Your checklist for perfect print

Increasingly we find that when it comes to printing, there is no one type of client. There are endless different professions and job roles that require print buying in some capacity. Whether you work in marketing, B2B or retail, event planning, hospitality or leisure, there is always a print requirement to be found.

But just because many of us need to buy it, it doesn’t mean we know much about print.

We can’t all be experts from day one – it takes time to learn all the different terms and get used to the general workflow of a print project. That’s why having a trusted printing partner on the books can really help guide you through if you’re not sure what you’re doing. It has to be said however that some print partners are less caring than others. Printing companies may not advise if a project is getting into hot water – for example, if your artwork isn’t the correct resolution, or if your substrate is completely unsuitable.
For this reason, it’s important to know exactly what you need to consider before you place a print order.

Just in case your print partner takes their eye off the ball, here’s our essential printing checklist for a tip-top print job:

Usually, artwork for print should be supplied as a high-resolution PDF with bleed and crop marks. If you check with your supplier in plenty of time you can ensure that your artwork is created to the correct specification first time and mitigate the risk of delays.

Quantity, size and orientation

It seems obvious, but it’s crucial to check these three factors are correct!
Tip: Sometimes it’s worth asking for a price for a higher quantity, as set-up fees can mean that it’s often really cheap to get a few hundred extra added to the order.

Digital or litho?

Short runs and large format printing are almost always digitally printed. This means you can use multiple designs and include variable data at no extra cost. Longer runs are usually litho printed. Litho printing adds a cost per color and usually requires uniform artwork across the whole order. The quality is great and the price improves as the quantity increases.

Paper stock

Our advice for picking the perfect paper stock is to ask your supplier for a sample pack.


It’s best to not assume the supplier knows how you want your order finished, so give as much detail as possible. Does it need a laminate? If folding is involved you might be best off adding a laminate to ensure the paper doesn’t crack. A laminate can also protect against smudges and damage. Matt or gloss are standard – but there’s a whole host of other kinds available including eco-friendly ones.


If your order takes the form of a book or brochure, you’ll need to specify how you want it bound. Saddle stitched is what we call stapled which is common and low cost. PUR or perfect binding will give you a book with a spine. Binding is good for prospectuses and official documents.


If the budget allows, there are lots of extra touches that can really set a print project apart. Gold and silver foiling can add luxury detail to text and logos. Spot UV varnish is used to highlight areas of a page with a shiny finish. This is great for picking out images.


Usually, a printing company will offer the option of either a digital proof or a PDF proof, which is complimentary as part of the project. The digital proof will be run out to size but won’t usually be on the correct stock. The purpose of this is to ensure that the design works at full size and the pagination is correct. A PDF proof is a measure to ensure that the correct version of the design has been submitted and that all the design components have saved correctly. Check your proof with the help of an extra pair of eyes, because once it’s signed off there’s no going back and failure to check could be a costly mistake!


3-5 days is about an average lead time for a medium-sized print run, but the time can vary from job to job. It’s absolutely crucial to communicate deadlines early on and if the delivery date is final, it’s a really good idea to keep reminding your print supplier when the due date is just in case!
Check through these points every time and your print projects will be an easy success. It can be a lot to think about – but mark my words it’ll be worth it.
The great thing about using a managing agent to coordinate your printing is that they look after all these details on your behalf. It’s their job to source the best price and the best quality, as well as take care of all the small tasks. Not only that, but with a design agency at the helm you can be sure that a creative eye will be on the job at all times.

Top 5 Things You Should Know About Logos

What Is In A Logo Design?

We have done a ton of experimenting with logos and every now then we come across a logo that does way more than just sit on a medium we create. What we are talking about is how a simple a design can promote your company identity, values and objectives and meaning.

There are normally three types of logos and they are:
  • Abstract Logos – logos that convey moods or tones
  • Literal Logos – these are logos that show the company as it is
  • Logo Types – mainly typography is used to manipulate fonts

Now that you know what types of designs are available, you need to consider fonts and imagery. The better your graphic design company is, the better the design of the logo will be using fonts and imagery.

What Are Bad Logos?

If you consider the basic elements of logo creation, ask yourself what makes a good logo? Most graphics designers cannot answer that question and this is where the issue of a bad logo begins. Bad logos are not distinctive, unique or eye catching at all. They also normally do not mean anything or not represent anything either. Colors schemes used in them are flat and fonts are hard to read. Don’t make these mistakes!

Booby Traps That Must Be Avoided

Sometimes even the biggest companies are not able to achieve solid logo designs. With this, here is a list of booby traps to stay far away from with your logo design.

  • Fonts – avoid using too many different fonts
  • Message – do not be overly literal or miss the point
  • Appeal – do not have a dull un-appealing graphic
  • What Are Good Logos?

    Simple logos are generally the best, as they allow for recognition, versatility and uniqueness. Good logo’s translate your message and presence into a visual picture, which make people remember who you are.

    2017 Logo Trends

    One of the largest websites created for logo uploads is called LogoLounge. For less than $10 per month you are able to access thousands of logos created by designers across the world!

    Cartoon Style Logos

    Literally hand drawn logos, these are becoming very popular and recognized throughout the world. Their sleek designs and cuteness have made them very popular. Some major companies like Pixar even use them.

    Minimalism Style Logos

    Very popular and trendy are minimalism styled logos, like ones used with Taylor Made and Apple. These are a very smart way to design as they are clean, elegant and effective.

    Overlapping Tones Logos

    Overlapping gradients used with different geometric forms has also resulted in its own style. In the past, overlapping styles were used with animal logos, however many leading companies use them like Master Card.

    What Does This Mean to Me?

    Designing logos are a tricky, time consuming job. This does not mean that you shouldn’t follow a solid process and think of it before doing it. If you sit down, gather your thoughts and come up with a great logo design, it will make everything seem worthwhile in the end.
    How about you?
    What makes a presentation interesting for you? What makes it worth reading?
    Let us know in the comments.

Graphic design and visual merchandising

In today’s article, our printing experts at Dimensional Silk Screen have put together a number of tips when it comes to retail store graphic design and printing.

Pick Easy to Read Fonts

There are endless choices for fonts but that doesn’t mean you should consider them all. Most graphic designers recommend sticking to just one or two fonts per sign and pick fonts that are clear and easy to read. Avoid cursive fonts and make sure you pick a font size that is large enough to read at a distance, especially if your target market is Baby Boomers.

Choose the Right Colors

Retail interior graphic design may require a different color scheme than exterior graphic design so adjust accordingly. You can also use colors to promote a specific season (think green, red and gold for a Christmas promotion) or to support your brand (pick colors that compliment your logo or are in your brand’s color scheme).

Less is More

In an era where people send short text messages and often use abbreviations, it is important to keep editing your sign’s text until it is as succinct as possible. Get rid of any extra words and look for ways to simplify the message.

Be Specific and Give a Reason

Your graphic design for retail stores should tell the customer exactly what they are buying or why they should buy. A good approach is to avoid listing features and focus on the benefits – the solution that your product or service will provide. For instance, if you were selling hair products then perhaps the sign might read, “Get rid of dandruff once and for all.” If you were selling roses then your sign might read, “Roses, the easiest way to say you’re sorry.”

Test Out Your New Retail Graphics

Once your retail graphic design is completed and printed it is time to put you signs on display and see how they look and perform:

  • Make sure you install the sign at the right angle so people can see it easily.
  • Is the sign going in a window? Make sure you can see what it says through the glass and possible reflection.
  • If it’s retail interior graphic design, will it have adequate lighting? For instance, if it is installed at the back of your retail space will you be able to read it from the front of the store or from a reasonable distance.
  • Account for all times of day too! How does your sign look in the morning and at night once the sun is setting?
  • For more information on retail graphic design, visual merchandising, and signage, visit our website! Or if you would you like to work with one of our in-house graphic designers, reach our printing experts at …… or send us an email. We will be happy to assist you!