Perfect Estimates Every Time

If you don't get projects printed every day, it can be tough to know exactly which details are important for your next print project when talking with your printer. You may come armed with what you think is all the relevant information, as well as a well-formatted document, only to discover that you're more unprepared than you thought. Make getting an estimate easy with this handy guide!

Selecting Your Paper

The weight of paper you need for your printing project can vary based on your needs. For example, would you print a postcard on floppy inkjet paper? Probably not if you want it to survive the mailing process! Even if you aren't familiar with all of the nuances of paper selection, your printer can provide more information or make a recommendation based on your project specs.

paper on pallet

Folding and Binding

Depending on the type of project you're considering, you may need it either folded or bound. Folding is best for small brochures, letters, or posters while binding and other finishing options are ideal for larger projects such as books or folders of information.

The most commonly used binding options are:

  • Saddle stitch (staples in the middle of the fold)
  • Perfect binding (think of a traditional bookbinding)
  • Spiral or comb binding (similar to a spiral notebook)
  • Drilled binding (holes are drilled, as you would use for a 3-ring or 4-ring notebook)

Standard folds include:

  • single fold
  • brochure fold
  • accordion
  • gate folding

Binding options

Colors and Bleeds

Are there specific colors in your brand logo that need to be recreated exactly in your print project? If so, this an important detail when describing your print project.

Color is generally described as 4/2 or other "fractions." These notes indicate that there are four colors on the front of the sheet and two on the back. While it isn't critical that you know the printing terminology to get the perfect estimate, you will need to know how many colors are needed. Keep in mind that while four-color printing technically is four colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black), to you, it will appear to be a full-colored, vibrant piece.

When it comes to color, it's also important to know whether or not your image goes to the very edge of the page, also known as a "bleed." Be sure to come prepared with that information if the design reaches the edge on all four sides of the paper, as this can also affect your estimate.

color book

Finally, keep in mind these additional details when requesting an estimate: the quantity of items that you need to be printed, the printed and finished sizes for your project, the number of overall pages, your delivery date, and any delivery instructions. While it may seem as though you have plenty of time for your project, small decisions can cause delays -- which can really add up in project time!

Are you ready for your next printing estimate? Give us a call today!

White Space Is Not Your Enemy

by by Kim Golombisky and Rebecca Hagen

White Space Is Not Your Enemy is a practical graphic design and layout guide that introduces concepts and practices necessary for producing effective visual communication across a variety of formats―from web to print. Sections on Gestalt theory, color theory, and WET layout are expanded to offer more in-depth content on those topics. This new edition features new covering current trends in web design―Mobile-first, UI/UX design, and web typography―and how they affect a designer's approach to a project. The entire book will receive an update using new examples and images that show a more diverse set of graphics that go beyond print and web and focus on tablet, mobile and advertising designs.