In this video, learn how to convey important or unusual aspects of a job so the printer is prepared to deal with the project.
- [Instructor] One of the most important parts of the printing process is communicating with your printer. Don't be afraid to ask questions. There truly are no dumb questions. Everything you ask educates you a little bit about the printing process and it shows the printer that it's important to you that your job print correctly. Ask the printer about submitting files. Would they prefer that you submit PDFs or application files, for example, InDesign or Illustrator or QuarkXPress? If they want application files, find out what versions they accept. Most printers are going to be working in the current version, but be sure. And if they ask you to submit PDFs, find out what their specifications are for creating PDFs. Most printers can tell you what those are. Some printers will even send you the JOBOPTIONS file, so that you know you're doing the right thing. And when you go to submit the job, are you going to be sending physical disks or are you going to be submitting your files by a file transfer system? Mostly these days, we submit via file transfer rather than sending physical disks. When you begin discussing printing stock, one of the considerations is, how is the job going to be printed? Is it going to be printed on an offset press or a digital press? You'll find that you have a wider selection of stocks on offset presses. If you're printing on textured stock, there are some considerations when they're printing. If you're printing on colored stock, you want to ensure that your artwork is going to look as you expect. When you work on your monitor, you're looking at a white background. How is it going to look when it prints on something other than white background on colored stock? When you're printing on synthetic stock, you might be surprised to find out that there actually aren't many special considerations. This is very well-behaved material when it goes through a press. If you're performing functions such as embossing or foil stamping, it's important to pick appropriate stock, usually a little bit heavier stock to support those processes. When you're choosing ink, again, you consider whether the job's printing on digital presses or offset presses. How does this affect you? Well, it's going to affect the way you specify your colors. Most digital presses don't support anything but CMYK. Some do, but keep in mind that many don't support any spot colors, or if they do, it's not a very wide range of spot colors. There are some inks that require extra drying time. There is an ink called Reflex Blue, which is a navy blue, which is notorious for taking a long time to dry. We're starting to see synthetic versions of this ink, and so it's not as big a consideration as it used to be, but it's still something to keep in mind. Fluorescent inks may require two impressions of the ink to come up to the brightness that you expect. Some inks are easily scuffed, and that means that your job may require coating in order to protect the printed piece. Meeting deadlines, of course, is important. When should you submit your files? Get a date from your printer and try to beat that by a day. They'll appreciate that. Find out what the deadline is for any special art. For example, if you're having foil stamping performed or die cutting. Those died take some lead time to create and you have to provide the artwork for them. So make sure you get that in in time. Of course you want to know when the job's going to print. When's it going to run on press? And is it going to be necessary for you to be present for a press check? Be sure that you're on time. If you keep all of these issues in mind before and during the life of the job, things are going to run smoothly.
- Communicating with your printer
- Understanding types of printing: letterpress, sheet-fed, and more
- Handling corrections and alterations
- Attending press checks
- Understanding how color space and paper stock affect printing
- Finishing: folding, trimming, die cutting, and embossing
- Working with fonts and graphics
- Submitting the job