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What printers wish graphic designers knew

Graphic artists create the images that are often sent to printers. However, they typically work for a client who then forwards the files or designs to the printer.

In other cases, the graphic designer simply sends the file to the printer and expects it to come out perfect. A great tip is to look for the printer’s artwork guide here is an example from Real Print.

Here are few more things printers wish that graphic designers knew.

Don’t Be scared to Bleed

Graphic designers may design a graphic with clean lines, but the ink probably won’t come out that cleanly.

The solution is to give the design some room to bleed. Give the printed material at least 3mm on all sides to bleed.

For example, give the printed flyers a quarter inch margin on all sides, whether you’re having a single page printed or twelve on a large printed sheet. If you don’t give the design this margin, the bleed will probably still happen but to other parts of the design.

Size Matters

Design your images at 100 percent scale if it is two feet by four feet or smaller. Designing to scale in other cases can avoid a lot of problems, too.

For example, many graphic design design images as if it will be printed at the same size of their computer screen. Then the print that’s readable on their screen becomes tiny on the print.

Print preview is only the first step to making sure the images and text are properly scaled. For example, while vector editing will keep all elements of the design proportional as you scale up, it doesn’t mean your imported company letter head will be. When you’re using raster editing software, make certain you use the right resolution sizes so that all aspects of the design can be enlarged.

Don’t Forget Your Fonts

There isn’t an issue if you’re using a standard font. However, if you’re using an unusual font, the printer probably won’t have it on file. This can cause problems with the print job. One solution is to provide a font file along with the print file.

Another is to convert your text to outlines so that it simply part of the image. This is the preferred choice, since the font won’t have to be loaded and tweaked to come out right. Nor do you get delays because someone gets a missing font error when opening your image file.

Use the Color System the Printer Does

Whenever possible, use the CMYK color system that printers typically use. While RGB has a wider range of colors, this causes all kinds of problems when you send it to the printer.

When the printer converts your image to CMYK colors, the final colors may not be what you intended. Design in CMYK, and you guarantee that the final product will have the color scheme you wanted. You’ll also avoid the mistake of impressing a client with bold neon colors on the screen that came out faded on the final product.

Set Realistic Schedules

You can send a print job to your desktop printer and get the final product in minutes. However, it isn’t this simple with professional printers. They’re juggling multiple print jobs.

You can avoid problems by sending your graphic files to the printer up to a week before you need it.

Send it as soon as possible so that they can work it into the schedule as early as they can. This ensures the project won’t be completed late by your schedule.