Sending a document to an online printing company can be a great option when you need many copies of something made and don't want to deplete your personal printer's ink supply. Furthermore, an online printing company will have the equipment that you may not to achieve quality prints on things such as t-shirts, calendars, posters, and the like. Before you send a document off for printing, however, there are a few mistakes you'll want to be sure to avoid.
Not Incorporating Bleed
Bleed essentially refers to the "safe zone" you buffer into your document to avoid having text or images accidentally cut off when the document is printed. Depending on what you're having printed, your bleed space can vary from a few millimeters to a couple of inches. Either way, having bleed in your document is the best way to ensure that your entire design makes it onto the print.
Saving in Low Resolution
You can come up with the most beautiful design for your print, but if you save it in low resolution, it's not going to turn out. Simple as that. The higher the resolution you're able to save your document in, the higher the quality you'll have. Always aim for at least 300 dpi resolution, which you should be able to set when you initially create your document. By default, a lot of programs set resolution at just 72 dpi, so be on the lookout for this and make changes accordingly.
Failure to Embed Fonts
If you're saving a design as a PDF, you'll need to make sure to select the "embed font" option before you save and send the document to the printer. Otherwise, if you're using any fonts that your printing company's computers don't have downloaded, they'll be automatically replaced with a standard font—which could throw off your whole design. By embedding your fonts, they'll be saved as images within the document and will therefore print properly.
Failure to Save B&W in Greyscale
Finally, if you're looking to print something in black and white, be sure to save it in greyscale rather than color. Otherwise, when the document is sent for printing, the printers will automatically incorporate small amounts of magenta, cyan, and yellow ink into the document and you won't end up with the crisp black-and-white design that you wanted. By avoiding this simple mistake, you'll be sure to end up with a great looking document.