Below are some helpful tips for design clients and clients providing files for print. Please let me know if you have any other questions you would like to see addressed on this page.
These are my most frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions, please
Does Susan offer consultations?
Yes. Each potential client receives a Free consultation (up to 60 minutes) which be conducted over-the-phone, via email, or in-person.
Can I meet with Susan or will everything be done via phone or email?
Yes! Susan is happy to meet clients in Raleigh, Durham, Cary and surrounding areas. Since she works out of her home, she typically suggests a coffee shop or a similar type of location. If your business has a commercial location, Susan is also happy to meet you there. For safety reasons, Susan does not meet clients in their homes (including home offices).
What should I prepare for my consultation?
Whether meeting in-person, via email, or over-the-phone, Susan requests you have the following prepared:
List of your project goals and needs
Any design samples and ideas you have collected
Please feel free to use the Design Client Checklist found on the Client Resources page.
Do we have to schedule a consultation?
No. If you already know what you want produced and have all the necessary files (images and copy print ready in their final draft form) to complete your project, then a quick phone call or email correspondence should suffice.
Are all design quotes custom or does Susan offer standard design rates?
Susan offers a Standard Design Rate menu perfect for small projects. For larger or more in-depth projects, a consultation is preferred to provide an accurate estimate.
Does Susan offer print production only if I have my own files?
Yes! Susan offers a wide range of print production, from business cards to grand format to promotional products. If you already have the complete print ready files you need only to upload the files and provide your project specifications to receive an estimate. Once the estimate is signed, and the project paid in full, your files will go into production.
Please feel free to read the Print Production FAQs for general information on making sure your files are print ready.
Will Susan proof read my print file before sending it to production?
No. Susan does not provide proof reading or spell check on your provided print ready files. You are responsible for proofing for grammar and spelling mistakes. Susan does not offer refunds or credits for mistakes found after the job has gone to production.
Susan will scan the file to make sure the project will print correctly (i.e. checking bleeds, cut and safety areas, color mode, font outlines, etc.). If any issues are found, Susan will provide a detail of the issues found and request a new file be sent once the corrections are made.
For a separate fee, Susan can fix the issues found. This fee will be included on the detail provided and a signed acceptance will be required. The fee is due prior to the project going to production.
Templates are available upone request, Free of Charge.
Do you require a deposit and why?
Yes. By the time a deposit is requested, the client has already been provided with a consultation and/or estimate at no charge. Receiving a deposit indicates the client's seriousness in proceeding with the project.
For all print production orders, payment must be received in full prior to the project going to production.
Will Susan except authorization to proceed via email or phone?
No. In order to proceed with the project Susan must receive the estimate and terms of service signed, along with the requested deposit.
For print production projects, a signed etsimate and payment in full is required to proceed.
Why aren't there standard prices for printing?
Since they are several variables that go into each print production project, there is no way to have standard pricing. All print production projects are estimated based on the project's specifications to ensure accurate pricing.
Design Client Checklist
What clients should provide to their designer.
What is your budget? The clearer this is, the more helpful it will be for everybody.
Decide on the full scope of the project before starting.
PURPOSE OF THIS PROJECT
What is the goal of this design project?
Who are you trying to reach with this design project or campaign?
Set a deadline and allow plenty of time (weeks or months) for the design work to be done.
HIGH QUALITY IMAGES
For logos, a vector format (.eps or .ai) is required. If a vector format is unavailable, please inquire about a logo redraw from your current file.
For photographs, a high resolution (300dpi - dots per inch) is ideal.
Text, images, infographics and any other content should be provided in its final form at the beginning of the design project.
COPYRIGHT INFORMATION FOR CONTENT
Who owns the content, what permission has been obtained to use it, and will attribution be required?
SAMPLES OF PREVIOUS DESIGN WORK
How will this design project need to comply to the company’s style guide? What has the client done in the past, and will this project reflect past designs or take a new path?
Print Production FAQ
Frequently asked questions for readying your files for production.
What types of files can I send?
We recommend saving as a .PDF. You may also send the file in the following types: jpg, jpeg, tif, tiff, eps, and png.
We prefer that you send .PDF with embedded or outlined fonts. .PDF's are easier to handle and will likely speed up your turn-around. Remember to add crop marks and flatten your files before uploading.
What color mode should my files be?
If you send us an RGB file, there is a chance that a color shift may occur and you may not be satisfied with your job. You should always start and finish your designs in CMYK color mode.
What resolution should my file be?
We only accept 300 dpi files and no less.
How should I set up my bleed?
Bleed must extend past the cut-line and will be trimmed from the product during the final cutting phase. When the image is required to extend all the way to the edge, bleed is needed to preserve the finished look and the quality of the final product.
Please keep all text at least 0.125" inside the cut-line.
The bleed for Standard Products is 0.125".
The bleed for Booklets and Presentation Folders is 0.25".
Templates are available by request.
How can I avoid transparency issues?
Any transparency issue can be resolved before saving your file. To prevent them, never use shadows, glows, or any other transparency (image or otherwise) on top of a spot color. Always convert your spot color to CMYK and flatten before sending.
How can I make sure my blues do not come out purple?
When using a blue in your design, always make sure to leave at least a 30% difference in your Cyan and Magenta values. C 100% M 0% Y 0% K 100%
Blue is close to purple in the CMYK spectrum. Remember, use a low amount of magenta whenever using high amounts of cyan to avoid purple.
How do I export a .pdf correctly?
When exporting from any program such as Indesign or Illustrator, use these settings to make sure your .PDF files export correctly.
Export settings for .PDF files
Adobe PDF Preset is set to: Press Quality
Compatibility is set to: Acrobat 4 (PDF 1.3)
Compress Text and Line Art is set to: Off
How do I get a grayscale image in a CMYK document?
Grayscale images that are converted to CMYK will have a color shift in the final print. That shift may be green or yellow.
Always check the CMYK values of your grayscale in the final CMYK document. If there are other values other than K in your grayscale image, there is a chance that the color will vary.
To eliminate all values other than K, use your Channel Mixer (adjustment layer) in Photoshop, then click "Monochrome" and adjust accordingly.
What is rich black and how do I get it?
Rich black is an ink mixture of solid black, 100% K, with additional CMY ink values. This results in a darker tone than black ink alone. If you print black alone as 100% K, the resulting black may not be as dark as you might like. We recommend using
C 60 M 40 Y 40 K 100 this will give you a deep, dark, rich black.