Tips on Printing & Distribution
Getting printing estimates early in the process is critical, since the printing specifications you can afford will influence the design and layout.
Traditional offset printing is now supplemented with a number of different options, most notably color photocopying and digital printing, both of which may make small-quantity, full-color printing more affordable. Offset printing typically requires the most time and is meant for larger print runs and higher quality print jobs.
Print a High-Quality Piece
GET HELP FINDING A PRINT VENDOR AND OBTAINING PRINT BIDS
If you are working with a project manager in Creative Services, our print production specialist will manage getting competitive printing bids for you. Otherwise, you should contact University Procurement Services to arrange for bids.
INFORMATION THE PRINTER WILL NEED
Before you send the job to the printer, you will need to
- confirm quantity, size, paper, inks, other specifications such as folding;
- confirm in what electronic format the printer requires files to be prepared; and
- provide delivery instructions, including a contact person and phone number for each delivery location.
PROOFS, PRESS CHECKS, DELIVERY INSPECTIONS
- Before your job actually runs on press, the printer will provide a printer’s proof that is the closest possible representation of the final product. (Note that for print advertisements, you will not get a proof from the media in which your ad will appear; so be extra careful to review your ad for accuracy before releasing it to a newspaper, magazine, or other media.)
- Review the printer’s proof carefully—this is your last opportunity to spot errors before your press run.
- Corrections made at this stage are generally quite expensive, however, so limit changes to egregious errors.
- For complex projects with critical color elements or complex production, send a production specialist to the press run for a press check.
- Inspect samples upon delivery to confirm the job was produced to your specifications.
Think Distribution Early On
- Have your distribution plan in place before your publication is completed.
- If your piece is to be mailed, you’ll need mailing lists, labels, etc.
- Some printers manage “fulfillment,” i.e., they handle the mailing for you.
- You will need to considered whether your publication is a self-mailer with a mailing panel or if it will require an envelope.
- It’s important to check United States Postal Service postal regulations early in the production process to be sure your piece meets requirements and will not incur extra charges due to odd size, weight, etc.
- Rutgers Mail Services is another good source of information on mailing and distribution.
Print Professional Services and Projects
Some vendors offer full-service assistance, while others may handle just one or several phases of print production.
University Communications and Marketing provides Rutgers-affiliated units an opportunity to work with external vendors who are selected through a competitive bidding process. To learn more, email Jeanne Weber. Vendors also can be contracted through University Procurement Services.