Common mistakes that are made when creating a custom graphic

Whether you are ordering new business cards, designing a t-shirt for your band, or creating a custom bumper sticker for your non-profit, you will need to design a graphic image before you order your promotional items.  Text, images, or a combination of the two can be a very successful way to communicate a message.  The design of your graphic is the most important part of creating a successful promotional item.  There are several common mistakes that are often made by less experienced designers that you should be aware of, especially if you are planning to tackle the designing on your own.  These are some of the mistakes that are often made and can be easily prevented with a little education.

No matter what type of product you are planning to order, it is important to choose the printer you will be using and read through all of the technical printing specs.  All printers have online sites that provide you with downloadable templates that they use for printing.  Using these templates will be a valuable tool for you during the design process.  There are several problems you could encounter if you do not use the correct templates.  Templates will provide you with a series of crop lines.  Any part of your design that falls outside the crop lines could be lost during the printing or finishing process.

Another common mistake those new to the world of graphic design make, is trying to incorporate too many details or colors into their design.  You need to keep in mind that the image you see on your computer screen during the design process will change when you print it on a t-shirt, business card, or other physical item.  Keep your design simple and to the point to ensure that your message is clear.  Graphic designs are usually used for marketing or promoting a brand or idea.  If you allow your design to become too complex, you will have trouble communicating your message.  A successful design can be understood immediately.  This does not mean your design has to be boring or cannot have a deeper meaning, it just means you should make sure that the overall message you are trying to convey can be detected with little examination.

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Sizing is another place you can get into trouble if you are not an experienced designer.  Many design programs allow you to change the size of your images while you are working to allow you to pay closer attention to the small details of your design.  Make sure you view your design in its actual print size before sending it to the printer.  Check to make sure all your text is legible and that your images are not blurry.

Finally, do not use any art work that you do not own.  Using an image or words that are not your own, or that you have now paid for the rights to is illegal.  Many printers will not accept art work they believe is unlicensed and even worse, if you spend money to print your items and then it is discovered your work is breaking copyright laws you could face a large fine and will not be able to use your items.

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