So your ready to get stuck into a new fresh exciting project. Before you spend hours designing the perfect brochure, mailshot, leaflet, pop-up, pull up, poster or postcard ask yourself HOW your project is being printed. If it's a digital print job, then there are some factor you need to consider.
The following points should be considered when designing a document that will be printed with digital equipment:
1 Select media that has been rated to be used with a digital press. Unlike conventional equipment, the electrophotographic process of digital presses use high temperatures to fuse toner to the substrate. Some media may not be able to withstand the high heat, which can cause the paper to curl or crack and the toner may not fuse to the substrate properly. Seek help from the professionals, they do this every day it's their job.
2 For variable information jobs, enough space must be provided in each of the text fields on the document to accommodate the longest entry from the database. This will ensure that the variable text will not interfere with the static elements of the design.
3 The maximum image area of the digital press must be taken into account in order to provide proper paper bleeds.
4 Images with a resolution that is too low will have a "pixelated" appearance when output. Using images with a resolution of 300 dpi or more will prevent pixelation.
5 Halos may appear around black type overprinted onto a colored background on applications printed on a digital press. Areas where halos could occur should be eliminated when possible.
6 Avoid heavy toner or ink coverage, especially on both sides of the paper, to help eliminate possible paper curling problems.
7 The toner or ink coverage on large areas of solid color may be inconsistent and screen tints can appear to be blotchy if printed in large areas, so documents should be designed accordingly.
8 It is possible for toner to flake off the substrate in areas where the document is folded. Large solid areas may need to be moved to areas of the design where folding doesn't occur.
9 Vignettes should be designed with a wide gradation range to avoid possible banding problems.
10 Communication with the print supplier is important to determine the limitations that they may have with their digital equipment allowing for the most suitable designs to be created for each variable print application.
Finally, choose a reputable printer who you can trust. If your chosen printer has many accolades chances are they know what they are doing and your finished project will look as vibrant in print as it did on screen. Most importantly enjoy the printing and completion of the project as much as the design and concept. Digital Print really is astounding and can help bring your ideas to life, only when it is done correctly with due care and attention.