Hints and Tips - Graphic Design and Artwork for Printing

If you already have a design, and it meets all our requirements for perfect printing, then great!

Download our design requirements document download our print requirements here

But if all you have is the idea, then we can help you.

These prices are for standard artwork layout. If you are after something a bit special, then we will need to prepare a graphic artist’s quote for you.

DIY Design? Some tips below…

How many fonts to use?

The usual advice is to use no more than three or four fonts in any one piece. Be consistent. A different font for every headline is confusing and cluttered. Select a font for body copy and another for headlines.

If you need to make things stand out, use bold, italics, and different sizes.

WHEN TO USE UPPERCASE

Online, TYPING IN ALL CAPS is considered shouting and is frowned on in most cases. In print, uppercase is at its worse when done with decorative or script fonts. It is very hard to read.

Sometimes words in all caps are necessary and acceptable (eg NASA) Use all caps in moderation. Stick primarily with basic fonts or specially designed fonts all capitals.

Choosing a font for body copy

The bulk of what we read is body copy. When choosing a font for body copy, you need to consider point size, size of the blocks of text, and whether to have serif or sans serif.

Point Size

Body copy is generally 14 point or less, with 9-12 point being common. Just be sure it is readable.

Blocks of Text

Body copy usually consists of sentences, paragraphs, and long lines of type. Make sure you choose simple, legible, and easy to read fonts to keep these big blocks of text easy on the eye.

Serif or Sans Serif

Body copy is most often set in serif faces (eg, Times New Roman, Courier). Sans serif faces (Arial, Helvetica) are also often used. There is no fast rule for which to use, it is just a matter of selecting the best front for the material and the audience.

When to use a script font

Fonts that are made to look like handwriting or are made from real handwriting samples are effective at conveying elegance, personalising a formal letter, being cheerful, casual or even playful. But keep in mind that there are obviously some instances where these script fonts are not appropriate.

Choose a script font that suits your document

How to Choose Fonts for Headlines

Headlines are often 18 points and larger. While readability is important, there is some allowance for using fun fonts in headlines. The headline needs contrast (size, font or color) to make it stand out.

Headlines should stand out and grab attention.

1. Match headline fonts to tone of document.
2. Contrast the headline font with the body font.
3. Use bold to add contrast.
4. Make headlines a different color than other text and background.
5. Make headlines larger than body copy.
6. Use decorative fonts in moderation.
7. Set all caps headlines in sans serif fonts to keep it easy to read.
8. Avoid distracting gaps between pairs of letters (and don’t squish either!)
9. Be consistent between all headlines in a document.

How to use bold

Setting some text in bold type helps grab attention. It is darker than regular type. Some fonts also have Heavy or Ultra Bold.

Use bold for emphasis, to create contrast and to highlight important points, but don’t overdo it! People like to see their name in print. In a club newsletter or this is one way to put the spotlight on members.

Rules of Image Use

Don’t over-use clip art. It can enhance things like newsletters, posters and fliers, but too much visual stimulation on a page will make it harder for your audience to concentrate on the important words on the page. Likely, if there are more than three or four images the page is too graphics-heavy.

Instead of using lots of small images, you could use 1 or 2 big images. You can unify them by making them all the same size and by using the same border. It’s also good to line them up horizontally or vertically. As well as this you can prioitise the images by giving one image prominence over the others via size and placement.

Ensure that each image you use in a certain piece serves a purpose, needs to be there, and is highly appropriate to the audience, as well as the style and tone of the piece. If you find that you have more than 3 images on a one page, think about some other ways you could achieve a similar result without overloading it with too much visual stimulation.

When people are the focus, crop out distracting backgrounds. Complete removal of the background provides the ultimate emphasis on the subject.

How to Proofread

It’s important to remember that spellchecker (and grammar check) in some software will not pick up every single mistake. Visually proofreading your document is still the best way to pick every error. Here are some suggestions:

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