Common Mistakes People Make In Planning a Printing Project

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Common Mistakes People Make In Planning a Printing Project

People’s reliance on the internet and digital channels has been increasing over the years. However, contrary to popular belief, there is still a significant market for printed materials, even in today’s digital era. Whether it is large posters, banners, invitation cards or signage, printing continues to be in demand.

While printing may seem like an easy task, there is a lot that goes into the process, right from planning to designing and execution. Often, people downplay the importance of planning a printing project and end up making several costly errors. To help you avoid making similar errors and get the best prints possible, we’ve compiled a list of the most common mistakes that you should avoid while planning a printing project.

1. Not preparing files correctly. The most common problem we see with most jobs is file preparation or lack thereof. A majority of people creating files for print are not familiar with the specifications required to get the job through the pre-press department and get the job into production. Whether it is a digital job or offset, both need a certain level of knowledge not only in graphic design but the print industry as well.

Files should be prepared by a professional that understands the print process and requirements involved to produce the job without having to re-create or fix the files sent. Many customers create their own files, it looks good on the computer screen and prints out fine on the desktop printer, but they do not understand the technology difference between desktop publishing and going to offset printing, producing plates for the press. It is my advice to use a professional to create print files or at least consult with your printer when beginning a project. Just a few helpful tips can prevent hours of file alteration time in pre-press stages.

2. Not consulting a printing professional before planning. Customer furnished stocks can be an issue. We get a lot of people doing invitations for weddings, parties, etc. that go online and buy pre-printed or pre-cut stocks only to find that they don't want to run on the desktop printer. Then in a panic, they break down and find a commercial shop in hopes of salvaging the stocks.

In many cases, we have the versatility to accommodate the uniquely sized materials. However, in many cases, it will end up costing way more than anticipated because for instance, if there are three or four small cards that have to run, a commercial printer can buy oversized stock and gang all four on one sheet for one run vs. four smaller sheets and four runs. Again, it’s not a bad idea to consult with a commercial printer when planning a project.

3. Not estimating the time when planning. Lead time continues to reduce, as most jobs are urgent by the time they get to press due to lack of planning. With the advent of the computer and desktop publishing, many people ordering the print job are not aware of the time it takes to produce a job and what all is involved. We see a lot of jobs come in that are “RUSH!” Again, proper planning and a quick call to your printer can eliminate the panic rush.

4. Downplaying photography techniques. Photography skills are a common issue when trying to produce a quality job. Many people are using their cell phone to take pictures and lack the knowledge of position, framing, and lighting. This results in hours of time in pre-press manipulating photos in order to print correctly on a press which adds to the cost of the project.

To avoid these mistakes, reach out to Print Ideas. We are a full-service offset and digital printing company providing virtually every aspect of your printing needs. To learn more about services we provide, please click here. If you have any questions about printing get in touch with us, by clicking here.