The Pitfalls of Designing for Print by Karmen Wed 11 Jan
Designing for print is not as easy as it seems and has its challenges. Effective printing results rely solely on the graphic design process and file preparation.
Many clients think jumping onto Microsoft Office suite can be used to knock together a design that can be used for a business card, flyer or poster etc. In reality there are many factors that need to be taken into account in order to produce a print ready design file.
Unfortunately computer monitors and screens do not accurately reflect the colour in which material will be printed out. To ensure that the printed end result is not a surprise to the designer and the client, Pantone books (http://au.pantone.com/pages/pantone/index.aspx) must be used to choose colours. These books can cost upwards from $300 and must be updated regularly as they can tend to fade.
Using images with incorrect resolution in a print file will often cause disappointing results with the final print product looking pixilated and blurry. All files used must be converted to the correct resolution, and if supplied in low quality the appropriate file must be sourced.
Sizing of Document and Content
Choosing the correct size of the finished product can be a challenge. Clients will often specify what size they would like their finished product. Fitting in all the content must be done with careful selection of image and font size. Again looking at these designs on screen, will not always show a true reflection of the type size.
The final part in this design process is probably the most important. PDF export settings need to be correctly set in order to preserve the colours, image resolution and sizing for print. Colour profiles are often needed to be installed and these usually have to be obtained directly from the printer. Printer marks have to be turned on as well as the correct amount of bleed to be set to ensure a clean edge when finished by the printer.
Choosing The Right Printer
Once all the design files have been correctly outputted for print, they need to be sent off to a printer who will produce the best result for the project. There are several different forms of printing, and each one has their strengths and weaknesses. The main ones used at BrightBlue C are offset and digital. Offset printing uses ink and plates to create the prints, and due to this amount of preparation larger volume orders are usually required and turnaround time can be a few days. Benefits of offset printing is that colour matching is very effective and pricing on large volumes of printing is lower than digital. In comparison, digital prints are almost instant, and the turnaround time is very quick. Printing runs can be of small volume and cost effective, but colours may not be as accurate.
Selecting the correct stocks to print on and finishing methods make a huge difference with how the prints look once complete. Choosing stocks can often be a time consuming task as many different factors need to be taken into consideration. Printers will usually have a library of paper and other material stocks to browse, and these are literally never-ending. The many different types of stocks can only be used in certain printers and come in many different finishes - gloss, matte, textured and recycled to name a few. The different types of finishes on the stocks will create different results for example a gloss finish will be shiny, matte finish will create a dull look and so on.
Hopefully you now have some insight into the design/print process. Designing for print, is not simply a matter of putting some text and images on a page and hoping for the best.
At BrightBlue C, our highly talented and creative designers use the most recent design software on sophisticated equipment. We have developed collaborative, professional and trusted relationships with a large number of Perth’s most respected printers, so that, as a client, you do not have to worry about the technicalities of the design and print processes.
BrightBlue C specialises in the design of advertising material, brochures, annual reports, corporate newsletters, calendars, stationery and signage.
Advertising, Design, Marketing, Print Design,
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