Categories: Direct Mail Production
Some marketers consistently have issues with their print vendors whenever they send in an art file for an upcoming project. They either receive a myriad of questions from their client services representative before the proof is produced, because the art files don't match the job quote or, once the customer receives the proof, it is not what the marketer initially wanted. So, what are some reasons for these issues?
Here are 4 of the most common errors that prepress departments experience with an art file that's been submitted by a customer for a print project.
1. Missing Fonts: Since there are so many similar versions of fonts, it is hard for the printer to substitute the exact fonts. Substituting fonts can change the look of your printed piece and cause text to re-flow. Solution: Always include all fonts that are being used on your printed piece.
2. Incorrect page size and inadequate bleeds: Incorrect page sizes cannot always be fixed by scaling the size of your pages up or down. If you do scale your pages, make sure that the size of your file can be adjusted proportionately to the desired size. If your pages need to be enlarged, doing so could possibly compromise the resolution of the images in your materials. Solution: Make sure your document is the final trim size and that bleeds have been extended ¼ inch.
3. Missing, unlinked or low-resolution graphics: If your document shows an image, but the actual image file is missing, the image may have become unlinked when saved in a folder that is different from its original location. When a link is missing, the graphic will output in low-resolution or not at all. Solution: After saving your art file, double check that all links are included and up-to-date. Make sure your photos are at least 300 dpi and that they are saved at the actual print size.
4. No hard copy proof: A common error is pages being backed up incorrectly, as well as binding pages being out of sequence.
Solution: Provide your vendor with a hard copy printout. This lets your printer see the final approved document, allows them to check for discrepancies and clarify how you intend the layout to look. For digital files, send a PDF with color mock-ups for reference. For multi-page jobs, include a mock-up indicating how you want the document folded and bound.
To receive a step-by-step guide to help you produce your next direct mail campaign, download EU's free resource here, Planning for Success: A Guide to Planning a Direct Mail Campaign for Your Organization.