Printing projects can be easy to screw up if you miss the details…

We understand that outside of basic office printing, it can feel daunting to work on a major printing project. For us, we work closely with clients and printing companies to make sure everything is accurate.

But maybe you’re the DIY type of business owner. While there are lots of things to keep track of during a print job, you should remember the main points for producing large or bulk prints.

There are some technical details that you should keep an eye on as you complete your printing project. Whether it’s a billboard, a flyer, or a brochure, you should pay attention to the details. If you have a big printing project coming up, here are 3 big mishaps to avoid. Don’t let carelessness ruin your signage, annual reports, or brochures.

The biggest project killer: not asking for proofs

If you want to avoid the biggest headache of all, you need to ask your print company for proofs. There are two types of proofs: soft proofs and hard proofs.

A soft proof is a digital representation of what your sign, brochure, or flyer. This kind of proof can be used to make sure that obvious mistakes can be spotted quickly.

A hard proof serves as a physical representation of your print, and this is the final check to make sure the final project will look great. The hard proof is important because it will show how accurate the colors are, how well the layout lines up, and how the pictures will look in the final print.

Approving a print project before asking for hard and soft proofs can be a huge gamble, especially if you are spending thousands of dollars on a big marketing campaign.

So now let’s talk about the printing pitfalls you should look for when you receive your hard and soft proofs.

printing project illustration

You don’t have to worry about a big printing project derailing your business. McQuillen Creative makes the process easy!

Poor design, spelling, and photographs

Another way you can derail your printing project is by not having a professional handle the job. That’s not to say that you’re not a professional, but mistakes happen. If you’re a small business owner who is stretched thin, then flubs are bound to happen.

Here’s a quick checklist to remember:

  • Typos and Grammar – Words are spelled correctly, proper capitalization is used, and punctuation is included.
  • Design – Your layout fits within the folds, and you have enough bleed outside of the printing bounds.
  • Illustrations and Photos – Make sure your pictures and photographs are of a high enough resolution that they look clear on the page.

First off, spelling mistakes are easy to spot and can be corrected. However, do you know if you’re using the right color that fits with your company’s identity? Are you also using clear and high-resolution photographs and illustrations? A beautiful layout can also be ruined if it doesn’t line up with the folds.

These are all important factors to remember and next we’ll cover project-saving solutions.

Technical mixups like incorrect print setup, wrong type face, color usage, and file types

The last thing you should remember is that printers require very specific file types, color formats, resolutions, and print density to make your prints look great.

  • Print Resolutions & Density – The first rule of image quality is that you can always shrink an image and it will retain its quality, but you can never “blow up” an image. This is how you get a pixellated mess. Make sure you’re using a print density between 150 dpi (dots per inch) for large format projects and 300 dpi for small format projects. You should also make sure your print resolution is correct. Here’s a handy guide to reference.
  • Color Usage – You should know your company’s colors by its hexadecimal color values. But that’s not all, whatever colors or images you use should convert to CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) format. You can use online conversion services to convert these colors.
  • Typeface – Another detail to remember is the usage of your company’s typeface (e.g. Times New Roman) and the font size. Your typeface should always be consistent with what your company uses. Additionally, if your font is too small, it will be hard to read on the page.
  • File Types – Lastly, you should also pay attention to the kind of file that you are sending to print. The safest choice for photo printing is the .TIFF format, which retains clarity for photographs. But if you’re working on a printing project like a banner, brochure, or sign, you should always convert the project to a .PDF, which is a compatible format across different systems.
Promotional flyer printing project

We make beautiful promotional items like this sales flyer for Office Peeps.

Don’t leave your printing projects to chance

These are some of the most important things you should look out for when you’re working on a massive printing project. Your bottom line is important, and you could potentially take a damaging financial hit if you don’t get your project done right the first time.

The team at McQuillen Creative Group is more than capable of handling printing projects from brochures to billboards, and we have an extensive portfolio that shows it.

We pride ourselves on getting jobs done right the first time, and that’s the kind of security you can bank on with us.


McQuillen Creative has been in the marketing game for over 25 years and we want to help your business.

Do you need help with an upcoming printing project? We can provide accuracy with a fast turnaround for whatever project you need done.

We have experience with printing projects large and small, from brochures to convention signage and more. GIVE US A CALL and let’s see how we can make your print materials stand apart!

McQuillen Creative Group, Inc | 423 S Main St, Suite 1

Aberdeen, SD 57401 | 605.226.3481

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