Top 4 Print Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make (and How to Avoid Them)
Print marketing helps promote your business, gain new clients, and hang onto the great clients you’ve already got. But what if you’re making mistakes that render your designs less effective?
Since most small business owners aren’t trained in graphic design, it’s easy to misstep without realizing it. These are 4 of the most common mistakes you need to avoid if you want your print marketing to succeed:
1. Starting with the wrong materials
All print marketing materials have a purpose, and using them outside their intended purpose limits their ability to connect with customers the way they should. Let’s say your marketing packet includes lots of papers. If you wedge them all into a folder, the pockets will rip. There’s nothing wrong with the folder—you created the problem by trying to force it to carry more than it’s designed for.
As a specialty printer, Company Folders knows the importance of using your printed marketing materials the right way—which is why they’ve expanded to include a wide selection of 3-ring binders that are perfect for clients who have large marketing packets, yet still want dozens of customizable options.
2. Making busy designs
You’ve got plenty to say to your customers, so it’s tempting to cram everything onto one piece. The problem is, your customers don’t know how to prioritize that information. Should they call now or visit you online? Should they read about product A, B, C, or D? Should they look at the biggest font or the most colorful one?
Rather than creating complex designs that confuse your clients, simplify your print marketing and include only the most important elements. (If you’re wondering what’s “too busy,” these 19 design mistakes will show you what not to do.)
3. Including bad images
Photoshop (or the creative software of your choice) is a powerful tool capable of huge blunders if used incorrectly. You could simply forget to include shadows that make your products look real—or your mistake might be more sinister, like accidentally cropping a limb off the stock photo model.
Using too few images is just as problematic. Consumers are visual creatures; they want to be shown, not told. The only way to communicate with them is to streamline your design’s copy and pair it with powerful imagery.
Whether your hired designer goofs up or your Photoshop skills need some work, you as the business owner are ultimately responsible for the quality of images in your designs. Take the time to make sure those images are worthwhile.
4. Refusing to proofread
If you Google “hilarious misspelled signs,” you’ll find all sorts of mishaps that will make you laugh until your sides hurt. But that’s the sort of thing that’s funny until it happens to you. The truth is, spelling and grammar mistakes in your print materials can ruin your credibility.
Your clients may not know what a comma splice is (and unless you’re a grammar nerd, you probably won’t either). But even without the proper vocabulary, they can tell good writing from bad. The solution? Proofread every design, so you don’t embarrass yourself.
Bonus tip: use design resources
The good news is, you don’t have to repeat the mistakes you made in your old printed materials. These graphic design resources are the same tools and programs designers use to do their jobs. The list includes the latest design software, helpful blogs, and other great items. Use them wisely, and you’ll soon create amazing print designs.
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