6 Design Tips for Printed Pieces

From overprinting to bleeding, grids to slugs, the terms used by Indianapolis commercial printers can be humorous as well as downright confusing. Here are some design tips to make your printing – from posters to business cards – a little more interesting.

  • Look beyond standard size paper. Getting the reader interested is everything! Try square booklets for a more interesting reading experience. Consider portability. Smaller sizes like A5, for example, are much easier for your intended recipient to “pocket.”
  • Less is definitely more. Think there's too much on your page? You are probably right. Define what's absolutely necessary and remove any “visual noise.”
  • Go ahead and bleed! “Bleed” is the small “breathing space” on the sides of your document that provides space for your printer to safely print around paper and design inconsistencies. If you want your image to print to the edge of the paper your artwork must include bleed.  1/8” is the bleed “standard” on all sides (top, bottom, inside and outside). You can always choose “no bleed” but be aware that your image will have a white space at the edge of the paper once it is trimmed.
  • Grids are great. Composition grid guidelines to base your design is very helpful. But don't always go for the standard 3-column setup. Get playful with column overlaps, sidebars, and other variations.
  • Become font-friendly. Think about a font as the voice of your piece. You can have a lot of fun with basic, well designed fonts like Helvetica, but consider others that convey a subtle or distinct flavor. Be careful mixing fonts to be sure they work together.
  • Consider typography as a visual. A great graphic headline, artfully expressed through typography can be catchy, bold and attention-grabbing. Consider inverting (reversing out the type), running it diagonally, or even bleeding the type off the page.

Print can be creative, fun and inventive! What can you do to make your next print campaign more imaginative – and more powerful?