Clean Files – The Good, the Bad and the Fugly

The Good Knowing how to accurately prepare clean files is a critical skill for any designer. You may work in an environment where you only design, and the production department cleans up your files and passes them on. But knowing these requirements will keep your work “producible” and you in the good graces of your…

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6 Color Systems You Should Know When Designing For Print

Color systems and models are the languages we use to classify, describe and render color. Like any industry, it is part of the jargon – the tech talk of graphic design. These models are important because they use a precise language to describe precisely how color should be rendered. You as a designer get this…

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Interview with Creative Honey

Wow, I had the best time being interviewed by Maria Bougioukos and Zachary R. Hill for their podcast Creative Honey! From their website: “Both have a passion for design, art, and sharing the stories and the results of the creative endeavors that so many of us put forth into the world on a daily basis.” I…

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It’s Not Easy Being Green

It’s not easy being green. If you’re thinking about making your next print project environmentally friendly, make sure you know about recycled paper and “green” printing. You have undoubtedly heard impassioned pleas by environmentalists extolling causes that are good for the earth and posterity. There has been news about the evils of printing and paper and…

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5 Design Considerations Before Binding Printed Matter

Humans have been binding pages together since the second century. Bindery is a true testament to our desire to organize information and package it for convenience and safe-keeping. Modern bindery has some terminology that is good to know and modern bindery also has some pitfalls, the same pitfalls that have been around for nearly two thousand…

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How to Get a Good Paper Grade

Getting a good paper grade isn’t like acing a test. Paper grades are classifications with very slight deviations from the old school classifications that correspond with how printers order paper. Learning about paper grades this way will make it easier for you to converse with your printer. Bond and Writing Bond/writing is very receptive to…

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What is a Press-Check and What Are You Supposed to Do?

Back in the olden days of digital prepress and printing, when proofs bore no resemblance to what would show up on press, the designer would be invited to a “press check” at the printing plant. This was so that the designer could approve and sign off on the actual job in addition to already having…

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Designing for Large Format Printing

Unlike the toner-based digital printing processes, inkjet printing does not have as many pitfalls. However, it has a more limited selection of regular papers to coordinate with regular printing papers. Large-format printing is ideal for small business material or short-run items that a business would need for a trade show. Inkjet printing used to be…

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Why Resolution & File Formats Matter

Image Resolution and file size Resolution is worth mentioning because it causes so many problems in the prepress department. Any image you want to print must be a minimum of 300 PPI at 100% of its actual size. If you pull an image off a website, and it is 4 in. x 4 in. and…

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Designing for Digital Printing

Designing for digital printing is similar to designing for offset printing. The disadvantages of digital printing (compared to offset) can be handled easily in the design stage. And the advantages you can plan into your design from the beginning, isn’t that easy and awesome?! Advantages of digital printing Short-run—No minimums! You can just order one…

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Choosing Logo Colors That Work for Web and Print

If you’re a designer who works in the digital space, you know how to use logos on the screen. But how do you specify a logo color for print when it only exists in RGB? With a little bit of upfront work, you can completely bypass this problem. For instance, the way you perceive color…

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Why Designers Need to Keep Up with Technology

Unfortunately I missed DRUPA this year, so I have been furiously consuming tons of trade journals articles highlighting the most exciting news. You might have never heard of DRUPA. It is the world’s largest trade show for printing and allied industries. It is held every four years in Dusseldorf, Germany coinciding with the Olympics and the soccer…

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