Five Tips for Creating Print Designs

Many freelance graphic designers will accept jobs for both print and web design. Naturally, there are many areas where education, software, and skill sets will overlap.

However there are also some fundamental differences that can help your print designs for materials such as color business cards, tickets, and related items prosper. Here are Five Tips for Creating Print Designs.

Resolution – The resolution of images used in your print design must be at least 300 dpi. This is different from web resolution which is usually 72 dpi.  If a 72 dpi image used for web design is included in a file that will be professionally printed, it will print fuzzy and blurry. The 300 dpi resolution is a must-have for printing to ensure the image is crisp in appearance.

Fonts – If you select an unusual font for your design, you should include that in the file you send to your printer just in case they don’t have it. Chances are if they are a large offset printing company they will have the font you selected. However you don’t want to jeopardize your glossy brochures or club flyer’s because you didn’t take the necessary step.

Text on Photos – If you want to include text on top of a photo that is in your print layout, you need to ensure the text is in vector format. This can be achieved by using a design software such as Photoshop or something similar. If the text is not in vector format it may appear blurry when it is positioned on top of a high resolution photo.

Color Profile – Check with your printer to find out which color profile they use. It is either CMYK or RGB. If you are using an offset printer they will most likely use CMYK, and your file should be built with that in mind.

Bleed – Include a bleed in your design, typically 3mm, but check with your printer for their specifications. The bleed area gives the printer a small amount of room to work with. It allows the final piece to be trimmed and your background to extend to the edge.