Printing and Finishing
The printing and finishing specifications should include the length of the print run. But more intricate, technical minutiae are also required here than in the prepress set, and some facts about the production of the piece as a whole are needed. Most of this information, said Hardesty-Kuhn, can be garnered from the general layout of the project, including the work’s final size, and any other applicable requirements, such as binding, number of pages, final weight, bleed, paper quantity and quality, four-color work and additional PMS coloring, along with how the job should be folded and assembled.
Specs should also include a section relegated to special instructions—or those falling outside of the realm of your average job. If the work requires special touches or add-on features, the material, quality and position of such features should be spelled out clearly and anticipated, ensuring additional costs will be taken into consideration when an estimate is given.
Contemplating packaging requirements at the outset allows manufacturers to assess any limitations potentially interfering with production, such as size or folding. Make your packaging specs a tell-all: every step of the process should be laid out here. Hardesty-Kuhn advised including: packing material, quantities per skid or carton and whether or not there are expectations as to how many items should be packed together, as well as limitations for oversized (or undersized) items. In addition, anything requiring kit production requires special attention. Include all items expected to arrive in the kits and how and with what material they should be assembled.
Shipping and Handling
Shipping and handling requires the same thorough go-around as packaging. Obtain instructions on how and where the client expects to receive the items. Determine if the shipping and handling will demand more than one delivery and whether or not it will be shipped to numerous locations. If the time between job completion and delivery date is a tight squeeze—requiring special shipping—the freight costs could skyrocket.
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