While we certainly live in a digital age when many people access information via the internet, the myth that print is dead is resoundingly false. Businesses work with commercial printing companies all the time for printing a variety of collateral. But how do you know which commercial printer is best? Or what information to share with them to ensure your job goes off without a hitch?
Today, we’re sharing four questions to consider and ask your commercial printer. They will help you; they will help them; and they will help your project come out just as expected.
1. Should I Go With Offset Printing or Digital Printing?
When it comes to your printing project specifications, your commercial printer will have two options: offset printing or digital printing.
Offset printing uses plates: Think of an old-school printing press and you’ll be going in the right direction.
Digital printing uses toner or liquid ink, no plates.
If you need a quick turnaround, digital will usually serve you best. It is great for shorter print runs and when the print pieces have variable data. Offset printing is better for larger print runs and provides the Pantone Matching System, so the color will be exactly what you need to support your brand.
2. Which Type of Paper Should I Use?
The paper you choose for your commercial printing project will be greatly influenced by what you’re printing and how you’re using it. There are plain, coated, synthetic, premium, and recycled papers, as well as varying weights.
Some options include:
- Uncoated text
- Coated text: gloss or matte
- Uncoated cover
- Coated cover: gloss or matte
- UV coating
- Aqueous coating
It’s definitely a lot to consider! The best commercial printers will walk you through this process and discuss your project to ensure your paper is a great fit for what you’re printing.
3. In What Format Do You Need the Design?
There are many considerations when it comes to preparing and delivering your design to your commercial printer. Hopefully, you are working with a graphic designer who is familiar with print requirements and can manage the conversation. If not, here are some things you’ll need to consider:
- Resolution of the artwork
- Color: CMYK or Pantone
- Crop marks and bleeds
- File type
Also, be sure you have a quality assurance (QA) system in place. There’s nothing worse than sending a job to print only to have it delivered and find an error. These can be costly and time consuming. Remember that a high-volume commercial printer won’t have bandwidth to manage QA on their end, so you need to take on that responsibility.
4. How Will I Receive A Proof?
Some commercial printing companies provide digital proofs, while others will offer a physical proof. Unless you are on a very tight deadline, you should always take the time to receive and review the proof—regardless which option is better. Remember, this is another part of the QA process.
Digital proofs are fast and easy, arriving to you via PDF in most cases. For the majority of projects, these are sufficient.
However, for some projects, such as catalogues, magazines, or brochures, you may want a physical proof. These will allow you to ensure colors are true and see how the piece folds or looks as it is distributed.
If you request a physical proof, be sure to work that printing process into your timeline.
Do You Have the Best Commercial Printer?
Artisan Color combines modern print technology with over 20 years of experience to partner with our clients through every step of the process. As your print marketing partner, we are committed to providing you with the quality print services you need to properly represent your brand. Artisan Color offers large- and small-format printing, pre-press, product management and print technology, an in-house photo studio and creative services for one-stop service.
Contact us to get started on your print project today!
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