Hiring a commercial printing company to help with a project has many advantages. Doing the work, however, involves more than handing your specs to the pros and watching the magic happen.
You should plan to contribute to a commercial printing effort, too. A checklist for your project can be invaluable, and here are three items you'll want to have on it.
Printing Processes and Materials
Commercial printing services are based largely on two things. First, there is the printing process. Second, there are the materials.
Printing processes are based on how many colors are used. A four-color process known as CMYK is the most common cheap options, and a 6-color process is one of the better options. More colors equal higher costs, but they also add to image quality.
Printing materials for projects also determine quality and cost. Standard paper types are based on weight and brightness. Heavier weights provide greater strength and less flexibility. Higher brightness tends to create a sense of quality, too. You'll also encounter unique issues involving unusual materials, such as see-through plastics, and you should discuss these with the team at the commercial printing company before committing to a project.
If you're planning to use your own digital files for a project, it's a good idea to ask the printer what their preferred type is. Aim for a lossless digital format that supports color profiles so all of your imagery will be fully preserved.
You should also have multiple files to address different printing needs. For example, a logo that might look amazing on a huge banner may not work as well for a label printing job. You may need to reconfigure the imagery for the smaller format, possibly even doing a second take on the logo to suit the format. The commercial printing services provider can produce proofs so you can see what the results will look like.
Check All of the Content
There are many tiny errors that can be embarrassing to deal with if they end up in the final product. Whether you're providing the files or having the printer do the design work, it's wise to pay close attention to potential errors at every step of the process. Check for typos and grammatical errors, especially ones that could be read negatively in different contexts.
Likewise, make sure the images look right. Also, confirm that you have the legal right to use all images contained within the project.
If you are getting ready to complete a commercial printing project, like label printing, find a trustworthy professional to help.