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How to Check the Print Design Quality – Design Checklist  

How to Check the Print Design Quality – Design Checklist  

Ensuring good quality designs for your business marketing materials is of great importance for creating a memorable brand identity. And, every professional graphic designer understands this point.

It becomes all the more important to keep a check on the quality of the design work when it is for the purpose of print marketing. 

When creating graphic designs for print, it is crucial to make sure that each and every small detail is cross-checked thoroughly.

A lot of effort and time is put into creating the perfect design and, the last thing you want is for them to come back from the printers looking like a blurry, incoherent mess.

So, in order to save you from falling into the trap, we’ve come up with a detailed checklist that you can refer to in order to check the print design quality for your business.

A good print quality checklist helps ensure your artwork looks as amazing on paper as it does on your computer screen.    

So, let’s get started!

Bleeds and cut lines check

Make sure the backgrounds and edge elements are aligned with the bleed and cut lines to get an accurate cutting during the finishing process.

Size compatibility

Make sure you double-check your design work to match the size you have select for your printed piece.

Borders check

The industry standard for the border size is supposed to be set at least 1/4-inch thick in addition to 1/8-inch bleed, for a total size of 3/8-inch thick.

Text and image safety check

No print design quality check is complete without going through the text and images and ensuring that they are within the safety lines so none of your design elements are cut off.

print design quality

Appropriate color options

We check to ensure your artwork will print with the correct color options, including 4/4 (color front, color back), 4/1 (color front, black and white back), and 4/0 (color front and blank back).

Resolution in 300 DPI

Your design work needs to be rendered in 300 DPI (Dots Per Inch) resolution for clear, crisp printing. Lower resolutions will be grainy when printed.

print design quality

Eliminate key lines

You need to ensure there are no key lines showing in your printed piece.

Convert to Rich Black

Check for the solid black areas in your designs and convert any 100% Black (K) into Rich Black:

The simple reason behind this process is that Black on its own will not result in a solid, saturated black color. However, when you use Rich Black – which is a mix of CMYK colors – it produces a much darker, deeper black on the press. 

The usual combination for Rich Black is;

-50% Cyan (C)

-40% Magenta (M)

-40% Yellow (Y)

-and 100% Black (K)

Orientation check

When you plan to get print designs for folded and multi-panel pieces, such as brochures, multi-page booklets, etc., it can become a tad confusing with regards to its layout. 

It is, therefore, important to make sure your images are oriented in the correct direction – not upside-down or backward.

print design quality

Hole drill placement check

This type of print design quality check is usually done in the case of products such as, office files or holders which call for drilling holes in them during the finishing process.


Often business owners don’t give much attention to the alignment of the design with regard to the material it will be printed on. 

The image centering is another very important part of the overall print design quality check that needs to be done.

FPO file check

If your project calls for die-cuts or foil stamps, or if you need hole drilling, scoring, or perforation, you need to make sure your “For Placement Only” file is present prior to printing.

Convert 400% ink coverage

This type of print design quality check can be done in consortium with the “convert to Rich Black” check. 

Since 400% ink coverage (100% Cyan, 100% Magenta, 100% Yellow, 100% Black) can result in a muddy and unsatisfactory print, it is essential to ensure your colors are compliant for the press and convert 400% Black into Rich Black.

To conclude…

When you outsource graphic design services to GraphicsZoo, we make sure that all these quality checks are done thoroughly in order to keep your print design in compliance with industry quality standards.

To know more about how we can help you get the best print design quality for your business, get in touch with us at