There’s nothing worse than witnessing a glaring print faux pas in the flesh. That unsavoury spelling mistake, coupled with the dull shades of an incorrect print setting is enough to put anyone off reading your marketing material, let alone investing in your products or services. But what are the most common mistakes when brands and businesses get print happy?
Let’s take a look at some of the most common printing predicaments to help you stay on the right track.
Designing for Print but Not Actually Designing for Print
First off there’s the businesses who set out to deliver a message through print material but then don’t consider the settings required to get the product looking print hot. We weep at the number of dull flyers and posters that should’ve been printed in CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black are the only colour combinations used in printing).
If you’re designing printed products in-house, make sure your design program setting is in CMYK, and not RGB (Red, Green, Blue). RGB is generally reserved for stuff which will appear online only.
Typos – There's Just No Excuse
We can’t really call ourselves the grammar police but a glaring spelling error on a printed product kind of turns our stomachs. No matter how beautifully designed your product, a spelling mistake completely discredits all of your hard work.
Before sending anything off to print, ensure you go over all your content with a fine-tooth comb, get someone you trust to proofread the copy and then proofread it again yourself. If you’re still a little unsure you could even get a professional proofreader to check it over.
Email, Telephone, Kitchen Sink…
Cramming it all in and we mean ALL IN, can scupper your chances of making a good, clean-cut impression. Say who you are, what you do, add some vital contact details then make your exit.
Need new business cards? Think about your overarching content – what you want to say about your brand and essential information only. Using the space carefully with just the right amount of information to entice your market is key to effective communication.
Try and sketch out a basic design to show what you want to include in your flyers, posters and any other marketing materials you’re looking to deploy before going any further.
Ugly Font, Be Gone!
Using a terrible font anywhere is a total no-go, but when it’s on printed material it just makes it so much worse as it can’t be edited.
Some fonts work better in print than they do online and vice versa. Becoming aware of which fonts appeal best to your target market can help you to reach the right audience more effectively.
The bulk of your printed copy should ideally be written in a Serif font (those funky looking fonts with feet). Despite Sans Serif fonts (bold and straight) being favoured amongst brands to create a minimalist feel, using a really smart Serif on a printed product can create the exact same feel. Check out our Font Guide for more help.
Save the Date (or Not)
During our time as avid print lovers, we’ve seen a myriad of unforgivable mistakes on wedding invitations, and that includes a batch of ‘save the date’ cards, minus the date! (Yes, it really does happen).
This goes back to the whole proofreading thing we mentioned earlier; before sending anything to print it’s essential to double-check everything.
Typing out the Entire URL, down to the Last ://
Always remember who you’re talking to; almost everyone knows a full web address when they see one, they really don’t need the full URL. Save yourself space and time on your print media a few characters at a time – it makes a difference, trust us.
Trying to be proactive and ordering your business cards in bulk is great. But putting your email address on 4000 business cards and then forgetting your account password is not so great.
Before you commit to any batch orders, make sure you have your email account details somewhere safe.
The same goes for testing online promotional codes, taking stock of the items you’re promoting (do you anticipate having enough in?) and any other information which you’re going to need to access.