In my previous blog ‘How important is high quality printing’ I focused mainly on the printing aspect and how important paper stock is to your item, say an A4 brochure, as well as the impact of any additional finishes and the importance of colour consistency.
Although these are all extremely important factors for quality brochure printing, how you prepare your design and supply the file to your printer is also extremely important and can have an impact on print quality.
If I start with some general requirements to think about in regards to a print ready file these would be to allow at least 3mm bleed, images should be set to CMYK if they are to be printed in full colour and at least 300dpi at the finished size and if you want to be really careful allow a ‘quiet area’ of around 3mm-5mm between text/images and the page edge not including the bleed!
Once the file is ready the best option is to supply a print ready PDF file, PrintHouse Corporation has preferred settings which can be found at https://printhouse.co.uk/client/downloads however it is important to note that these settings will not remove any pre-existing problems in your files such as white type set to overprint, incorrectly embedded fonts etc, etc.
It is also possible to supply artwork without saving it as a PDF file however try to avoid programmes such as Publisher or Word as they are not the most compatible programmes with lithographic print, industry design programmes preferred are InDesign, Illustrator or Quark Express. Make sure the file is ‘collected’ with images and fonts supplied.
As brochure printing usually outlines something you wish to sell be it your company, product or service I recommend getting a full set of colour calibrated proofs as this is where you can pick up if there are any issues in the file supplied, for example; if images are not of a high enough resolution, how the layout will look once printed and how images and colours reproduce on paper (often different to what you see on the screen.)
Double check your files and then check them again before you send them for print, get some sort of printed proof as errors that are missed on screen are usually noticed when a printed sheet is in front of you. The last place you want to pick up any errors is either on press or when the finished item is delivered!
Amber Bantatua is a Senior Sales Executive at London based printer PrintHouse Corporation. If there is a query in regards to a print estimate or receiving a quote contact us here.