Preparing for Print: Save Money & Time 

Saving money and time is the ultimate goal of any business. When it comes time to send your files off to your professional printing company, preparation is essential. By preparing for print, you can save time and money on your advertising campaigns and marketing materials. Pel Hughes has compiled a few tips to make this process easier for the businesses, non-profit organizations, and higher education institutions we serve.  

Tips for Preparing for Print 

The world of print and its professional lexicon may seem mystical to people in other industries. Understanding the basics, learning common terminology, and preparing your files for print can make the process much easier (and less time consuming).  

Here are four tips to help make your print projects a little less frustrating.  

#1 Understand What Your Printer Needs to Get the Job Done 

Before campaigns are developed, it’s important to reach out to your printer via e-mail or a phone call. Understanding what your printer needs from your business or organization to produce the final product can make a world of difference. Oftentimes, reputable printers will offer checklists to their clients upon request.  

We recommend having one person from your organization handle communication with your printer. This can eliminate unnecessary e-mails and calls while also reducing the risks of confusion.  

#2 Select Color Palettes Compatible with Print 

Digital versions of your print projects operate with a different color palette than printers. Most digital color utilizes the RGB palette while printers rely on CMYK color palettes. This can lead to your digital images looking different from the final printed versions. When designing digital files, we recommend using Pantone colors as they are compatible with the color palettes used by printers. This ensures that the digital version matches the printed one.  

#3 Know When to Use Vector or Raster Images 

Most of the time, vector images are preferred for projects like direct mail campaigns, business cards, and signage. Vectors are easily scalable because these images rely on formulas rather than pixels. This means that a vector can be sized from direct mail to a billboard without affecting the integrity of the image. Vector files are small, too, which makes them easy to send.  

In some cases, raster images are preferred. These images are pixelated, which can be difficult to size. Raster images are sometimes used when real photographs are printed.  

We encourage discussing whether vectors or rasters are preferred for your specific project(s) with your printer early in the process. 

#4 Be Sure to Indicate Bleed 

“Bleed” is a term that refers the artwork extending beyond the edge of the print project. Indicating the bleed on your project ensures that graphics and selected colors extend to the edge. Without indicating bleed, you could have an unsightly border around your business card, direct mail piece, or signage.  

To help make the pre-press process easier for our clients, we provide a preparing for print checklist, which you can download by clicking here.  

Pel Hughes utilizes the latest printing technology and client-forward service to deliver stunning print campaigns for businesses, organizations, and educational institutions throughout the United States. Call us at (504) 486-8646 for questions or request a quote with our convenient online form.