DRACUT -- Ann Tinnirella is torn between two towns.

A self-proclaimed "Townie," Tinnirella is from the third generation of Bergerons (her maiden name), born and raised in Tyngsboro. She still lives in Tyngsboro with her husband, Tony, and her two children, 18-year-old Jacob, who graduated from Tyngsboro High School in June and Jaclyn, 14, who just entered her freshman year at THS two weeks ago.

"I love my town," she says. "We are all very involved in the community. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else."

But Tinnirella is learning to love Dracut. Having worked in the printing industry for more than 25 years, Tinnirella realized her dream of owning her own business when she opened Carbon Colors in May 2009 with one employee, one digital printer, one computer and one paper-cutter in a tiny, 1,200-square-foot shop on Pleasant Street. A year later, Carbon Colors expanded into an adjacent unit but quickly outgrew that space as well.

The company continued to attract new customers and her reputation began reaching beyond Greater Lowell, from Boston to Concord, N.H. She has even received orders from Connecticut and Rhode Island. That's no small challenge, considering Tinnirella likes to visit her customers and personally deliver their orders.

In May, around the third anniversary of the company's opening, Carbon Colors moved to the 5,000-square-foot space at 1274 Lakeview Ave., next door to St. Onge Plumbing and Heating Supply Co. The location gives Tinnirella increased visibility and more parking.


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She has also taken on several more employees, including staff designers and print specialists and has bought three full-color Konica digital printers, which will help in meeting every customer's specific requirements.

"I just love having my business in Dracut," Tinnirella says. "We do a lot of shopping and dining in Dracut and we've met so many great people and we've made a lot of new friends."

Q: With the advent of home computers and desktop publishing, what does Carbon Colors offer that I couldn't do myself at home?

A: "Well, we offer the expertise of graphic professionals who are trained in design and layout, appropriate typeface, color and image selection that will just make your print job pop. We can deliver your print message in ways you may never have thought of, effectively and economically. If it can be printed, Carbon Colors will print it. Brochures, flyers, training manuals, bulk mailings, blueprints, theater programs, invitations, posters, shirts, pens, advertising materials -- that's just a sample of our capabilities."

Q: What's the craziest order you've ever received?

A: "Wow! Just recently my friend, Sharron Fairbanks, called me and said that (actor) Adam Sandler was filming a movie just up the street from her house and asked me if I could print a poster that reads: 'Tyngsboro Welcomes the Cast and Crew of Grown Ups 2!' We got it to them that day and two days later the Lowell Sun ran a front-page picture of the poster and her son standing with Adam Sandler. It was very exciting."

Q: Who avails themselves of your services?

A: "Everyone and anyone. Wedding or graduation invitations, invitations of any kind really, product brochures, letterheads, envelopes, event tickets, signs, banners, clothing, promotional materials. We have a lot of regular customers, a lot of new customers, a lot of individual customers and a lot of businesses."

Q: Many people have heard the term "bleeding" when it comes to printing. Is "bleeding" a good or bad thing?

A: "If you're bleeding at home, you may want to call 911. However, in the graphics field, bleeding refers to placing ink coverage to allow for special cuts, folds or designs.

When any image or element on a page touches the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge and leaving no margin, it is said to 'bleed.' It may bleed or extend off of one side or more. Photos, rules, clip art and decorative text elements can bleed off the page. The simplest way to put it is that you have a picture or an image on a page that has no border. Bleeding is a good thing as long as the customer is happy with it."

Q: What do the letters R-G-B and C-M-Y-K stand for?

A: "Wow! How do you know about RGB and CMYK? Printers have their own specialized color matching system that allows us to duplicate custom color tints and shades for every situation. CMYK refers to the four inks used in some color printing; cyan, magenta, yellow and key, which is black. RGB refers to red, green and blue and is mostly used in electronic devices. Color printers are not RGB devices. We use the CMYK model. Though it varies by print house, press operator, press manufacturer and press run, ink is typically applied in the order of the abbreviation."