In the digital world, one of the most important features of any task is to check that all documents have been correctly exported and edited. To ensure that a final project arrives back at your desk in the way you first envisioned/designed, here are a few handy tips to maintain the smooth running of a printed campaign:
Printing Tips 2019
Check the resolution:
One of the most commonly forgotten aspects of a design project rests within the resolution of the final piece. You’ll need to make sure that your resolution is now lower than around 300 dpi as anything less can result in a fuzzy or pixelated print. For most large format printing, the resolution needs to be at 150 dpi. Unlike digital projects, once print projects are completed mistakes cannot be fixed. Making sure that your print document correctly prepared will save time and money later.
As silly as it may sound, one of the most common mistakes that many corporations make is a failure to plan when it comes to the type of paper being used during a project. You may want to consider whether your campaign would look best in gloss, or perhaps a matte or semi-matte finish? Also, consider if you are going to require your paper to be coated, and also consider the weight of your paper. For example, you may not want flyers to come out at the same thickness of a poster.
When you have checked the items above, and your design is complete, make sure that you export your file in the correct format for the press you are using. Most presses will use a high-quality PDF with bleed settings and crop marks, but sometimes this will vary. Often, larger jobs may request full files of artwork and text so this is a key area to stay on top of before the printing takes place.
The BIGGEST Tip, Proof read:
There’s a famous viral meme that highlights the importance of grammar with the slogan ‘commas save lives’ and two examples of wordplay: ‘Let’s eat, grandma’ and ‘Let’s eat grandma’. Quite frankly, a lack of punctuation, a poorly timed grammatical choice, or a spelling mistake (the cardinal sin!) can undermine your whole campaign. For this reason, be sure to review all copy for errors and have another person review your project. Having another pair of eyes check something is helpful, especially if you’ve been looking at it for some time.
Before you export your document for printing, confirm with the press the bleed size they require. Standard bleeds are .125”, but some presses use .25” so it’s a good idea to make sure you’re using the right one. Also, ensure the document’s actual graphics or text elements are not too close to the bleed but have a good safe zone to avoid being cut or omitted.