Make the most of free party décor, chore charts, and games. The secret to these online printables? Don’t print them at home!
Alma Loveland is a graphic designer with www.nicolesclasses.com.
Today it’s very easy to find a variety of well-designed printable downloads online, but knowing where and how to print them can be more difficult. If you are disappointed in how your printables are printing out, consider the following:
Chances are, you are printing on your home printer. While these are convenient to have in the home, they might not give you the best printing result. If you’re printing something that you want to look professional, like a party invitation or assets for a craft project, consider taking a trip to a print center like FedEx Office, Alphagraphics, or, my personal favorite, Cougar Copy (in Provo, Utah). You’re trading off convenience for quality. Although you may be spending a little more money (usually at least $0.60 per color copy), keep in mind that the printers at a print center cost about $30,000, and the difference shows!
Another option for printing larger downloads like posters is to use a Photo Lab! I go to Costco where I pay $6 for a 16×20″ poster or $10 for a 20×30″ poster. You just have to keep in mind that files need to be specifically formatted for this, so unless the download you’ve found is specifically intended for this purpose, you’ll need some technical know-how. (In Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, you would make sure that the color mode is set to RGB, that the file is 300 DPI, and that the file dimensions are the exact dimensions you’re planning on printing to. The file will need to be saved as a JPG.)
You can change the look of your downloads and function depending on the paper that you use! I usually at least print on card stock, but there are some other fun options. Linen and watercolor card stock add texture to your download. Sticker paper and tattoo paper change how you can use the artwork!
For more information about printable downloads, visit the Nicole’s Classes blog. If you are interested in learning how to create your own printables, you might want to take one of our Illustrator or InDesign classes.
TRY IT OUT
See something on the show that you’d like to download and print? Here’s a list of all the examples I brought with me: