Judging by the title of this post I don’t think its a secret how we feel about Graphic Design. We love it! Graphic Designers are no doubt the fuel that drive our ferocious print engines. They know design and most importantly, they know Print. Sometimes we come across ‘Graphic Charlatans’ who give professional Graphic designers a bad name. How well do you know print?
We thought it was time to educate the ‘Graphic Charlatans’ on the How To’s and the How Not To’s of the Print world. Over the next few weeks we will discuss some of the ‘must dos’ before submitting your artwork for print. The information we are about to divulge to you is not for the ‘Real’ Graphic Designer. They already know it, right? You are more than welcome to refresh your knowledge. Anyway lets get started, pull up a chair, put Spotify on pause and pay attention!
Communicate with me, please!
Usually communication breaks down at the same point every time. Complications with file set up inadvertently eats into the already diminishing tight deadline. Remember the deadline works best with well planned jobs. ‘Real’ Graphic Designers know this, Charlatans don’t. The fundamentals of file preparation are the same for every design job. If these fundamental rules are followed on both sides the outcome will result in a great looking product with time to spare. Sounds easy, doesn’t it!
To Bleed or not to Bleed?
The simple answer to this is of course ‘To Bleed’. In fact bleed should always be on your mind. It’s so important when it comes to the finished quality of the final product. Some people just can’t grasp the whole concept of Bleed. We are now going to let you in on the age old secret of Bleed. This is how the Printer sees it.
There is nothing to be embarrassed about here. Bleed (or lack of it) is a very common issue that we see. Failure to supply files without bleed will slow down the design to print process. Essentially all that Bleed means is the Printed Area extends a few millimeters past the trim marks. The above image illustrates in detail the concept of bleed.
After printing, the bleed on the sheet is trimmed off. This in turn ensures the image runs all the way to the edge of the sheet giving a more professional finish. Bleed is needed to allow for image shift on the sheet. When bleed isn’t provided we will always contact the client and issue a painful wrap to the knuckles(many have cried). Oh yea almost forgot! Never put text or graphics too close to the trim edge as they may disappear under the Guillotine. Keep text at least 5mm from edge.
Will I supply a stepped file?
You most certainly WILL NOT. Without causing alarm and I know you are only trying to help but there is no need. We have very special software that magically takes your files and steps them up on an SRA3 sheet. We also will plan (impose into printers pairs) booklets, brochures, reports and manuals with our super duper imposition software. All you have to do is supply us with single files (1 page to view) in one document. If you have a 48 page document you want saddle stitched (stapled on the spine), simply send it with trims, bleed and single pages within 1 pdf document. This is the rule of all. Trims, Bleed, Single pages in 1 pdf document every time. That’s how to supply us with the perfect job.
Following these tips will guarantee a better printed result. It will save you time and most importantly it will let us deliver a beautifully printed job in time. Tune in next week to some more printing tips that will transform your job from Mr. Average to a high quality professional looking job.