When it comes to digital printing, the details are everything. Without getting your details in line and nailed down, the piece itself – whatever it is – will suffer.
As digital printing pros, we’ve discovered many details that have to be just right in the planning and execution stages to make a print job picture-perfect.
Here are two big ones to consider.
Bleed vs. No Bleed – When Bleed Matters
In printing, ‘bleed’ refers to printing that goes beyond where the edge of the piece will be when it is trimmed (example shown below). Bleed is a safe zone; it gives the printer margin for error and ensures that when the piece is trimmed, it will not have an unprinted edge.
Of course, you don’t have to have bleed. You can choose to print your piece with a no-bleed option, which means your piece will have a border around it (generally white).
Bleeding your image can better ensure that it is properly situated, since it can be safely trimmed. No-bleeding your image can create a nice border, but it also increases the chance that the image can appear off-center, or with an unsightly white strip on one or more sides.
Printing Pantone Colors – When a .JPG Doesn’t Cut It
Another detail has little to do with anything on paper and much more to do with the file format your piece is created in – which has a lot to do with how it will look.
Digital printers use Pantone colors to ensure color integrity and consistency. These colors are best kept consistent when the image is created as something other than a JPEG (.jpg) file. JPEG files, after all, strip the Pantone information when the image is created.
To avoid this, always submit PDF files for print. It is best if you create these files using your native logo formats – .ai or .eps files. The first is an Adobe Illustrator file; the second is an Encapsulated PostScript file. Both can be used to maintain the integrity of your colors and make sure they are consistent when they go to print.
The devil – and great prints – are in the details. Make sure your digital printing partner understands these details and other graphic design mistakes to make your print look fantastic.