28 May Print Process Timeline
A designer’s job includes many facets. One of those facets is communicating with printers to make sure the print process goes smoothly. There are many things to communicate to the printer about from the beginning of the project to the end. Here are a few items you may want to talk about:
If there is a hard deadline for a project, let’s say an invitation to an event, make sure you ask the printer when they need to receive those files in order to mail out the invitations on time. A good general rule to live by is to give the printer two weeks to print from the time they receive the packaged file. This gives you enough time to make any adjustments to the files, receive proofs, allows the printer enough time to prepare the files for print and mailing/delivery.
Get a quote from the printer at the beginning of the project and ask for a few different quantities so you can compare prices. Remember, the more you order the cheaper it will be per piece. And don’t wait until the file is approved to get RFQs. Requesting them ahead of time will prevent the printing from being delayed. It doesn’t hurt to get quotes from numerous printers to ensure you’re getting the best price possible.
If you have a unique size in mind for the print collateral make sure you talk to the sales rep from the printer ahead of time. Sometimes the crazy ideas we have may end up costing us thousands more. The sales rep is paid to know what will cost less, but still have the same impact. It may be something as simple as trimming the width by a half inch.
Allow yourself time to get a hard-copy proof in addition to a digital proof– especially if it’s the first time working with a printer. Seeing and touching things with your own eyes and hands is a much better way to make an informed decision than just seeing it on a screen. The hard copy proof should be delivered to you on the paper you ordered. You will be able to see what that paper looks like and what the ink looks like on the paper. Paper and ink come out looking differently depending on the kind of paper and ink used and can really make or break your project. Also, don’t judge the color of your project based on a digital proof. Color on screens appears differently than color on paper.
If you are not happy with the current printing company you work with or if you are looking to find one, we highly suggest touring a couple of facilities and asking all kinds of questions. Each printer has its own specialty whether it’s color or mailing services or displays so think about what is most important to you.
Let us know if you have any questions regarding the printing process. Happy printing!