If your Printer wont pick up the phone, read this!

In this current climate many more people are producing their own material and literature rather than using a designer and then looking to engage a printer.

From personal experience and stories told to me by several good friends (its not true that all printers hate designers) here are a few tips that will help to generate a happy warm welcome when you walk through their door rather than having to listen to their answer phone constantly or watching their car head off in the opposite direction as you arrive!

If you have artwork files ready to send him you will know the size of the finished job for him to base a quote on.

The easiest thing to do first is talk to your chosen printer and ask his advice.

Decide what quantity you would like.

You can ask for a price for a variety of quantities – within reason, to consider price and what you can afford.

Do you want a small run of 50 or 100 or 200 or whether you want a larger run of 500, 1000 2000, the price on smaller quantities will be very similar because of set up time, larger quantities will vary more as paper and ink requirements will be substantially different.

What weight of paper do you need?

The more graphics or solid colour photographs or images the more likely you will get ‘show through’ if using a light weight paper. This means you can read the back thru the front. It is cheaper but the results will be disappointing. This does effect price depending on quantity. Look at using 130 gsm in the very least, I recommend 150/170 gsm, the quality will be worth it!

What file format does he require?

If its in word, powerpoint or publisher he may put the phone down I warn you, in fact Microsoft files in general are likely to result in an increase in price! Microsoft software is not meant to be used for professional printing, home office printing is fine and can live up to expectations but not professional printing criteria.

Anything in giff or even jpg will not be relished either. It would normally cost you more for the printer to reformat the files to be able to print it properly but even so the resolution may not be good enough.

Your files must be saved and delivered at 300 dpi (dots per inch)

Correct resolution is 300 dpi to print, web resolution is 72 dpi and will print much much smaller when converted…
900 x 900 pixels file @72 dpi = 317.5 mm
900 x 900 pixels file @ 300 dpi = 76.2mm (300dpi = 300 dots per inch)

The ‘PDF’ is the best all round and safest option. You should have no resolution problems, or font problems or missing photo/picture issues.  Beware tho, what the pdf displays is what will be printed, so make sure it is checked and you are happy.

Please use a high resolution PDF format, not the lowest you can save it as!

Sending files in RGB rather than CMYK will probably just make him laugh as he has seen it so many times. It will print but may not produce the results you have seen on your screen.

Depending on how much your Printer loves you, depends on what he will do to help and make sure your files produce the most favourable result!

If in doubt, take him cakes or beer but to make it even easier – just pay his bill on time!


Thanks to Mr Happy and Angry Birds for their images!


Angie Phillips of A.N.G Creative Design, based in Essex, UK, helping you communicate your message to your clients and generating more leads and sales.


For tips on "How To Work With A "God" Oops! I Mean, "Good" Graphic Designer And Save Money! Download the book now