Business cards, newsletters, invitations,brochures. Whenever I need something printed that’s quick and easy, and yet still looksprofessional – believe it or not, I do it myself. All it takes is a printer, some planning,and a program like Microsoft Publisher. I made this name badge usinga regular printer (like the one you have at home or at work), and a kit that came with everything you need, including the paper and these little plastic holders. In this video,we’re going to take a look at more examples like this one, while we talk about the differentthings you need to consider before you begin your publication.
Planning ahead is important, especially ifyou’re new to desktop publishing. Why? Well, from personal experience, I can tell you that things don’t always turn out the way you thought they would. Sometimes it takes a little foresight. Sometimes it’s a matter of choosing the right materials. And sometimes, you just have to be honestwith yourself about what your printer can
and can’t do. But don’t worry. Designing and printing your own quality publications is easy. You just have to take it one step at a time. The first thing on your list should be yourlayout. In other words, what you want your publication to look like. You probably alreadyhave an idea based on the project itself; for example, a large poster, or a small, folding brochure. It’s important to think about this in advance because it has an impact on printing and assembly later. Here are some tips to help you get started.
If you’re using Publisher (or even an other program like InDesign), you might want to start with a template. A template can helpyou pinpoint things like the right size and orientation for your project; the margins;and the way the content should be laid out. Sometimes it helps to print a test copy, orput together a mock-up on paper. This is the first thing I do if my publication is goingto be double-sided or folded, because otherwise, it can be hard to picture the final product. One more tip: it might be worth it to buy special materials for your project, like these pre-packaged labels. If that’s something you plan to do, make your choice early on. That way, you can use this model number to find a template. Your planning doesn’t stop when finish choosing a layout, though. You still have a wide range of paper and print options to consider, which can have a big impact on the design process.
Basically, it’s time to start thinking about what your publication is going to look like when you actually print it. First, make sure you use the same size paper as your publication layout (that’s why it’s important to plan ahead). Otherwise, you’re likely to be disappointed with the way it fits on the page. Think about using something other than standard white paper. For example, things like greeting cards – or this invitation – usually use a heavier paper called card stock, which has more weight and structure than regular paper. See how it works? You should also decide whether you’re going to print in black & white or color. Color ink is expensive, and can run out quickly if you’re working on a large project. As an alternative, printing in black & white on colored paper is a great way to save money but still make your publication stand out.
Finally, if you’re new to desktop publishing, I recommend printing a test page early in the design process, so you can see what your printer is capable of. If you’re unhappy with the results, you can always adjust your settings,or start making plans to use a professional printer. There’s one more thing to keep in mind when planning your publication: assembly and delivery.
In other words, what happens after you hit Print. Sometimes it’s as simple as removing your project from the printer tray… other times, there’s a little more work involved.
Here are some tips: Always check with your post office if you’re going to be doing any bulk mailing. There may be pricing options (or restrictions in your area) that you’ll want to know about before hand. Make sure you set aside time and materials to do things like cutting, folding, and stapling your publication. Unfortunately, this is theone thing Publisher can’t do for you – but special equipment like a paper cutter can help. Things like this just take time, whether you’re separating the paper, or assembling the holders- so having someone to help you can make all the difference. It takes time to put together ANY type of publication, from planning your layout, to choosing the right paper. But with a littleforesight, and some of the tricks we’ve talked about today, you can create professional publications at home or at work.