5 printing mistakes to avoid

DATE:December 23, 2015

Before you order your next print project, it is best to know where the pitfalls lie and how to avoid them. Here is a list of 5 common printing errors that you can avoid in order to prevent wasted time and money in the future.

Inadequate bleed

Bleed refers to artwork that extends beyond the document boundaries, and it is necessary because small mechanical variations can end up leaving a hairline white edge where there should be no white edge at all. You should allow at least 3 mm of 1/8 inch for bleed. If you have large format items then you will want to allow even more bleed room because of the larger size. Improper design of full bleed is a common cause of printing delays. However, with today’s modern techniques and software it is easier to set guides for trim and bleed.

Spelling adn grammar errors

Did you catch we spelled “and” wrong in the subtitle above? Yes, we did it intentionally. Errors in spelling or grammar are much more common than you might imagine. We all make a mistake in spelling once in a while, however this is a big no-no when you are creating business or marketing materials because it can lead customers to question your professionalism. Always have a second and even third set of eyes to review and proof copy for print.

Images that don’t convert to CMYK

In a nutshell, RGB (red, green and blue) is for digital design and CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black (key)) is for print. Always make sure that any images you have used will convert to CMYK. This is one of the most easily avoided printing mistakes you can make. If you are not sure what is required this can be discussed with your printing company that you are working with. You may need to convert certain files if exact color matching is desired.

Saving black and white images in color

Some printing mistakes occur because of color variations and file save methods. If you want to include black and white images then do not save these as color images. These images may receive color during the printing process if they are not properly identified, saved, or converted. This is because color will originally show in the cyan, magenta and yellow channels in your document if you use a CMYK profile.

Wrong file formats

One important consideration is the file formats that you are using. For print projects, .gif and .png files should be used as on-screen-only file formats. These are formats that are on screen only, and they do not translate well to the print process. Both the formats will handle 72 ppi, but the ppi needs to be much higher for a print file. Always check with your printer about which file formats are required for print projects or large-format runs.

These are just a few mistakes you might be unknowingly making with your print materials, and here is a past list of 5 more common mistakes. If you need help setting up your documents for print or you’re worried you might be making one of these mistakes, our Imagine! Express team is happy to help you clean up your project to ensure you’re saving costs and time—give us a call!

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