Prepping your Files for Print
Here at Evolve Impact Group, no printing job is too small or too large! We can cover everything from your child’s birthday invitations to your company’s entire print media campaign. But regardless of the size of your job, it’s important that you design and save your files in a way that will ensure that you achieve quality results. Here are a few tips.
Choose Your Software Wisely. There are several choices available, but our printing manager recommends using Adobe InDesign, an Adobe Creative Suite program created specifically for print. Adobe Illustrator is another good option.
Ensure the Quality of your Design (at least 300 dpi). “When designing a document, the quality of your image is far more important than the information you’re providing,” says Brittany Kirk, Evolve Impact Group’s Printing Manager. “Your customers are forming their first impression based on your printed design. A poor quality design makes customers question the quality of your products.” In order to be good enough for physical print, a file must be at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). Many files we receive from clients are only 72 dpi. These lower quality images work fine for digital marketing on a computer or cell phone, but will result in a poor printed design.
Include a Bleed! A bleed is extra space around the perimeter of your layout that extends past the cut edge of the page. A bleed is essential if any elements (e.g. images, colored backgrounds) on your layout will cross the edge of the page (the trim edge). This allows us to ensure that your design pushes all the way to the end of the printed material. Without a bleed, you will always end up with a white border around your design.
Do You Have Folds? If you are creating a document such as a brochure or leaflet that will be folded after it is printed, make sure that you set up your document with the folds in mind. Know exactly where they will be and mark them out using guides on your digital layout. If you’re designing a tri-fold brochure, make sure to double the margin space across each fold. If you use the same margin as you do around the page edges, the fold will split the margin in half and your layout will appear cramped and uneven after folding.
Pick an Appropriate Paper Weight. Paper comes in a variety of different weights and is measured in GSM (grams per square meter) or Basis Weight (lbs per standard dimensions and sheet count). Generally, the thicker the paper, the higher the quality and the higher the price. Our printing manager can help you select the appropriate paper weight for the item you’re printing (and your budget).
Choose the Appropriate Paper Finish. Uncoated paper is the right choice for printing letterhead, stationary, low-quality leaflets, and flyers. It has a slightly smoother and stronger feel than standard copy paper. Coated paper comes in two varieties. Matte-coated paper has a smooth, non-glossy finish. It gives documents a modern look. Gloss-coated paper has a slightly reflective finish. The ink sits on the surface of the coating instead of absorbing into the paper, making colors appear more vibrant. It can give documents a glossy, high-end look.
We would love to help you create the perfect marketing materials for your small business! We can print everything from business cards and flyers to pens, insulators, signs, banners and much more! Contact us today!