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Prepare a publication for commercial printing

1-4 Ask your printer

Avoid problems that will cost you time and money when you have to redo parts of your publication in order to print it. Your commercial printing service has the professional know-how to help you plan and create a publication that meets your needs within your budget.

Commercial printing can be complex. If you decide to have your publication commercially printed, you should consult your commercial printer before you start. Your printer can help you determine what you need to do to get the best results with minimal cost and problems.

When you talk to your printer, make sure to ask about the following:

  • Cost    Cost will vary greatly depending on the kind of printing you have done. You should get estimates for different kinds of printing, such as black and white, spot-color, and process color, so you can decide what is best for your job and budget. (These kinds of printing will be covered in the following lesson.)
  • Graphics    Your commercial printer will let you know what kind of graphics to use to get the best results and avoid printing errors. If you don't have the equipment or experience to create suitable graphics, some commercial printers offer scanning and graphic design services.
  • Delivery    Ask your printing service if they accept Publisher files. If you can't locate a commercial printer who does, you can ask about other ways to submit your publication for printing. Most commercial printers will accept PostScript files or PDF files and will provide you with instructions on how to make these from your publication.
  • What else?    Be proactive. Make sure to find out what you don't know, but need to. Your printing service will likely have some requirements for files that are submitted to them. If these requirements aren't presented up front, ask.

When working with your printer, be flexible. You may find that altering your publication a little will let you print it with much less expense. For example, instead of color photographs, use grayscale (black and white). Grayscale photographs require only black ink instead of the four process colors.

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