It's easy to plunge right in and start throwing around sketches, shuffling text, tweaking images. Spend a little bit of time on that, sure. But before you become too committed to a certain idea or layout step back and think seriously about the end result. What will work best that meets your money and time restraints? Make a plan. Talk to your client, collaborators, and especially your printer. Throw around a few more sketches and then work on the ones that are most practical given the constraints of the job.
COLORColor can be costly. Plan out what colors you will use and where you'll put that color to achieve your design goals as well as your budget goals.
- Use Standard Inks for faster turnaround and money savings.
- Use Imposition to Save Money on Color Printing by designing with signatures and press sheets in mind.
- Use Imposition to Add a Third Color Economically to save money and get more colors.
LAYOUT AND DOCUMENT DIMENSIONSHow you arrange text and images on the page and the overall dimensions of your project affect cost as much as the look. If a photo bleeding off the page is going to bump you up to a larger sheet of paper with lots of trimming (and waste), rethink it. Do you need that bleed? Could you make the overall document smaller then keep the bleed? Could you find something else to print on that otherwise wasted paper?
- Save Money on Printing Plates by planning your design carefully.
- Avoid Designs with Bleeds to save money on paper.
- Use Standard Paper Sizes to save time and money.
- Use Smaller Sheets of Paper to save on trimming or get more on the page and Use Paper Sheets Efficiently by redesigning the project or ganging up print jobs on the same paper.
WEIGHTY PAPER ISSUESSometimes paper choices are a balancing act between appearance and cost. Paper doesn't come only in card stock thick and Bible paper thin weights. When differences are slight and money is tight, go for the less expensive paper and wow them in other areas such as your awesome font choices and use of color.
- Use Heavier Paper to Look More Important because the feel of the paper conveys as much information as what is printed on it.
- Use a Lighter Weight Paper when you need to save money.
FINISHING TOUCHESYou can do some incredible things after your project comes off the printing press. Weigh your options carefully. Instead of a custom diecut in the shape of the client's logo, how about a standard square or circle diecut with the printed logo showing through?
- Use Common Diecuts to add interest while also saving money.
- Use Standard Folds in Your Designs to avoid the high cost of hand-folding or outsourcing.
- Use a Binding Method That Doesn't Require Extra Steps to keep the cost down and get the job back faster.
- Ring Binding is Good for Frequently Updated Publications
- Saddle-Stitched Binding is Common for Booklets
- Comb, Coil, and Wire Binding Provide Inexpensive Lay Flat Binding
- Thermal Binding Uses Heat to Provide a Sturdy, Neat Binding
- Perfect Binding is Perfect for Thick and Thinner Publications
- Case Binding is Used for Hard Cover Books
- Kick Off the Covers to Save Money if the protection or aesthetics of a cover is not absolutely necesssary.
- Use Less Durable Binding Methods when savings are more important than how long it holds together.