Q+A with our print production specialist–Jason (plus tips for marketers)
Q: Can you walk us through the process of pre-press?
A: After I receive the finished artwork I make sure that it prints the way that it is intended to. Color is very subjective and sometimes results can be unpredictable. I quality check the file on screen, save it to a print-ready file and then print a proof back to the designer. Together we look over the proof and tweak anything necessary until the finished product matches the initial vision for the piece. Close collaboration with the designer is an absolute necessity when getting a print job done right.
Q: What piece of print production equipment do you enjoy operating the most?
A: I'm a little biased here because I have an extensive wide-format background, so I really love the Roland Eco-Solvent. It is just so versatile, going from small cut decals, to huge outdoor banners and vehicle graphics.
Q: Can you share any tips or tricks on how to train the eye to have a sharp attention to detail?
A: I try to be observant of everything around me. I make mental notes of everything I see that communicates to me visually - such as the font that is used on a movie poster or the color temperature of room lighting. This sounds basic but having good vocabulary and spelling skills is a must also.
Q: Can you give us a rundown of print lingo? Coated, uncoated, trim size, bleeds, cover stock, etc. What does it all mean and what should marketers care about?
A: There are so many specific terms in the print and color world. But fortunately, many of them mean the same thing or meanings can be inferred. In the digital press world, stock is what you would be printing on. Coated/uncoated is basically synonymous with gloss/matte. Cover stock is heavier, business card weight. Text stock is lighter and works well for flyers and magazine pages, etc. On the wide format side, "stock" is usually called media or substrate. Many of the materials are adhesive or waterproof because they need to be more substantial or they get mounted to other "substrates" to provide strength and durability.
Marketers should know that print is very dynamic. I equate our digital presses with a more intimate product. The end user touches it, so it's smaller sized pieces and it's made to convey messages on a personal level. Wide format printing is more in-your-face. You have to use it to grab the attention of a large group of consumers, usually from a distance. But the two formats work together for the ultimate experience.