—Scanning Documents—

 

There may be several documents and various other items (flat stuff) that you may consider (or need) to make a copy of to use in marketing your car.

 

Among them:

Title [needed especially by European buyers];

Proof of insurance [also needed by buyers in Europe];

Registration form (absolutely mandatory if your car is Canada-qualified for import… that is, having been street legal for 15 years or more). You must be able to supply a Canadian prospective buyer with a good copy of an early (i.e., 15 years old or older) registration form in order for your Cobra (or Daytona Coupe or GT40 or street rod reproduction) to be imported into Canada;

MSO [Manufacturer’s State of Origin; aka COO (Certificate of Origin)];

Certificate of Authenticity [for example, of Carroll Shelby’s autograph on your dashboard or glovebox door];

Dyno sheet [dynamometer/power output results];

Appraisal report

Receipts [engine or drivetrain components, repairs and technical work, cockpit components, rolling stock (wheels, tires), paint job, et al.];

Magazine or book cover and/or feature article(s) about your car… or about the original car if your car is closely patterned after (with paint, livery, equipment) a celebrated and/or race-winning original motorcar;

early (film era) print photographs [that must be digitized]

Don’t even THINK of trying to use your camera or your iPhone to copy documents or other flat stuff. This is what flatbed scanners are designed for. Your scan copy quality (versus that of your camera or iPhone) will be orders of magnitude better in both image quality and ‘flat perspective,’ and the compressed filesize of the image will typically be significantly smaller. A win-win-win scenario.

Just compare the side-by-side photographed-vs.-scanned MSO document at the bottom of this page.

The easy way(s): 1) If you don’t possess a scanner, you can of course scan them yourself (or have them scan them for you) at any print/copy shop. Better yet, 2) give us a call and we’ll clear it up for you and make sure you’ve got good, clean scans of these critical images. Or, 3) alternatively, you can photocopy your documents and send those copies to us to scan in.

But if you intend to do the scanning yourself, here are some guidelines for scanning documents and other flat stuff:

1. If it’s a ‘clean’ black & white document (or mostly b&w, with no critical color, and with fully-readable-sized text)… the ideal ‘scannable’ material… then scan it in as (8-bit) grayscale and at 240 ppi, and save the original in ‘tiff’ format. Even a budget-priced multifunction [printer/ fax machine/ scanner/ can-opener/nose-hair trimmer] machine should work just fine for you. The filesize (for an 8.5×11″ b&w document saved in non-damaging tiff format) will be approximately 5.4 megabytes (mbs) in size; a copy saved as a high-quality JPEG will be about 1.5 mb in filesize. For the record, if you scan this same grayscale document in as 24-bit color, the tiff filesize will triple to 16.2 mb and gain you nothing but bloated filesize. If you expect this grayscale document to be viewed only on a computer screen and not printed out, then make a copy with the resolution reduced to 72 ppi, and the filesize will be slashed to under 200k.

2. If it’s a color document (typically magazine covers and feature articles), then scan it in as (24-bit) color and at 240 ppi, and save the original in ‘tiff’ format. The filesize (for an 8.5 x 11″ color document saved in non-damaging tiff format) will be approximately 16.2 megabytes in size; a copy saved as a high-quality JPEG will be about 4 mb in filesize. If you expect this color document to be viewed only on a computer screen and not printed out, then make a copy reduced to 72 ppi, and the filesize will be slashed to about 1 mb.

Put simply, a (24-bit) color scan (at the same ppi resolution) will be 3X as large as an (8-bit) grayscale scan, and increasing the resolution from 240 ppi to 400 ppi [which you’d need to do only if there is very fine or faint print such that you need to print it out at a larger size] will further triple the filesize. So choosing resolution and grayscale-vs.-color wisely will make your life considerably easier.

Again, if this all sounds confusing, but you do indeed have documents that you wish to use in marketing your car, relax. Give us a call and we’ll clear it up for you and make sure you’ve got good, clean scans of these critical images. Or, alternatively, you can photocopy those documents and send them to us to scan in.

Below: on the left a typical photographed b&w document (an MSO/ COO); on the right, the same document as it appears, having been scanned in on a flatbed scanner:

 

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Sidewinder Tip#1: you can instantly find/return to this ‘CobraCountry’s Tips for Scanning Documents’ page by just using Sidewinder : for example, type <scanning my documents> or even <flatbed scanner tips> into the ‘Sidewinder’ search box. Or simply type in <scanning>.