ZX Printer

Things to Consider Before Printing

Posted on 04-24-2024 by

Here we'll discuss the preparations before printing in detail, covering various aspects that need attention. Pre-print considerations should encompass paper selection, ink choice, and process selection, among other factors.

1. Printing Method Selection: Before printing, it's essential to choose the printing method. Different printing methods involve varying types of paper, ink, printing machines, processes, and produce different printing effects. The required materials, as well as printing prices, vary accordingly. For example, for general advertisements and company product introductions, offset printing (referred to as lithography) is suitable. Corrugated paper packaging boxes can use offset or screen printing (referred to as silk screen). Plastic film packaging can use gravure printing (referred to as intaglio) or flexographic printing (referred to as flexo). Large-scale color advertisements can use screen printing or large-format printing, while curved objects can use letterpress printing (referred to as relief printing), gravure, or screen printing.

2. Preparation for Computer Design: Before designing on a computer, prepare the required text, images (including company logos, registered trademarks of products), clear images for reversal films, photos, and avoid using printouts from printers as image originals due to their low resolution. Specify color requirements (especially unchangeable colors, indicating CMYK values). If the page layout is already designed, provide specific layouts, including page sizes, image sizes, text sizes and colors, and color block sizes, indicating CMYK values for colors.

3. Consideration of Finished Product Size: When designing pages, pay attention to selecting the finished product size. Before deciding on the final size, determine the printing machine, paper type (large-size or standard-size paper), and the number of pages per sheet. If the size is not appropriate, it may lead to waste of paper.

4. Color and Ink Selection: Before production and output, confirm the number of colors for printing and whether spot colors are needed. Generally, four-color printing (CMYK) is used to replicate various colors. However, spot colors, such as gold and silver, can be added to reproduce colors that are difficult to achieve with four-color printing. Spot colors can also reduce the number of printing colors. For example, if there are only two colors in a page, red and black, the red color can be expressed using M+Y, requiring three colors for printing. Using spot color red for printing would only require two colors, saving some costs.

5. Output Preparation: Different printing methods require different resolutions. However, the required file format is always CMYK. For offset printing, a resolution of 133 lpi or above is generally required, so images should have a resolution of at least 260 dpi to ensure good printing quality. For screen printing, the required line count is lower, approximately 30 lpi–60 lpi, with a lower requirement for image resolution, typically around 100 dpi. Flexographic printing requirements vary depending on the substrate material. Typically, image resolutions range from 120 dpi–150 dpi for corrugated paper, 150 dpi–180 dpi for newsprint, 180 dpi–200 dpi for coated paper and adhesive paper, and 200 dpi–260 dpi for plastic and metal films. Generally, dot printing requires resolutions of 260 dpi or higher.

6. Additional Considerations: When designing pages, pay attention to issues such as bleeding, embossing, and debossing.
In addition, considering the number of prints before printing is also crucial. Different printing methods have different starting print quantities (the print quantity refers to the number of prints divided by the paper quantity, and other costs are calculated according to this quantity). For example, offset printing generally starts at 3000 or 5000 copies, and below this quantity, the unit price of printing is relatively higher. Screen printing starts at 300 copies, and the durability rate of the screen is 3000 copies (the durability rate refers to the maximum number of copies that can be printed with the screen). Beyond 3000 copies, the screen needs to be replaced.

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