Dec 10, 2021 • 5 min read

6 Errors to Avoid | Creating Artwork Files For Print | Mixam

Get rid of print errors before they happen with this easy-to-read checklist.

6 Errors to Avoid | Creating Artwork Files For Print | Mixam

No one wants to spend time and effort perfecting their work only to find they've made multiple print errors. Understanding the technical side of printing isn't easy for everyone, but preparation is key to getting the results you want. Taking the time to review your work can prevent potential frustration, delays and even help you avoid making further payments to correct faulty print work.

Our advanced system will warn you of any issues with your files, but there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your print files enter the production stage error-free.

Ensure your files are the correct size

Failing to design your files so they match your print specifications can lead to unfortunate hold-ups. You will have to re-supply the files at the correct size to resolve this. That's why it's always worth double-checking your file dimensions before sending your files to print.


Don't supply your files with insufficient or no bleed

Lack of bleed, or inadequate bleed, is a common concern that every customer should avoid. Read our explanation here to understand why you need bleed and how to add it to your print files.


Ensure you use CMYK colours, not RGB.

RGB (red, green and blue) is a colour mode that represents a visible spectrum of colours on a computer display. CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) is the colour mode used in print as it produces a range of colours. You can convert your files from RGB to CMYK, but ideally, we recommend you set the colour mode to CMYK before creating your artwork.


Supply Your Image Files at a High Resolution 

Sharp images on a computer screen don't necessarily look the same when printed. Every file submitted to Mixam must have an image resolution of 300 dpi to ensure clarity and definition when printed. And if you're looking to feature images in your artwork, check out our suggestions for stock image websites here.


Avoid Minimal Margins

You must keep important content within your page's trim lines and margins. If you miss this step, content could be trimmed away or end up too close to the trim line, spoiling the entire look of your project. That's why we produce your prints on large sheets of paper and then trim them to the size you ask for in your print specifications. 


Check for Spelling and Grammar Issues

While neither our system nor our print experts check for spelling and grammar issues, you will need to check your wording thoroughly before confirming your orders. We don't want to risk you needing to order a reprint, so ask family, friends or colleagues to proofread your work. You could even copy and paste your work into a writing assistant app like Grammarly to check any text you want to include in your final prints.


Bonus Advice: Don't leave work unconfirmed 

Once you are satisfied with your print order and you've filled out your details in full, you must confirm your order. A Confirm box will appear at the top of your order page to show us you've checked your work thoroughly and you're happy for us to move your order into production.

If you don't confirm your order, you could receive new estimated delivery dates. Mixam's cut-off time is 4 PM every workday (GMT, EST, CT and AEST). 

If you confirm your order but need to make some last-minute changes, for a limited time, you can un-confirm and edit it. But you must then reconfirm your order. You cannot make more changes to your files once your order has entered the production process.


Complete your order before you need it

Every customer who prints with us will receive an estimated delivery date. We know this isn't always feasible, but if you can finalise your work in advance of your deadline, this is another way to avoid any potential delays. Please inform our print experts if your project is time-sensitive, and they will do everything possible to ensure your order gets to your intended address(es) on time.


Here are some other ways you can avoid common printing mistakes:

Talk to us by phone: Talking about your print projects directly with a print expert will is an effective way to ensure your work is in order and ready for the press.

Send your queries and questions via the Messages tab: Log in to your Mixam account, find the relevant order number and send us your queries and questions in the Messages tab.

Visit our Support Pages: Packed with helpful information and advice, our Support pages answer common questions and the more complex ones.

Watch our YouTube tutorials: Mixam's tutorial videos simplify various aspects of how we work in a way that's accessible for customers with all levels of print knowledge.


For more news and inspiration, check out the array of posts on Mixam's Blog and visit our Support section for helpful guidance and advice on all things print.


Image Credits: Freepik

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