I’m not a designer, and I don’t run a print press. I only know enough about the print process to be dangerous, but I know who to call upon, I know how to avoid print mistakes because I work with some of the most talented printers and designers in America. I don’t know of anyone better when it comes to large format print and design; our team rocks.

I asked a few members of our team what common print mistakes they notice that could easily be avoided. I decided since this post most likely would be read by non-designers like me I’d put it in layman’s terms; this is something I have no problem dumbing down.

Contrast That Doesn’t Contrast

Lack of contrast is a mistake we often see. A print can be well-designed except for contrast, and it won’t matter. Poor contrast will ruin even the best design. The colors between copy, images, and background need to contrast. FAQ: What’s the Best Color Contrast?

Not Checking for Spelling and Grammar Errors

How does this happen? It happens because not enough people are checking the copy before it’s printed. One of my favorite print errors was a promotional piece the company my wife worked for printed for a convention. The title included the word Attractive except it was spelled Attarctive. The business became known as that Attarctive company. How to Avoid Creating an Unintentionally Funny Sign

Using the Wrong Files

Using a low-quality file will wreck havoc on print. What might look fine on a screen doesn’t always work in print. For example, Raster is formed of pixels therefore as its enlarged the image becomes increasingly pixelated, distorted, and fuzzy. Vector is a mathematic formula and in most cases the best format for print. Files such as GIF and PNG are onscreen not print files. High-quality JPEG is okay, but top end files like TIFF are best.

No System for Proofing

It’s difficult in large format design to print proofs. However, even in large format printing a proof can save waste, avoid delays, and stop disappointments. Whether a proof is printed or not, the layout shouldn’t be rubber stamped for approval. Any layout should be reviewed by multiple members of the team involved in the print process—both the printer and the client. How to Proof a New Sign Layout.

Accepting Poor Design

I’ve said before, and I’ll say again. Business print design isn’t the place for an amateur unless of course. you want your business to look amateurish. Spend the money and hire a pro.  FAQ: Who Should Design Your Vehicle Wrap?

Not Finding a Printer You Trust

There are many ways to ruin a print. Not using the best color system whether it’s CMYK or PMS. Not using a checklist to avoid missteps in the design and print process. Or designing print that’s so busy and complicated the graphic loses the message.

The best way to avoid print fails is to find a print provider you can trust. Did I mention we’ve been in business more than 30 years? Contact Us

Photo Credit: eugeniurotari ID:34496891675 Provider: Flickr