5 Elements Of The Perfect Print Job

Even though online marketing seems to be in ever present use for businesses and non-profits, printed marketing materials aren’t dead. In fact, a least one report states that people are more likely to remember the details of and be more engaged in printed marketing materials than other forms.

By taking into consideration these five factors when dealing with commercial printers, entrepreneurs and organizations can have a print job they’ll be totally satisfied with.

Commercial printer
photo credit: Ms. Tharpe / Flickr

1. Select a commercial printer that can help in the design process

If you don’t have an in-house designer or graphic artist, can the commercial printer that you hired achieves the design that will be most satisfactory for both you and your client?

2. Submit files in CMYK

Sometimes, submitting files in CMYK will cut your printing costs. How so?

CMYK Color fan

Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black is a color mode printers use to print files. RGB (Red, Green, and Blue), on the other hand, is a color mode used for computer monitors, the Web, and video. CMYK and RGB aren’t interchangeable.

Materials that are in RGB mode must be converted to CMYK before they can be printed. You could use photo software programs that allow you to do the conversions yourself. However, some of the software as a steep learning curve, which is not ideal for many.  Consider consulting with your commercial printer about this.

3. Create high-resolution files

When people send photos by email to friends and family members for viewing on computers or cellphones, they’re often 72 dpi (dots per inch). That’s a low-resolution image that won’t capture detail well. Commercial printers need files that are at least 300 dpi.

You or your printer could resize the image for you (e.g. enlarge a low-res image.) Unfortunately, the result is typically far from satisfactory. Make sure that your photo source is in a high-res mode when it’s taken to avoid issues in the future.

4. Make a thoughtful decision about paper

Many types of paper are available. Often, your choice of paper is indicative of what the image a business or organization wants to convey.

Paper patterns

Papers may incorporate fancy elements like foil or glitter. Virgin paper’s choice can be vinyl, textured, magnetic, label or premium paper. With the emphasis on promoting a healthy environment, some clients think using recycled paper is a good idea. They should remember, however, that recycled paper is more expensive than virgin paper.

5. Ask the printer about the bleed zone

The bleed is how much space an image has between its edge and the paper. The typical bleed ranges from .1625” (1/16) to .25” (1/4). Think the bleed as an ‘insurance’ against printing errors.


Of course, clients can just put all the decision making in the hands of the printer. With a little knowledge, however, and certainly by collaborating with the printer, businesses are more likely to get print jobs that will reflect well on their businesses and organizations.

About the Author: Jessica Kane is a professional writer who has an interest in graphic design, marketing, and printing. She currently writes for 777 Sign, her go-to place for banner signs, custom flags, and custom signs printing.