How to make sure your designs are ready for print!

It can be exceedingly frustrating when you spend time getting those designs picture perfect and then sending it to the printers to then get something back that you were not expecting. 

Before you send anything for print, everything needs to be spot on, saving time, money and your reputation. Follow these rules:

Timing

Make sure you know your printers turnaround times so you can receive your print on schedule. You should also allow enough time for the printer to run your job twice, to save errors in printing, machine failures and any other expected delays.

Embed your fonts for reproduction

You shouldn’t think that your printer has this large collection of fonts stored, especially the more unusual fonts. In order to ensure your design stays how you designed it, embed your fonts directly into the document before sending them to print. Preventing any font substitutions, which can occur when the printer does not have your font stored. 

Print Size

One mistake which is very common is when you send a document that is too small and if not corrected results in a fuzzy print, which lacks in quality due to low resolution. It is extremely important to ensure that you create your document in the same size as it will be printing, to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Designing at actual size reduces the margin for error with graphics, fonts and layout once printed. 

Check your document

It is imperative to allow time for any typological, punctuation, and grammatical errors. Remembering that for example a missed comma can dramatically change the meaning of a sentence, or a missing hyphen in an email address can make it impossible for customers to contact you. You should proof read your print at least once. This is to avoid a costly expense and a damaged reputation. 

Check image proportions, dimensions and resolution. 

Your image should fit within the size of your document and make sure that your resolution is high enough for print. In order to get the best results make sure your resolution of your images is 300DPI, the highest print resolution used at most print shops. 

Consistency

You should ensure that your margins are consistent throughout. For booklets, page margins should be equal on both the inside and outside. When you change something on one page it should be changed on another. 

Convert your graphic to CMYK

Every colour in the rainbow is a mixture of cyan, magenta, yellow and black. To avoid costly colour correction convert your document from RGB to CMYK. Despite seeing no difference on screen, the printing difference is far from this. 

Print out a proof

This is to show your printer clearly what you wish for your document, on quality, colour and finishing. You should also provide notes for extra clarity in elements. 

Bleeds

A document has bleeds when it is printed to the edges of paper, this is common with flyers and business paper. The standard bleed is 3mm to allow for any variations in printing and cutting. 

Software

Printers can take many document formats, including illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, PDF and Microsoft Word. However it is always worth checking your format with your printer. 

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