Investing in printed marketing collateral can be a little daunting sometimes, especially when you consider the fact that (unlike digital) the format does not allow for do-overs once the printing process has started. That is why it is so important to ensure that you provide your printer with art files that have been triple-checked for everything from spelling, to image placement and format.
Here are 5 important things you should check before you submit a design for printing:
Is My File in CMYK Format?
The colour processes for use in printing and on digital screens differ quite a bit. When designing for digital, RGB (red, green and blue) files are used; in print CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) files are used. The difference is due to the fact that digital media deals with light on monitors, whereas printed media relies on pigments, i.e. inks. Always ensure that your design has been converted to CMYK before submitting it to your printer.
Is My PPI High Enough?
PPI, or pixels per inch, refers to the resolution of an image. When you’re printing marketing collateral like business cards that will be viewed up close, you want your image to be sized to 300 ppi so it is clear and refined. When you’re printing something like a banner that will be viewed from a distance and printed with a wide-format printer a ppi of 150 is sufficient.
Should I Convert to Vector?
If you’re designing for large format, the answer is always yes. Convert to vector to ensure that your artwork can be scaled without losing any clarity or quality.Have I Included Bleeds?
If your printed collateral has to go all the way up to the edge of a page you have to include bleed on your file. Essentially you’re adding more image than required in order to allow for the trimming of excess image in the finishing process. Always check with your printer to ascertain their preferred bleed perimeters.
Are My Coatings & Spot Inks on Separate Layers?
If your printed collateral will feature coatings or spot inks, separate layers should be added to the art files to facilitate clear direction in this regard.
There you have it – five important things to check before you hit send on your print-ready designs. Keep your eye on the blog in coming weeks and months for more helpful printing advice, and feel free to get in touch with a knowledgeable Asset Print representative if you need expert input on the ins and outs of designing for print, and how to get the best possible results when you invest in printed marketing collateral like brochures, banners and business cards.