Preparing Your Digital File For Print – 6 Questions To Ask Your Printer First

Let’s be realistic, not all of us are graphic designers. There are many great blog posts online about preparing your digital file for print, but after reading those, you might be asking:  What if I’m not a graphic designer? What if I don’t know anything about this software?

This can be very overwhelming and complicated when it really doesn’t need to be. We, at Replica Printing, are here to help make the entire printing process easier for you.

So we’ve compiled a list of questions you should ask both your printer and your designer to ensure that your printed materials come back the way you want them in a timely manner.

Before we get to the questions, we’d like to refer you to our last article that explains the difference between RGB and CMYK. We believe this is valuable information that anybody who will need printing done on a consistent basis needs to know.

“What file type do you need?”

The file type is very important when it comes to making sure the printed file comes out as clear and crisp as possible. With that being said, there are a handful of file types that are viable for print. You should ask your printer what file type they need because sometimes certain printers have certain preferences, depending on what is being printed. So be sure to ask this question so you can forward it to your designer.

What resolution do you need the file to be?”

When printing things larger in size, your file needs to be optimized at a higher resolution so that it doesn’t come out pixelated. Preferred resolution can depend on the type of file being printed, the size of the file and the colors used. This is why it is important to ask your printer what resolution they feel would be best for the job. Again, forward their response to your designer.

What should my bleed size be?”

Bleed is the extra space given at the edges of a design, so when it is trimmed, important elements of your design aren’t cut out or cut too close to the edge. Bleeds are needed when your design isn’t printed with a plain white border all the way around. Bleed size can vary depending on how big your design needs to be printed. Your printer will let you know what the preferred bleed size is and how they would like it formatted in the file. We wrote a full article on printing bleeds if you wish to learn more about it.

“Do you offer a free printed proof before printing?”

Here at Replica Printing, we offer a free printed proof before printing your full order. A printed proof is a physical example of what you will be receiving with your full order. This is a very good way to make sure your file is correctly formatted before having your entire order printed.

“What is the soonest you can fulfill my order?”

This is an important question to ask because it ensures that you and your printer will be on the same page as far as a concrete deadline is concerned. A deadline is important for both the printer and the client because it will help ensure that the printer has all of the digital files they need so they can have your order fulfilled by the deadline. We pride ourselves on having very fast turnaround times and it always helps us get your order to you as fast as possible if the digital files are properly formatted.  

What else do you need along with my original file?”

This is an important question to ask your printer because sometimes the printer may need separate font files that they may not have. If the printer does not have your font files, your design can come out significantly different than you intended.

Another thing your printer may sometimes are accompanying images that may be in your design. This is sometimes the case with page layout designs. Once your printer advises you on what files they may need with your design, forward this information to your designer so they know what to send you.

You should now have a better understanding about what to expect when preparing your digital file for print. Communication between you, your printer and your designer is key! At Replica Printing, we are always happy and eager to answer these and any other questions that you may have.

If you’re interested in our printing services, feel free to contact us at any time.

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