When calculating average business expenses, printing took the third position for the highest expenditure per year. The ink depositing practice was only surpassed by rent and payroll in bookkeeping comparisons. With your business already spending a significant amount on printing, having to start over due to printing errors can be a budget disaster. Not only will mistakes in the printing process cost you time and money, but the disposal of your unused prints causes a surplus of excess waste. Whether you send your designs away for printing, do them yourself, or even offer printing as a service, printing errors can be detrimental. Whether they delay campaign launches, cause unnecessary stress, or even make your business look unprofessional and sloppy, you simply can’t afford the fallout. So how can you avoid these costly mistakes and maximize your business printing? Follow along to discover how to avoid printing errors with these seven tips for printing with precision.
1. Accuracy Over Speed
When it comes to prints, your business and employees will need to prioritize accuracy over speed. When design and printing are rushed to meet tight deadlines, the chances of error increase significantly. Evidently, you’ll end up taking longer to achieve your end goal than if you had slowed the pace down and done it right to begin with. These speed-related errors generally come down to data entry. When you are printing packaging, advertising materials, or even informational packages, the data on your prints are crucial. Just one typo can take your campaign from “Oh wow!” to “Oh… wow….” It’s simple to miss these mistakes when our brains are skimming and scanning work that we’ve read several times before. For this reason, it can be helpful to double up on the number of approvals prior to printing and slow down the editing process to ensure absolute accuracy.
2. Organize Your Files
If you are sending your designs away for printing, it’s crucial that your files are organized and complete. Including old proofs or extra links in your package can cause miscommunication and accidental file selections. On the other side, if you are printing in house, having excess files involved can cause confusion and even slow your printing production. Keep yourself organized and accurate by removing any unnecessary components from your proofs. This includes deleting buried content, ensuring your fonts are included, and removing unnecessary extras.
3. Optimize Text
Printing text is much more difficult than viewing it on a screen. In order to ensure the best result, you’ll want to emphasize your text optimization for readability and esthetics. Use font colors that have high contrast with the images behind and choose fonts that are easy to read. Although complex fonts may look fun and unique, many of these selections can cause misinterpretation and confusion for your audience. Place your text in areas that allow for ample spacing and try not to shrink or overstuff your information. Instead, simplify your text to highlight the key points or reduce busy backgrounds.
4. Image Precision
The colors on your screen are not necessarily the colors that will be printed. To decrease this variance in pigment, use CMYK or files that can easily be converted to this format. This is especially important when using brand colors in campaigns or creating that text and background contrast we mentioned earlier. Most editing programs will have CMYK formats, so you’ll just need to be cautious of your choices. CMYK uses the same color percentages and ensures your final product comes out accurately. This percentage will remain the same, even if different applications display the shades inaccurately.
5. Slow the Effects
Casting shadows, using text fill effects, and incorporating transparency can make your designs stand out, but the printing of these special effects can be quite unreliable. You may end up with unappealing color bleeding or even separation of tone. Try to keep your special effects to a reasonable amount and use programs like photoshop for shadowing instead of shifty Microsoft effects. When it comes to text fill effects, ensure your using vector applications and maintaining a high resolution.
6. Know Your Formats
Compressing certain file formats can actually cause problems in the RIP process. This can cause problems when it comes to production time and even drives up costs. To avoid this, ensure you’ve aligned your file formats with your printer. Each printer and software will have different specifications on which formats are best suited, so take the time to familiarize yourself and make adjustments. Generally speaking, if you are working with scanned photographs, you’ll want to use EPS or TIFF formats. Of course, using photoshop and other editing software will provide you with ample options to ensure the best compression and RIP of your product for print.
7. Automate Proofing
One of the largest problems in proofing and quality inspection is the margin for human error. When it comes to how to check for printing errors in large scale projects, your best bet is to automate your inspections. You’ll no longer have to deal with tedious checks and can have confidence in the accuracy of your prints. Packaging inspection technology acts as a business printing error checker to ensure all of your time and money is spent effectively. This system will scan for simple mistakes like spelling errors and even detect inconsistencies between your final prints and your approved proofs. This will ensure that no mistakes leak through the cracks and make their way to the public eye.
Not only will you have ultimate accuracy, but you can also save money on quality inspection protocols and staffing.
How to Avoid Printing Errors
Now that you know these top seven ways for how to check for business printing errors, you can take on your printing needs with confidence. From choosing the right images and formats to automating your accuracy, you’ll never have to deal with the dreaded ‘how do I check for printed errors?” question again.
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