It is fun to see your designs coming alive on the printer and coming out in clean, professional looking prints. However, the transition from creating something virtually on design platforms to the actual physical item can be full of challenges that deny one the ideal outcome. Fear not, dear friends, on this voyage of the creative imaginations! It is therefore your resource that provides you with all the information necessary to avoid typical printing mistakes and guarantee the flawless transition of your work from the screen into the real world of paper. No matter if you are working on promotional business brochures, bright flyers, or simple business cards it will be beneficial to know these key aspects to close the gap between what you want, and what is achievable.

1. The Bleed:

  • Understanding Bleed: Bleed is the extra that you print on your paper, beyond your final cut and trim of your printed material. This extra cut provides a security blanket so that after carrying out a trim, there will be no marks of white slivers showing through. Suppose you have the following flyer design – you have a background colour and it has reached the sides of the flyer. If the bleed is inadequate, you will see a frail white lining around the flyer after cutting, which breaks the artistic appeal.
  • Adding Bleed: To this end, it is recommended to make changes in the formula where you add a standard 0. Border all your design with a 125 inch bleed on each edge. This in a way builds a large sheet that is then cut into the preferred finished size. Therefore, in design, background colours and design elements are taken to the bleed area so that if the paper shrinks while being printed or when cutting, the white border will not be experienced.
  • Creating a Safety Zone: Another area to define is safety area which is an area inside your design where important components are placed in a way that they will not be cut off while trimming. This safety zone should lie within the bleed area, and it is suggested to be set at least 0. 125 inches from the trim line is the distance which was considered as the same distance that would be achieved by competitors actually running a clean trimmed race. This way, every piece of necessary textual information, logos, and other relevant elements of the design will sit tightly within the safe zone, meaning that they cannot and will not be affected by the very idea of trimming.

2. The RGB vs. CMYK Conundrum:

Computers and printers use have different ways of referring to colour. While RGB is an additive colour mode, best suited to display colour on screens, because it builds colour by adding primary colours one on top of the other. Light is emitted in the case of monitors and TVs and the colour which is reflected is what you see. Here, it is possible to create a rather wide range of hues by using the primary colours of light in different shades. While, CMYK, (Cyan Magenta Yellow, Black) is a subtractive colour model used in printing. Inks deposit colourant particles on paper and the presence of all the tested colour inks removes light and thus forms the printed colour on paper. For example, mixture of cyan, magenta and yellow inks gives black but not as a result of the total absorption of all the light. This is the reason black ink is additional to CMYK, due to the fact that black in gives a denser black than the combination of CMY inks.

Here’s a quick rule of thumb:

  • Apply RGB to digital work such as website designs or power point presentations.
  • Utilize CMYK for all print articles- fliers, handouts, business cards, and EVERYTHING.

3. Importance of Resolution:

It is most unwise to use low resolution images as the result will be the printing of blurry and pixelated images. To achieve the best quality use images that are 300 DPI or more popularly known as high resolution. For any image, you can right-click it and then go to properties or info to see the image resolution.

Finding the Text Sweet Spot:

  • Balancing Readability: Being too large is not good but being too small is also not good that is why it becomes very critical to try and balance with the text size. Large text is not suitable as it dominates the design and small text is not preferred as it is hard to read.
  • Sizing for Purpose: It seems that there is no a definite size that would correspond to an ideal student group, the size is defined by the scope of the project. Texts containing large amounts of text, such as the view in a brochure, may require a body size of 10–14, whereas the headline may be 18–28 points. Points of subheadings can be between 14 and 28.
  • Hierarchy is King: Text hierarchy means the text displayed sample setup to make the content easily readable. Apply italics, underscores or other text formatting to distinguish major and minor headings and the main text.

4. The Font:

It is usually challenging to determine the right font size to use, always over doing it or under doing it. When the text is set in a small size, it becomes difficult to read while when the upper limit of the font size is reached, the lettering ends up looking messy and crowed together. The ideal size depends on the type of printed material:


  • Body copy: 10-14 points
  • Headlines: 18-28 points
  • Subheadings: 14-28 points

Business cards:

There is no need to overcrowd the text with many different sections, ideas or groups of data: try to keep it compact and just as readable as possible. Choose font size sufficient enough to enable reading as a whole at a glance without having to squint.

You can apply different fonts or even switch between black and colours or apply various font sizes along with white space to divide the text into the headers and actual content, so the information provided will be easy to scan.

5. A Checklist for Success:

While design software offers a visual representation of your project, the printing process involves additional considerations:

  • Proofreading Perfection: This is important because even when you provide clear typographical layouts and designs, small mistakes such as typographical errors and other grammatical issues can be off-putting. It is important to read through your document several times before printing to avoid many mistakes you would not want to go to the printer. It may also be a good idea to have another person look over the document just in case there are pieces that might have been overlooked.
  • Double-Sided Savings: Duplex printing means printing a document on both sides of the paper, which is cheaper, and does not affect the environment as much. Duplex printing should always be used where and when it is possible.
  • Paper Power: The paper type significantly influences the print quality, as has been identified in the paper type section. Other types of paper can also be used based on the purpose of the specific project to be undertaken. Finally, using glossy paper might not be appropriate for documents that involve lot of writing and requires a lot of light.
  • Colour vs. Black and White: Audited the purpose of colour printing. Black and white print is cheaper and can be used for some of the specific documents that are produced by an organization. Also, perform the draft mode printing for internal documents to avoid utilizing many ink cartridges and papers.


By not making these printing slips of the highlighted sections and attending to the given recommendations, it is easy to put your vision on paper and come up with quality printed products. In conclusion, always remember that little things go a long way in printing services and the overall success of printed document.

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