Getting The Design Process Right
Design. It’s one of the initial stages of any mail campaign. In fact, it’s one of the first steps on the list – share your preliminary art with your production team at PS!
Putting a critical eye on preliminary art will ensure you don’t run into any surprises down the road. First, a mockup of the mail piece is created, based on the specifications of each of the mailing components. This step will enable you to get a weight and thickness for the mail piece — something essential in confirming postage rates. A mock up also ensures that the mail piece is set up correctly. Did you determine how each component folds, that the reply device easily inserts into the return envelope? That everything fits inside the outer envelope? Doing this mock-up early in the process is the best way to ensure that the mail piece is mailable and within your budget.
Your production manager will then create a design SOP (standard operating procedure) to reference and ensure that each of your specific needs is being met.
When reviewing art there are a lot of details to consider. Postal requirements and classifications make that process even more detailed. How will this be mailed? Does it qualify as a letter piece of a flat? Flats are larger than letters, and therefore are generally heavier and more expensive to mail. Calendars and magazines are mailed as flats, for instance.
Another important design aspect to look for are bleeds. Artwork that includes a bleed, where the color or image “bleeds” off of the edge, requires more paper and ink. This can require different bindery processes depending on the piece. This can all add up to a higher production cost.
Speaking of ink – how many colors are being used? Are your brand colors required? Do you have a specific Pantone color you need to use for your logo? Does the design include full-color photographs that require a four-color build? These are the types of things to consider, as the elements within the artwork will guide the decisions in how to best produce the piece.
The experts at PS will determine the best solutions out there for your mail campaign and your budget.
This review early in the process will set you up for success in the next step of the process: Printing!