Set Your Site on the Future®

Print Project Planning Guide

As you begin to plan your printing project, ask questions!

Charlotte’s Web Studios can help you to avoid possible problems and suggest ideas & enhancements that you might not have considered. We will help you to be aware of the costs and limitations involved in the printing and production process and can help you plan, design, and deliver a printed piece that gives you the biggest “bang for your buck”!

Questions to Ask …
Think About Your Audience

Identify your target audience and shape your message and printing needs accordingly.

  • How can you best reach your audience?
  • What is the message you would like your audience to take away from this piece?
  • How would you like your audience to respond to the piece?
  • Is there a “call to action”?


Decide on the Format of the Piece

How much information you have or wish to convey will ultimately guide the format and size needed. Should the piece be a brochure, booklet, flyer, poster, postcard, media kit, or a combination?


Gather & Organize Your Content
  • What information should be contained in the printed piece?
  • Who will write and/or edit the copy?
  • Who will supply the images?
  • Do you have specific photos or images that need to be used in the piece?
  • Do you have copyright or license to use the images?
  • Have you obtained model releases for the people included in your in-house photographs?
  • Are your images high resolution (at least 300 dpi)?


Determine Any Design Requirements

If you have other printed marketing pieces, be sure to gather them & give them to Charlotte’s Web Studios. Does your company or organization have a specific color scheme, corporate colors, or type face that needs to be incorporated into the print project?

Determine the Shelf Life of the Piece

How long do you expect to use the publication? Will the information be out of date in a short time? Can you print a large quantity and use it over a year or more?


Determine How You Will Distribute the Piece
  • Will the printed piece be mailed?
  • Will the piece be a self-mailer?
  • Does it need a large or oversized envelope?
  • Will you need distribution services?


Make a Project Schedule

The single most important item in planning your print project is a realistic project schedule.

It is imperative to allow adequate time for designs, revisions & edits, proofs, print production, and shipping of the final product. It is therefore very important to discuss timeframes with both the designer and printer before beginning a project and to put together a realistic schedule.

Rushing to complete projects &/or making last minute changes can incur additional costs & often result in errors or less than optimal pieces, not to mention the additional stress it will cause everyone involved in the project.


Maximize Your Printing Budget

There are design alternatives that CWS can implement to help you keep printing costs down. Let CWS know up front what your printing budget is and we will help you design the most effective and attractive piece for your budget.

In general, the more colors a piece is printed in, the more expensive the printing often is. Color is used in one of two ways in offset printing: spot color and full color process.

  • Process color (CMYK) is used to reproduce full color photographs. The expense of process color comes from the fact that four plates are needed per page.
  • Spot color does not use as many plates and is usually less expensive to print.

In printer lingo, a bleed is when the ink goes the whole way to the edge of a printed sheet. In order to print ink to the edge of a page, the piece will be printed on larger paper (printing the ink beyond the final edge) and trimmed to the final size. Although bleeds make for very attractive design, they can increase the printing costs.

Page Sizes & Dies
Custom page sizes, folds, and dies usually result in greater printing and set up costs. If printing cost is an issue, try to stick with standard sizes and die cuts.


Other Things to Keep in Mind to Reduce Printing Costs

Choose lighter papers: the heavier the paper, the more expensive it will be.

Varnishes & Coatings
Custom varnishes or coatings will add to the look and attractiveness of your piece, but may also increase the production costs.

Quantity Ordered
With offset printing, there are usually large set up costs involved. Therefore, ordering larger quantities often results in less expensive costs per piece. Also, keep in mind that if you do not have adequate storage space, or if your content will quickly become out of date, large runs are not always an economical solution.

Contact us for more information!

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