15 Things we wish every designer and client knew

  1. Photoshop and Illustrator are excellent programs, but they are not designed for creating entire brochures or booklets. Please use a page layout program such as Quark or InDesign.
  2. Check your panel sizes. A tri-fold brochure does not have three equal panels. Paper weight affects your panel sizes. Please keep your text at least 1/8th of an inch away from all trims and folds. (Check out our folding guide for accurate panel sizes.)
  3. Spell Check and Proofread. Spell checking is very important. Do not rely on the spell checker in the program. They do a great job, but don’t understand context, “there” and “their” are both spelled correctly, but are they used correctly?
  4. Design backwards. Know what your binding method will be, know if there will be folds, panel sizes, die cutting, etc. These have specific requirements that will affect how you layout your file. Finding out you don’t have enough margin for three-hole drilling at the printer can be costly.
  5. Talk to your printer. Once you have a grasp on what you want, talk to your printer. You may find that with a small adjustment to your design, we might be able to save you thousands of dollars. Sometimes by reducing a trim size, you can get more pages up on a sheet, which can be a significant cost saving.
  6. Your monitor is not color accurate. Never hold an item up to your monitor and try to match the color. The color you see on your monitor will almost never be what the color looks like printed.
  7. Do not impose your documents. Please just send us single pages. Let us do the imposition work. Depending on what machine it prints on and the paper, there may be specific settings we need to set up.
  8. Bleed and crop marks. These aren’t optional, they are required. If you send a PDF without these, we will ask you to do it again. If the program you are working in doesn’t support bleed and crop marks, you are using the wrong program.
  9. Do not copy and paste art into InDesign, place it. If we need to make alterations, which we often do, we may not be able to edit art that has been copied and pasted.
  10. Include all your fonts and links with your open files. We can’t print without them. It is not illegal to send your printer your fonts. (A guide for file submission.)
  11. High Resolution images should be at 300dpi. Check the Effective Resolution in InDesign once you have placed an image. It should say it is greater than 300 dpi. If it is below that, it is not high resolution and may not reproduce well.
  12. Keep text at least 1/8th of an inch away from the trim of your document. Anything closer stands a chance of being cut off. Especially if you have not figured your panel sizes correctly.
  13. Not all fonts are created equally. Some inexpensive fonts will not print, no matter what you do. Some have licensing restrictions that will not allow them to be used for printing.
  14. We print in CMYK not RGB. Please make sure all your colors and images are CMYK. If not, we will convert them and the color may not be what you expected.
  15. Don’t select PMS colors for CMYK printing. The color you select, will not be what gets printed.

If you are looking for other pointers or information about printing, visit our knowledge library.

Advertisements
Posted in Production & Design Tips | Tagged , | 1 Comment

RGB Images and Your Commercial Printer

There are many articles on the web that talk about using RGB instead of CMYK for your images. RGB gives you a greater color gamut and your images will look brighter and more colorful, and that is correct. If you are working across multiple media (print, social media, etc.) you will want to keep an RGB version. However, if the image is going to be printed, before you spend lots of time working with the color in your image you should talk to your printer.

The idea that keeping your images in RGB will get you better results when you print your images is based on using profiles. These profiles alter the color of the image in a favorable way when the file is processed for printing. But if your printer does not utilize color profiles, they will be tossed out and the image will be converted to CMYK and all of you color work will be for nothing.

Most printers have a color management system in place to control the color across all of their devices, so that color is consistent and predictable. That means they will not use external profiles that might be included in a document or file because it will alter the profiles they have set up. So all profiles are discarded.

If you supply open files or PDF files to your printer, the results will be the same. All profiles will be stripped out and everything will be converted to CMYK based on the printer’s settings.

If you want to make sure you have great color, work with your printer. You can ask for color proofs off their system which will show how the elements and images will look once they have been run through the printers profiling system. These proofs are calibrated to the printers presses and will show very accurately how the piece will look on press. You also need to consider the paper you will be printing on.

Paper can affect the color of you printed piece depending on how bright or dull a white it is. Is the paper coated or uncoated, gloss or matte? All of this needs to be taken into account when you consider color. Printing Partners is more than happy to work with you to create proofs and offer any suggestions to help make your piece look fantastic.

Posted in Color, Production & Design Tips | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment