I am frequently asked how my files are set up, and what print options are available. While I can't provide you with a print quote (that's up to your printer, of course!) I can point you in the right direction. And remember: Only you can determine what print method best fits your needs.
Let's review the three basic print methods and your options:
At home which is the most economical, but most time consuming. I only suggest this if you have patience, and are comfortable using your home printer and a paper trimmer. With this option, you have complete control over paper selection so long as your home printer will handle it. (For instance, my home printer smears ink on any shimmer/pearlescent paper so I'm limited to using matte and linen papers at home)
Local print shop which is less time consuming, but also has other limitations as well -- unless they allow you to supply your own paper, you are limited to using their in-house stock.
Online Printers like uprinting.com or cardsandpockets.com. They'll do all the printing and cutting for you, so all you have to do is assemble your invitations. In this case, you're limited to their paper choices, but online printers like cardsandpockets are also card stock retailers -- so you have hundreds of choices at your fingertips.
All of my files are set up to accommodate at-home printing, since that is the most popular method with my clientele. While I can certainly accommodate other print methods (local print shops and online printers) I need to know ahead of time.
- My files are designed at print size, and do not include full-bleed
- My files are meant to print one file per page, on 8.5x11 paper -- unless requested otherwise
- All of my files are designed in CMYK color mode
- All of my files are sent to clients as print-ready password-protected PDF files.
Some at-home printers will not allow you to print on pre-cut paper. Those that do must support full-bleed -- and not all do. When you're choosing to print at home, it's important that you're comfortable with your printer and know it's limitations. My at-home printer, for instance, supports pre-cut paper and full bleed... but will not print on pearlescent paper. More often than not, I choose to print on full-sheet paper because it allows me to print two invitations per page -- a huge cost saving benefit.
Local print-shops have their own set of needs and of course, carry a set of limitations as well.
Will they allow you to print on your own paper, or are you limited to using their in-house stock? If you can print in your own paper, will their printers be able to successfully print on your paper? Does your print-shop have file requirements, like PMS color method or full-bleed? Do they prefer to have an EPS or AI file instead of a PDF? These files types, and non-password-protected PDFs can only be sent directly to your printer.
Online printers, similar to local print shops, have their own set of requirements as well. Does their in-stock paper fit your needs? Do they have file requirements, like PMS color method and/or full bleed? What file types will they allow you to upload?
Only you can determine what print method best fits your needs. If you have any questions regarding print methods and file types, please don't hesitate to send me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org