How To Prepare Your Files For Print: Things To Consider Before Your Next Print Job
So, you’ve decided to create a custom print campaign for your business and now it’s time to prepare your files to be printed—how exciting! However, to get the best results that truly “Wow” your customers, you always want to ensure you’re following a few best practices. That’s why we’ve compiled everything you need to know about how to prepare your files for print, including some specific things to consider before your next print job.
The first thing you should do before sending your custom magazine or newsletter off to the printer (or to our team at Tulip Media Group!) is to make sure your files have bleeds. But what are bleeds? In the printing world, a bleed refers to an extra border that extends beyond the trim area of your printing piece. There’s your design itself, then the safety borders (no design/images beyond this point), next is the trim edge (where the cut will actually be made), and then the bleed (which is typically 0.125″). You must remember that printers grab the corners of papers (meaning they can’t print to the edge anyway) and go extremely fast, so a bleed ensures that your design will be printed perfectly and accurately each time.
Beyond ensuring you use bleeds, the resolution is another thing to consider before sending your files off for print. When sending a print campaign out—whether a magazine, newsletter, or other custom marketing content—you want to make sure your designs are crisp and sharp, not fuzzy or pixelated. Furthermore, you must ensure you’re using high-quality images that you have the right to use. We recommend using platforms like Midjourney, iStock, or Shutterstock, although there are many different places to find high-resolution images to elevate your next print campaign.
3. Page Count
When it comes to a custom printing program like the one we offer at Tulip Media Group, the possibilities are truly endless. Do you want a monthly four-page newsletter sent to your core audience? Or perhaps you’d like a glossy 24-page custom magazine sent out quarterly to other business leaders in your industry? No matter what you desire, we can make it happen, meaning that determining your ideal page count will be an integral part of the preparation process. Unless our clients come in with a very specific goal in mind, we often recommend that our 16-page magazine is a great place to start.
4. CMYK vs RGB
If you’re reading this online right now, that means you’re seeing everything in terms of the RGB color model. But what’s the difference between CMYK and RGB? Essentially, the RGB color model is an additive color model that uses mixtures of red, green, and blue to reproduce a broad array of colors. On the other hand, the CMYK model is a subtractive color model that uses four ink plates—cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black)—to reproduce colors and is what most printing systems utilize to achieve precision color printing. Therefore, when you’re preparing your documents, we would always recommend ensuring your designs use the CMYK color model to get perfect printing every time. (And if you need help converting your files from RGB to CMYK, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experts at Tulip Media Group!)
5. Target Audience
Finally, and potentially even most importantly, you need to understand whom your target audience is, or in other words, whom you will send your custom print campaign to. After going through all these other steps, you have this beautiful magazine or newsletter, but now you have to think about who it will resonate with. Sometimes, you may already have an idea in mind—for example, we work with a fire truck manufacturer who sends their newsletter to fire chiefs across Canada—and other times, you may have no clue. If you fall into the latter category, don’t worry; our team at Tulip Media Group can help. We can pull information based on things such as location, demographics, industry, or even mail routes and create a custom list for your materials to be sent to. Talk about convenience!
Ultimately, creating an effective print campaign isn’t just about creating a beautiful magazine; it’s also about paying attention to the little details during the preparation time that elevates the entire experience. From ensuring it’s designed to print correctly to getting it into the hands of the right people, there are several things to consider before your next print job. Hopefully, this article has helped you get your files fully prepped and ready for print, but if not, our dedicated and experienced team at Tulip Media Group is here to help. Our comprehensive custom printing program can be adjusted to suit your needs and goals. Plus, we’ll worry about things like bleeds, resolution, and what color model to use, and we can help guide you regarding page count and identifying your target audience so that all you’ll need to do is be concerned about looking good in your headshot. Happy printing!
For more information about our custom print program or to get started, contact our team at www.tulipmediagroup.com today!