It may not seem that way, but even the most ordinary looking commercial printing jobs may have hours of work put into them to make them look clean and clear. In order to achieve this, each person in the chain of production needs to know what’s required and understand the process from start to finish, including the client, the designer and the printer. So we’ve compiled this blog to help you understand what each person involved must achieve to make sure the final product meets the brief and does what is expected.
As a commercial printing client, you have initiated the project, and ultimately you are the one who will receive the finished product. So here’s what you can do to ensure your designer and printer can produce the work you want.
- Check the text you supply is correct and has no errors, the last thing you want is to commit to the print and discover each of the 1000 flyers you printed has a wrong phone number.
- Proof the work of the designers to ensure they have met your brief to your expectations
- Check that any images do not violate copyright laws and are suitable for printing.
- Where necessary, any legal information is correct to the very best of your knowledge. (These two are important steps to protect you from legal issues in future.)
In short, the designer’s task is to produce a file for printing that meets the client’s brief and is practically set up for printing. This means, from the client’s perspective, the designed includes all the required text and makes it readable, producing a clean and pleasing design, and liaising with the printer to ensure the print meets the client’s requirements. This means producing a usable file with sufficient bleed, resolution, with correct print format and colour scheme, and in the correct file format. It also means communicating with the printer about types of paper, ink and other technical specifications. This step is why it can be very helpful to have a very close printer/designer relationship.
The printer’s job is to produce a print that faithfully reproduces the design in a quality that meets the client’s expectations. Good commercial printers ensure the printed colour and design reproduces the digital colour and design as closely as possible. They also deal with the technical aspects of printing like removing folds or die lines, performing cropping, trimming edges, folding, and allowing the prints to dry before stacking. (The last thing you want is to have your perfectly printed business cards all stuck together in a 1000-strong stack!
Collaboration is Key
What matters most is that each person in this team understands their role and how it connects to each other step. Your commercial printer will give you the best results when you provide them with your best information and clear instructions, and appreciate what is involved in producing exactly what you need.