Knowing about print production processes is an invaluable aid in adhering to time and fiscal budgets. The more your designer knows at the start of a print project, the better s/he’ll be able to factor print production requirements into the graphic design. Some print production considerations include:
Type of Printing Equipment: Are you printing the job on an in-house laser printer, on a “digital printer” at the one-hour shop down the street, or on a professional offset printing press? Knowing the answers to these questions affects how the designer will set up the files — changing plans mid-stream means the designer may have to alter or recreate the layout file — costing additional time and/or money.
Dimensions & Shape: How big (physically) is your print project? How much room is there for images and text? Will the printer need to create a custom cutting die to trim the paper into a specific shape? Should the piece be folded?
Bleed: Should colors touch the edge of the paper? If so how much “bleed” (color that extends beyond the edge of the paper that gets trimmed off) does the printer require?
Colors: Are special ink mixes or colors specified by your brand identity guidelines?
Material: Printing on a colored background might require a white undercoat of ink, depending on the images that are included in the layout.
Distribution: How will the print project be distributed or displayed? Does it need to fit in an envelope or brochure rack? Can a lightweight paper be used to offset shipping costs?