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Brief Walkthrough of the Printing Process

From concept to completion, what it takes to produce your product

The process starts when you, our customer, request a quote for a project. Our knowlegable sales staff can help you find the best deal that suits your needs.

Once you place an order, either verbally or in writing, we get to work on production.

Design / Preflight

Depending on your design needs, we can create a design for you, or we will check the files you supply to make sure they are print ready. We will alert you to any issues we may find, and/or fix them for you if we can.

On most jobs, time permitting, and especially if we need to make any changes on our end to ensure the file will work, we will send a proof back to you for you to review. Look carefully for mistakes, fonts that don't look correct, formatting issues, typos, mispellings, and missing information.

Production is haulted after we send out a proof until we receive your approval to proceed. Often your production time estimate doesn't start until the proof is approved. Try to be clear when you respond to a proof that it is either approved or not. "Looks good, thanks." may not be sufficient to be considered an approval, and specifically try not to comment on how a proof looks if it is merely your opinion, and not permission to proceed.

Order Entry
Once the design is finalized, and all decisions regarding what it will look like have been made, the order entry department will enter all the necessary specifications into the system to properly communicate to the press operator what needs to be done. They will try to make sure there aren't any requests that can't be fulfilled by a particular press, allocate paper inventory to the job, and begin scheduling.

Depending on the method of printing, the next step might be prepress. Here, electronic files might be combined so they can be ganged with other, similar jobs from other clients to save time on press. Some printing jobs will have negative film output and plates or screens burned.

At the press is where the actual ink-to-paper printing happens. Some other features, such as numbering, hole punches, perforations and marginal words can sometimes also be added while the press runs. If the job requires oil-based inks, or has heavy coverage, a job may need to wait a day or so for the ink to dry after this step. Multi-part jobs will then move on to a collator after, before then going to bindery.

Bindery / Finishing
Once a printed piece is done, it usually requires some kind of finishing. Often this is trimming it down to it's final size, but could also include folding, scoring, drilling, die cutting, gluing or booking. Some of these processes can be very time consuming so it is important to plan accordingly.

The final step before a job can go out the door. Some jobs require shrink wrapping, others have boxes that go inside the shipping carton.

We try to produce a job as close to it's final destination as we can, however this is not always possible. Sometimes we need to send a job a little further away for some features, or to get you the best price we can. Tracking information for items shipped with major carriers is available when you log into our website, or you can call into the office and someone can tell you when your job is expected to arrive.
©2017 m7 Business Systems
1313 South Huron Street • Denver, CO 80223 • 303.777.1277 • fax 303.777.1872