Frequently Asked Questions

Still in search of more information about the various components of the digital printing process? Check out the answers to some of our frequently asked questions listed below. If you still can't find what you're looking for,  please don't hesitate to contact us directly at production@alphagrap.com or 410-727-1400. We'd be happy to help! 

What is a custom color transfer?

Alpha Colors™ or custom color transfers are made with lacquer ink and adhesive so they can be burnished or applied to several different dry substrates. We create these transfer sheets from your digital file (vector files only), processed with film negatives and exposed photographically. We then hand mix your color ranging from any Pantone® color or metallic ink to color Luxor foils. The ink is applied to the transfer sheet and only the exposed vector image or text is revealed. Our custom color transfers are backed with white ink to make them opaque so they can be applied to any color substrate and the color will stay true.

What colors can I choose?

You can choose from any Pantone® color including metallic ink and foils. No gradations please.

What surfaces can Alpha Colors™ be applied?

They can be applied to almost any dry substrate. They have been used on walls, windows, wood, metal, books, boxes, guitars, electronics or just about any smooth, dry surface. Please make sure the surface is free of dust, dirt or other debris. Each transfer is backed with white ink to make them truly opaque so they can be applied on any color substrate and the color will stay true. Please let us know if it will be applied to an acrylic or second surface as there is an additional adhesive that needs to be applied.

Do you do multi-color transfers (more than one color on a sheet)?

Yes, we can do up to 5 colors on one sheet. All artwork must be vector images. Each color should be sent separately. Foils are not able to be multi-color. They are one color sheets only. White in your file can be tagged as Magenta.

How do I send you my file?

Please send your file as a vector artwork and all colors tagged as either 100% black or PMS colors. No color builds. Our sizes range from 8” x 10” to 18” x 24”. Please allow a 1” border on those sizes so for example an 8” x 10” live area would be 7” x 9” and so on. You can send it as a PDF or send in native Illustrator or Indesign files. Please make sure to outline your fonts and send links of any artwork in your packaged file. Also, please make sure to let someone know what surface they will be applied as an additional adhesive is used for acrylic or second surface applications.

Read complete instructions here. 

What is the turnaround for my order?

The average turnaround is 24 hours for 6 transfer sheets or less. If there are more than 6, please ask for a quote and turnaround. We ship Alpha Colors™ via Fedex overnight. We don’t recommend shipping on a Friday as these would sit in a Fedex facility for more than one day/night. 

How do you apply a custom color transfer?

Application is the easy part. First, cut out the part of the transfer that will be applied. Line up your transfer sheet on your substrate (tape in place if on a wall or larger surface) and then burnish to your surface and carefully lift the transfer sheet up making sure all the letters and images have been burnished to your surface and off of the transfer slick.  The next step, and more important, is to use the parchment that your transfer was stapled to and place over the text or image and gently burnish over the transfer sheet to make sure all the text or image has been laid down and it adheres to your surface.

What if I need a quote or design help?

We’d be happy to help you with design. Just call or email us at production@alphagrap.com and tells us what’s on your mind. 

For all quotes: please have your PDF files ready to send at 100% size. This will allow us to gang your files on a larger sheet for quoting. Please allow 2-4 hours for quoting. If your files are not ready for quoting please give us approximate dimensions of your text and images and we will do our best to give you pricing.

Additional Printing Resources:

Request a Quote/Upload File

  • Accepted file types: ai, doc, docx, jpg, pdf, png, psd, zip.
    Acceptable file types: ai, doc, docx, jpg, pdf, png, psd, zip
    For files over 8MB, please use a file transfer website such as WeTransfer.com