Believe it or not, printed marketing products are still the best way to raise awareness about your company, especially with older generations.
How else would you alert the entire neighborhood that you run a catering business, or that you are offering new specials at your restaurant, if not by handing out flyers? Although, here are things you should consider.
First and foremost, before you venture into the field of printed marketing materials, you have to think about the design. Any marketing endeavor has to have the right foundations to be manageable in the long run.
No amount of technical knowledge can make up for the lack of vision. So, when coming up with ideas for your promotional materials, think about the message you want to convey, the design that will help you convey it, and the audience you are directing it towards.
If you have a knack for design and know how to use color psychology, you will have no problem thinking up some original idea that will help you achieve your goals.
Extend Your Artwork to the Bleed
When creating a design, you also want it to be “print-friendly”. What that means is, you should consider which part of your document will be trimmed after printing, and you should take that into account when creating your promotional product. This edge is called the “bleed” and it is also used to account for any movement of paper or design inconsistencies.
Every professional printer will cut the edges off to ensure a clean finish, so keep your main design in the “safe area” which will not be cut off. However, to avoid having white areas or blemishes, make your background extend to the bleed. That way you will have even color throughout your end product.
Embed Your Unique Fonts
Most businesses have created their own fonts. It gives off a feeling of professionalism and attention to detail. You definitely do not want to use regular, boring fonts found in every document, but you also do not want to use Papyrus or Comic Sans – yuck.
To be original, design your own font which will eventually be associated with your brand and will appeal to all generations. However, if you do not want your font to be changed to Times New Roman when opened on a different computer or sent through a printer, you have to embed it.
This means that it will read as an image rather than a font. The easiest way to do this is to convert your Word document into a PDF file.
Use High-Resolution Images
Whatever you decide your design to look like, you surely want that brochure or business card to look top-notch. Well, one way to achieve that crisp, clean look is by using high resolution images on that product. Using high quality images will also mean that you will not have to worry about the quality deteriorating after resizing it.
You need an image of at least 300 PPI (pixels per inch) if you want it to print nicely. That is a requirement for a standard print job. If you are doing a bigger project printed on A1 size and up, used for posters, or larger-format advertising materials, you will need pictures of higher resolution.
Check Your Color Modes
Besides embedding your new font, there are other peculiarities you should keep in mind if you do not want your document to look different when printed. Namely, marketing products can have two formats – printed or digital.
The color modes they are created with depend on their format. Printed media uses the CMYK color mode, and digital media uses RGB. Sometimes, when converting digital media to print, the colors can be off if they are not converted from one mode to the other.
Fix Your File Formats
You should also think about other changes that happen when converting a file from one format to another. For instance, images we see online are all raster images. This means that when you change the size of the image the resolution will be compromised.
Resizing raster images only changes the pixel size, not the number, so you get a worse image. Logos and graphics use vector files, which can be altered. If you want your marketing material to look good, you should use vector files.
Depending on what file format you use you will achieve different results. For instance, if your design has a transparent background image, you should save it as a PNG format, since that way your design will remain intact when printed. If you were to save it as a JPEG, the background would come out as white.
Also, JPG and PNG are better for online marketing, there are other formats more suitable for printing, like TIFF, PDF, and EPS. As you already know, PDF is a universal file format which makes it practical for opening and using it across different platforms.
TIFF is a format with “lossless compression”, which means that the original data will not be changed no matter how often it is opened, or resized.
When designing printed promotional material, you should think about the design and appeal. Then you should consider any formatting issues you may face, like color changing, or trimming issues. And never compromise on quality – use only the best images and fonts.