Marketing & Communications Centre > Marketing Essentials > Help Sheets > A print brief for your direct mail

A print brief for your direct mail

When it comes to printing your direct mail, your group or organisation may need to work with a print company to get the job done quickly and professionally.

If that is the case, your group needs to have all the information about the print job prepared so there is no confusion between yourselves and the print company – and so that the printers can meet your group's request.

This is where a print brief can be very important.

A print brief is simply a checklist of information or instructions for your print job that your group supplies to the printer or print company.

While printers are more than happy to work with clients to ensure their printing needs are met, it is a good idea for your group to have this information – in the form of a print brief – on-hand so it can be referred to when discussing the job.

It can also be a good way for your group to clarify and double-check the details of the print job it is planning.

Putting together a print brief

A print brief doesn't have to be complicated – but it does need to be clear and convey the correct information to the printer your group is working with.

Below is an example of some of the details your group should include in its print brief.

The printer your group works with ask for these types of details beforehand, so it is a good idea to have the information in writing to refer to when talking with them.

This type of information can also be very useful when "shopping around" and obtaining quotes for your print job.

  • Artwork/print job source.
    • Is it on a floppy disc, and if so, what name is it saved under and in which program has your print job been developed (for example - Word, Publisher, Quark XPress).
  • Size details.
    • What size paper do you want the information printed on?
    • How many pages is your document?
    • Is there any folding to occur, or any folding guidelines included in the document? If so, how many and where?
  • Paper requirements.
    • Is your document to be printed single-sided or double-sided?
    • What type of paper (or stock) do you want your job printed on?
    • Is it a certain colour, a certain thickness, or a gloss/matte finish? Again, if you are unsure, speak to your printer about the options available.
  • Colour details.
    • Is your document to be printed in colour, or in mono?
    • If colour is involved, are there any parts of the document that have to be printed in certain "corporate colours" or in a "group colour scheme"?
    • If so, your group may need to have a code for the colour or at least its name – talk to your printer about this.
  • Special requirements.
    • Does there need to be any laminating, covering or binding done, for example?
  • Print quantity.
    • How many copies do you want printed.
    • Also think about if your group wants a certain number printed on a different type of paper, or different coloured paper.
  • Sample details.
    • Your group may want a small number of samples printed before confirming a full print run. If so, you will need to tell the printer and ensure they meet any requirements you might have in this area.
  • Delivery details.
    • Are you picking up your printed documents, or are they being delivered? If they are being delivered, where are they being delivered to?
  • Quote.
    • Get a written quote from your printer for the job.
The Media & Marketing Centre has a template of a print brief form that your community group or organisation can download and use when working on print jobs.

The template can be accessed and saved by Clicking Here.

The information contained on this site is subject to change. Our Community will not be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever coming from reliance placed on all or part of its contents.