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When sign printing goes wrong … 5 common mistakes to avoid

The great thing about making mistakes is that you can learn from them. That said, evidently you want to avoid making any mistake at all – especially if you’re in the large format sign making business, where even the tiniest errors can become big blunders. Fortunately, forewarned is forearmed! That’s why we’ve compiled a list of six common sign printing mistakes others made before you, so you’ll never have to make them yourself.

1. The image resolution is too low

Most people these days are well aware that what looks good on screen won’t necessarily yield a great print. Yet you’d be surprised at how often large format printing still goes wrong because of bad resolution. If you’re about to print large format, don’t settle for less than 300-400ppi.

2. Black and white images saved as colour

Yes, this actually happens. After which those black and white images receive colour during the printing process anyway – and it’s never a pretty sight to see.

4. Forgetting about bleed

Forgetting about bleed or not including enough bleed in a design is asking for trouble when your printed result needs to be finished later on. Depending on your cutting table’s print recognition system, the actual cutting path may differ from the printed result. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

5. Printing the right file type

To each medium its file format, but there is a lot of misconception about what file types should be used. Some people state that .png files should never be used, but that really depends on the resolution rather than on the file format. Converting files to .EPS, however, is something that you’ll want to avoid. Sticking to a .tiff or a .jpg file is a safe bet (providing you don’t forget issue number 1 in this list).

6. Printing signs without preflighting

And there’s more mistakes where those came from. That’s why the biggest mistake of all is simply not preflighting a file before hitting ‘print’. And you don’t even have to do it manually. Learn all about the fully automated workflow you get to enjoy with Automation Engine. It allows you to simply take a file, drop it into a hotfolder and send it directly to the press. The result? Peace of mind and a drastic cutback in prepress costs.

Graphic Display World

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