Susie has oodles of experience relating to the marketing and printing world. She shares some handy insights here to make your experience more successful.
||With easy access to multiple computer programs and desktop printers, we all seem to get involved in the creative process these days.
Remember, that in order for your project to be printable, your files must be prepared professionally.
Do’s and Dont's
Do check with Print-O-Mat and our Graphic Design department as to the specifications required for a file for the project you have in mind before assuming anything. This way you will save yourself lots of time and possible frustration.
Do plan ahead. Printing takes time. We all want our projects to be done with great care, and to have their proper impact, so bring your ideas and projects well ahead of their anticipated due dates. Rush charges can ruin one’s budget, and could be incurred when you haven’t budgeted your time. We like to treat you as if you were our only client, but thankfully, there are others with just as important orders, and we want to treat them with the same care that we do you.
Do realize YOU are responsible for proofing your project prior to printing or publication. Once you have approved the project, we will print exactly what you have approved. If changes need to be made, or re-prints done after your approval, you will incur additional charges, as well as delay your project.
In other words, attention to detail is the key to accomplishing successful printing and marketing projects.
Your Own Files and Designs
Do create your brochure, business card, etc. in a true page layout program such as QuarkXPress, InDesign or Illustrator, so it can be prepared to print properly. If you do not have access to a professional layout program, Do call Print-O-Mat and we'll guide you to success.
Do make your logo in an appropriate program from the start. Using MS Word and Powerpoint to create your logo (or marketing material) may seem to work, but all must be re-created in a proper program, so time and money will surely be lost that way.
Do use Photoshop for photographic images only (Do not use Photoshop for text purposes, typesetting, or font placement, as these will not print properly in most cases, and will require re-typesetting and re-creation of your entire file).
Do use Illustrator for drawn (vector) images and artwork, such as a logo (any and all text must be made part of the logo, rather than remain a font, to avoid degradation of your logo). Do not use Photoshop to create any files in which there will be type or words: the words will be shaggy and pixelated.
Do create and save your images with a printing resolution of at least 300 dpi (dots per square inch) for crisp and clear images.
Do not expect to get good output or a good printed result with images downloaded or printed from the Internet. Internet images are almost always a low resolution of 72 dpi (viewing resolution). Images for printing purposes require 300-400 dpi resolution to print properly.
Do not try to increase a low resolution image by increasing its overall size. Low resolution will always produce poor quality images, even when shrunk down in size.
The old adage of “Garbage In – Garbage Out” does apply in the printing world.
Do make your images the right size (or at least the size you intend them to be) within the programs you use to create them. Then import the image into your layout program file in it's final state.
Do not expect to import your images into a layout program and re-size them there. This is not easy and generally leads to printing problems.
Do check the colors used in your file. Do not mix RGB, CMYK, and Spot colors in a single document. Different color systems cause conflicts in your file, leading to delays and increased costs that you will incur when your files must be corrected or
Do consider your audience and use type large enough and clear enough for others to read easily, as this is usually the entire purpose of printing. This includes the usage of reverse type.
Do be sure all type, borders and images are at least 3/16" from all edges. In some cases, required margins are larger. Check with Print-O-Mat before finalizing your design.
Do be sure that if your design is intended to go to the edge of the paper (or closer than 3/16''), that you use your layout program to create 1/8'' bleed on all sides. DO NOT create bleeds by changing the size of your document. It will not work.
Do create your PDF to include crop marks and bleeds. Be sure all colors are consistent - Spot PMS colors or CMYK.
Do make your PDF "Press Quality".
Do "collect" your files and include copies of all fonts and images used in your file when you are submitting files to us for printing.
Do always remember to keep a back-up of everything you provide to us as a customary precaution.
Do supply a color composite of your files so we can be sure of what you expect in a printed piece.
Do not hesitate to call, visit or email us with any questions you may have regarding your project or ideas for projects!
Do remember...You think it, We ink it! ©
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