The factors you need to take into account are essential for you to be able to successfully make a printed product. Thus, we show you a description of the process stages, from the design finishing to pre-printing.

From design to pre-printing

First and foremost, there is the budget. It is important to know what budget you have for this stage since, as we have said before, the printing features will depend, to a large extent, on it. The printing company, as well as the designer, will probably recommend some options according to the aims and possibilities you have. Based on that, the printing company can also evaluate the materials to be used, paper type and quality, ink and printing method.

Another item to take into account is the printing time, as well as the designing time. The further your previous work goes, the more fluent this process will be.

Here, the printing features begin to be defined: number of pages, paper type and grammage to be used, color or black and white, size, etc.

You need to clearly know the printout written and graphic data. In this case, a list of items to show is set up, as well as a text index. It is important to be clear about the written and graphic items composing the printout. An example is the amount of written information and the number of images. Whether it is going to be just a graphic data printout or the text is going to be important, if products will be shown together with detailed information about their features or not, are essential variations defining different types of printouts.

After that, there is the process of diagramming the printout. The graphic aspects in common, typographies to be used, text size and order are established. Inner designs, as well as photographic items, are determined together with this. In the case of pictures, it is important to use high quality images. Thus, working with a photographer is recommended, as well as checking that the digital transfer is made using a software supporting definition, such as Adobe Photoshop. In printing, the most usual formats for images are CMYK, JPG, TIF.

The outer design, the next stage, usually includes cover and counter cover design. In general, the company logo is there, although it sometimes includes a product picture, depending on the case. In the case of a poster or post card, these items are taken for granted (that is to say, they are not included).

Once this step is reached, you need to send everything to the printing company. There, the pre-printing will be carried out, so as to check that everything is in order for the printing.

Pre-printing

Once you achieved this stage, you must have already chosen the printing company where your printouts will be made. It is important that, by now, you are already very clear about work budget and the time it will take. This stage consists of the following:

First, the register marks indicating where to cut once printed are established. This must be done accurately and a thorough revision is needed to avoid mistakes.

The bleeds also need to be established, so as to avoid cutting an image or text. Bleeds expand cut limits on a couple of centimeters, thus controlling that the information is seen in full and according to the parameters you established in the design.

Together with these marks, the binding to be used is chosen. Here, it is important to calculate the catalogue opening, as well as the inner margin. Part of this was also checked on the design final stage when the design cover or counter cover were designed.

From here onwards, the printing itself is left, with all its variables; that is to say, the printing type, printing method and different variables such as paper type, ink type or color. The first thing to do is determining the most appropriate system for printing, and, in order to do this, we will point out the pros and cons of the two more common processes: Offset and Digital.

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