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How to prepare documents for commercial printing

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commercial printing

If you’re planning to print a large number of documents at once for your business—and want a high-quality finish—commercial printing is the way to go. However, if you haven’t set up your documents correctly, you might not get the results you’re after.

Following these steps will help you achieve crisp, vibrant commercial prints every time.    

1. Optimise the resolution

If you’ve ever tried to print an image that looked great on-screen, but it came out blurry and jagged, you’ll know that resolution matters!

To achieve the best commercial printing results, you’ll need to set up your document’s resolution to meet appropriate printing standards. We recommend a resolution of at least 300 DPI, although 600 DPI is the standard for optimal quality.

Remember—if you try to upsize a smaller image to 300 DPI or above, you may lose quality. It’s best to start with a document or photo that meets these minimum standards.  

2. Choose print-friendly colours

A common problem many businesses face involves a printed image or document’s colours not matching the original design. You’ll need to choose your colours carefully to avoid this mishap.

When designing a document, the colours you’ll see on the screen follow the RGB colour scheme—red, green, and blue. Your monitor blends these colours to produce others.

Most printers use a different colour scheme known as CMYK—cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. The colours you see on your monitor may look different on your printout.

To ensure colour consistency when printing, you can:

  • Convert your document’s colours to CMYK before printing.
  • Use your software’s in-built CMYK slider to select colours.
  • Avoid using excessively bright colours in your design.     

3. Save in the appropriate file format

Once you’ve finished designing your document, it’s time to save it in the correct file format. TIFF and PDF are the standard and most widely accepted formats for commercial printing.

If you’re using the PDF format, it’s important to ensure your fonts transfer properly to the print shop’s computer. If the print shop doesn’t have the fonts you’ve used installed on their system, it could affect the print output.

You can solve this problem by embedding your fonts into your PDF document or converting your text to vector images. This change is possible with graphics editing software like Adobe Illustrator.

Avoid using JPEG or other high-compression file formats—your images and texts will significantly drop in quality.   

4. Deliver your files with ease

So, you’ve prepared and saved your documents—now it’s time to deliver them to the print shop. The first step is to compress your document into a ZIP file for quick transfer.

You have a few options for delivering your files, including:

  • Sending them as an email attachment,
  • Using the print shop’s file upload form,
  • Writing the files to an external HDD or USB drive.

Get quality results every time

Commercial printing is ideal for printing large quantities of photos, documents, business cards, flyers, posters, and more. Follow these tips to guarantee a result that reflects your business’s dedication to quality.

Pre-press commercial printing” is the stage before actual printing that encompasses tasks such as creating documents, editing, and preparing images and files. It aims at guaranteeing an error-free and efficient printing process. This phase is crucial in delivering printed materials of superior quality with a professional appearance.

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