Friday, December 19, 2008

Preparing Your Document for Print

August 13th, 2008 by kayemarks

Before sending your postcard, flyer, or brochure to print, make sure to prepare the format correctly. Otherwise, your product may come back looking very different from what you sent, and at no fault of the commercial printing company. Below are some printing tips to help you fully prepare your print advertising job before placing an order.

1. The fonts that your design program offers may differ slightly from the fonts of the printing company. Often, printers will choose a font that is close to the design you chose but this can sometimes result in subtle differences that change the style of your design. The best way to avoid this is to find out what font program your printing company uses and also send the font names and program files, if possible.

2. Even more important than font styles are the graphics in your design. First of all, convert RGB colors to CMYK, which is the color format all commercial printers use. Your design program should have the option to choose from a list of CMYK colors. Next, make sure to link rather than embed the images to your layout. Then send copies of your graphics. Usually printing companies require .tif files but check with yours for confirmation.

3. Finally, knowing the format required by the printing company will insure a quick turnaround. Many printers cannot complete your order from the publishing file in which you created your design. Most require Adobe format or other professional programs such as Corel and QuarkXPress. Also be sure that you send your project in the same version. If you have a more updated version than the printer, you may need to convert to an earlier version.
4. Send the files through the medium required by your printer. You may need to send them in a .zip file through email. Some online printing businesses will require you to upload the files directly to their website.

Following the printing tips above can provide you with a speedier process by avoiding last minute setbacks in your order or incorrect layout. The most important tip to remember, though, is to communicate clearly with your printing company. Not only will your printer appreciate your thoroughness but also you will receive the order you desire without frustrating delays.

Kaye Z. Marks is an avid writer and follower of the printing company developments in print advertising and how these improvements can benefit small to medium-scale businesses.

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