Preparing A Document For Commercial Printing



How To Prepare A Document For Commercial Printing

If you are relatively new to the design and print  industry and have clients that require commercial printing from any printer you will find that your jobs goes more smoothly if you follow some simple steps to prepare your documents for commercial printing. Here I want to share some basic tips to help ensure the printing experience goes as smoothly as possible.

Set Your Image Resolution To 300dpi

300 dpi (dots per inch) is the best resolution for offset printing.  Lower resolutions do not give a look of any real quality and again, your client’s brand, image and reputation should be of paramount importance.

Set your Document To CMYK

If you are printing standard material i.e leaflets, letterheads, business cards etc you should set your document to a CMYK output. Printers print with CMYK because those colours function more effectively in a subtractive colour scheme.

Order Samples Of Your Paper

Its always a good idea to request some paper samples from your printer before you go ahead with printing as there are so many weights and finishes of paper.  There is a big difference in the quality and feel of 90gsm matte and 350 gsm gloss finish. Remember that your client’s brand, event, or company’s image is important and that the best possible impression brings dividends for both you and your client.

Preflight Of Your Document

A preflight of your document will confirm that the digital files required for the printing process are available, valid, of the correct type and correctly formatted.  It  helps reduce the rasterization issues that cause delays in production.

You may visit Adobe’s support forum for steps to take you through the preflight process how to do a preflight in InDesign

Using Color Profiles

A color profile is a file within a photo or illustration that describes how a particular device reproduces color.  Its also responsible for interpreting color accurately from one device to another.
You may visit Adobe’s support forum for steps to take you through using color profiles how to use color profiles

Talk To Your Printer

Once you have prepared your artwork its good practice to contact your printer to check that your file/s have been prepared and saved in the correct way and required format.  You should save your document in jpeg or PDF format. Your printer should know their machines inside and out so why not ask them for advice before printing 30,000 copies of a document which is turns out to be printed badly.

Give Your Printer A Hard Copy Of Your File

It might seem obvious to you but the amount of clients that hand their artwork to us with it being incorrectly prepared before commercial printing is fairly high.  With a printed hard copy your printer can see the dimension of your artwork at a glance and this should prevent any problems regarding the final dimension of the printed document.

Triple Check Everything

Your client is sure to complain if any mistakes made in the text so proofread your document several times.  Check all email addresses, phone numbers, website URLs etc.  It might not be your job as a designer to do this but you will at least have a satisfied client and the possibility of repeat business as a result.   Be sure to obviously  check alignment, and color profiles etc.  Its worth checking your work again early the next day as any mistakes that were missed the previous day are normally picked up a lot easier with a fresh pair of eyes.

Get Another Person To Check Your Document

Two heads are better than one and 2 pairs of eyes even better. The other person will tend to see some things that you have stopped seeing because you have worked on the project for a while. It does not matter if you use a professional to do this as long as it is someone that is capable and someone that you trust.

Client Should Sign Off Before Printing

You should not be responsible for more than the layout and design of your work. Its advised that your client has a final check on the document before going to print. Let take responsibility for final checking and signing off before going to print.  These are the most important steps to follow when preparing a document for commercial printing.  If you would like to use Winners Web Design for your particular printing project please go to Flyer Brief Form to make your order?



Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *