Want to learn more about how your prints are brought to life here at CatPrint? Here is every step of the process to give you a full rundown of how your order is made: from Customer Service all the way to the outgoing mail cart to be delivered right to your door!
1) Customer Service:
Naturally, all orders begin in Customer Service. They handle all customer inquiries and act as the middlemen between the customers and the CatPrint Production team. Once your order is placed, Customer Service pre-press occurs with reviewing each order and doing the first quality check. They look for common file issues and address any potential concerns with the customer.
2) Production Pre-Press:
After jobs are pre-pressed in Customer Service, they are sent to the Production Queue and go through a second quality check. During this step, a Production Specialist will look for any job comments added to the order, and will ensure the comments are noted. If there are any questions or concerns regarding your job or your files, Production places the job on hold. When a job is held, Customer Service contacts the customer regarding the question or issue. If everything looks good, the job is then sent to print.
3) Printing and Color Maintenance:
Once your jobs are screened by both Customer Service and Production, they are added to the print queue in the order of what needs to be printed and shipped by which day. This is how we can offer guaranteed delivery dates.
After the jobs are prioritized, we load up the paper trays and begin sending jobs to the printer. The iGen runs optimally with limited cool-downs. Therefore we have 6 different paper trays for the printer, allowing for efficiency and consistent print quality.
To ensure that the prints match the colors within your file as closely as possible, we run color maintenance two times a day, at 8:00AM and 3:00PM Eastern Standard Time. This is an automated process, which is done right through the iGen’s software.
After your files are printed, they go through the finishing step of the production process.
This is where we actually "make" the prints. We have a multitude of finishing options that you can choose from.
After the job is printed onto a 12"x18" sheet, it is cut down to its finished size on one of our two guillotine cutters.
If the job requires additional finishing, it gets sorted onto a designated cart. The CatPrinter at the finishing station will then look at the job ticket to determine what finishing option was ordered. Our finishing options include corner rounding, creasing and folding, spiral or coil binding, stapled booklets, pocket folders and limited custom die cutting. Most of our finishing is done by hand as very few of our machines are fully automated.
If the job does not require any finishing services, it will be sorted by the scheduled shipping day.
The last step before packaging and shipping is counting your envelopes and including them with your prints. If you are ordering blank envelopes, the process is simple: we just count your envelopes, shrink-wrap and label them with your order number, then send them to packaging and shipping area.
If you elect for printed envelopes, we process the order much like we do for your prints, but we use a specific envelope printer. We prepress your file, send the file to the printer, count out the envelopes, and then print the file right onto the envelope. The process takes a little extra diligence and monitoring to ensure that the image is properly aligned and centered onto the envelope. After the printing is complete, the envelopes are counted again to ensure the right number of envelopes will be shipped out to you.
6) Sticker and Label Processing:
One of the additional services CatPrint provides is die-cut sticker printing. The sticker ordering and printing process is slightly different than our normal job process. A sticker must have both an artwork file and a vector cutline that guides our die-cutter.
After the sticker order is placed, we pre-press the order, double check that the cutline and art file are both the same size, and then we test the cutline to make sure it works. After pre-pressing, we download the files to the sticker computer, impose both the art file and die file, and then send the artwork file to our Xerox iGen4 printer.
After the job is printed, the uncut sticker sheets are loaded into our die-cutter where the crop marks are read by the computer and then automatically aligned. From there, the stickers are individually die-cut, reviewed by a production specialist to ensure the stickers were cut evenly, and then placed onto the daily shipping cart.
7) Wide Format and Giclée Poster Processing:
You may not have known that CatPrint offers custom sized, archival quality, Giclée posters up to 44 inches wide.
Our HP Wide Format poster printer works the same way as most desktop inkjet printers with a few extra options.
First, the print size is totally customizable up to 44 inches wide, and 100 feet long. Secondly, the quality and durability of the paper stocks and the archival quality ink used in the process ensure that your prints will not only arrive beautifully printed, but that they will also last up to 200 years without fading or yellowing. CatPrint’s Wide Format poster printing is the perfect option for artists reproducing their work for resale.
When a Wide Format Giclée job comes in, we download the job file, open it up in a PDF program, pre-press the file, and then send the file to print.
The printer uses rolls of paper and cuts the paper when it is finished printing. After the print comes off of the roll, we hand trim the piece to the final print size, and allow it to dry. Unlike digital printing, inkjet printing is a “wet” process and does require some drying time.
After the print is dry, we roll it up, package it in a bag, and place it on the daily shipping cart to be tubed and shipped to you!
8) Packaging and Shipping:
The last step in the CatPrint Production Process is packaging and shipping. While it may seem trivial, this step is essential to ensure that your prints arrive to you looking as beautiful as they do when they come out of the printer.
First, the prints are shrink wrapped in a slightly elastic plastic wrapping designed to keep your prints safe and protected.
Next, the shrink wrapped prints are placed into the appropriate sized box and then the box is layered and topped off with our biodegradable packing peanuts to minimize the risk of the prints shifting or getting damaged during shipping.
After the box is packed up, we include one of three packing slips, either our standard CatPrint slip, our generic blind ship slip, or a custom blind ship slip provided by the customer, and then tape the box with copious amounts of packing tape.
We then print the shipping label, apply it to your packaged order, and place the carefully packed box on the daily outgoing cart for pickup by either UPS or USPS depending on which service you have selected.
Don’t forget that we ship anywhere in the US, and almost anywhere in the world!
9) Design Team:Our newest department is our Graphic Design Team which was added earlier in the year. The design team is responsible for various internal design jobs such as making images and banners for social media and company event invitations.
The Design Team spends most of their time creating template designs for our Template Gallery that we released earlier this year. Time is spent browsing Pinterest and other websites for fresh ideas and inspiration, drawing in Adobe Illustrator, creating templates in Adobe Photoshop, testing the templates to ensure they upload correctly to the gallery itself, then test printing and reviewing samples to ensure that they print as expected.
10) Research and Development Team:The R&D Team performs all of the behind-the-scenes software work that keeps CatPrint up and running, and also keeps us innovative by creating state of the art, custom software to automate and improve our processes.
The R&D team meets with other CatPrint departments weekly to discuss requests or new features that will help improve or automate their processes, along with making the website more user friendly for customers. From there, the ideas are prioritized, and code is developed and implemented.
The team also spends their time reviewing improvement “wish lists,” investigating and creating tests for known issues, and updating code to pass the tests they have created.
From there, the team pushes the changes to a code repository, and updates the software so that the changes are live on the CatPrint site.
11) Social Media Team:The Social Media Team handles all aspects of our Social Media presence which include Facebook, Google+, Instagram,LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, and WordPress.
Responsibilities include interacting with page commenters and answering questions, developing, implementing, and analyzing social media marketing strategies, creating blogs, newsletters, interviews, and similar content, and showcasing our unique style.
12) Management Team:Our management team is split up into four segments: the Customer Service Manager, the Production Manager, the Creative Director, and the Executive Team.
The Customer Service Manager oversees the Customer Service Team, customer satisfaction and needs, sales and marketing development, and quality control.
The Production Manager manages the Production Team and is responsible for delivering finished products on time and efficiently to end customers. Additionally, they oversee inventory accuracy, process evaluation, and facility and equipment maintenance.
The Creative Director is responsible for overseeing the company’s creative operations and development for both internal and external projects and elevating the quality of our brand and creative work, while ensuring profitability and meeting deadlines.
The Executive Team is made up of the Chief Executive Officer , the Chief Technology Officer (see below), and the Chief Operative Officer. The Executive team handles top level management, accounting, strategic planning, and marketing. Additionally, “CFO responsibilities” are shared between our CEO and COO.
The CTO primarily investigates emerging internet and production technologies so that we are ready to use them as they mature and are available to consumers. In addition to following the future of technology and print production, the CTO oversees tech security and maintenance, and manages the Research and Development Team.
Create Your Design Upload Your Design Contact Us Online Chat