Common print mistakes small businesses can make.

What are the top 10 things to avoid?

When you first start up your business it’s exciting and you just want to get the word out there about your new venture! Using print to spread the word is a great technique however, there are some common mistakes smallbusinesses can make when it comes to print… 

1. Going for the best ‘deal’

You know the kind I mean, 5000 flyers for £25 or 10,000 business cards for £30. They look and feel cheap & nasty! If you have that feeling, your potential customers will too! Go for quality over quantity, it’s better to get 100 customers that value what you do instead of 500 that just shrug you off as cheap. Let your prints reflect how great you are at what you do!

2. Not using a designer

There’s enormous value in having a skilled designer set up your artwork. You might be saving some money in the short term designing it yourself, but a well-designed piece of the print will earn you a lot more in the long run. First impressions mean everything!

3. Being too close to the edge

There should always be at least a 5mm margin or safe area around the edge of your print where no key assets should be (Such as text). Print can sometimes shift a few millimetres so there’s a risk of it being cut off if you text is near the edge. Plus, visually it looks better with a margin!

4. Using the print independently

You should match the offer on your flyer with an offer on your social media. You want your customer to see the offer as many times as possible! Try not to think of social media and print as two separate things – it’s all part of your marketing.

Top Tip: If you do a print & social media promotion, put a different promo code on each so you can track which version performs best! 

5. Sale, Sale, Sale!

You don’t need to put every product ever sold (that’s shockingly on sale) onto an A5 flyer. It instantly devalues your product and they end up straight in the bin. If you do want to showcase your products, pick a select few and give them room to breathe on the print. White space is a good thing! It just looks visually better and makes your business look more professional.

6. Using low-resolution images

Nothing looks worse than a pixelated image in print. All images in small-format print should be 300dpi. If you’re using Adobe it will tell you the dpi, if you can’t find it ask your printer to check the file before they print it!

7. Using huge resolution images 

The opposite of using low-resolution images! People think that a huge image scaled down will somehow print better if its 2400dpi and 100mb. It just won’t. Even if your flyer is image-heavy it shouldn’t be much bigger than 5mb (if that). Most printers will reject huge files. Most software has the capabilities to compress or scale down imagery and still retain the crispness of the original image. 300dpi is the goal!

8. Using print to just sell

Instead of using it to just sell, use it as a tool to show your appreciation to your customers. A postcard saying ‘thank you for your order’ or offering a ‘10% discount on their next order’ is much better than an automated email! Plus, it guarantees to put a smile on their face!

9. Not making the artwork CMYK

This can massively change the way the colours look in your print. If you’ve set up your artwork in RGB your printer might not reject it but it would flag up as not being in CMYK. Using the RGB colourspace means you can use much brighter and vibrant colours because it’s for screens. A screen has a bright white light behind it to be able to create those colours, a print doesn’t. 

The way in which a digital press works means that even if all the artwork is in CMYK if just one image is on a design is RGB the entire pages colour will be scaled down to the CYMK colourspace. The result of this is your print will come out dull or may even look a totally different colour. If all of this makes no sense that’s absolutely fine! I would, however, recommend having a chat with a designer before you spend any money on print or ask your printer to check your files.

10. Double-check the dimensions of your file

Always double-check that the size of your artwork is the same size as the print you’re ordering. An easy way to make sure you’re setting up your artwork the right size is to ask your printer for a template. If you’ve not setup your artwork the right size it might not print as you expect or you’ll have to spend more time adjusting the design.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, it’d be great to know what you think to these tips. Have you ever made any of these mistakes? Leave a comment below.

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