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10 Questions You Should Ask Your Commercial Printer

Friday 7th May 2021

10 Questions You Should Ask Your Commercial Printer

When it comes to getting great results from your printer, awareness is key. The more you understand the process, the easier it'll be for you to obtain fantastic results.

To help you ensure your creative project runs smoothly, here are ten questions you should ask your printer before you embark on your next creative project:

1. What's the most cost-effective way of printing my project?

The cost of your print job will depend on a wide variety of factors. For example, the size of the job, the job type, the materials used and the special finishes you choose.

Your printer will be able to suggest the most cost-effective option for your budget and timescale.

2. Is my print sustainable?

For many environmentally conscious businesses, this will be the first question on your list!

Most printers will be able to offer you an environmentally friendly option, whether they offer a recycled or sustainably sourced paper stock.

At Soar Valley Press, providing sustainable design and print solutions is our top priority. We print on sustainably sourced papers and, our printing process uses polymer inks, producing 40% less CO2 than conventional printing methods.

For more details, see our environmental print promise.

3. Do you offer more than just print?

It's always a good idea to ask your printer about the related services they offer. Many printers have an in-house design team who can help you with putting together your design and artwork. Others also offer a fulfilment service that can help with distributing your print to your target audience.

4. Which paper stock should I use for my print?

The paper stock you choose will make all the difference to the quality of your print. Talking to your printer about your requirements and the results you want to achieve will help them recommend the right paper stock for your project.

If you're still not sure, ask your printer for a sample pack. This will allow you to see the quality and proposed finish of your print and may even alert you of some special finishing techniques that you weren't aware of.

5. Who will hold the artwork?

Most printers will not keep your artwork after the job has been produced. The onus is then on yourself to keep the artwork files safe in case you need a reprint at a later date.

At Soar Valley Press we keep your files for 5 years so we can refer back to them and re-use them for future jobs. If we design the artwork then we keep all the files so we can make changes as required. We will always supply your artwork back to you if you ask.

6. How do I supply my own artwork?

Many printers, who don't have in-house Graphic Designers (and those that do), will allow you to supply your own artwork for print.

The simplest way to send us artwork is through WeTransfer. Simply send your files to orders@soarvallepress.co.uk. We will check your artwork and correct any issues, and send you a proof before printing.

7. What are your print turnaround times?

Turnaround times differ greatly depending on your project, so it's always worth asking when you can expect your job to reach completion.

If you're working to a tight deadline, don't stress! A reliable print company will be able to turn your job around quickly to accommodate your needs.

8. Do I need to allow for bleed?

What is bleed? - During any printing process, there is always a small degree of movement on the press. To account for this, you extend the printed items 3mm beyond the edge of your artwork. This is known as the bleed and is cut off during printing.

Most printers will be happy to add bleed to your artwork during the final artwork preparation. However, it's always a good idea to check with your printer first about whether this is possible and whether there will be an additional charge.

If you want to learn how to add bleed to your artwork yourself, our handy tutorial covers it all.

9. How should I supply my artwork to you?

All printers will have different expectations of how your artwork should be supplied. Supplying your artwork in the correct format will speed up the amount of time it takes to produce your print and make your printer's job easier.

We try to make things as straightforward and stress-free as possible for you so we will work with whatever you can supply us, but ideally, you will provide a PDF document with bleed, supplied as single pages.

To learn more about setting up your artwork, download our free guide to preparing your artwork for print.

10. Will I get to see a proof before my order is sent to print?

PDF proofs are created to ensure both you and your printer are happy with your desired outcome before going to print. Identifying and correcting issues with your artwork before print saves time and helps you avoid the costs associated with a reprint. We'd always recommend requesting a proof before your job goes to print.

Find out More

Ensuring you understand exactly what you're getting from your printer and what is required from you is vital for ensuring your print project runs smoothly.

At Soar Valley Press, we're always happy to answer any questions you may have, ensuring the print process is as straightforward and stress-free as possible. If there's anything you'd like to know, don't hesitate to contact us by emailing

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