With everyone tweeting, liking, following and commenting you may think that print is dead however after you’ve gained all those followers you may find that print is your solution. Many clients want print to make something more for their followers. They’ll hold seminars and have the need for flyers, brochures and banner stands in which case print comes alive again.
If you’ve ever worked with a designer for print you may have come across lingo that meant no sense to you. Its all designer jargon but some of it can be valuable chunks of knowledge that can help you understand your design project better. Here’s some jargon which you’ll come across guaranteed:
This can be a minefield to understand, so I’ll try and keep It simple. Resolution is basically how much detail an image has, measured in pixels per inch. The more the better however this is irrelevant unless you take into consideration the actual dimensions of the image as well.
Print design and printers work in real dimensions such as mm and inches and computer screens do not, they work in pixels. What seems like a huge 30cm x 30cm image on your screen may only be a business card size image in real life. That’s not helpful if your printing an A4 brochure.
In an effort to try and explain it better heres an example:
To the left is a 1inch x 1inch (72px x 72 px) box at 72ppi as it would appear on your average computer screen.
To the right is the exact same box as it would appear on a full size 300dpi a4 letter.
For professional print you need hi-res images, preferably ones with big dimensions because you can downsize but not necessarily upgrade ppi quality and your printer will likely request your design with a minimum 300dpi (dots per inch) file for best quality output.
This is one of my favourite techniques. A bleed edge is where the ink/design will run right to the very edge of a document page to give a full size design. Most home based printers and apps cannot accommodate a bleed edge, its only design apps and pro printers that can achieve it.
Basically, any document size and the design applied is extended by a certain amount of units. Eg a4 = 297 x210mm – extended to 303mm x 216mm = 3mm bleed
The additional design/ink is then trimmed away to leave the original document size.
Bleed is a great design technique allowing much more creativity and style to any document.
Its something you should know because your print design will probably have one and your printer will specify the bleed edge measurement.
3.) Outline to text
Some printers like all text in a document to be outlined. This is the process of turning text into graphics so theres no need to embed fonts or send fonts to the printer. It also minimises the chance of anyone accidentally making a typo to the finished file because the text will no longer be editable.
4.) Colour profiles:
Colour profiles are a very technical aspect to understand.
The eye uses RGB (red, green, blue,) cones to mix and reproduce the colours we see and as it stands no machine can reproduce the amount of colour we can see with our eyes.
Screens use the same colour profile to create colours but with limited capability (16 million).
Printers use CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black).
These different measures of mixing colour produce different results.
If you have a blue web graphic on screen (RGB), note that it will look different (dark blue) when printed professionally by the CMYK process.
Is probably the leading creative software provider in the world. Their software and file formats are industry standard for print design and printers (and web). You need to know the name because you need to know about their file formats as both designer and printer will use them and you’ll more than likely handle keep them as collateral:
6.) .ai, .psd, indd, .pdf,:
Are the main file formats you’ll need to know with regards to print. Its the standard formats that every printer will accept as printable files. It’s what your designer will create and what you may have to deliver to a printer.
- .ai -adobe illustrator is a software program used to create vector graphics (primarily logos and illustrations). Vector graphics use mathematical equations to draw graphics and in doing so, create a graphic that can be resized to any size without distortion (eliminating file resolution problems). It’s a valuable file.
- .psd – Photoshop is probably the most popular design software to use and hence why you’ll probably come into grips with one at some point or another. Used for everything from photo editing and graphic design to illustration and web design.
- .indd – Indesign took over from quark as the leading layout and publishing platform. Its mostly brochures, magazines and books that use this program but anything can be layed out on this software making it a popular choice for print.
- .pdf – Has become the universal standard for file handling. Any of the above software programs can reproduce a print ready pdf and all printers happily accept them as their preferred, print ready file format.
7.) Hidden gems
Sometimes print can seem incredibly cheap and sometimes, it is! But be wary of hidden costs and details such as:
- Design – Always factor in design whether its from a designer or the printers designer.
- Setup for print – If your artwork is not setup for professional (undertaking the tasks above amongst others) print then there will be a charge to do so. (often a problem if your designing DIY)
- Proofs – Proofs often cost extra and will not be exact proofs
- Quick turnaround – Some printers offer priority service to for quick turnaround but this is not always true. Take into account that the turnaround will still involve your proofing and signing off, your printers acceptance of work, their own production schedule and then their delivery schedule and turnaround. A priority service could actually be a 5 day wait.