FROM CONCEPT TO FINISHED PRODUCT – THE PRINTING PROCESS EXPLAINED
You carefully open the boxes, breathing in the distinct smell of printing ink as you preview the first of your prized catalogues. Was it only a week ago you anxiously handed over that tiny USB to the team at Printcraft?
While we still believe in the ‘magic’, the truth is, it comes down to a well-oiled and meticulously managed set of processes that makes what we do look so effortless. Let’s discover what really happens behind those big grey factory doors as we explore the journey ‘From Concept to Finished Product – the Printing Process Explained’.
Design and Planning
The most important stage of any successful marketing campaign, regardless of channel, is planning. For print, this will include choosing the correct paper stock and binding methods, considering the need for a laminate or varnish, and discussing the timeframes, packing and delivery requirements with your Printcraft Account Manager.
Another critical element will be the creation of print-ready artwork – the map that essentially tells us how and what to print. Using the correct software for this stage is a must. Programs like Publisher, Canva and Word might be OK for building social media or online publications, but they don’t fare well in a world of CMYK printing.
Stick to software made for professional graphic design, allowing you to set bleed and trim marks and most importantly, export your files for commercial printing. If you’d like to know more about the differences in designing for a printed platform over a digital one, you’ll find some great tips in one of our recent blog posts.
Prepress and Proofing
Once your artwork is complete, you’ll hand it over, usually saved in a high-resolution PDF format, to your trusted Printcraft Account Manager. These files are checked by our prepress team, ensuring all images are converted to CMYK and of an acceptable print quality.
Proofing your job after it has been processed by the Pre-Press team is imperative. Although it may seem like a double up, occasionally what you see on screen is not always what you get. This is especially important with colour, screens, image resolution and transparencies.
Printcraft produces both hard and soft copy proofs for every job it prints, mails, or finishes. It’s simply part of the high-quality standards governed by our ISO certifications. We’re also one of the only Queensland printers to provide hard copy proofs on uncoated paper.
The proofs are approved and we’re ready to get down to the business of what we do so well – print.
Not all print is equal, because not all machines are equal. If you’ve ever had a glimpse at the Printcraft factory, you’ll probably remember all of those presses dedicated to … printing. Why – because different equipment suits different printing requirements. Although the finished product will be the same high-quality, the press we use is determined by quantity, turnaround time or in some cases the use of metallic or fluro inks or unique embellishment or finishing processes.
Finishing, packing and delivery
Often, this final stage of the process takes more time and precision than the printing we’re synonymously known for. Folding, binding, die-cutting, intricate packing, collation and distribution requirements are all part of the end to end service we provide to our customers. It’s how we ensure opening the first box of your catalogues, magazines or brochures will remind you why you entrusted that tiny USB to us in the first place.
If we’ve piqued your interest in the process of printing, why not pay us a visit when your next job is being produced. You’ll get a first-hand look at how it works, and get to see the extra Printcraft ‘magic’ we put into all of our work.
Got more questions about printing your magazine with Printcraft? Contact us to chat with one of our friendly representatives.