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The Top 5 Art Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

(April/May 2016) posted on Tue Apr 19, 2016

Many times, mistakes that show up on press can be traced back to the very first stage of the process: the artwork.

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By Thomas Trimingham

#3 Not Keeping up with the Latest Methods
Falling behind on design tools and techniques is an extremely common mistake for screen printers and their artists. In fairness, it’s not really anyone’s fault. It seems like every answer you need is right there on Google – why go to a tradeshow or take a course? There are also cost and time considerations. Who will run the shop or make money for the company while the training is going on?

These are understandable concerns, but often you don’t realize how important a new design skill is to your organization until the day you need it. A simple example is correcting a low-resolution file. If it takes your artist an hour and a half to revise such a file, that time has a direct cost to your company, and not just on that order. Also consider the artwork from other jobs that could have been improved but wasn’t due to lack of time. The speed at which you can get art to production can be a critical factor in magnifying your company’s profits, because it spreads throughout the entire production process. The more art that is approved by clients and prepped for production, the more new jobs you can accept. In many companies, the overlooked bottleneck often isn’t in production – it’s the art approval process. New skills that speed up the creation and approval of art will affect every other area of the company and bring to light other opportunities for creating even more revenue.

The simple solution is to schedule training time like it is a printing job and invest in the process with a clear expectation of what is to be achieved. Know your current processes and the times they take, and invest in continuing improvements without sacrificing quality. Training can be done through tradeshows, online courses, books, podcasts, and many other ways, but the knowledge needs to be absorbed, practiced, and then implemented consistently in order to reap the benefits.


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