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For printing: how to avoid 7 common printing design mistakes

Time: 2021-05-13 Hits: 132


"Printing"is the most common type of graphic design application. If a designer cannot be sure of the printing effect, then his design works are basically a failure. Really exquisite picture albums, suitable binding methods and special craftsmanship are all from the hands of designers who are proficient in printing and post-press craftsmanship.



There are simple steps you can follow to ensure your printing will come out trumps


1. Correctly distinguish between RGB and CMYK

RGB (red, green, blue) is a color-enhancing system that produces different colors from light. As the light source increases, the colors become brighter. RGB colors are usually used in digital design, which is exactly the color configuration of the screen.

CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) is a subtractive color system that produces different colors after mixing inks, similar to the way traditional painters use pigments. The more ink, the color will be more darker.

2. The CMYK value

In the design software, you can select the color through the color picker, or use the color palette or CMYK color palette. If the values of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black are too large, the colors will be over-saturated. If the total of the four colors exceeds 280%, the finished effect will become blurred due to heavy pile-up. Some colors may appear on the computer screen. It looks fine computer screen, but in printing, the actual color is always darker than the screen color.

Mixed inks may also cause blurring of text and small graphics. When the cyan, magenta, yellow, and black are slightly misaligned with the registration lines in the printed document, the text will become small and blurred. If you want the text to be smooth and clear, then a single color is the best choice. For example, if it is 100% black, the text will be clearly visible.

3. Do not use PS black

In PS, the D key is a shortcut key to reset the foreground and background colors to their default values. But you should manually set the black color value correctly. If it is black text, it can be 0, 0, 0, 100 (single black), but if it is a large background color, it is not appropriate, because it will look dark gray in printing instead of black. Therefore, it is best to use 4-color black for large areas of black. Although there are many numerical combinations, 50, 40, 40, and 100 have been verified as the most popular choices, and the sum of the 4-color values does not exceed the safety range.

4. The thickness of the font and line

The function of the gray screen in the printing process is to control how much ink will be printed on the paper. The principle is to control the density of dots. The lighter color part is composed of sparse dots. When preparing a printed document, remember to check if there are any particularly small elements in the document.

5. Setting the picture resolution correctly

The screen resolution of the picture only takes care of the physical size on the screen, and the printing resolution determines whether the printed effect of the designed product is clear. 72ppi is usually the resolution of website pictures, and 300ppi is the standard picture resolution for printing. Make sure that the resolution of all design files is 300ppi, including all illustrations or pictures.

6. Forgetting to add “Bleed”

Picture resolution is one of the most important factors in the printing design, and also pay attention to the size of the document bleeding. Bleed is an area of print at the edge of the document that gets trimmed off after printing. That means you need to make your artwork slightly bigger, so it can be trimmed down to the right size. When print is cut to size, the cut isn’t always 100% accurate. If you don’t add bleed, you risk having a white line at the edge of your print where the artwork ends.

bleed area

7. Checking word spacing, text proofreading and spelling

Modifying the text on the website is very simple, but it is devastating if a text error is found in the 5,000 completed brochures. It is impossible to correct errors in printed materials such as leaflet posters, so you must be patient to check the size of the word spacing, the length of the dash, the upper and lower quotation marks, and those homophonic input errors that are easy to be overlooked.


Are you ready for your first book printing?


Correct file size

Correct resolution 

Added bleeding 

CMYK color mode

The black area has the correct color value (text black and "thick" black)

Save in the correct format 

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