Ways to Make Your Print Project Great
Designing for print can be a daunting task. Mistakes can be sometimes difficult to predict as well as costly, and not as easily fixable as on web. It takes careful consideration and planning to account for the differences of designing for print instead of digital design.
We’ve already written about common mistakes to avoid, but you don’t want to simply avoid failure. You want to make sure your project excels in a print environment. While considering things like printing formats, colors, and file types is a great way to start, there are other steps to take to ensure a successful print project. Here are some steps you can take when beginning a new print design projects to make sure it goes smoothly.
Figure Out Your Goals
When beginning a new project, the best first step is always to set your project goals. Often, projects will have similar goals in common with each other, especially if they’re serving your business. The end goal will always be to further your business in some way. But each project probably has a more specific purpose, or method of completing your overarching goals. Figuring out specifically what your project’s goals are is a great way to remember the big picture at the beginning of the project before you get lost in the weeds.
Asking yourself basic questions is a great way to begin the process of deciding your project goals for this print design. What audience do you want to reach? Why is this print project the best way to do so? In what context will this project be viewed? Why are you trying to reach your audience?
Keeping these questions in mind will help you determine your project’s goals. Then, as you go forward completing the print project, remember to keep your goals in mind. It doesn’t do you any good to set these goals if you don’t stick with them! Otherwise, you and your project will easily get off track.
See What Other People Do
After setting your goals, it can be helpful to explore how others achieve their own. While your company is unique, along with your goals, you can probably find someone who’s at least trying to do something similar. And if they’re doing something similar, it’s possible that they’ve done a similar project in the past.
This is useful for a couple of reasons. First, it will help you see whether people have had success through your printing project in the past. You’ll also be able to get a better sense of what about the project brought them success. It’ll also help you see what some setbacks of their approach was. Finally, you’ll be able to figure out how to make your project different. You don’t want to do the exact same thing that they do, or else you’ll simply blend in with your competition.
You also don’t have to limit yourself to comparing yourself to your competitors. You can also look at other approaches to the printing project from totally different companies. This can help you have a fresh take on your project, and bring an approach that can set you apart from your competition. As long as you make sure it serves your goals, taking inspiration from others is a great way to set yourself up for success on a print project.
Explore Printing Options
Another extremely important thing to research is the best printer for your project. While this may seem obvious, finding a good printer can be a little more complicated than simply finding the top result from a search engine. It’s important to consider what’s most important to your project, whether it be speed, quality, or price. After that, getting quotes and samples will help you decide what the best printer is for you.
There are more and more options for printing, especially with the advent of the internet. Online resources like GotPrint and CatPrint make it easier to find a printer anywhere, with many options for printing projects and materials. However, there’s also benefits to a printer in your area. You’re better able to view the materials in person and address issues.
Regardless of what you decide, consider continuing to use the same printer going forward. Keeping a good relationship with a printer can do you favors in the future, like getting special deals and favors. Maintaining a relationship like that can be work, but if done correctly it can really pay off.
Once you’ve settled on a printer, it’s time to consider the material of your project, which is a great way to make your project special. Your printer will be able to guide you through this part of the process by making suggestions that match both your project and budget. You’ve probably already got an idea of what you want or expect, but don’t be afraid to explore other options. A special textured paper or nice effect can make a world of difference in a project.
There’s more to materials than just nice paper, though. Some printers can print on specialized things like wood or metal, and while that’s definitely not necessary for all print projects, knowing that’s an option can create new possibilities for your print project. There’s also special effects you can apply to your print project. You’ve probably seen these effects in actions, like embossing or special inks. Ask your printer what possible steps you could take to set apart your print project. They’ll probably have some suggestions. Just remember that this often can drive up the price.
Set a Timeline for Your Print Project
Once you’ve done this prep work, it’s time to get down to business. Making sure everything stays on track for your project is an essential ingredient to success. Without deadlines and coordination, nothing ever gets done. Setting a timeline makes sure everyone’s on the same page when it comes to a print project.
Of course, you have to consider the needs of those on your team when setting a project timeline. Remember to communicate with your team and figure out what they need to succeed, whether it’s time or resources. Otherwise, this will simply lead to hurt feelings. And in something like a print project, which often requires coordination between different groups of people, that confusion can easily lead to failure. Make sure you’re communicative with your expectations and goals and everything will hopefully go smoothly.
Remember What’s Realistic
Of course, while exploring all these exciting options for printing, it can be easy to get over your head. Make sure you stay focused on the limitations of print. While printing becomes more and more advanced, options continue to expand. However, there are still things that are difficult or expensive to print. Printing on unusual shapes, or trying to create odd colors, will often create difficulties for you and your printer. Make sure you listen to your printer about what’s possible and not possible. Understanding what’s possible will help you make sure you maintain a good relationship with your printer. In addition, it makes sure you get what you expected, and that you’re happy with the results.
While printing can be difficult, remembering these steps will help you as you move forward. Remembering its limitations is important, but don’t forget what’s possible with print either. Keep working to understand print and you’ll be on your way to excellent print projects in no time.
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