10 Print Design Mistakes to Avoid | MP 115

A photo of Samantha Carvalho is captured. She is the Chief Marketing Officer and Designer at Practice of the Practice. She is the host of the Marketing A Practice Podcast and helps therapists successfully market and brand their private practices.

Do you double – and triple! – check your print designs? How can you properly and effectively print with black ink in your design? Are you using QR codes?

In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho speaks about 10 print design mistakes to avoid.

Podcast Sponsor: Therapy Notes

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In This Podcast

  • No bleeds and margins
  • Low resolution
  • Wrong color profile
  • Designed for poor readability
  • Not considering the material color
  • Not double (and triple) checking for mistakes
  • You don’t really know how to use black
  • Your letters are too thin
  • You haven’t embedded your graphics and text
  • Illogical social media promotions

No bleeds and margins

Bleed is the part of your design that extends outside of the print area, and margins are the inner edges of your print. Without bleed, a cutting error can result in exposed white space, which can hurt the look of an otherwise acceptable print.

A 3mm of bleed on all sides is usually good enough to avoid this.

Also, without set margins, you may end up putting important design elements (like text) way too close to a document’s edge, which may result in parts being cut out.

Sam Carvalho

Low resolution

If you’re finding that your images or graphics are coming out blurry when printed, it could be that the resolution or DPI is too low.

Sam Carvalho

For print materials, 300dpi is the usual standard.

For larger-scale prints, you can go as low as 150dpi.

The resolution goes hand in hand with the correct size.

Wrong color profile

Screens use RGB (red, green, and blue) light to render images. A vast rate of colors is possible, including colors that can’t be printed because they have the added factor of screen luminance.

Printers, on the other hand, use CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) inks to render images. When you build your design in CMYK, you’re already previewing the colors that can be printed. This way, you have more control over the printed design.

Designed for poor readability

Some design mistakes that will render your printout unreadable or unappealing include:

  • Tiny text
  • Long lines of text
  • Too many fonts
  • Bad kerning and leading

Kerning is the space between text characters, and leading is the space between lines of copy. When kerning and leading are too narrow or wide or, even worse, erratic, your text becomes hard to understand.

Sam Carvalho
  • Lack of negative or white space:

It may be tempting to fill up every square inch of your layout with elements, but actually, blank spaces serve a purpose of their own. They highlight more important elements and it can be hard to get a message across when there is too much going on.

Sam Carvalho
  • Lack of alignment
  • Lack of contrast

Not considering the material color

Depending on the printing method and material or paper used, certain colors may be either difficult or impossible to replicate.

Using colored paper or material could be an option, provided the available colors fit your color palette. Consider the texture of the paper or material too because it could end up adding extra depth or texture to the final product.

Not double (and triple) checking for mistakes

In print design, it is fundamental that you permit yourself time to verify your content for any typographical, accentuation, and linguistic mistakes.

Keep in mind that a lost comma can drastically change the significance of a sentence, or a missing period or hyphen in an email address can make it impossible for potential clients to contact you.

Sam Carvalho

You don’t really know how to use black

Use the following code for printing black: C0; M0; Y0; K100. However, when you apply this to a larger area, you will see that the black tone will look almost grey.

So, for best results, you want to switch to a rick black by mixing several ink colors to get a darker tone. Try C40; M30; Y30; K100. If possible, try to check directly with your printer what their specifications for rich black are.

Your letters are too thin

Be careful with fine hairlines and tiny text. Also, avoid using small text on a rich black background in print.

Therefore, when you have white text over black, use C0; M0; Y0; K100 simple black.

You haven’t embedded your graphics and text

Make sure to embed all fonts in your artwork before sending it to the printer.

Outlining any stroke in your artwork to convert them into shapes and flattening all your work layers are also good practices.

Illogical social media promotions

Avoid printing links, because it doesn’t work. Replace links and buttons with a QR code.

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

  • Use promo code ‘JOE’ to get three free months to try out TherapyNotes, no strings attached, and remember, telehealth is included with every subscription free.

Check out these additional resources:

Meet Sam Carvalho

A photo of Samantha Carvalho is captured. She is the Chief Marketing Officer and Designer at Practice of the Practice. She is the host of the Marketing A Practice Podcast and helps therapists successfully market and brand their private practices.

Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.

She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!

Follow Sam on Instagram to see some of her work. To work with Sam, head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding.

Thanks For Listening!

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