the various skills and tools that are required to make the art stand out. Also, there are many proprietary services that offer hosting with the very basic tools to "do your own" site design. While they may get you a site up, they frequently charge far too much for the hosting service and the sites are rarely appealing to the eye. If you are not pleased with the site design you currently have, we may be able to help or get you a fresh clean start.

Your site belongs to you! You will be provided a disc with a copy of your completed site or login information to control your site Online. PrintPrep reserves the right to use the site as advertising. A small PrintPrep logo will be added to the bottom of your homepage crediting PrintPrep with the design that links to our site.






Print Designs


A sample of some of the many different kinds of print jobs.

 

From basic business cards to a full spread of print designs, PrintPrep is ready to build your design. Our fees are simple and affordable at only $15 per hour.

About 80 to 90 percent of print design art is simple text with an image or two such as forms, fliers, handbills, booklets posters, programs - and so on. Then there is that very special work that is graphic intensive. Files get heavy with art and the skill level required is at the highest level. So too is the software and hardware used to create such elaborate pieces. PrintPrep uses the finest graphic software, Adobe Suites on the best computers to handle the throughput MacPro by Apple. This saves you time and money.



A Functioning Print World

All items in the print world have specific functions and delivery methods. Some things get mailed out, handed out, picked up or even tacked up. Some all four. We live in a print world. Labels on products at the grocery store, football game tickets and programs, invitations, menus or posters... Everything has it's place and method of advertising has it's purpose. Below is a set of the most common print jobs describing how they function in the print world.

Business Cards — We start with business cards that are a direct contact with another individual. We speak with this individual and talk about our services or business. This person is therefore somewhat aware of what we have to offer. We hand them a card that provides contact information to further this discussion. It is compact and fits into most wallets with ease at 3.5x2 inches. It is usually printed on card stock using one or both sides.

Rack Cards — Rack cards are placed in various locations advertising our services. Unlike a business card, we probably did not meet this potential client so we must extend our greeting to more than contact information. A brief summary of who we are and the services we provide. As the rack card is 4x9 inches and a bit harder to store, the rack card is generally picked up by a person which has at least some interest in our business. Rack cards are also usually printed on card stock using one or both sides.

Brochures — Perhaps the most elegant form of advertising is brochures. Here we have opportunity to expand beyond our basics and give detail. We also have more room to escape the confines of the rack cards limited space and add more art and graphics. Eye candy, if you will. The brochure is 11x8.5 inches (width is always first). It frequently has three panels per side set up as a trifold. But layout options can be varied for the desired effect. They are versatile and can be used as handouts, mailers or display. Brochures are normally printed on a variety of text weight stock.



A Few Words on Printing Companies

Copy shops and high end print shops quality vary as does the talent that works in the shops. Five to ten years ago I would have had more faith in the employees that work there. These days, however, establishments are cutting pay and hiring lower waged workers with far less qualifications in their field. The result is longer time for the apprentice preparing your work. The whole experience in the print world is "Git er done" money in the drawer attitude. Unfortunate mistakes are all to commonplace and more often than not, you get stuck with the re-print bill. Interruptions from phone calls, other employees or from other customers distract the graphic artist from performing with 100% concentration on your art.

At PrintPrep, we work directly with you, from our home on our familiar computer system. The only person we answer to is you!

At PrintPrep, we don't want you to feel like your all alone in left field when you enter the printers domain. We will be your representative with the printer to a degree you are comfortable with. Let us take the job to press for you. Or we can prepare a disk for you to take armed with an armada of instructions on the correct procedures to use. We are a phone call away if you have questions or don't feel right about what is happening.





 

PrintPrep has been designing logos for many years. Hundreds of them at print shops mostly for simple business cards and letterhead but also for full portfolios. Making each one unique can present a challenge. If you live in a mountainous area, everyone will want a mountain in the logo somewhere. San Antonio - the Alamo, the Tower of Americas or the Spurs are popular. This does not mean the logo will be diminished by their over use. Common identity gives a feeling of comfort that others can relate to. A plumber might use a monkey wrench, a flooring store might use carpet rolls or tile. Little tidbits of art are an easy find these days with internet search engines. Clip art is still used but is becoming a less popular source for logo art. Nothing beats a high resolution photograph.


Above: The Alamo MG Association logo on a black background.

Logo designs need to be ready to fit any art design that they are required to be in. For this reason, the original design must be quite large. We can scale the art down to whatever size is needed from there. The point is, if you design a logo and it's small and you fall in love with it, when you need to scale it up for a print design for example, it will more than likely pixelate. We don't want to be disappointed do we? Garbage in - Garbage out!


Above: Left side at 72dpi before wrongly attempting to re size up to print resolution at 300dpi
on the right.


In addition, we want to make them perform in many different tasks. Black and White, Full Color, Single Color. We want them to be able to be used for page markers on our catalogs, for screen printing on polo shirts or an artistic art piece. We need them in headers for print at 300dpi and online in websites at 72dpi.


Above: An Alamo MG Association logo used in an art piece.


Above: Used in a header for both print and then reduced resolution for the web.


Above: The same header is changed to match a web design theme.

Logos can be used to inspire humor as well. We all want to appear sometimes with less starch in the shirt. More human.


Above: Alamo MG Association logo used as a gas tank in a web design.

 






Well where to start in photography? Lets just say cameras have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Currently we use a Nikon digital camera for imaging as the film cameras are simply too much trouble in these days to get to a digital format. I still will bark at the lens quality of digital cameras compared to the great Austrian lens cutters of the past. But, they are coming around and good enough to use in the pro world. I shoot every image at the highest resolutions possible. The file sizes are large at 44 MBs each. Why? Because I can crop down 60% of the image and still have an excellent piece of art to work with. Sure it takes up hard drive space. Hard drives are cheap these days. In short - clean art for what ever output is required.

I specialize in macro photography but am diverse and patient. With the old school cameras in my background, I understand the principles of photography using all manual settings. Everyone is in the point and shoot mode with iPhones and that is wonderful to have a camera handy all the time. But they lack in composition skills.

Below you can see several events photographed by PrintPrep during John Courage's campaign in 2012. John was suffering from an identity issue where there were no images of him to be found. As his web master it became apparent this was extremely important to show him out with his constituents campaigning. They were placed into a Flickr page for him and embedded into his web site. The images were a great success and had thousands of views from possible voters. They kept the viewers on his web pages. While John did not win. It was great to be out taking images. Especially at the parades. View them full screen by clicking at the bottom right 4 arrow image after starting the slideshow.

 



PrintPrep's Long History with Photography

Well the old expression it runs in the family when it comes to photography is quite true. My father had a developing studio in our home in Albuquerque, New Mexico back in the 60's. His camera seen below was an old Voigtlander. He gave me the camera back in 1996. It had been in the closet for over 30 years. Clean and pristine. I will put this glass up against any other!


Above: Our family photo (that's me on my mothers lap) Dad had carefully set this image up with a delayed shutter. Notice the shadows at both sides behind on the wall. Lighting was set up to ensure the shutter speed would be quick enough to stop any motion from 4 young children.

 
Above: My fathers 1958 Voigtlander Prominent II with accessories.

My sister also a pro photographer shooting sports event black and whites for the school newspapers with her auto winding Canon AT-1 and TX SLR (single lens reflex) cameras with exchangeable FD lenses. My father in law was a air recon photographer during WWII. As he was Cajun and was pretty short, he could fit down in the ball turrets of the bombers and shoot the terrain below. I also had his last set a Canon EF SLR "Black Beauty." Also with the FD lenses. I sold all of these Canon sets to a student photographer in 2012.


Above: My father in law with family in Spain.

 


Above: My father in laws set Canon EF "Black Beauty" with my sisters other Canons.

 






PrintPrep Design is now offering Adobe Creative Suites CS tutoring. The tutoring will be a one on one experience. You will be required to have your own notebook computer with Adobe software loaded. While touch pads are wonderful in keeping things compact, this is one instance where a GOOD mouse (not one of those cheap $10 ones) is a good bit more sensitive and useful for certain functions.

Tutoring is set up by appointment only. With limited time available, only qualified and pre-screened applicants will be accepted. Instructions will be held for 1, 2 or 3 hour increments beginning in the afternoon after school hours and evenings. Fees are $15 per hour flat rate to be paid in cash. Location will be discussed during screening process. There will be no books. This is a hands on experience. If the pupil does not take the lesson serious as a learning experience, their time will be forfeited to a more willing learner.

From basic tool usage to layout and "doing the math." If you are a chess player, you stand a better chance of comprehending the infinite possibilities that can be achieved with this software. This is at your own pace and specific to what you want to learn. These are powerful tools that have been upgraded over decades to fit the speed on the new generations of computing power and the addition of new tools that are introduced with that power. There are thousands of techniques and tool variations. Each one of us dig in and learn the key tools which we require. Over time, like the chess player, we master those tools.

There will be frustration. Tools don't always seem to act the way we want them to. A snap to guide may take a repositioned element other than where we want to place it. Maybe we forgot to complete a process and the software won't allow us to continue until its done. I have never found an instant where Adobe software was at fault.

 

Working with layers
Learning the art of clipping paths
Styles and Filters
Creating images to fit
Saving originals
Image Correction
Image Cleaning
Using Guides
Color for Print and Web ...


Other Services



 

Apple OSX Help/Training

Photography Lessons

Scanning

Disc Backup

Image Correction

Audio Files

YouTube Uploads

Flickr Uploads

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