You’ve designed a beautiful marketing piece. The colors look just right on your computer screen, and you just know your brochure is going to make a great first impression for your business. You upload your file to an overseas printer because the prices are cheap, and when your brochures arrive after taking — literally — a long, slow boat ride, you hardly recognize that beautiful piece of artwork you uploaded.

The colors are off. There’s an extra strip of white down the side, because the document’s bleed settings were out of whack with your printer’s specifications. The folds land in the wrong places, so instead of carefully placed folds between your brochure’s panels, you have graphic elements spilling over beyond where they are supposed to end.

Then, you get to the post office and discover that if your mail piece was just a quarter-inch narrower, you could have saved hundreds of dollars on postage.

That’s when it hits you: A professional direct marketing and printing team could have been a big help here!

It’s a “Wow, I could have had a V8” moment. “Wow, I could have gone to Mellady Direct Marketing!”

Our experienced team of experts routinely helps clients on a wide variety of issues, making sure their print files are correctly formatted and their print jobs are set up properly to not only produce top-quality work, but also to save money on printing and postage. We provide professional design services for clients who need them, but our team also provides great value in serving clients who do their own design work, too.

“Even professional graphic designers can benefit from working with an experienced printing and mailing professional,” says Amer Kuric, operations manager for Mellady Direct Marketing. “The designer’s expertise is on the creative side of things, making the product look beautiful and ensuring that it communicates the message effectively. But all of that creativity can be nullified if the file doesn’t meet the printer’s specifications. It takes a high level of service to ensure a quality result.”

A wide variety of factors go into ensuring a print job reproduces correctly, and Kuric says the Mellady Direct team has helped clients deal with all of them, including:

  1. Color: A print file needs to have the color space settings properly set up to match the printing process and method in order to reproduce correctly, and Mellady Direct’s experts are adept at finding color settings and other wrinkles that need to be adjusted. “It could be something as simple as having a file that mixes Pantone spot colors with CMYK colors,” Kuric says. “Once those spot colors are automatically converted, they may not match what you expected to see.”
  2. Bleeds: What bleed settings should you use? Does it vary from one product to the next? Does the type of print process affect the amount of bleed that must be included in the print file? Designers who work with Mellady Direct know they’re going to get the guidance they need to set up their files correctly so there will be sufficient bleeds, and that all of a design’s vital graphic elements will remain within the “safe zone.”
  3. Folding, Binding and Page Orientation: At Mellady Direct, we’ve handled just about every imaginable configuration of a printed product, and we’ve developed a great deal of expertise in types of paper, printing processes, coating and bindery options. Our experienced team can guide you in formatting a file for printing, folding, cutting and/or binding, and to ensure the pages or panels will be properly oriented once all the work is completed.
  4. Product Sizing and Materials: Kuric says his team helps designers from the very beginning of the design process. “We have an extensive library of templates, from the simplest business cards all the way to the most complex folded piece,” he says. “We also evaluate a client’s planned product with an eye toward efficiency. What if adjusting the size of a printed piece just a little will help achieve significant savings on printing or postage? Sometimes a minor adjustment can have a major impact.”
  5. Preflight Ensures a Smooth Flight: Once a designer’s file is ready to print, the Mellady Direct team runs the file through an extensive preflight process — a level of service you will not find from a bargain “slow boat” printer. Our team checks the color and bleed specifications, looks for problems with fold lines, and also catches some things you might not even think of, like overprint or knockout issues, or a low-resolution image lurking somewhere on the file.

The moral of the story? You can avoid those unwanted surprises on your print job by working with a qualified team of experienced printing professionals who care about efficiency, quality and making sure your job is done right — so your creative side will shine.

Is print quality vital to your business’ success? Mellady Direct Marketing can help. Contact us today at or (661) 298-9190.