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  • AMi Direct

AMiable Solution #333: Three Things Your Printer Wants You to Know

Print vendors make every marketer’s life easier, or at least that’s the goal. And while they do perform a bit of magic, turning digital dreams into a printed reality, they can’t accomplish these feats alone. They need the cooperation of those they serve. In other words, marketers have to do their part to make the process go smoothly and to produce the desired results.

To that end, we offer these three important aspects of printing that your print vendor wants you to know:

1. The more details you provide in your quote request, the more accurately your printer can plan for costs and time.

The next time you contact a printer about an upcoming project, be sure to give it as much information as possible. And if your plans change—if your 2-color job suddenly goes full-color—be sure to let your rep know. Every aspect of your job affects how your printer will price and process your project, including

· Required print quantity

· Number of pages

· Number of versions

· Final size and folded size

· Bleeds, if any

· If it will be mailed or not

· Type of file to be submitted (PDF, InDesign, etc.)

· Quality of photos and graphics and method for providing them

· Paper type and weight

· Color (b/w, 2-color, full color)

· Variable printing, if any

· Binding, if any

· Provided-by date

· Needed-by date

· Shipping/delivery requirements or requests

2. Sending print-ready files saves you money and your printer time.

Your printer most likely has a graphic design services department, which can be a great resource for questions when you’re designing your promotion. But if you have the in-house capabilities to design and create your own files, do it! Creating your own, complete files gives you complete control over the final product and eliminates the need to pay someone else to create your campaigns.

Submitting a complete, print-ready file to your printer comes in two forms: PDFs and packaged files.

PDFs of your promotion are often considered the best way to submit your print project. Because your formatting, fonts, and design elements are automatically captured in the file, you know your project will print exactly as you designed it. The fonts you chose get printed. Your text stays formatted as planned.

Packaging files created in desktop publishing software, like InDesign, gathers all of your elements—your fonts, your high resolution images, your logos, etc.—into one folder. Your printer won’t have to waste your time and theirs hunting down fonts and images.

3. The final printed product will not look exactly like the file on your monitor.

You’ve probably noticed it with your personal photos. You send an image from your phone to a photo processor, but when you pick it up, it’s not quite the same. That’s because monitors, particularly computer monitors, use different systems to create colors. While your computer screen shows colors in red, green, and blue (RGB), your print vendor uses a standard CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) system.

To avoid confusion or disappointment in the final printed product, be sure to create your files using the CMYK mode, referencing the Pantone Matching System (PMS) booklet. You’ll know from the beginning exactly how your color choices will appear in print, even if they don’t appear that way on your screen.

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