What to consider when briefing your printer

Are you responsible for ordering the print requirements for your business? Whether that’s business cards and letterheads or brochures and flyers if you provide your printer with a good brief, you’ll benefit from a more efficient process, saving time (and hassle).

A brief doesn’t need to be a long complicated document, it just needs to highlight your key requirements and will help pre-empt the usual questions a printer may come back to you with, so have a look at our quick check list of what to include:

  1. State your print deadline – this is crucial in order to ensure expectations are met.
  2. Is it a new job or a reprint of a previous job?
  3. Will you be supplying the design/artwork? (If you wish for your printer to do design also then a separate design brief is recommended). If so then ensure your artwork is formatted ready for print with sufficient bleeds, image resolution, embedded fonts etc. This will help save time, but a good printer should also be able to sort all this out for you as well.
  4. If you are supplying the artwork then in what format will you be sending it? Options include:
    • Email attachment
    • Dropbox
    • Link from website
    • USB stick

It will also help if you state the file format you are using – PDF, jpeg etc. Ensure when you send artwork through you name your files correctly with project and business name.

  1. Specify the technical elements of your job:
    • Paper size / format – will it be A5 double-sided or a 20pp A4 document?
    • How many do you want printing?
    • State the type of paper you wish to use – if you’re not sure then a good printer will advise on this.
    • What colour requirements do you have? Will it be four-colour or mono for example? If you have specific brand colours make sure you provide the pantone reference for these. Remember what’s on screen will look different when printed so colour accuracy is very important.
    • Would you like the job to be folded or stapled? Do you wish to use embossing?
    • Is there a particular finish you want? Again your printer will be able to advise you on this if need be.
  2. Printed proofs should always be provided, but ensure you clarify that you require to see a proof. Signing off the print proof will ensure you are getting the outcome you have stipulated and will confirm to the printer you are happy with the set-up.
  3. Highlight where you require delivery of the job to go to, this can save time at the end of the process.
  4. Ask for a quotation to approve before the job commences – if you have a budget then make this clear, this will help the printer work within your parameters and they can manage expectations if they cannot product the job within the budget you have specified.

A good brief will save time

Remember, the more information you give to your printer, the more likely the result will be as you expected with fewer tweaks required. But your printer should also have the ability to advise you if they feel there are areas that can improve the outcome – and possibly save you time and money!

This may seem like a lot but once you have written one brief then the next will be a lot easier, and a little extra time spent up front can save a lot of time later down the line!

At Elpeeko we will take your brief and if we feel there is a better way of delivering a job, we will always present the option to ensure you get the best outcome within your budget and timescales. If you are unsure of anything you simply need to ask and we’ll help!