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4 Print Design Mistakes You Could Be Making (Infographic)

By , November 11, 2016


If you’re a business owner, you spend a lot of time and money on your company’s printed materials. There’s nothing worse than investing into a piece only to realize that a simple design mistake ruined your final project.

Save your time and money by applying these basic tips before you approve your next project. Here are a few common design mistakes and how you can avoid making them.

1. Skipping proofreading

Forgetting to proofread and spell check could lead to major problems for your printed project. There’s nothing worse than designing a beautiful piece only to realize that there are grammatical errors undermining your work. Take a moment to proof your own work carefully. Then, get a second (or third) pair of eyes to look over and approve the piece before you send it to the printer.

2. Mixing too many fonts

Keep an eye on your font and font weights. The rule of thumb is to use no more than 2-3 fonts per project. To add variety, you can use different treatments within each family (bold, italic, etc.).

Kerning and leading are important as well. Kerning is the character-spacing, or the spacing between the individual letters of your typography. Leading is the spacing between each line. Setting these too wide or too narrow will make your text less readable.

3. Using RGB or low-resolution photos

Knowing the difference between RBG (red, green, blue) and CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) is critical when submitting your packaged files to any printer. For print, any graphics you use need to be converted to CMYK.

Setting the correct image resolution and dpi for any raster or vector artwork is very important as well. The minimum recommended resolution for printing is 300dpi. Purchasing stock images is a great solution if getting high-quality photography isn’t an option. For more tips on making your images print-ready, check out our tutorial, Prepress 101: How to Prepare Images for Print.

4. Setting up your document improperly

If your artwork is meant to print to the edge of the page, you need to setup your bleeds properly. Forgetting to build in bleeds could result in printing delays. It is easier to set guides for trim, live area, and bleeds before you start working on your project. In doing so, you will avoid tiny white borders around the edge of the printed piece.

If your document doesn’t bleed, you’ll need to give it enough margin to ensure that no important information gets cut off in the finishing process. To learn more about setting up your document properly, check out our article, Prepress 101: Your Best Guide For Creating Print-Ready Files.

Final Tip…

Always make sure to request an electronic or physical proof and have multiple people review it before giving the green light. It’s an important step to ensure that all of your materials are high-quality and error-free.

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Jaime is a Brand & Identity Designer and Creative Director. She has over fifteen years of professional hands-on experience as a graphic designer, creating, establishing, and maintaining social, corporate, non-profit, and lifestyle brands through print, digital, and user experience. She's also a wife, mom, foodie, and music lover!



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