Basic information; valuable nonetheless...
Top 5 Print Design Mistakes
Your printed materials may consist of anything from an elaborate 12-page brochure to just a simple business card. Either way, they should look professional and represent your company well. In this article I'll discuss the common print design mistakes.
Mistake #5: Clutter
Have you ever picked up a brochure or looked at a direct mail card and there was information overload? Nothing will stop a potential customer from reading your materials faster than when they are bombarded with a bunch of copy. People are busy and they typically skim copy rather than read the entire piece. Unclutter your materials with the use of white space, make your most important points stand out with a bulleted list, include graphics that represent what you are trying to sell, use call out boxes that draw the readers attention and make sure your font size is big enough to read.
Mistake #4: Too Much Font Love
A lot of people have a few favorite fonts that, in their opinion, can never be used enough. But fonts can be tricky and it's important to match a font style with your business image. For example, using a fun and playful font would not be the best choice for a bank ad that has a conservative look and feel. Also, using too many fonts in one piece can be bad design. The general rule is to stick with two different font types. Of course there are exceptions to this but when designing anything if it looks too distracting and busy, it probably is.
Mistake #3: Distracting Design Elements
As much as we think bright neon green text and massive star bursts offering a promotion will attract readers, it can have the opposite effect. Overusing design elements can make your materials look sloppy and unprofessional. Making your logo as big as possible is also a mistake. Yes, it's very important to have your logo on all your materials to brand your business but it doesn't need to take up half the page. Color is another huge factor; use tasteful colors that represent your brand and don't distract from the message you're trying to convey.
Mistake #2: Low Resolution Imagery
It's never a good idea to pull an image off a web site and try to use it on any printed material. That's typically copyright infringement and images for the web are saved in a low resolution so they download quickly and look great on screen but terrible when printed. Images used for print should be at least 300 DPI (Dots Per Inch). That means that for every inch of image there are 300 color dots or pixels. Images for the web are only 72 DPI which is why they don't print well.
Mistake #1: Consistency
When your marketing materials are consistent and designed well they make your company appear credible, focused and professional. If you start using cookie-cutter templates or materials that you designed yourself in Microsoft Word, you are not branding or helping establish your business in an effective way. Use your logo, your color palette and one or two fonts on all materials from your letterhead to your web site. These materials are the face of your business and represent your company so it's crucial that they do an excellent job.
Learn more about the author, Susan Alexander.
Comment on this article
Posted by Tony Amoroso, Paulsboro, New Jersey |
Jan 09, 2008
Posted by Paul McFadden, Bellevue, Washington |
Jan 09, 2008
Thanks, Susan. I plan on forwarding to a friend of mine who is in the printing business. This is very helpful. Take care.
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