How to avoid Epic Print Fails

We all enjoy amusing ourselves with epic print fails but how do you avoid becoming the person who caused it? Here are the top 5 things to do when printing, print preparation, production, prepress, writing or design is your responsibility:

Number 1: Perfect binding – plan for it

When a book is perfect bound and images or text go across the gutter (where the pages meet in the middle), they will appear to be distorted if there is not any allowance made for the curve of the pages. We recommend to shift the image or text so it does not go across the gutter, which minimises the possibility of failure at the print production process. A tricky and difficult alternative could be to shit the images and text so that they appear to duplicate part of the image on the other page – but this method will depend on how many pages you have in your book. Go the design option and avoid an epic print fail!


Number 2: Check locked layers

If the layer in your document is locked then the printer may miss it during their print preparation process. If you do not tell them, or show an example of what the finished item should look like, your corporate logo on that layer may not appear – and that equals Epic Fail!


Number 3: Few pixels = fuzzy pictures

The rule for printing images correctly is this: if, at 100% of the size that your image is meant to be, there are 300 pixels per square inch on the page, then it will print correctly. Setting the resolution too high is not generally a problem, but can sometimes result in images changing size on the page. Setting the resolution too low is a really common issue, especially in this era of 72-dpi web resolution. See below for bad pixels on the left, versus good pixels on the right.


Number 4: Read it

Yes, this tip is the worst Epic Fail culprit –  common-sense really, but the reason why it happens is because someone was not watching, reading or managing the job at hand. It is a sad factor in today’s busy business world that the simple things go amiss, but if you look at the signage below, you will see what we mean:


But on the other hand, if this is intended for possible viral use (like us picking up on it and mentioning it), then perhaps this mistake is actually an intentional epic fail.

Number 5: Check it

As you can see below, the purpose of this display is clear but once again, it has not been sense-checked. How will the product on offer (osteoporosis) be sold, I wonder? In a jar? It makes not sense and sounds unattractive, which is counter-productive for the business who is doing the promotion.


Hopefully these tricks help you avaoid an epic print fail – make a checklist, use a designer or printer, do whatever you have to for a successful print result!


So if you are a small business, creative agency or Association and need help managing your next print project, please consider Coleface – we can definately help with the whole print management process to get you a great result!

If you liked this post, please comment below, share it, and click on the FOLLOW buttons to get more! If you love printing, get the latest email updates by subscribing here. Sydney print management experts Coleface Print Management and Production provide advice and support for our clients on all aspects of printing and production such as digital, large format and offset printing, point of sale, packaging and mail management. Written by @Olsonwells.