The quality of your print will have a significant impact on how the intended audience receives it. Have a few typing errors in your print, and your message is likely to appear unprofessional or illegitimate. In case the layout of your message’s design isn’t enticing enough, your intended audience might fail to take notice of vital aspects of your message, such as your call to action.

Luckily, delivering your message in the right way trickles down to how you design your document. It might also be wise to work with a print business to give your print documents a touch of professionalism and customization.

Here are a few mistakes to avoid when designing for print:


Failing To Countercheck Your Final Version


Image of female creative graphic designer working on color selection and drawing on graphics tablet at the workplace.

Sure, you will always have the option of making corrections to content on the internet or behind a computer screen, but this doesn’t apply to printed content. If your final version of your intended message has errors, you might have to redo the entire batch. Otherwise, you might miss identifying these errors and end up printing them out.

What’s even worse is that some spelling mistakes can change your entire message. For instance, using the word ‘doesn’t’ in the place of ‘does’ might alter some part of your message, if not the whole of it. Errors also go beyond typos.

For instance, you might make a mistake of using the wrong image contextually. Take some time to go through the entirety of the final version of your print design to identify these errors early enough. Having to redo an entire batch of printouts would be costly, not to mention the risk of not meeting the expected deadlines.


Using Low-Resolution Images

It is common for people to use low-resolution images when printing out their designs. While you might have images in the right resolution, it is typical to test how the entire design will look like while using low-quality images. Sadly, though an image might look great in the design while behind a screen, it might look completely different when printed out.

It can be easy for the picture to look pixelated and even of low quality. The trick is to countercheck the resolutions of the images you use just before printing out your designs. Ideally, the pictures ought to be clear, sharp, and inviting.

Also, be sure to pay attention to the bleed areas of the images, if any, especially for anything that might need to be displayed in a specific way or trimmed down. For instance, if you need to work on a backdrop for a conference, it would be wise to use an image file that is a little bit larger than the intended frame dimensions to ensure that it fits right into the supporting frame.


Using a Complex Color Palette

If your printouts have a lot of colors, the chances are that you will distract your audience from your message. It is wise to be a minimalist while choosing the color palette of your print outs. Among the best approaches would be to use colors that rhyme with your brand colors, especially for marketing messages. If you are working on a campaign with specific theme colors, feel free to use these colors.

When picking the colors to use, make choices that will have the biggest impact on the entire message. For instance, the colors should make the call to action stand out as well as accentuate the key selling points in the message. This can be achieved by choosing contrasting colors, where possible.

You can also choose your colors depending on the mood you want your readers to receive the message in. However, do not be afraid to leave some white space throughout the copy- resist the urge to place images or icons on this space. Depending on how you mix the different colors, you can create a message that is not only appealing but also easy to digest.


Use the Right Color Mode

Computers, digital cameras, scanners, and some desktop printers tend to use RGB mode colors. This means that they use a mixture of colors red, green, and blue. On the flip side, documents created using commercial printers are designed using the CMYK 4-color Process method. These include Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black.

As a result, your printout might come out in colors that you didn’t expect were you to use the RGB mode for prints that will be made using CYMK-based printers. Ideally, you should use files in the CYMK color mode whenever you want to make printouts using commercial printers.


Failing To Focus On the Print Dimensions

The dimensions you opt to stick to will have a major influence on the aesthetics of your printouts as well as how well your intended message will be received. For instance, having a margin helps to improve the aesthetics of a piece of document. As a result, if you choose to reduce the size of the margin, the document might appear a little bit uninviting, even though it will still be comprehensive.

Even worse, reducing the size of your margins too much might lead to the loss of part of the message, especially when it comes to cropping the printed document, as long as the message falls on the area that will be cropped. If it doesn’t fall in this area, this will make the message seem congested. Be sure to pick the right dimensions for your printouts. Remember to use the mentality that the message will be printed since printed documents might appear different from documents inside a screen.


Failing To Watch Out For Windows and Orphans

While windows are sentences that start at the bottom of the page, orphans are sentences or statements that end at the start of a page. It is way easier to scan documents from a screen than when printed out. As such, you might read the widows and orphans with some level of ease.

However, it might be confusing to keep perusing printed pages to connect widows and orphans. The trick is to eliminate them from your copy.


James Ewing

Jim Ewing, President. Superior Resource Printing & Graphics

With the right print design, you can not only engage your target audience but also improve the success rate of the message’s intended purpose. Avoiding the mistakes above is a step in the right direction. Feel free to contact us to use quality printing practices throughout your brand’s campaigns.

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