5 Design Elements To Check Before Printing

5-design-elements-to-check-before-printing Print Direct

How many times has it happened? You spend hours putting together your print design, sending your files off for production, and approving digital proofs, but when you receive the finished product – your vision didn’t quite translate as perfectly as you’d hoped. Or maybe you got lucky and caught those tiny corrections just before final output, but had to pay revision charges to have your files updated.

Sound familiar? Don’t fret – we’ve seen it all before.


Save Yourself the Frustration: Print Before You Send

To minimize any complications, and ultimately save you time and money - we recommend printing your design out on your office or home printer before you send files along to Print Direct. This will allow you to review your piece one last time and run through a quick checklist of design elements that lead to some of the most common frustrations.


Here are 5 Design Elements To Check Before Printing:


#1 - Proofread – Nothing’s worse than the feeling you get after receiving fresh printed collateral from the printer only to have a typo or grammatical error staring you right in the face. Sometimes the best thing you can do is step away from the computer, look at a printed draft of your design, and re-read your work as if you were seeing it for the first time. Save yourself the hassle of a reprint, and proofread your work before you send it our way. 

#2 - Text Sizes – Sure you can read your copy just fine on your 27” computer screen, but will it really be legible when you print it to size? 100% on-screen in Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign will appear much larger than it actually is. By printing your project out before sending it along for production, you’ll be able to gauge readability. We recommend using no smaller than an 8 pt. size to maintain legibility, though often the best size falls between 12 and 14 pt. Print it out to see what works best with the particular font you’ve selected. 


#3 - Image Resolution & Size – Using your computer monitor alone can make it challenging to gauge your image quality. Printing a copy out will give you an accurate idea of the way your image will appear on the finished product, and you can double check that your proportions are appropriate for the message you’re sending. Nothing’s more frustrating than receiving your final brochures only to see it’s covered with pixelated photos.

#4 - Margins – Ever wish that your postcard design fell a little further away from the edge of the sheet? Print your postcard with marks (or cheat with a bounding box around the edge of the design) to truly see how your postcard will look when printed. We recommend using at least a .25” margin from the edge of your piece to ensure the end result is aesthetically balanced. 


#5 - Folding Lines – Don’t forget to fold your piece up to its final size either! Creating separate guides to help identify fold lines can ensure that your design elements fall exactly as you’d hope and your margins are kept consistent on each individual panel.

Have any questions about the tips above?

Don’t hesitate to contact us to ensure your vision comes to life perfectly.