Top 10 Printing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Experience indeed has its root in mistakes. No matter if you are an individual or an organisation, you can’t grow unless you make mistakes. However, mistakes are devastating from the other point of view. If you ask about printing mistakes and their consequences, then as a provider of same-day printing service in London, it’s our duty to tell you the fact. And the truth is, you have to pay for any printing mistakes.

So in order to help you avoid these mistakes, we have prepared this guide. This post contains the top 10 printing mistakes you should avoid. Are you ready to dive?

Top 10 Printing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Printing mistakes are common. However, it is urgent to learn them in detail. Only detailed knowledge will let you know why such a mistake happens and how to avoid it. Now it’s time to get the best part!

1. Insufficient Space for Bleed

Any design must have enough bleed. Do you know what the bleed area is? As a printer, this knowledge is a must while designing. In the printing profession, bleed is the amount of edge space left blank around a design. This space allows the printer to regard the movement of the paper and design inconsistencies. Unfortunately, it is one of the most frequent mistakes in printing. Not only beginners but also experienced printers make this mistake.

As a printer, it is urgent for you to leave such a space. The bleed is the artwork, and you should leave a minimum of 3 mm for the bleed area. Let’s learn about the place-wise standard.

  • In the United Kingdom and European countries, the bleed measurements range from 2mm to 5mm and
  • In the United States of America, the most common bleed measurement is 1/8 inch.

And in the case of dealing with a large format item, it would help best if you allowed more space. If you don’t avoid this mistake, you will suffer printing delays. As an age-old printing and designing company, we recommend advanced software such as Adobe InDesign. It is an ideal tool to set guides for trim and bleed.

2. Spelling and Lettering Issues

Dear, it happens. And it becomes a matter of shame for a printer. You cannot frustrate your customers this way! You might be wondering to know that spelling mistakes can be a common mistake too.

Such a mistake occurs while creating business or marketing materials. You cannot say – to err is human. Remember, the relationship between you and customers is commercial. If you serve well, you will get well. Therefore it would help if you double-check your materials before going on the final print.

Another formidable mistake is leaving the letters too thin. Often tiny and thin characters do not get printed at all! So it will be wise if you remain careful about fine hairlines and small text. At the same time, when you put small text on a rich black background, you lose visibility, resulting in a misalignment of printing plates. That product is no longer that much eye-catching as your customers want.

No worries. We have a solution for you. We recommend at least a 6pt character size for the sake of better visibility. And when you have white text over black, it would help best if you used a C0-M0-Y0-K100 simple black. It will assist you in avoiding any likely blur.

3. Not Using Quiet Borders

Quiet Borders are as crucial as the bleed area. When a printer ignores this, it results in a poor design. You might have been familiar with the buffer zone. These borders look like buffer zones. It would help best if you left the quiet borders at least 5 mm from the document edge. Another thing, you cannot place any text or other defined elements in a quiet border. These borders help prevent the material from looking crowded.

4. Using the Wrong File Formats

Often printers apply the wrong file format for printing and repent. You might be in a hurry performing a same-day printing order, but you should be cautious. You had better avoid the .png and .gif file formats for the sake of your print projects. Do you know why?

The reason is, these are nothing but ‘screen only’ formats. Such a format does not translate well during the printing procedure. The file formats mentioned above are capable of only 72 ppm, whereas the PPI needs to be much higher for a print file!

5. Poor Design

The making of a successful print marketing tool depends much on its design. So you or your graphic designers should be aware of the common mistakes to avoid. Now let’s see what issues make a design poor.

Improper Use of Kerning

Kerning denotes the amount of space between two letters, numbers, or characters. Sometimes designers find it a bit challenging to ensure the combination of two characters. Often such a combination fails to sit right with the human eye due to being obscure. Here comes the necessity of Kerning!

It helps adjust the space between characters. Besides, it provides your printed product with an increased pleasing effect. You won’t find it uncomfortable since the characters or letters are not illegible anymore. Overall, the application should not be confusing. Only such printed stuff communicates your message rightly. It would help best if you opted for slanted letters like A or V, or those with cross strokes like T or F.

Ignoring Client’s Vision

Every business has a vision. As an assigned printer, you should take care of it. Before all, request your client to clarify how the design should look like. Also, get to know what is the intended message and desired impact of your client.

Look, your duty is to insert the vision in the printed material. It will be wise to emphasise your client’s expectations instead of your own creative ones. Here you should treat your client as a director and act just like an actor! Even if you feel the urgency of alteration, you better discuss it with the client. If and only if the client thinks it is okay, you can change.

Lack Of Minimalism

Minimalism is a significant feature of every good design. A design should say more within a few means. The upcoming world requires you to be minimalist as well. Using too many fonts and shades may seem tempting. However, this is a mistake. Whenever you apply different font styles and colours, you actually distract your audience from the intended message. Likewise, chances are high the audience will misinterpret what your customer wants to convey. Isn’t it alarming?

So it would help best if you were very careful. Moreover, it would help if you used white spaces correctly. This is also a part of the minimalism that many printers miss. The logos of Facebook, Amazon, FedEx, and Twitter can be sheer examples of minimalism. Such an application helps you stand out from the crowd.

Depending On Stock Images

This is another mistake while designing. Stock images are generic, vague, and unoriginal. So you had better limit their application. Else, you will see the use of stock images in memes on social media. When you use such an image, you risk your client’s brand reputation.  Therefore the best solution is to keep pictures authentic and original for the utmost good.

Lacking A Strong CTA

A poor design also means a design that is void of a robust and compelling call-to-action (CTA). Suppose your client asked you not only for printing but also for designing a marketing copy. If you fail to ensure it or make a CTA that is not strong enough, then it won’t work. This will frustrate your client.

Even sometimes, printers totally forget to add any call-to-action. This is devastating. A marketing or promotional print material devoid of CTA can never fulfil the purpose. Generally, a CTA includes discounts, free trials, and coupons. And this inclusion must be enticing. It should have a sense of urgency. For this, you cannot compromise having a dexterous copywriter in your hub.

6. Improper Image Resolution

This is a common yet severe mistake in printing. Usually, it happens because of not having enough experience. And a low-resolution image doesn’t result in a crisp and clear shot at all.

The resolution should be at least 300-400 PPI (pixels per inch). Only such a settlement can provide you and your client with a high-quality, good-looking image. Though according to Apple, the human eye can only resolve 326 PPI, this range is universal. However, you better not go beyond 450 PPI.

7. Using RGB Colours Instead Of Designing In CMYK

The RGB colours are light-based. As a whole, Red, Green, and Blue are able to reproduce other colours. However, printing machine has a limitation. It is not capable of reproducing all the colours you see on screen. The reason is, to obtain a new colour, it is bound to mix the four CMYK inks. The CMYK stands for –

  • Cyan
  • Magenta
  • Yellow and
  • Key

Here many printers make a mistake. They don’t select the CMYK colour mode instead of RGB. You have to avoid this. And it would help best if you prioritise deciding on a physical CMYK or Pantone colour chart.

8. Not Embedding Your Graphics And Text

This mistake is common both with printers and customers. They forget to embed fonts, outline the selected artwork strokes and flatten the layers. So before putting an artwork into a printing machine, you better double-check to ensure if they are embedded.

9. Forgetting Ink Coverage

You are going to use four plates of inks to print artwork by using CMYK colours. Most standard printers can deal with an ink coverage of 260%. That’s great, but if you cross this limit, you will face quality issues.

Let’s say you intend to use a rich black C70-M70-Y70-K100 on a large area, and its ink coverage is 70+70+70+100=310%. Then you will have to face issues in quality. Hence it would help best to keep consistency between your printing machine and ink coverage.

10. Ignoring Hard Copy Proof

This is probably the most uttered and most ignored mistake in printing. No matter the size of printed material, you should have a hard copy proof before going on thousands of copies. A physical example of the chosen design helps you avoid any issue between you and your customers. It would be best if you emphasised this.

To Wrap Up

From the point of our professionalism, we have presented this guide. It has been great that now you know about the top 10 printing mistakes you should avoid. No matter if you own a small or vast business, do it in Europe, Asia, or America; this guide will be enough for you! Some mistakes ruin everything. It would be best if you avoided them at any cost. We wish a stroke of good luck for you in this printing journey!

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Question: What are printing mistakes called?

Answer: In the printing world, a printing mistake is called a misprint. It is an error in a published text. Usually, people call it a typographical error or typo. And it is embarrassing for the publisher or printer.

Question: What is an errata notice?

Answer: Sometimes, like a printer or publisher, correcting an error won’t suffice. You will need to issue a correction notice, which is known as an errata notice, erratum, or corrigendum in the singular. Such a notice is a public announcement that makes readers familiar with the changes to the published work.

Question: Why is my printer printing glitchy?

Answer: Your printer might be printing glitchy due to moist paper. In such a case, the ink gets smudged on the paper, colours run together, and text or images get distorted.

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