There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you send your file to print. If you want the process to be smooth, hassle-free and produce the best results, make sure you ask yourself these 7 important questions before sending your file to print:
1. Has the proper bleed been included?
Bleed is the artwork that is beyond the boundaries of your actual document after it is sliced and printed. Because the slicing of your document will never be perfectly accurate, it is necessary to give at least 0.125” of bleed for print jobs such as business cards, brochures, and posters. Large format prints may require even more bleed. The team at Super Printers can help you with how much bleed your project needs.
2. Are the images in CMYK format?
There may be no difference to the naked eye when it comes to the RGB and CMYK formats, but there is a huge difference when it comes to printing. Although most desktop publishing programs will perform this conversion automatically, you should still double check the process in order to avoid a costly mistake. Additionally, all desktop publishing programs are not equal when it comes to converting images. Some of the cheaper programs will still cause problems when printing.
3. Has the document been carefully proofread?
Although this may be an obvious step, it is often very overlooked. Spelling mistakes are the easiest to fix; however, you have to take the time to catch them. Be sure that you double check your work with us if we are sending your design to you. Do not rely on spell checkers in word processing programs. They do not catch correctly spelled words that you have simply used in the wrong place, such as using “your” when you meant to use “you’re” or Canadian spelling versus American spelling. Spell checkers also don’t recognize custom words that aren’t in their library.
4. Have the fonts been converted to outlines?
Certain design programs such as InDesign and Illustrator do not automatically convert fonts into outlines. Problems arise when a certain font that is used within a program is not within the format of the PDF conversion that you attempt. If Super Printer’s doesn’t own or have the specific font you’ve used in your design, our programs will replace your font with the closest we have available (which often isn’t very close). Be sure to keep a backup copy with the unconverted text just in case you need to make any changes! You’ll thank yourself later.
5. What resolution are the images being sent to print?
When we print, small dots are laid down in a pattern in a small area. However many dots fit within a one inch square is referred to as dots per inch, or DPI. An image must be at least 300 dpi in order to print properly and we recommended that they be in the 300-400 dpi range for the best results. A higher resolution than this can actually be troublesome, so try to maintain the standard without going over it. If you are doing a large format product, some times we can cut the resolution as low as 150 dpi. Ask our team for more information if you’d like to know more.
6. Are vector text and logos being used rather than raster?
Vector text is the preferred type for print jobs. If a font over 16 pt is being used, certain raster texts may be okay to print. However, when in doubt, always use vector text and print proofs beforehand just to be safe! Vector text is different than movable type.
7. What type of print file should you send?
The .gif and .png formats are made for the computer screen specifically; they are definitely not recommended for print. Convert them to .tiff or high quality .jpeg images before sending them to print. We prefer using PDF formats as this format is designed to be transfered between users.