Whether you work with print often or this is your first print project, there are key things you must complete in order to have a smooth, successful result. Take a look at our helpful tips below to ensure your piece will come out just how you envision.
1. know the purpose of your piece
This may seem obvious but knowing the purpose of your piece can impact how you want it to function, look, and feel. For example, if the purpose of your project is to educate children at a museum, you may want to choose a trifold design so you have room for both images and information. Additionally, you may want to choose a thicker stock paper so it doesn’t crumple too easily when handles by children. Think about what the goal of your piece is and work backwards to figure out the best design, paper type, finishing, etc.
Most print projects contain some sort of image or visual along with text, so it is important that the images you use are of proper resolution to make your project look professional. Generally, having images that are 300 dpi (dots per inch) generate nice print results. Anything lower and your image may come out pixelated or blurry.
3. File Size
Be sure to design your project in the size that you want it to be printed. This is helpful for the designing portion of your project so you can accurately know how to layout your content. This is also beneficial once you hand it over to get printed, if the dimensions are not correct, you will need to resize and reformat the entire thing so elements don’t get distorted.
Another key element to consider is if you want your piece to have bleeds. Having bleeds means that images fall off the page meeting the edges with no white space. Not having bleeds means there will be a white border around the edge of the entire piece. If you want your project to have bleeds, you will need to set up your document with at least a 1/8″ (.125″) bleeds. If you are not sure how to set up bleeds in your design software, feel free to contact one of our print or design experts.
5. Spell check and final edits
It is important that when you send your files over to get printed that they are as final as they possibly can be. Any spelling mistakes, last minute design changes, or edits can delay the printing process and possibly cost you if the item has already been printed. It is our responsibility to make sure your piece is printed the best it can, but it is the clients responsibility to ensure everything within the document is correct. We recommend having a few eyes look over spelling and design before submitting it to catch any small mistakes.
Now that you’ve gone through our top tips for preparing your files for print production you can get started on your next project! If you have any questions about preparing your files or design, feel free to contact us here.