Frequently Asked Questions

If your question does not appear below, please call us at (626) 395-6701.

frequently asked questions

How can Graphic Resources handle group emailings for me?

If you would like to send a memo or flyer via our e-mail system, please do the following:

Obtain approvals by emailing your Word document (no graphics, please) to the applicable department:

Post Docs: Human Resources Office
Faculty: Provost's Office
Staff: Human Resources Office
Grad Students: Grad Office
Undergrad Students: Dean's Office
Mail Stops: Human Resources Office

2. Email our office at to notify us that your approvals are on their way, and send your document as an email attachment. If you have a rush e-mail that needs to go out the same day, please make sure you contact us by phone at (626) 395-6706. Please remember to include a charge number if you are also requesting hardcopy distribution.

We will send out your email as soon as we receive the proper approvals.

4. Recipients without an email address, or who do not wish to receive messages via email, will receive paper copies in our next outgoing mail delivery. Please let us know if you have any special requests (color paper, etc.) or if you have an original copy that you would like us to duplicate for your hardcopy distribution.

Please note: There is currently no charge for email distribution but if you also choose to send hard copies, the average cost per copy is $0.12. We now have the capability to send emails to any student class, i.e., Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, or Senior.
If you need further assistance, please call (626) 395-6706. Happy emailing!

How can I improve my scanning?

We have noticed that more people are using scanners to produce images in their documents at Graphic Resources. While there are many different variables challenging the scanner operator, your scan can look its best if you follow a few simple steps:

  • Make sure that the scanning surface and originals are clean.
  • If your original is two-sided, place a black sheet of paper behind it, to ensure that the image on the front will be scanned without "bleed-through" of the image on the back.
  • Color originals are best scanned at a resolution of 300 dpi and black and white originals are best scanned at a resolution of 600 dpi. Higher resolutions than these will not improve the image quality on our copiers or presses, it will only result in larger file size.
  • If the image will be output at a size other than 100%, make the enlargement or reduction during the scanning process rather than scaling the graphic in a page layout program.
  • The image you see on your screen is created by light waves using the RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) color space. The images reproduced on paper use pigment to represent a composite color by using the CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) color space. To ensure that your file closely reproduces the colors that you see on your monitor, convert your document to CMYK prior to output. This will approximate the color of the output image and alert you to any color shifts which may or may not occur between the two color spaces.
  • Saving your file in EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) is preferred because the file format exists on both the Macintosh and Windows platforms and can be imported or placed in most programs.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call us at (626) 395-6701 for assistance.

Can I buy paper through Graphic Resources?

Do you own a home computer and printer? Did you know that you can purchase reams of paper for home use at Graphic Resources? We have a wide variety of textures, colors and sizes in stock at all times. Just drop by room 20 in the basement of the Keith Spalding building. Payment is accepted in cash or by check.

Why doesn't the paper I purchase from Graphic Resources run through my printer?

The paper that Graphic Resources sells is the same paper that we use in all of our copiers and printers. The results you get depends on where you store your paper. Paper products are very sensitive to humidity and temperature changes as they are a wood pulp product. It shouldn't be stored by windows, air conditioning/heating vents or by the exhaust vent of the copier. The paper should also be kept in the wrapper and carton until it is ready for use. Following these simple precautions should give you good results.

What does "Address Service Requested" mean?

As you may have noticed, Graphic Resources has been adding the following line to your envelope orders: ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED. If your item being mailed has an incorrect address, this line ensures that the U.S. Postal Service will check the address against their database and, if they have the correct address, they will forward the mail and send a seperate notification of the new address. If the item cannot be forwarded, the reason for nondelivery will be provided on the returned item.

What is O.C.R.?

With Optical Character Recognition (OCR) we are able to scan text from a page and convert it into editable text for use on your computer. This software offers a great deal of time savings when recreating documents, as it eliminates the necessity of re-keying large amounts of text. Although convenient, the quality and accuracy of a suc-cessful OCR scan is governed by the density of the text (darkness), in that the OCR software will interpret the characters only as well as they are represented. For best results, the original should be of good density and without broken characters. Our scanner accepts originals up to 8.5" x 14" and we can save the file in many popular formats.

Does Graphic Resources print posters?

Depending on the size and quantity of your poster we can either print it on a press for large quantities or for small quantities they can be printed on a wide-format inkjet. You can contact us for a consultation to determine which process is the most cost-effective for you.

Is it cheaper to print my document on my laser printer or to have it done at Graphic Resources?

In a three-year study conducted at Arizona State University, the average laser printer total cost per print is in a range from $0.08 to $0.10 per copy. The average copier is from $0.025 to $0.055 per copy. The advantage of using a copier rather than a laser printer is that copiers are designed for high volume production at speeds from 60 to 135 pages per minute at 8.5" x 11" sheet size.

What is an indicia?

An indicia is a permit that we can print on your mailing pieces that denotes postage. Caltech uses both the Non-Profit and First Class indicias. To use the permit you have to have at least 200 pieces to qualify. The cost of the postage is weight-dependant. They cannot be dropped directly into the mail, they have to be taken up to the main Post Office and a form has to be filled out. If you want to use the indicia please contact us for a consultation.

What are the differences between slides and transparencies?

Questions have arisen recently regarding the differences between transparencies and slides. At Graphic Resources, slides are produced on 35mm film and mounted in a 2"x 2" glass or plastic carrier. Transparencies are produced on 8.5" x 11" clear film and are also referred to as "overheads" or "view-graphs." Both slides and transparencies can be conveniently produced from a hard-copy original or a digital file.