Print designer pet peeves!

Print Designer

Print designers, we feel your pain. Unlike the vast majority of digital professions, when working with printed pages, a series of blunders can become apparent. And they frequently do — much to the dismay of people like us. In this post — dedicated to all the mouses and keyboards broken in fits of rage — Trade Digital Print highlights the top print designer pet peeves.


As opposed to the infinity-edit world of web developers, when a print designer makes a spelling mistake or fails to spot incorrect punctuation, that boo-boo is there for life. And it hurts — especially when it’s printed on thousands of brochures to be sent out to a client the very next day.

RGB artwork

There’s nothing more eye-roll inducing than receiving RGB artwork. On-screen colour formats are different from that which is required for colour printing (CYMK). Computer monitors use light to create colours of red, green and blue; whereas ink printers mix cyan, magenta, yellow and black to achieve the desired end-result. Moral of the story: if you send RGB artwork to a print designer, the only colour you will see is red!

Incorrect file formats

Another perennial contender for print designers’ top grievance: receiving the wrong file formats for images. We’ve all been there: ready insert an image onto a business leaflet for a client, only to find that it was provided in GiF format. If that doesn’t make your blood boil, we don’t know what does.

Bleed issues

Speaking of blood, bleed issues are responsible for a significant percentage of print designers’ teeth-gritting instances. Without proper bleed, print designers are given no room to work with, resulting in a below-par finished product. Furthermore, in terms of ink bleed, print designers frequently have to wipe away their tears — much like the smudges on a page where a colour mix hasn’t worked out.

Non-embedded fonts

Contrary to common knowledge, print designers don’t have access to fonts the world over. And when they receive PDF files without outlines or embedded fonts, the world over is likely to hear their screams.

Grainy imagery

Want a surefire way to tarnish your digital printing products? Supply a print designer with a low-resolution, grainy image plucked straight from a website you found online. ‘But can’t you just scale it up?’ we heard you cry. No, you can’t ‘just scale it up’.

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