Print production in advertising is the process of turning a creative idea into printed material including magazine or newspaper ads, billboards, brochures, flyers, and direct mail. Though digital media has caused the extent of traditional print media to decline, it is still an effective and popular platform for its wide readership and ability to reach less tech savvy consumers. It is generally targeted by audience type and geography, with costs dependent on the scope, type of media, and circulation.
Newspaper and magazine advertisements offer extensive readership, from local to national, and cover a broad selection of topics, such as business, health, entertainment, sports, and fashion. Magazines can additionally focus on specific industries like marketing or executive publications. Advertisers can choose from different spaces and sizes for their ads, including full pages or double-page spreads. These can feature text only, or include photos, graphics, and illustrations. Billboards and posters can reach a large number of consumers that are on the move. Those in or around shopping malls have the added advantage of reaching people near a purchasing point. Direct mail is used for specific target audiences, and takes the form of letters, flyers, and brochures.
The first step of print media advertising is creative brainstorming, and is where the purpose, function, and audience of your content is determined. Physical features such as size, colour, and material will also be determined here. The production manager will then create a series of blueprints and propose quotes for each. Once one is decided on, the print media can be ordered, press checked, and delivered. Proficient designers and production teams will have an adept understanding of the manual and finishing processes of printing, such as folding and binding. They will also have experience with software such as Adobe Creative Suite or QuarkXpress, the ability to communicate effectively with the printing company, and a good command of overall print production concepts.
When optimising artwork for print, a few key elements need to be communicated effectively with the printing production house in order to ensure the most accurate results. Hiring a graphic designer who is trained in production would also be beneficial, as this reduces final output issues such as design discrepancies, unanticipated delays, or incompatible software.