Preparing designs for professional and large-scale printing can be tricky. What looks perfect on the computer screen can be different from what comes out at the printer, depending on the type of printer used, the scale and resolution of the original designs, color and font incompatibilities, and more. In order for your hard work to pay off without having to go back and fix small. time-consuming details, following a few basic design pointers can help save your productivity.

Printer Planning

Whether using a professional printing service, in-house department, or printing a design yourself, allow enough time for a print job to run at least twice. This will avoid missing your deadline in the event of machine problems or having to make corrections and adjustments to the design itself. Keep in mind that not all printers may have the fonts, file formats, or even color schemes to be fully compatible with your original design. Including font files embedded within the design document, and converting document files to common formats may be necessary, so it’s best to run your design and color scheme by your printer in advance.

Design to Scale

A common printing problem involves the original design being too small, resulting in blurry images and text when printed on a larger scale. Create a layout with the same dimensions as the finished product and ensure images are high-resolution in order to avoid errors with layout and resolution.

Proofreading to Be Foolproof

Although spellcheck can catch basic errors, it cannot catch a mistyped phone number, web address, or all punctuation mistakes. Many errors appear in client names, addresses, web addresses, and phone numbers, so double- and triple-check these. John Brook gives the helpful tip of reading your text backwards to find mistakes.

Check the Margins

Designing all the way to the edge of the document is a tempting way to push margins and creative space, but bleed can result at the printer. Leave at least 3mm of space to allow for a “margin of design error.”

Print a Proof First

Print a hardcopy of your design to see how it looks off the screen. This allows you or your printers to see potential errors in color, layout, or text.

Frank O. Carlson & Company stays ahead of the competition with the latest printers and digital design technology. Frank O. Carlson & Company is a family-owned. large-format printer and sign manufacturer in Chicago, Illinois, specializing in digital printing on-demand and large display graphics. For more information, please call (773) 847-6900.