Time to re-embrace print design as its own specialty

For years, design trends have skewed heavily toward digital presentation. Given the dominance of digital in everything from websites to ebooks, it’s obviously been critical to learn what makes good design on computers, smartphones, and tablets.

However, lost amid emphasis on digital design has been learning and understanding print design principles and practices so important to the label industry. What looks good on a computer screen often doesn’t translate to print applications. So, applying a digital design to a label often winds up looking fuzzy, amateurish or just plain ugly.

Complicating matters is the ready availability of free design software, which to some serves as the end-all, be-all answer. In fact, it may be totally inappropriate for label and packaging design—and complicate the process.

And it’s not just print—it’s different kinds of printing. Digital printing differs from offset, so rules about everything from color management to proper file preparation also are different.

So, what can you do with customers to “remind,” “direct,” and “suggest” without coming across as pushy or condescending?

1. Confirm with your customer what art requirements exist for a particular job (which you’re likely doing already). If it appears that there’s a disconnect, offer to educate. You can do it directly, or we can work with you to provide the right information via such tools as unbranded videos and brochures. Or check out our Art Help section on the website.

2. Check their overall background in a helpful, how-to way. Labels have gotten more complex and harder to put together with varnishes, foils, holographics, screens, and transparencies. Unless you know that your customers are up to speed, this can be a great touchpoint and help further build trust.

3. Suggest ways to improve artwork based on past projects. If there have been problems, offer problem-solving insights. Again, this will require a bit of finesse to read your customer’s willingness to discuss.

It’s time to embrace print again as its own specialty, complementary to but not the same as digital.

News navigation
Stay Connected