How to set-up a file for commercial printing

Dealing with your business’s commercial printing work can be a time-consuming chore. It is important to know what specifics your commercial printer is wanting when it comes to file preparation.  These simple steps will ensure there are no unexpected delays or costs. 


Send the right kind of file

The number of hours your commercial printer’s prepress team spends fixing badly formatted documents is staggering. The first step in speeding up delivery of your print job is simple: ask your printer for their file specifications. Be sure you have the correct measurements for common document areas (the trim, bleed, and offset areas, for example) and create your documents accordingly.

The next part of sending a good document to the printer is ensuring you choose the right type of file. This doesn’t mean you need any fancy software or a degree in graphic design from a top-five university – your printer will tell you which file type is easiest for them, and the odds are good you’ll have software to create it installed on your computer already. The majority of commercial printing firms prefer PDF files. Some printers have specific “PDF presets” they will want you to use – so ask, if your printer has something specific that’s required, they’re more than likely going to be able to walk you through installing it with a few simple clicks.

Submit your jobs digitally

The worst thing about sending a job to the printer is getting a phone call from the prepress guys telling you that they can’t work with the file you sent for some reason or another. That is, unless you sent the file to them on a CD in the mail last week and you need your job back in 72hrs. This is a completely avoidable problem in our high-speed-internet world – emailing your lovely PDF, using your commercial printer’s FTP site or a simple web uploader gets your file to the prepress guys within a few minutes. This means you’ll know much sooner if everything is in good order or if you really should’ve replaced that low-res looking picture on page three.

Like many things in business, saving time and money on commercial printing jobs is easy when you know how. The professionals at HardingPoorman are always happy to discuss the ways we can help you more efficiently complete your printing projects on time.