Are You Making These 8 Common Mistakes with Artwork Files?

Published by Sara Olbrantz | Topics: Online Publishing, Print

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If you’re in charge of designing book covers, conference brochures, CD face labels, or packaging you may find this worthwhile to read.

If you’re not the designer for your association, you may want to share this useful information to the people who are.

When preparing to send graphics and artwork files for your publication cover, conference brochures or other educational content that needs a design to your printers, the last thing you want to deal with is phone calls and emails back about missing graphics, low resolution graphics or corrupted fonts. It will only prolong the time it takes to receive your finished publications and materials for conferences and training seminars.

We have created a list of the top eight problems we see when clients send their art files, and have provided some tips to avoid these issues.

8 Common Problems with Art Files for Publications, Training and Conference Materials

  1. Missing graphic – Yes, it happens. Yes, it’s embarrassing.
    Tip: When working with linked files in InDesign or Quark, it’s not like using Microsoft Word where you graphics are automatically embedded. Make sure you package your graphic for print.
  2. Graphics are low resolution (under 300 dpi) – If your graphics are low resolution they’ll have that fuzzy, faded look. Unfortunately, this is a problem printers cannot magically fix.
    : Website logos do not print well. Use Adobe Illustrator where the logo can be scaled.
  3. Missing Fonts – Like graphics, these also need to be packaged for print. Roman looks a lot different than Calibri. Make sure fonts are packaged to get the right feel and look to your graphic.
    Tip: InDesign and Quark both have the capability to package up all fonts and graphics used in your design.
  4. Fonts are corrupted – Al Capone may be proud, but not your printer.
    Tip: Zip or stuff font folders prior to emailing or uploading to preserve data. This will keep you clear of this organized crime.
  5. The template guideline is flattened into the artwork – The template and the artwork are on a single layer. Unless you meant to have the guideline template printed on the cover of a course book…
    Tip: Keep artwork on a separate layer from the template. When supplying a high resolution pdf, remove the template prior to creating otherwise the template my print on your artwork.
  6. An outdated template is used – Just because it worked three years ago doesn’t mean it’s the right choice now.
    Tip: Check to ensure you have an updated template.
  7. There are no bleeds provided – This is the information beyond the edge of the graphic. Think about it like your jeans… Just because they’ll cover your ankles doesn’t mean they’re long enough. It’s good to have a little extra denim because, really, who likes high waters? (I’m sorry if you like high waters.)
    Tip: Provide a 1/8” bleed for all artwork. Make sure and include crop marks.
  8. Spot colors aren’t specified – There are many different shades of blue. Are you PMS 292 or PMS 2935… Or maybe PMS 280?
    Tip: For the best printed results, specify spot colors from the Pantone Solid Coated Library.

Using this list to double check everything is set to go before sending your publication cover design to your printer will ensure your training and conference materials, or publications will be back in your hands quickly, and without any funky looking graphics.

Have you been found guilty of these common mistakes?


About Sara Olbrantz

Sara has worked for Omnipress in the past as our Marketing Communications Coordinator. She has contributed a great amount to make our blog what it is today and has been published in association publications numerous times.

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