7 Essential Pieces of Information for Getting Accurate Printing Quotes

Calling up a printing services company with vague specifications about your printing job will result in a vague quote. Whether you’re printing a one-colour business card or a multi-coloured poster, your printer will need to know some essential pieces of information:

Size – flat, folded and page numbers?

If you’re working with a particular format, you need to equate your presentation with the product type and the look you want. Think about the presentation as a
whole product. Your software will give you the basic specifications direct off the files.

Quantity – quite simply, how many?

Print runs work on a volume basis. More will be cheaper per unit, but how many do you need? What sort of circulation will the print copy have? Do you need file copies? Is there a mailing list to consider?

Colour – spot colour or CMYK? Both sides coloured or just one?

Colour specifications are worth spending some time on with your printer. The spot colour is a general purpose colour scheme. CMYK colours are a digital mix of colours with preset values. Either may be appropriate, but you need to consider the options available on merit. This can be an issue in business card printing and brochure printing where colour is a major design element.

Paper – weight, brand and colour?

Paper quality directly affects print quality. Low grade paper and high quality printing simply don’t work. The paper must be able to proved print quality. Paper is basically measured as gsm, (grams per square metre), fine, photo paper, etc. If you have a requirement for high quality print, go with the best quality. Brands of paper and colour should also be factored in as quote elements when making your inquiry with the printer.

Binding – perfect, staple, sewn?

Binding quality has a lot to do with the look of your print. Some binds are ultra-durable, like sewn binding. “Perfect” binding is the common adhesive binding. Look at your options, particularly in terms of the size of the print document.

For commercial documents, it’s also advisable to check with the printer about relative strengths of binding. You particularly need to ensure a strong bind which is appropriate for larger documents like reports or documents over 5cm in depth.

Any special cuts or folds to be included?

Commercial and other types of print job often include folds, cuts, or other forms of presentation. This is an area where you’re strongly advised to consult your printer to ensure these complex structures are properly done. These elements are itemized on the printing quotes, so you’ll have your costs factored in up front.

Proofs – what is the proofing method?

Print proofing is an important quality control on the print specifications. The proofing process is designed to ensure accurate resolution of print materials on the finished product. The printer will also provide information which explains the print proofing method, as well as the required formats for documents.

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