Often when print results do not meet expectations, a number of factors are in play. Proper planning will help you attain the print quality you expect and will minimize stress.
- Determine the paper that you will use for your job and order it early. Although most mills carry inventory of standard product offerings, this does not guarantee that the item you need will be readily available. If your design solution requires a custom size or non-standard grain orientation, you need to allow for extra time for the paper to be produced. By planning for this, you are guaranteed that your stock of choice will be the one used for your job.
- Review your images and layout with your print solutions provider. When I think of “scary” issues, ghosting always comes to mind. Be aware of design elements that lend themselves to ghosting like heavy borders or heavy solid grids. These types of features can induce mechanical ghosting. Share your design early with your print solutions provider. He may be able to position the page on the sheet or group forms in a way that minimizes the chance of ghosting.
- Don’t be afraid to print heavy coverage on uncoated paper. As long as images are high resolution and visually crisp, your printer can apply appropriate dot gain curves to keep them that way. If images do appear “muddy” you may need to go back to pre-press and reduce the total ink coverage. Again, talk to your print solutions provider. Review your proofs closely! Making adjustments in pre-press, prior to going on-press, will save time and money.
Getting your print job completed when you need it and having it meet your expectations requires thorough up-front planning. Engage your print solutions provider early and establish a timeline. This will reduce the chances of needing to change course mid-way through your project and will prevent you from having to settle for results that are less than you hoped for!
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