If your company utilizes printed materials such as marketing mail, product labels, brochures, or packaging products, you need to make sure they are printed correctly. To get a quality result make sure you avoid these 15 common mistakes:
Lack of bleed
In printing terms, “bleed”refers to any art or text that extends beyond the trimmed boundaries of a finished design. Printing companies recommend a bleed of 3 millimeters or 1/8th of an inch.
Small text on rich dark backgrounds
Don’t use text that is too small or difficult to read. Use white or light-colored text on black or dark backgrounds rather than colorful text. The greater the contrast the easier it is to read.
Not converting images to CMYK
PDF files typically convert RGB (red, green, blue) to CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) automatically, but it never hurts to convert your file manually to make sure your color is accurate. If using digital photos, convert your images after working in RGB.
Nothing says “unprofessional” like a spelling mistake in print so always have another pair of eyes (or two) look over your work before it goes to print.
Not using quiet borders in designs
A border is an area where no text or design can touch; it is intentionally left blank and should not be more than 5 millimeters or ¼ of an inch from a document’s edge.
Using raster logos and text
Keep your text looking clear and sharp with vector typography, which is devised from mathematical formulas for ultimate precision. For digital images, which use rasters made from pixels, use raster text.
Not converting fonts in Adobe® Illustrator
Save time by converting your text to an outline before you export the PDF. This keeps fonts out of your design so you don’t have to include extra files. The trade-off is if fonts have to be fixed later, it can be time-consuming and costly.
Low image resolution
A low-resolution image in print will look blurry and amateur so we recommend using a minimum of 300 dots per inch (dpi).
Saving images in color rather than black and white
Keep black and white images in their original form by converting them to grey profiles. This will prevent any CMYK inks from being added during the printing process (likewise, use a CMYK profile for images to save in color).
Using .gif or .png file formats when printing
Files ending in .gif or .png may be ideal for websites, but they aren’t ideal for printed images. They are intended to handle no more than 72 dpi. Printed images require a minimum of 300 dpi for quality.
Not flattening layers before changing your file to a PDF
Prevent your file from turning out bigger than intended by flattening the layers. A “bloated” file size could cause a printer to malfunction. Flatten your file for efficient and production-ready printing files.
Using fonts not properly embedded or included
If you want the finished piece to have the same font you chose for your design, make sure you embed and save it within your PDF file before you export. If you are sending along native files, be sure to include the fonts in with all the other assets necessary for production.
Failure to lock layers before flattening files
You may have saved your design, printed and checked it for errors, and everything looks great. But as you save, flatten, and prepare to export it, one accidental click of the mouse can move the image out of alignment because the layers weren’t locked. Lock and save your design frequently.
Not having hard copies of proofs
Not all printers require copies of what your design should look like. Others have color charts you can look at to get an idea of what the final version will look like. Printed proofs are recommended for expensive print jobs so they get done correctly the first time.
Bad design can ruin a good idea – don’t let this happen to you! Fortunately, there are many free tutorials and blogs online and it never hurts to hire a graphic design expert.
Quality printing in South Florida
Looking for a professional printing company in Fort Lauderdale? Ritter’s Printing & Packaging has helped many local businesses make lasting impressions with high-quality marketing materials, packaging materials, tickets and tags, and more. Call us today at 954-771-7204 to partner with us on your next printing project.