Print-Ready Files for Happy Designers (Part 1)

On: May 9, 2013
In: Design
Views: 773

You know that feeling you get when you finally finish a project and send it off to the printer? It’s a pretty great feeling, right? How about that feeling you get when the printer calls you saying there’s something wrong with your file or when your project has been delivered and the client calls you ranting that there’s a typo in your design?!
I know, I know… that totally killed your happy feeling!

Well, here are a few tips to get you on the right track to print-ready files and successful outcomes!

Contact your printer ahead of time and figure out how long they will need to print your project. Count back from your due date and create deadlines for yourself… remember
to add a bit of cushion just in case something goes wrong.

Unless you design every piece with Times New Roman or Arial, you can’t expect your printer to have every font that you’ve used in your design. To avoid font defaulting once your file gets to the printer, remember to embed your fonts into your file.

Nothing is more important than proofing your documents… I mean you wouldn’t want
to have your client’s name or website misspelled, right? Even if you’ve proofed your document 100 times, I recommend having someone else proof it (even if they aren’t
a designer) — sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference!

Be sure to double check your image proportions, dimensions and resolution. Please don’t be one of those designers that stretches an image out of proportion so it looks super squished or super stretched! en if the actual size of your image is correct, the resolution may be too low – creating ugly pixelated images in what could have been
a beautifully designed piece.

It may just be because I have obsessive compulsive tendencies, but I find this tip
to be extremely important! Paying attention to the small details and keeping things consistent is key to a great design. Make sure that margins are consistent on
multi-page documents, punctuation is the same throughout, spelling is consistent
(for example, in my job I have to fix many inconsistencies between BolchalkFReY, BolchalkFrey and Bolchalk Frey… it may not seem super important, but it is), etc.

Hopefully these few tips will help you get started on creating great print-ready files,
but stay tuned next week for more tips for successful files that make happy designers!

Kristen Oaxaca, Graphic Designer

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