If you have a publication that you would like reproduced and distributed on a large scale (e.g. brochures, flyers, newsletters) then the most efficient and cost effective solution is to engage professional printing services. They will have the technology and expertise needed to produce your publication on a commercial scale that allows you to quickly distribute it and achieve whatever goal you have in mind, whether it is to raise brand awareness for your new business or engage existing customers.
You may want to reproduce your publication in larger quantities than what you can do with a home office set-up or you may want it translated onto special materials such as card stock or vellum. You may also engage printing services in order to take advantage of trimming, binding and other finishing methods.
If you require large quantities of a publication (hundreds or thousands of individual copies) then engaging professional printing services is the most cost-effective and time-efficient means of getting them. Doing this can be far cheaper than investing in your own equipment, especially if you only need the copies for a single use and won’t have an ongoing need to reproduce them.
Let’s take a look at some useful tips for preparing your publication prior to engaging printing services.
Discuss you publication and your requirements for reproduction
The first thing to do when preparing your publication for reproduction is to have a thorough discussion with your chosen provider of printing services. This will help to avoid any confusion about what you want done so that no mistakes are made and you don’t need to waste time and money correcting them.
Make sure you describe the project and its goals in detail so that the provider has a clear picture of your expectations. You should always make sure that they understand the following details about your project:
- The quantity, paper size, paper type, image and text quality, colour model, folding, binding, trimming as well as your budget and when you need the batch completed by. Don’t just assume they will have everything you need; you need to clarify every last detail so that you don’t have any unpleasant surprises.
- If you are planning to use scanned pictures in your publication, let the provider know whether you plan to do the scanning yourself or if you require their help.
- Ask about pre-press procedures like page imposition and trapping.
- Ask if they have any recommendations that will save you money without jeopardising your vision for the publication.
Make allowances for bleeding effects
If there are visual aspects of your publication that you need to extend to the edges of the page, prior to engaging printing services, you need to set these elements up as ‘bleeds’. Basically, a bleed is one an on-page element that extends off the page and is cut-off in the reproduction process.
Bleeding is essential when engaging printing services because most devices won’t have the ability to paint all the way to the edge of the page. Trimming a page that hasn’t been set up for bleeding will leave thin but noticeable white lines around the corner of your publication.
Luckily, programs like Microsoft Publisher make it easy to set up bleed effects and this information is translated easily into the digital systems used by professional printing services. With that said, Microsoft Office programs are the industry standard and most effective tools for preparing publications prior to have them reproduced commercially.
To summarise, the best way to prepare your publication is to encourage and maintain an open and honest dialogue with the provider you have chosen so that there are absolutely no misunderstandings about the nature of work you want done.