Printing mistakes can be costly for businesses, leading to wasted time, money, and resources. From spelling errors to incorrect file types, there are a plethora of common printing mistakes that can impact the quality of printed materials. As a content writer, discussing these potential pitfalls is a crucial element of educating both seasoned designers and inexperienced ones alike. Avoiding these mistakes is essential to maintain high-quality branding and reputation with customers – a difficult task if your print job is riddled with errors. In this article, we’ll explore the most common printing mistakes and provide tips on how to fix them, allowing businesses to create sharper prints and promote a seamless, professional image.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to printing projects, there are common mistakes that can lead to unnecessary costs, delays, and poor-quality results. Whether you’re working with a printing partner or handling the process on your own, it’s essential to know the mistakes to avoid. In this article, we’ll discuss the most common printing mistakes. From files and design to paper stock and color accuracy, we have you covered. Read on to learn how to avoid these mistakes and achieve better results for your print projects.

Spelling and Grammar Errors

Spelling mistakes and grammar errors are avoidable but common mistakes in print design that can make your project look unprofessional, unreliable, and potentially cause delays for clients. To prevent such mistakes, always proofread your text before sending it for printing. Relying solely on spell-check tools can be risky because such tools often miss contextual errors or words that are spelled correctly but used in the wrong context. Therefore, it’s important to proofread your text manually.

Furthermore, always ensure that everyone involved in the project double-checks the proof before finalizing the project, as it’s easy to miss errors in the design when you’ve been working on it for an extended period. Enlisting an outsider can also be helpful, as they provide a fresh perspective and a different set of eyes. Finally, keep in mind that designing for print is a team effort that requires everyone to pay attention to detail. By avoiding spelling and grammar mistakes, you can create a professional and polished design for print.

Wrong Colors or Color Mode Used

One common mistake when it comes to printing is using the wrong color mode. It’s important to understand the difference between RGB and CMYK color profiles and how they translate on screens and printers. RGB colors have a higher range of bright colors, whereas CMYK colors are optimized for printing on paper. When designing marketing materials or other print projects, it’s recommended to work in CMYK mode to preview how the colors will appear on the final print.

Another important consideration is choosing a G7 Master Certified Printer to handle the printing job. This certification ensures that the printer is calibrated according to color matching standards, ensuring color accuracy and consistency. When working with a printer, be sure to confirm that they are using the correct color mode and that the final print reflects the intended design.

Incorrect File Size or Print Project Size

One common mistake when preparing design files for print is using an incorrect file or print project size. This mistake can result in a costly reprint, delays in the printing process, and even loss of business. To avoid this, it’s essential to ensure that the size of the file or print project matches the desired final output size.

When working with a printing company, it’s crucial to communicate specific size and resolution requirements to them. Different printing machines have unique size limitations, and it’s necessary to ensure that the file is optimized for the printer. Providing the printing company with the correct file size can save time and money by avoiding reprints and delays.

Also, it’s important to ensure that the file is in the correct format accepted by the printing company. The most common file types include PDF, JPEG, and EPS. Ensure to identify the type of file the printer accepts by checking with them ahead of time.

Lastly, remember to include bleed and trim lines with your design. Bleed extends the design beyond the edge of the final printed piece, while trim lines indicate where the design should be cut. A safety margin should also be included to ensure that no critical content is cut off during the trimming process.

White Space or Background Images Not Properly Set Up

When it comes to setting up printing projects, designers must pay close attention to their use of white space and background images. A common mistake is not setting up white space correctly, which can lead to unwanted cropping or awkward spacing in the final printed piece.

Similarly, not setting up the background image correctly can also result in undesirable outcomes, such as incorrect colors or pixelated images. To avoid these mistakes, designers should ensure that their images are set up in CMYK color mode and have a resolution of 300-400 pixels per inch (ppi).

In addition, it is crucial to include trim lines and a safety margin in the design. Trim lines indicate where the design should be cut, while the safety margin ensures that critical content is not lost during the trimming process.

White Border Around Image

When designing for print, adding a white border around an image can create a polished look. However, if not set up properly, white borders can cause issues. It is recommended to avoid adding borders to designs altogether. If the design requires a white border, ensure that it is thick enough or placed well inside the blue safety line.

It’s important to note that printers may not cut straight due to the printing and cutting process outside of the printing area. This means that if the white border is too close to the edge, the design may appear off-center or even cut unevenly. To avoid this, make sure that the white border is placed well inside the safety line.

Low Resolution or Pixels Per Inch (PPI) Used for Design File/Print Job

Using low resolution or pixelated images in a print project can leave a negative impression on your audience. For crisp and clean results, it’s important to use high resolution images with a minimum of 300 pixels per inch (PPI). This ensures that the image is sharp and detailed when printed.

When designing the print file, set the document resolution and any images added to 300 PPI to avoid pixelation. Keep an eye on the quality of your images to ensure that they’re not blurry or distorted. This way, you can avoid any embarrassing errors in your print job.

It’s important to source high-quality images from reputable websites, especially if you’re unsure of an image’s resolution. Low-resolution images will appear pixelated and blurry when printed, even if they look great on a screen. Remember, the quality of your print job is only as strong as the quality of the images you use!

Too Much Ink Coverage on the Page

Using too much ink coverage on the page can result in smudges, bleeding, and even damage to the printer. To avoid this problem, it’s crucial to keep the ink coverage below 240%, and to check the printer’s tolerances to prevent bruising or cracking.

Additionally, it’s important to understand how much ink is absorbed by the paper you’re using and to check the specific color mode that you’re using before printing. Different types of paper absorb ink at different rates, with coated papers often absorbing less ink than uncoated ones. Furthermore, depending on the color mode you use, the amount of ink required to produce certain colors may vary.


In conclusion, avoiding printing mistakes requires a combination of careful planning and attention to detail. Defining clear project goals, conducting thorough research on printing companies, providing correct file formats and resolutions, proofreading artwork, and establishing clear communication are all crucial steps in ensuring successful printing projects. It’s important to prioritize quality over speed, taking the necessary time to double-check all aspects of a project before sending it off to the printer. By keeping in mind these tips and remaining vigilant throughout the printing process, you can minimize the risk of common errors and ensure that your marketing materials look their best. Remember, a mistake-free print project not only reflects well on the designer but also on the company and its brand.