The Importance of Numbers
If you’re going to bake a three-layered chocolate cake, you will need more than just a list of ingredients. You will need the exact measurements for each ingredient and specific instructions that explain which ingredients are mixed first, what the bake time is, how to layer the cake, how to add the frosting and etc. Without measurements and specific instructions, your cake may not look, or taste, how you thought it would.
Print projects work the same with just a few minor differences. Your print estimator is going to assess the entire print project to determine how the job needs to be completed, where it needs to be produced and what the end price will be. Without all the information, the turnaround time will be lengthened and can delay the production time, increase costs, and reduce the overall quality of the final product.
Print estimators need to know certain information in order to provide you an accurate and timely print quote. We decided to create this Print Cheat Sheet to make this process easy.
- Quantity – Your print estimator needs to know the exact number of print pieces you need.
- Size – The flat size (before bindery) and the finished size (after the bindery) need to be specified.
- Paper – Two specs your print estimator needs are the paper weight and type. The paper type specs should indicate if it needs to be coated or uncoated.
- Inks and Coatings – Types of inks and coatings. (spot colors, PMS colors, types of Inks, UV inks, aqueous coatings, fluorescent inks)
- Enhancements – The type of enhancements on your print piece, such as Scodix SENSETM, liquid metal, or embossing, are one of the factors that determine whether the estimator needs to send it to a different facility or if it can be done in house.
- Bindery – If you are printing a booklet, report, or a print piece that has multiple pages, you will need to specify what type of binding you need for your piece.
- Fold – There are many different types of folds that range from simple to complex; the complex types of folds are what your print estimator wants to know about in case he/she needs to send it elsewhere to be produced.
- Lettershop – If you are mailing a self-mailer piece or brochure and need to add wafer seals, fugitive glue, etc., then that also needs to be specified. (Include info on how it’s going to be mailed such as first class, standard etc.)
- Variable Printing – What variable components will you be using? Are they simple or complex? A simple variable would be the address field and name and a more complex variable would include different color print materials, different pictures within a box etc.
- Envelope – Will you need an envelope with your print piece? If so, will you need a closed face envelope or a window envelope? This needs to be specified because if you need a close-faced envelope and your print piece has variables, then barcodes are needed in order for the envelope and piece to match. Barcodes are placed on the piece and envelope in order to identify them as one. The inserter reads the barcode and tells the ink jetter which address to put on the envelope.
Your print estimator wants to get you the “three-layered chocolate cake” you envision. If you follow this cheat sheet and ensure that every ingredient, measurement, and layering technique is listed, you can help ensure the accuracy of the quote and reduce turn around time.
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