Print Professionally On Our Own, Part I - Four Simple Basic Checks
Do we really need a commercial printing company to help us churn out professional looking print collateral? What if our collateral's information is dynamic and changes with time - would not printing in larger quantity unwise and wasteful? What if we only need a small quantity, for a showcase, or an exhibition - surely going to the commercial printer would cost a lot.
If you face the same issue as what we have describe above, let me assure you, you are not alone and surely, not the first one to worry so. Students, entrepreneurs, start-ups, small businesses - they all face the same problem. It is true that in our rapidly digitized world today, print is deemed outdated. But still, not everything can be digitized. And there are still folks who prefer printed materials compared to digital ones.
So if you need to print on your own, can you? The answer is yes! And you too can print professionally if you take note of the following few pointers when you do so on your own.
So with reference to the printer software interface shown above, you may like to take note of the following:
1. Are you using an Inkjet Printer or a Laser Printer
Inkjet printer and Laser printer employs different techniques to adhere ink/toners onto the paper substrates. Hence, the papers they use are also different. Papers meant for inkjet printers may be temperature sensitive and are coated with a special coating to ensure that ink does not smudge or soak through the material. Papers meant for laser printers are more resistant against higher temperature. Examples of the different types of papers can be found below:
2. Choose the correct Paper Size
For self-printing, you will most probably be limited by the maximum size that your home or office printer can accept. Most consumer home printers max out with A4. Some office printers can accept up to A3. Our printer software chooses Letter-size by default. Letter-size belongs to the US Paper sizes. Quite close to A4 size, but definitely not the same. So, if you are printing an A4 size artwork, you will need to change the size of the paper from Letter-size to A4 size, and vice versa.
3. Choose the correct Media Type / Paper Type
By default, the software often chooses "Plain Paper", which is actually our office printing papers. But if you are using other types of papers, choose the paper type wisely as different materials have different adhesion or absorption rate. Some materials also sensitive to high temperature, while others are not. The material types stated in the printer software are all pre-calibrated to suit the type and thickness of the material you are using.
4. Scaling - To do or not to do?
For this, you really need to understand what you are printing. If you are printing an A4 size artwork on an A4 size material, then turn scaling "off". If you wish only to use up the whole paper surface area, then choose "Fit to Paper Size". If you do not know which setting to chose, print one piece using a rough piece of paper first as a test. Ultimately, choose the correct setting that makes your printed work look the best.
Once you have these four checks done, you are free to press "ok" to start printing. Remember, load the paper well and the artwork should print out the way it is meant to be printed.
Alright, we hope you like our simple tips above. More tips will be coming soon. Happy printing!