When it comes to print many graphic designers feel a degree of uncertainty. What may look really good, might not look same on the screen. There are certain guidelines you have to follow. Here are some tried and tested guidelines to follow to ensure your print job is a resounding success.
Boost print efficiency by using a specific file name for all files sent to the print house. Try to make the file name as relative to the job as possible as this will help the print house order files and keep them filed with the initial order from you and your company.
The Vital Importance of Resolution
When working with a commercial print house you must get the right dots per inch (dpi),a measure of the resolution of printers, scanners, etc. They will usually require files to be at 300dpi. If not they will stretch the image up to 300dpi, but remember files less than 72dpi cannot be used. Higher DPI will produce clearer, sharp and more detailed prints. Therefore, if you are going to design something for print as soon as you start be sure to set a higher DPI.
Remember the Safety, Bleed and Trim
The safety area is crucial. Quite simply, this is the area where your content, layout and design can be placed safely. Check with the printer when you submit your work.Equally as important is the trim, which is a 3mm space that begins after the bleed, marking a distinction between where the content and text is placed between the edges of the design.The bleed is what reaches beyond the size of the canvas. While you will have 3mm on each side that is trimmed, it is wise to add another 3mm to compensate for the bleed. Keep you text within a safe area 6mm from the edge.
What to Keep in Mind When Using Color
It is important to be clear about the two color spaces used for graphic design and print. Red, Green and Blue (RGB) are the colors your computer monitor use to display all colors. However, the colors used by the printer to print your design are Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (CMYK). It is important to note that solid and rich colors can be altered in the color conversion process. Whereas these are easily overlooked, it is vital that you take a very close look at the printed design.
Printing in Black
Using 4 color build black is often the right choice, however it should be avoided if you are using small text, simply because it can cause a lot of blurring, making your text indecipherable. The 4 color rich build black process utilities 4 plates that will definitely shift, hence creating a blurry ghosting look.Rich black should always be used on large black areas to avoid the design job taking on a gray look. However, normal body text should not be printed using rich black.
Efficient Font Sending
What is the key action to take when sending fonts to the print house? Remember to convert all fonts to paths. Use Illustrator and FreeHand to convert the fonts to easy to use paths, this changes them into vector shapes and helps the print house to the keep the fonts to the original form.