Ordering Paper Products or Marketing Materials for Your Business? Avoid These Mistakes

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Ordering Paper Products or Marketing Materials for Your Business? Avoid These Mistakes

Any business or organization needs to constantly market itself to others in order to attract customers and form collaborations. Printing is one part of this marketing process and it is an intrinsic part of the way companies do business. Whether it’s important documents and receipts, or decals and signs, printing is still a part of day-to-day commerce.

 Often, clients assume printing product related material or decals and signs is an easy task and overlook some crucial details. This eventually leads to a situation where neither you, nor your printer is satisfied with the result.

To help you get the best decals and signs to market your business and products, we’ve compiled a list of common mistakes to avoid so that the final print-product matches your imagination.

1. Providing a soft copy of a product that isn’t suitable for printing. The artwork is key to our industry. Too often customers give us artwork that is unsuitable for reproduction. JPG files are great for online graphics and to import into publishing documents, so customers often send us these first. Sometimes these JPG files work if they are a high enough resolution, or if they're for something small. The worst is when we're sent logos that have been obtained from the internet. These generally don't work for any other purpose.

My suggestion to customers asking about the proper file type is to look for files that have EPS or PDF extensions as they are most likely to work and please don't save your previous unsuitable JPG as a PDF because that doesn't work either. Also, if you have ordered business card from somewhere before, see if this company has a version of your logo that is suitable for reproduction.

2. Misunderstanding the color formulations of your artwork. Another mistake I often see is related to the above issue but connected to color. Different types of graphics companies use different types of color formulations. Computer colors are set as RGB (red/green/black) because this is what we see on our monitors. Digital printers use CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) because this is what our desktop and large format printers print out in.

Screen printers and paper printers who use presses use Pantone numbers, and within this, screen printers use coated values (because most of our stock is coated, so the ink sits on top of the product), and paper printers use uncoated values to reflect what happens to ink when it sits on more porous materials.

These formulations don't always transfer well from one process to the other. Highly skilled designers will put together a package that shows all the acceptable values across all formulas for each type of printing. However, we have seen some logos supplied to us in only one format, so then we have to do the time-consuming process of color matching- and some colors simply can't be achieved in all the processes.

Now, we do understand that some of our smaller customers will not have someone who designs for them, so we are happy to oblige by doing some color testing and then setting a color formulation that will allow us to give consistent and predictable coloring for whatever they order from us.

3. Selecting the wrong font. Customers often choose a font that is not suitable for their project. Largely, this may be because of the font style. For example, a casual or “fun” font like Comic Sans will not suit an overlay going into a piece of agricultural equipment, whereas it will probably work on a fun marketing decal.

Also, there are fonts that are difficult to reproduce at smaller sizes, making them unreadable for some uses. Fonts with serifs fit this scenario, as well as script fonts.

Good designers generally supply graphic-standards sheets giving several fonts for use across different platforms as well as for color models. There are also fonts that are specifically designed for web use that have different attributes than those designed for print.

4. Size matters. Customers often request lettering, for example, six inches high and are shocked to discover that the resulting decal is twenty feet long when they only have ten feet to work on. 

5. Not knowing which type of decal will best serve the purpose. Customers don't always understand how to obtain the best impact from graphics. Sometimes a full-color print is not the best option since it tends not to stand out in our busy environment. I often recommend a bright bold single or two-color decal which won't blend in with asphalt, cement and so on. The bonus is that this is usually a cheaper option.

To avoid these pitfalls when ordering decals and signs, reach out to Novatex Serigraphics Inc. We have been known for printing decals, tags, coroplast signs and banners for over twenty-five years.


Most of our printing today is done with environmentally-friendly, UV cured inks, and it remains the method of choice for larger orders of signs and decals, as well as for any metal or plastic item that needs to have the most durable ink printed onto it to survive in harsh environments. To learn more about the printing services we provide, please click here. If you’ve any questions about printing, get in touch with us here.   

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