Many errors creep into your design, from spelling to structure. To eliminate nasty surprises, review the design before you print.
Export your design in PDF-X1a. It includes all print-related requirements.
A. Export your design to a digital PDF and check it.
Inspect the photos and illustrations. Can anything use retouching?
Check the spelling. If your design tool won’t help, paste the text in a tool.
Scan the last and first words in columns or pages for a correct flow.
Are the headlines and text complete?
Is the text consistently ragged (regular) or justified (touching the ends)?
B. Recruit fresh eyes to scan for errors.
The more time you spend with a design, the more invisible errors become. You should let others review your design to make sure it’s faultless.
C. Get a proof from your printer. (Optional)
Never do expensive print runs without a proof. This is a sample that shows you how your design file looks look in real life.
A PDF won’t do. Your monitor isn’t reality, so the colors might turn out different in print. And don’t use your desktop printer – the quality won’t be representative. So ask your printer for a proof. Then check:
Is the paper size and type right?
How did the colors turn out?
Are all the images and graphics razor-sharp?
Are the outer and inner margins correct and consistent?
Does the binding cut off or hide things?
For big products – like billboards – ask for a reduced-size proof or one showing only a critical piece.
D. Print and publish
Printing the double quantity is often only marginally more expensive than the printing the quantity you actually need.
Don’t order more. You’ll have to make the inevitable changes. And who wants to deal with pounds and pounds of obsolete paper?
For publishing digital documents I recommend to:
- Export the design as an interactive PDF with Use the export options to keep your documents under 2 MB.
- Rename it so it is easily searched for: “Brand Name Brochure EN”
- Upload the document to your server or into your WordPress CRM.
- Create branded links that anaylse document traffic. (Optional)
OK, you can hit that send button now. Say a little prayer as you do.