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May 16, 201911:46 AMOpen Mic

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6 mistakes to avoid when designing for print

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4. Include bleeds

If you want your artwork to go all the way to the edge of your piece, you need to include bleed on your file. To achieve this effect, your piece will be printed on an oversized sheet, and then trimmed to size. In essence, you’re providing more image than is necessary beyond your page size with the intentions of trimming off excess image during the finishing process. Learn more about how to add bleeds.

For wide format wall applications (typically wallpaper or vinyl), include 3 inches of bleed all the way around. This will ensure coverage if your measurements are slightly off.

5. Include separate layers for coatings and spot inks

A separate layer should be added to art files to indicate where coatings or spot inks should be applied. The layer should also be labeled “coatings” or the name of the specialty ink, so it’s clear to the printer what each layer represents. A spot color should be named the same as the layer to provide clear direction.

Image courtesy of Adobe

6. Watch page counts and creep for booklets

When creating a stitched booklet, pages must be in increments of four. You also have to account for the “creep” that occurs when pages are stapled together. The open ends will be trimmed off to create a proper book, so make sure you create a safe zone for artwork that doesn’t reach too close to the edge of the page. Page numbers in the corners are often too close for comfort and risk being cut off.

Brett Donelan is the premedia manager at Suttle-Straus.

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