Designing for print and designing for the web are two very different concepts.
Though some of the same content can be shared between print marketing materials and the web, each medium has certain design practices to follow in order to craft a compelling and effective design.
Below are 5 key tips to implement when designing for print:
1. Use High Resolution
On your computer, the resolution only really alters how large your image physically looks on screen. In print, the resolution determines how sharp and crisp your designs will appear. The ppi within image resolutions stands for pixels per inch. Your image will be clearer and more refined if the ppi is higher. In print, 300 ppi is the standard. For example, brochures and business cards are viewed at a closer distance, so the image(s) should be at 300 ppi. Just remember that changing the size of an image does not change the resolution; you should make sure the resolution of the image is correct from the beginning.
2. Be Aware of Bleed
Remembering to accommodate for bleed is a crucial factor in setting up a print design layout. You need to include bleed on your file if you want your artwork to extend all the way to the edge. For your design to look right, the design will be printed on an oversized sheet, then trimmed to size. Essentially, this allows for slight inaccuracies when printed, so cutting through that buffer of color will help you avoid leaving any white strips of paper along the edge of your piece.
3. Keep an Eye on Color Mode: RGB to CMYK
Printers produce color by using a four-color process: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK). When working with digital designs, you will often be working with Red, Green and Blue (RGB), because that’s how your monitor works. To prepare for a printing application, RGB files must be converted to CMYK, otherwise, your colors may not be reproduced in print. Converting to CMYK should be done as the final step.
4. Proofread and Spellcheck
Though it may seem obvious, imagine how devastating it would be if you were to print 500 copies of your design only to find an error on each copy. After printing, that mistake can’t be rectified, so take your time to check for misspellings, misuse of dashes and the usual there/their/they’re errors that might not be picked up by spellcheck.
5. Pay Attention to Page Counts and Creep
If you are creating a stitched booklet, pages must be in increments of 4. You also must account for the “creep” that occurs when pages are stapled or folded together during the process of making a booklet. The open ends will be trimmed off, so make sure you create a safe zone for the artwork that isn’t too close to the edge of the page.
Print design can be fun, so don’t let the above issues get between you and amazing print materials! Contact Kingston Printing to get started.