A trip to the printing press is probably the least glamorous stage in the schedule of any project that involves the production of corporate literature. However it is perhaps the most critical as this is when the tangible output of months-worth of creative design and ongoing liaison with the client, multiple mockups, etc, come to fruition.

Last week Dejana & Billal, from the creative team, made a trip to our printing partner in Sharjah to oversee the first print run of our client’s, a national bank, annual business report. The printing press check is a step in the printing process, which takes place after a printing press has been set up but before the final automated print run is commences. Normally, at this stage most if not all errors would have been corrected during the earlier color proofing and proofreading stages. The main purpose of a press check is to make sure that the color on press comes as close as possible to the color proof, as well as troubleshoot any other issues related to:

  • Overall color balance on the actual paper
  • Paper stock – correct color, weight or texture
  • Content – looking for missing elements and confirming copy changes – although usually, at this point it’s a bit difficult to cancel an entire print job because of a miss-punctuation
  • Registration errors – sharpness, color overlapping, edges of images, type
  • Physical defects .

I had a quick chat with my colleague Billal, a member of team Zaman who wears many hats including Finalizer; who was happy to shed some light on what happens in a printing house.

“A project which involves the printing of corporate literature is somewhat a little less bumpy when you’re working with a printer who has a good reputation in the market and also one with whom you have built a rapport good enough for them to always be honest in terms of saying what they can or can’t do. On the scale of the various types of printing projects we have done in the past this particular print job was relatively simple in terms of the brief we gave the printer. Perhaps an element that we had to pay particular attention to was the combination of the actual paper and the paper ink, which in this case we opted for two impressions of black ink (approximate 40/100 ratio) as this enabled us to add more depth in the images & patterns used in the print report.

I would say that the entire printing process is a collaborative process with your chosen printer. During the creative process, sometimes a client will ask for something quite custom or elaborate design ideas without understanding both the production & financial feasibility but for us, because of the relationship we have with our print partner, we usually try to start having this kind of conversation earlier on & try to find alternative solutions that best match our client’s expectation”

Below are images from the printing press trip. In a couple of weeks we’ll upload a full case study along with images on our website.

Update: Yesterday we received the first batch from the printer. Even then, a final check is performed before we dispatch to the client. :)