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Common printing mistakes to avoid

Posters in bulk are a great way to advertise your business, promote your events, raise awareness for your brand or showcase your product or service with a design that stands out. Our printing services are a particular bestseller among our customers because we offer high-quality products at competitive prices. However, in our experience, you can make some common mistakes when ordering offset printed posters in bulk. Some of these poster printing mistakes appear to be small details only. Yet they can introduce delays or additional costs and cause unexpected print results and waste of resources. From setting up your print file correctly to planning ahead and communicating essential specifics, we cover the most common mistakes when printing posters in bulk. We show you how you can easily avoid these pitfalls and make your print job a smooth and stress-free experience that delivers a great result.

1. Not Knowing How Many Posters You Need
You need to plan ahead when you want to print in bulk. Whether you need your posters for promotion or branding, for events or trade shows, or for your advertising campaign, calculate in advance how many copies you need to order. Even at our great prices, a second print run will cost you more than ordering a larger quantity the first time. If your timing is tight, there might not be enough time to order a second batch. Consult with everyone involved on just how many posters you will require. When in doubt, it is advisable in nearly all cases to go for the plus side and simply order extra. Very often new opportunities arise for using your posters and you will be glad to have some more on hand.

2.Wrong File Format
Sending your printer the wrong file format will result in a delay at best as you will have to send it again in the correct format. In the worst-case scenario, a wrong file format could cause a ruined print run as an unexpected result can render your posters unusable. Most printers will accept PDFs for poster print jobs, and PDFs only. No Microsoft Office documents or open formats. Some printers might accept a TIFF file, others have very specific instructions on how to convert or export your print file into PDF. The reason is that PDF parameters handle details such as overprinting, colors, transparencies, and other factors which directly affect how your posters will look in print. There is no universal file format or PDF variant that will guarantee the best results with all printers. Don’t get into an argument between printer and designer on how to output a print file correctly – trust the printer, they know their requirements for best results.


3. Using Small Text on a Rich Black Background
If you need small text appearing out of a black background, make sure that it doesn’t include large amounts of cyan, magenta, and yellow. If you do, the text will print blurred. This will happen because of ink-bleed and possible slight misalignment of printing plates. Even if the digital print is used, this is still a problem and a cause of many printing mistakes.
For best results, use white text on a background that only has black on it, with no other color. For a richer black background, use small amounts of colored ink for more suitable results. This principle doesn’t just apply to white-on-black, it also holds true for any colors-and text on textures, too.

4. Using Images that don’t Convert to CMYK
Always make sure that any images used will convert to CMYK. This is one of the most easily avoided printing mistakes you can make. If you are not sure what is required this can be discussed with the printing company that you will be working in. You may need to convert certain files if exact color matching is desired.




5. Not Using Quiet Borders
One of the printing mistakes that you can avoid when you know about it is not using quiet borders. These borders are similar to buffer zones, and they should be a minimum of 5 mm from the document edge. No text or other defined elements should be placed on a quiet border. Sometimes a little space is needed to prevent the material from looking crowded.

6. Spelling Errors
Errors in spelling are much more common than you might imagine. We all make a mistake in spelling once in a while, however, this is a big no-no when you are creating business or marketing materials because it calls your professionalism into question. If you can’t be bothered to double-check your materials, consumers may not trust you with their business.
Spelling and grammar blunders are sometimes easy to miss. A second and even third set of eyes to review and proof copy for print is always recommended.




7. No FPO file
FPO means “For Placement Only,” and it refers to a separate file created to indicate where print finishing elements should go. For example, you can use FPO files to show your printer where to place:

  • Die-cuts
  • Perforations
  • Foil stamps
  • Drilled holes

Ask your printing company for help with FPO file setup so your post-production finishing properly aligns with your design.

8. Ink coverage
To print artwork using CMYK colors, your printer will use four plates of inks that combined together in dot patterns will make up an image. Your printer and paper will often have an ink coverage limit. For example, let’s say you apply a rich black C70-M70-Y70-K100 to a large area. That area ink coverage would amount to 70+70+70+100=310%. Most standard printers can handle an ink coverage of 260%. Going over this limit can result in quality problems and warped paper. Check with your printer what their ink coverage is, and make sure that the colors you use fit this limit.

Now you set to do your printing!

About CityBlue
CBT specializes in a range of creative marketing services ensuring that your reputation helps grow your business. From brand building to all your sales & marketing campaign needs, we provide you with the required expertise in one place. Let the CityBlue experts align your brand strategy to help increase your brand value in the market and create a positive impact on your customers.


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