When sending artwork or designs to a printing company, many people fail to understand that there is a specific format they need to follow. The designs they send are creative and appealing but often there are problems in the layout that cause unnecessary delays and potential errors in the final product. It is due to the lack of working knowledge of the printing process.
To minimize the delays and inform the graphic designers about what not to do when preparing a print-ready layout, we have compiled the five common mistakes they should avoid.
1) No or Improper Bleed Marks
Bleed is an important element of a print-ready design. It refers to the area on the printed paper that needs to be trimmed off (because the design is printed on a large sheet of paper and then trimmed down to the required size). It is on the side of the document that allows the printer to have extra space to move around on the paper. In the absence of proper bleed marks, the artwork is extended to the edge of the paper causing misalignment when trimming. Therefore, ensure that you leave at least 1/8” of bleed space to get the desired results.
2) Wrong Print Resolution
The commonly accepted print resolution (measured in dots per inch or DPI) is 300 DPI. The higher the DPI, the sharper is the image when printed because the dots or pixels are squeezed in close enough to give a sharp print. But, many beginners save their design in 72 DPI as it is a pre-set in Photoshop and Illustrator which results in a blurry image when printed. To avoid this mistake, save the design in a print resolution of 300 DPI and get sharper images after printing.
3) Use of RGB Colour Mode
A computer monitor uses RGB (Red, Green and Blue) colour mode to display an image. But, when that image is printed on a paper, it is created using CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) colour mode. As a result, the hard copy comes out to be different from the digital version. To address this issue, set up the file in CMYK colour mode when designing a piece or else the professionals at the printing company will need to convert it before sending it for printing.
4) Inappropriate Document Size
One of the most common mistakes made by designers is submitting a wrong sized document. For example, you want to print on an A4 size paper (8.3” wide and 11.7” long) but you have created a design that fits into an A3 size paper (11.7” wide and 16.5” long), then it will create a confusion and waste a lot of time to convert the file. To avoid delays and wasting time, always create your artwork file according to the size you want in the final product.
5) Improper Colour Contrast
When designing an artwork for print, it is important to choose a good colour contrast between the background and the text. For example, if the background is dark, the text should be light whereas if you’re choosing a lighter background, stick to a darker text to make it readable. Also, the colours used should complement each other. In the absence of this colour balance, the end result will not be visually appealing.
Designing is a creative task and it takes skill to create visually appealing artwork. But, when you’re preparing it for print, you need to add a few more characteristics. If you fail to add these features, then it can delay your final product and waste resources. Go through the above-mentioned design mistakes our printing company professionals in Mississauga have encountered and try to avoid them to get the best out of your art piece.