5 Steps to Simplify Your Magazine Printing Process
Magazine printing and design can be a time consuming and stressful undertaking. As with any complex process, the best strategy is to break your tasks up into more manageable parts. Although your business will have complete control over the look and feel of the final process, you shouldn’t hesitate to consider your printing company as a partner rather than an accessory. As you finish your designs and make your creative choices, your printing company can provide you with critical suggestions to improve the quality and cost of the final product.
In this article, we will break down the steps to help you streamline your magazine printing process. Following a checklist ensures that you will address all of your primary concerns and prevents you from overlooking critical components that might lead to unfortunate mistakes. Choosing a printing company that offers superior customer service and good communication will also help make your magazine printing process more successful and stress-free.
5 Steps to Simplify Your Magazine Printing Process
Any piece of printed material that bears your logo is a reflection of your brand. It is important that all your printed material is consistent with the overall look, quality, and feel of your company. As you are designing a magazine, there are many choices that you need to make in the earliest phases of creative development. Cost is always an important consideration, but it’s equally important to choose materials, sizes, and quantities that will best accomplish your purpose. Your printing company can help guide you in the materials that will do the best job at the most economical price.
Magazine printing is a challenging task that provides a lot of opportunity for creativity and fun. It is always more efficient to take the time at the beginning of the process for brainstorming and planning sessions. Outlining a detailed plan from the beginning helps prevent the need for making time-consuming changes as the project develops. Here are some important steps to consider.
1. Pick Your Printing Company First
Before you begin to think about the look and feel of your magazine, you should begin the process of selecting a printing company. You should consider the printer’s run capacity to give you an idea of how quickly the magazine will be produced after all the design decisions are made, and the finalized graphics are provided. Many magazines contain time-sensitive material, and it is detrimental to their effectiveness if there is a long production delay.
It is imperative that you select a printer that has superior customer service. To create a successful magazine requires significant communication between the client and the printer. You need a printer that you can trust who is able to take the time to create a personal relationship and who demonstrates that they care about the project. You need to rely on your printer to give you good advice about what materials are available to bring your product to life, and you need to trust their recommendations. Finally, you need to rely on your printer to be the final element of quality control for your project.
2. Request a Template
All printers will provide you with guidelines for graphic requirements. Trim lines, margin areas, and fold lines are all important considerations that will influence the quality of your final product. Many printers can adapt your graphics to their requirements after submission, but the process sometimes results in undesirable graphic distortion. The best way to ensure that you will have a good idea of exactly how your final magazine will look is to work from a precise template either provided by the printer, or one that is made based on the printer’s specific instructions.
Most printing companies use similar measurements, but there can be some internal variation from company to company. Some countries also use slightly different standard sizes, so it is best to verify the dimensions at the outset of the project. Working from a template takes out the guesswork and helps avoid the counterintuitive mistakes that can creep in as a project transitions from concept to the final product.
3. Consider Your Paper Weight and Finish
The paper that you use for your magazine will depend on the contents of the final product. If your magazine is mainly text-based, you can often save printing and distribution costs by using a lightweight, uncoated paper. Newsprint makes a very effective interior for a text-based magazine that is easy to read. If your magazine contains removable forms that need to be filled out and mailed, newsprint makes for a convenient writing surface.
If you are creating a magazine that has a lot of photos, you should probably choose a glossy or matte finish. Glossy photos have that wet look that is very glamorous. A matte finish does not have the shine of a glossy finish, but it emphasizes the color and detail of a photo better than uncoated paper. Matte is a good choice if your magazine has a lot of photos, but still has fifty percent or more text content. Remember that you can always use a sheet of glossy paper for a dynamic cover and then use a more cost-effective material for the interior pages.
4. Design Graphics and Layout
Once you have established the production elements and the dimensions, you can begin to design your magazine. Once you have finished your graphics, be sure to discuss with your printing company how the graphics need to be arranged on the sheets. Page arrangement for a large magazine can become complicated since the pages are stacked together and then stapled or bound in the middle. Some printing companies require that you send the print layout, and other printing companies will rearrange your graphics in preproduction.
Most printing magazines will send an electronic proof before they begin to print. Even if you feel that everything is perfect, it is still important to spend a significant amount of time with the final proof. Every step of the printing process represents a new opportunity where errors can be inserted into the product, and reviewing the proof is your last chance to make changes before the magazine is produced.
5. Consider Your Distribution
Paper is one of the most expensive things to ship, so it’s important to consider the distribution element of your magazine printing. Many printing companies can send your magazines directly to your mailing list as part of their standard service. This saves you the cost of transporting the printed magazine to your office or place of business unnecessarily. Direct distribution from your printing company also ensures that the magazine gets in the mail the moment it comes off the press and into the hands of your customers and clients as soon as possible.
Simplify Your Magazine Printing Process
Developing a relationship with the right printing company makes all the difference in simplifying your magazine printing process. You need a company with a superior commitment to customer service that can act as a final level of quality control at every step of your process. It’s important to have clear communication to ensure the printing company knows and shares your expectations for your product. Finally, you need a company that can handle high volume print runs with minimal delay.
By following a simple checklist, you can be assured of creating a physical magazine that meets or exceeds your expectations. If you would like assistance with your magazine printing needs, contact Dollco Print Solutions Group today!