Tips & Tricks


Standard Document Sizes:

Business Cards: 3.5 x 2

Postcards: Common Sizes 4.25" x 5.5",  4.25" x 6", 4" x 6",  8.5" x 5.5"
*Note: they come in a variety of sizes so check with our mail house whenever you have questions. (Min. Size: 3.5" x 5", Max. Size: 4.25" x 6"... For Postcard postage rates.)

Brochure: Common Size 8.5 x 11, tri-folded
Panel sizes: Inside = 3.625, Middle = 3.6875, Outside = 3.6875

Notecards: Need to fit into the envelopes. When designing, remember set up should be roughly a 1/4" smaller than the envelope for easier stuffing.
 Common Envelope:  Flat (Panel) Card Size:  Folded Size:
 A2  5.5" x 8.5"  4.25" x 5.5"
 A6  6.25" x 9"  4.25" x 6.25"
 A7  7" x 10"  5.125" x 7"
 A10  9.25" x 11.5"  5.875" x 9.25"

Letterhead: 8.5" x 11"
No. 10 Envelopes: 9.5" x 4.1875"
No. 9 Envelopes: 3.875" x 8.875"

Prep for File Submitting:

Publisher (PC): “Pack-N-Go”, packages the fonts, links & document.

Word (PC/Mac): PDF/Postscript is best. “Print to file”
          If unable, please submit a hard copy print out and email the file.

Quark (PC/Mac): Create a folder, “Collect for Output” into folder,
          packages the fonts, links & document for printer.

Pagemaker (PC/Mac): “Utilities” - “Plug-ins” - “Save For Service Provider”,
          packages up the fonts, links & document for printer.

InDesign (PC/Mac): “Package”, packages the fonts, links & document.

Illustrator (PC/Mac): “Create Outlines” around the font which makes
          shapes rather than a font to load. BE CAREFUL, this makes it
          uneditable after. We recommend saving a copy as

Photoshop (PC/Mac): “Flatten” image, creates a smaller document size 
          and easier to print, however text will not be editable. We recom-
          mend saving a copy as  “FileName_flatten”.

Regardless of platform, high resolution (300 dpi) Acrobat PDFs are always best!

Q: What is CMYK?
A: CMYK is an abbreviation that stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black.
These are the four colors used in most color printing


Q: What is RGB?
A: RGB is an abbreviation that stands for Red, Green, and Blue.
These are the three colors used in reference to viewing images on a television or computer screen.

Q: What is the difference between pages and sheets?
A: Pages refers to the number of sides of a sheet that are printed.
Sheets refer to the physical paper that pages are printed on. A document that has 100 pages but is printed double sided will have 50 sheets. If that same document is printed single-sided, there will be 100 sheets.


 Can I send you a PDF?

A: Please do. Hi-res (300 dpi or more) PDFs are our preferred method of file submission. 

Q: How do I send a file to T&C?
A: Files can be submitted in a number of ways, such as FTP, via our retail or B2B storefronts,
or by attaching it in an email to You can also contact this email to inquire about FTP and storefronts.

Q: Can you print from my website logo?
A: Yes, but we would rather not. Keep in mind that most website images are a low res 72 dpi.
Print graphics should be at least 300 dpi. If we print from your low res graphic, the results can be grainy, pixelated, noisy, and overall unpleasing to the eye. If all you have is your low res graphic, our graphic design department can vectorize it for $60 per hour. This involves redrawing your logo so that it prints clean and crisp.

Q: What image formats do you accept?
A: Tif, eps, and psd are preferred,  but we can print from jpegs too.

Q: Why aren't jpegs a preferred image file?
A: Jpegs (or jpgs) are a lossy image file format. Every time you save a jpeg there is inherent
compression. Compression can be seen at "blocky" or pixelated noise in your images. If you open a jpeg and keep saving it over and over again as you make changes, you will notice that the image quality gets a little degraded with each save.

Q: What is N.C.O.A?  
A: Whenever a person or business files a change of address notice with the Postal Service that
information is added to a database maintained by the Postal Service.  Professional mailers and list companies can access that database and use it to update mailing lists for updated move information. 

Q: Why should I pay for N.C.O.A services?  
A: NCOA processing or an equivalent process is required by the USPS if you want to take
advantage of discounted postage rates. Since postage is typically one of the most expensive aspects of a mailing, anything you can do to reduce that cost is beneficial for you. Without an address update, you may be mailing to people that are no longer in your target audience, and may miss on mailing to someone who would buy your product if they had received the mail at their new address.

Q: Why is presorted mail less expensive?  
A: By presorting the mail, bar-coding it, bar-coding the trays and sacks we put it in and making
sure that the address complies with the specifications needed to be read by machines rather than humans, we save the Postal Service a lot of money. In return, they charge less money to deliver the presorted mail.

Q: How does Town & Country presort the mail?  
A: We utilize USPS approved software that performs address-correction (the science of presenting
addresses in the format that is easiest for the post office to scan on machinery) and then puts the list in order by groups of zip codes to speed the mail to the correct post office for delivery.  

Q: What are the size and thickness specifications for mailing at discounted postcard rates?  
A: The Postal Service defines a postcard as being 3.5 to 4.25 inches tall, and 5 to 6 inches long,
.009 to .016 inches thick and printed on at least 7-point stock or equivalent.  One more thing to consider, the width of the card divided by the height of the card must be between 1.3 and 2.5 (aspect ratio). For instance, a 4.25" x 5.5" card = 1.29, this card will NOT qualify at the automation postcard rate. Reduce it to 4 x 5.5" or enlarge it to 4.25 x 6" and you will pay less postage to mail it.

Q: What is Standard Class Mail?  
A: Mail that is sorted, marked and packaged to meet postal regulations at a roughly 50%
discounted postage rate. Note, standard mail delivery can be delayed in the postal system and is not a good choice for time-sensitive mail nor is it an option for mailing invoices, statements, or personal mail. All pieces in the mailing must be identical in contents and weight.  The minimum number of pieces to be mailed is 200 with standard class mail rates.

Q: What are the new postal rules for mailing pieces that are saddle-stitched?
A: Stitching or Saddle Stitching is the term printers use for fastening multiple pages together into
a booklet by stapling them together on the spine. Stitching became a major issue in direct mail in 2009 when the post office passed different requirements for tabbing stitched booklets. In order to receive discounted mail rates, the new postal rules require 3 1.5" wafer seals on an 8.5 x 5.5 (folded, with staples) booklet. If the same booklet is not stapled, it only requires one wafer seal if it is tabbed at the top (two if it is being tabbed at the bottom).

Q: Can I mail something that is U.V. Coated?
A: Yes, we address our mail pieces before we UV coat, so we never have a problem with the ink
smearing on top of the coating.

Q: Can Town & Country do large insert jobs?  
A: We utilize insert equipment to handle large letter mailings. Our equipment can insert up to 8
pieces into an envelope, including buck slips, business reply envelopes, personalized letters, invoices, and statements.  One of the keys to successfully automating insert jobs is to allow a minimum of .5" clearance on the width of the mail piece compared to the width of the envelope.  

Q: What is an Indicia?
A: This is the printed square that takes the place of a stamp on mailings that are paid for through
a postal permit rather than by stamps or a postage meter. An indicia can only be used if there are a minimum of 200 identical mail pieces.  

Q: Do I need to buy my own indicia?  
A: Town and Country already owns an indicia, which we can use on your mail pieces.

Q: What is a Flat?
A: The Postal Service defines a flat as being 5 to 12 inches tall, 6 to 15 inches long and .009 to .75
inches thick not exceeding 16 ounces. Postage rates are almost twice as high for a flat as it is for a letter. Flats do not require wafer seals and can be saddle-stitched.

Q: What are the size limitations on mail that is defined as a letter?
A: The Postal Service defines a letter as being 3.5 to 6.125 inches tall, 5 to 11.5 inches long and
.009 to .25 inches thick.  

Paper Basis Weight Comparisons:

BondOffsetCoverTagIndexPointsCaliper ("/mm)Metric (gsm)
16402237333.2.0032"/0.081mm60.2 gsm
18452441373.6.0036"/0.092mm67.72 gsm
20502846423.8.0038"/0.097mm75.2 gsm
24603356504.8.0048"/0.12mm90.3 gsm
28703964585.8.0058"/0.147mm105.35 gsm
29734062606.0.0060"/0.152mm109.11 gsm
31814573666.1.0061"/0.155mm116.63 gsm
35904880746.2.0062"/0.157mm131.68 gsm
36905082756.8.0068"/0.173mm135.45 gsm
391005490817.2.0072"/0.183mm146.73 gsm
401005693837.3.0073"/0.185mm150.5 gsm
4311060100907.4.0074"/0.188mm161.78 gsm
4411061102927.6.0076"/0.193mm165.55 gsm
4712065108978.0078"/0.198mm176.83 gsm
53135741221109.0085"/0.216mm199.41 gsm
54137751251139.009"/0.229mm203.17 gsm
58146801341209.5.0092"/0.234mm218.22 gsm
651659015013510.0095"/0.241mm244.56 gsm
671709315614010.5.0010"/0.25mm252.08 gsm
7218310016615011.011"/0.289mm270.9 gsm
7619210517515813.013"/0.33mm285.95 gsm
8220811418917014.014"/0.356mm308.52 gsm
8722012020018015.015"/0.38mm312 gsm
10526714624422018.0175"/0.445mm385.06 gsm