- The incorporation of web visuals into printed materials.
With many young designers coming from a web design background, the transition from web design to traditional print design can introduce a slew of design errors. 72dpi images that have been compressed to load quickly on a website will reproduce very poorly in print. You can get away with little thumbnails, but blowing things out to any considerable size will be pushing your luck. There are a lot of web resources that give free or extremely low-cost high-resolution photographs. These are an excellent source for relevant imagery.
- Ignoring or not allowing sufficient bleed.
A fairly typical blunder is to send a document or flattened image to print without any bleed. In general, allow at least 3mm around each cut off edge. Failure to do so gives the printers no leeway and results in the page being cropped off the side or having a white border. When delivering picture assets, it is always a good idea to store them as layered psd files. This way, if anything needs stretching or cropping, you may do so on the backdrop layer, potentially reducing your labor.
- Using cryptic typefaces in output without embedding or highlighting them.
We’ve all been guilty of this at some point, and it’s generally acceptable if you’re the only person who will have access to your artwork or documents. However, if another party requires modifications to the files or wishes to use your vector logo in one of their publications. Unless you package the used fonts, users will be unable to open the files correctly, and certain software packages may substitute a default font for any unknown fonts. This is especially problematic when you need to recover data from several years ago and you no longer have access to your old fonts.
- Providing print-ready artwork in spot or rgb colors
There are legitimate reasons to use spot colors in artwork, such as logos that must reference specific pantone colors. However, for most design work, the majority of print is transmitted through four-color CMYK presses, with an occasional fifth color for luminosity or metallic color, or for spot UV varnish. It is fairly common for inexperienced designers to simply insert rgb photos into files and expect the brilliant colors shown on screen to reproduce accurately in print.
- Allowing clients who are design illiterate to show you around their homes
According to the classic saying, the customer is always right. However, it is frequently spoken with gritted teeth and a sense of foreboding, knowing that these buffoons will eventually hand over a hefty cheque for your troubles. When first providing images, it’s frequently a good idea to include a few of duds to perhaps encourage them to appreciate the design you’re submitting. Of course, there is a very real possibility that they will adore the piece of pure arsewipe you whipped up in five minutes to fool them into believing you’ve been earning your money. Nonetheless, it is a means of subsistence.
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