7 Deadly Sins of Print

There are also times when it is about garnering interests in a company or the service that they offer but, whatever it is you want it to so, anything your create in print needs to hit the mark. If it doesn’t, it is lost in what is a busy world, full of competing leaflets, posters, flyers and all kinds of printed matter.

There are times when we can turn to various design experts, such as Colour Graphics when we need a banner or poster creating but, there are times when we need to create something quickly and cheaply. Invariably this means the task of designing the leaflet/flyer and so on lands on somebody’s desk.

It can be the most unwanted of tasks and, without design training, we tend to construct what we think looks ‘nice’ and appealing. It is a subjective exercise and thus, when someone says they don’t like it, we can feel incredibly deflated.

Have you the task of designing something for print?

If you have, you may be wondering where to start and thus, these key points of the 7 deadline sins of print – and how to avoid them – should help you kick start the design process;

  1. The Font

On any designed item, keep the fonts to a minimum of two. Some advertisements and so on, you may notice has three of four fonts but, this is a risky exercise that has the possibility of making any printed campaign implode on itself.

Too many font styles can make a campaign look amateurish and rather confusing, as well as hard to read.

Fonts to avoid – Comic Sans, Curlz and Papyrus. You may think of others…

  1. Gradient

This where there is a shift in tone and depth of a colour (or colours) either across the background of a page or across the letter of words. In some instances, the effect can be appealing as well as highlighting.

However, there is a rather odd looking ‘rainbow’ type gradient effect that starts off with dark blues and cascades its way through every colour, depth and tone of a rainbow. It looks amateur and very 1980s because, when basic design packages first came out, this was the look that everyone went for.

If you are going to use, do so sparingly and stick to one colour gradients for maximum impact.

  1. Proofread

The thing about designing something is that we become too close to it. You know the saying, can’t see the wood for the trees? This applies to text on your design; it basically means that the most obvious of mistakes are missed.

You proofread and then get a fresh set of eyes to look over it – and then check it again.

  1. Logo-tastic

Your company has spent a lot of time, research and money on creating a logo. It should, if it has been designed correctly, say something about your business. It is also the visual thing that allows people to associate your product with quality and so on.

Thus, the rule is simple – do NOT alter your logo. At all. Not even one little bit.

  1. Widows and Orphans

Both have negative connotations and the same is true when these words refer to design mistakes:

Widows: this is when the last line of a paragraph falls out of the column and to the top of the page or column, thus separating it from the main paragraph.

Orphans: a word, or part of it that appears by itself at the end of a paragraph thus leaving too much white space between paragraphs.

  1. Outlining text

Again, this was a popular back in the 1990s and meant that whenever a font was used, a different colour outline was added to make it stand out.

This extra layer is no longer in vogue in the 21st Century. Best to steer clear of this effect.

  1. Over-stuffing

A rather non-technical term for simply stuffing as much as you possibly can on a page. You will have seen the adverts of graphics, fonts and all kinds of clip art stuffed on to a page. This disorganisation can make for an ineffective piece of graphic design that simply bombards the eye, and confuses it. It is instantly unappealing and the eyeball simply roams away to something else.

Don’t do it. It really is that simple. 

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