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to process all the information around the print production topic. Who else can explain all the important things to remember and consider before sending to print than a person that actually is learning all this while doing this ‘manual’?! (probably you can think of thousands of other more suitable people, like your grandma’s worth a shot) So lets try and get our heads around this TOGETHER! We’ll go trough color, format (substrate), stock, image preparation production, print methods, finishes (folding and binding) and specials (varnishes, perforation). So prepare to learn all you need about print production with your faithful and devoted Greta Madline. Don’t worry it seems confusing at this point (and believe me I know, because it seems confusing to me at this point) but we’ll get trough this TOGETHER!

‘Hello I’m a second year graphic design student in Leeds College of Art and this is my take on the brief ‘Print Manual’. Don’t take me for granted just because I’m a student (but don’t take me too seriously), actually for all you graphic design student out there this might be an easier way

I think it’s also important to mention that I decided to time myself and give this project no longer than 100 hours. For those who got a bit critical about this, I just want to say that I’m not trying to deepen your understanding about print production I’m just trying to introduce you (and myself) to the important and basic things of print production. If you’re trying to deepen you’re understanding than I suggest you contact David Gaskell (my amazing roommate that makes my every single day more interesting (and more exiting) also my genius course mate (that one day IS going to become the most innovative and astonishing graphic designers of the 21st century)





Colour theory......................

A sizes ................................

Grid ....................................

Prmary, secondary and teritary colours....................

B sizes.................................


C Sizes ................................


RA&SRA .............................


Hue, saturation and brightness........................... The meaning of colour........

Crop Marks..........................

CMYK & RGB......................

File Size ..............................

Special-process colour........


Other things to know..........


Print Methods


Rotary printing press...........

Binding ...............................

Offset lithography...............

Embossing and debossing...

Offset printing ....................

Foil blocking........................


Cie cut ................................

Wash Printing .....................


Silk Screen Printing.............

Types of perforation............

Letterpress printing............

Spot varnish........................

Hot-Metal Printing..............

Matte lamination................




Lino-cut Printing................. 3D Printing.......................... Eco-printing........................




THEORY It's not as complicated as it sounds.

First things first - no, the sky is not blue! The sky is the layer of athmospahere and it’s made of gases, when the gases interact with the light coming from the sun it creates the impression of colour. You must be wondering why am I telling you all this? Well there is a reason behind this story (as tehre is a reason for everything else in life) - colour can create many optical illusions ones that can be intentional and ones that can be made by mistake. As a graphic designer your task is to understand colour in order to contol it when applying to your art work.


Prmary, secondary and teritary colours. What need to be remembered. Two types of Primary colours: Additive colours are obtained by emited light.(red + green + blue = white) Subtractive colours subtract light. (cyan + magenta + yellow = black) Secondary colours are created from the primary colours in equal proportion. Teritary colours are created by adding a secondary colour to a primary which is not allready present in the secondary colour. (2:1, 1:2)




The easiest and more fun way to understand colour is to actually do things with it. Pick some objects or sheets of paper (from the colour wheel) and explore how they affect each other on a mutual backround. Take pictures as you go troughout the process and you will find yourself understanding how colour combinations affect each other and the backround which will help you use colour in a more effective way. Consider placing objects in everyday surroundings. Only by doing practical work - will you be able to control colour and understand the impact it has on your designs and the surroundings. Probably loads of you are just going to scip this, well it’s your decision - I’m just trying to help you become not only more aware of the print production but a better designer as well. Believe me COLOUR has such a hudge impact!


Hue, saturation and brightness

Saturation and chroma is the purity of colour. At maximum saturation colours the colour contains no grey so it becomes more vivid, opposite to low saturation colours which contain increasing amounts of grey.

You need to know this. Value or brightness refers to how light or dark the image is.

Hue or colours are formed by different wavelights of light


The meaning of Colour. Oh YES, a whole chapter.

Colour can be one of the bigest indicators of meaning. We learn about colour as children and believe me you don’t want to loose this knoledge beacsue it takes so much effort to learn and teach. My niece is 3 years old now and she still sometimes can’t tell the difference between green and blue.(I don’t blame her sometimes I can’t tell the diffenets between these two colours myself) last summer, when I came back to Lithuania, I tried to teach her about colours and only then

I realised how hard it is to explain colour to a person that has no idea WHAT that is. You think it’s simple? Find a two-three year old child and try it for yourself! You show a pencil and you ask “What colour is this”, you’ll probably get an answer like “it’s a pencil” or “green” (tho it’s red) and even if you manage to teach all the colours of the pencils, than you take a green umbrella - it seems you spent hours just for nothing. When I was a child I was thought that the colours of our flag ment ‘sun/hope, grass/life and blood/death and love’ (the last one is quite cheerfull). I’m sure you can allready tell

what colours these are. Though if you’re from a different cultural, social or religios environemnt the perception of colour can be slightly different from mine or any other persons. So how do you deal with colour? How do you use colour in an effetive and appropriate way? YOU LEARN! You shoudld probably chalange yourself and do a self-driven research and explore what meaning colour has in your cultural, social and religious environemnt. one thing is for sure I can’t cover it all in this basic print manual. My aim is to compare two reagions: Western Europe and Balcanic and Slivic part of Easter Europe, so you would understand what I mean. Why I chose these two regions? I lived in both, simple as.


WESTER MAINLAND EUROPE England, Scotland, Whales and Ireland

BALCAN AND SLAVIC PART OF EUSTERN EUROPE Albania,Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Chech republic, Ukraine, Moldovia, Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.


- symbolyses power and authority. Assosiated with reliability and visability. (London buses)


- asociated with ruber. (found this quite amusing, apparently once the rubber was only available in yellow) DARK BLUE - fear and confuseon. (traditional colour for Scottish sports teams) GREEN - asociated with nature and positiveness. (nation of enthusiastic gardeners) GOLD and PURPLE - asociated with roialty. (colours of the royal crown). BLACK - symbolyses death and mourning. Can also be seen as dignity or punk culture. GREY - considered classy, traditional and tasteful. ( B.Brummel established the idea that grey clothing is sophisticated and elegant)

RED - is thought to have medical properties (red wool was used to relieve fevers in Macedonia) BLUE - is seen as decrative colour. WHITE - symbolyses neatness, intelligents and dilegence also asociated with magic (white linen was believed to have magical powers) GREEN - symbolyses nature (50% of Latvia is covered with forests)


If you are a graphic designer and your still wondering which colour mode should you use while designing for PRINT.

CMYK &RGB The serious stuff begins.

From now on have this is your head (embaded in your memory) - there are four magical letters CMYK! ALWAYS CMYK for print! What You need to remember: Printed images are created using three inks Cyan, Magent, Yellow and Black (CMYK)


There are other colour spaces that are used for different design procesess for example RGB is used for on screen (light) design the diference between CMYK and RGB are quite important as for RGB has a wider gamut (in simple language has a wider colour range (usaully brighter and more vivid colour). There is another not

as knowned colour space which is Hexachrome that is a six-colour separation process which was developed by Pantone that can produce more acurate, vibrant and saturated colours for print.(You must be wondering what is Pantone? Pantone is

a colour matching system taht helps you specify inks. It is higly usefull for designers and print makers. Actually it’s like a language between the printer and the designer to get an acurate required colour).


The vocabulary:

Special-Process colour Might come and handy one day

Flourescents are special colours taht are vibrant and cannot be produced using the standart four colour A special or spot printing (CMYK) colour is solid and is not created of dots Metalic ink are as CMYK colours. made with copper, These colours are zinc and aluminium also more richer pigments in order and vibrant. Special to produce copper, colours also used bronze, silver or to produce metalic gold colours that tints and flourescent cannot be produced colours which are as standart process out of the inks (CMYK).Metalic standart gamut. ink is higly reflective Another thing to and can keep in mind that add a professional you will pay more for end luxorious feel to a spot colour but it your designs. actually makes a huge impact on the final piece.


Tints - are basically different colour values of CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow or Black). They are very useful to create the illusion of more colours.

OTHERS Going the extra mile Colour layers can be used to combine or layer printed backround elemnts such as type and image. The suprint is one of the techniques that print on top of each other as tint colours. Reverse out removes parts of flood colours and leaves white spaces in the chosen part of

design. And least but not last, overprint that prints one colour over an other, usually darker colour over a lighter. You can use overprint to create new colours while only using few colours from CMYK.



Format Think before you do

Format is an assential part of design. ormat can create meaning or complement the design, that’s why it’s so important to consider format firstly before you even start designing. Always think about the audiance, what message needs to be delivered and how you are going to deliver it effectively. Format might be the answer some of the times. There are so many greate pieces of design that are

knowned for their format more than the contant or the design. Format can refer to texture and size of paper, large scale is always a good consideration and of course different media. I cannot list all of the posible formats and media you can use for the design but what I could do is give the basics and you can start from there. Every design needs a different research into posible formats.


Paper sizes ISO 216/269 specifies international standard (ISO) paper sizes used in most countries in the world today. It defines the “A”,”B” and “C” paper sizes.


2378 x 1682 mm

93.6 x 66.2 in


1682 x 1189 mm

66.2 x 46.8 in


1189 x 841 mm

46.8 x 33.1 in


841 x 594 mm

33.1 x 23.4 in


594 x 420 mm

23.4 x 16.5 in


420 x 297 mm

16.5 x 11.7 in


297 x 210 mm

11.7 x 8.3 in


210 x 148 mm

8.3 x 5.8 in


148 x 105 mm

5.8 x 4.1 in


105 x 74 mm

4.1 x. 2.9 in


74 x 52 mm

2.9 x 2.0 in


52 x 37 mm

2.0 x 1.5 in


37 x 26 mm

1.5 x 1.0 in

A sizes - they are probably the most known stock sizes in the world



1000 × 1414 mm

39.37 × 55.67 in


707 × 1000 mm

27.83 × 39.37 in


500 × 707 mm

19.69 × 27.83 in


353 × 500 mm

13.90 × 19.69 in


250 × 353 mm

9.84 × 13.90 in


176 × 250 mm

6.93 × 9.84 in


125 × 176 mm

4.92 × 6.93 in


88 × 125 mm

3.46 × 4.92 in


62 × 88 mm

3.46 × 4.92 in


44 × 62 mm

1.73 × 2.44 in


31 × 44 mm

1.22 × 1.73 in


917 × 1297 mm

36.10 × 51.06in


648 × 917 mm

25.51 × 36.10 in


458 × 648 mm

18.03 × 25.51 in


324 × 458 mm

12.76 × 18.03 in


229 × 324 mm

9.02 × 12.76 in


162 × 229 mm

6.38 × 9.02 in


114 × 162 mm

4.49 × 6.38 in


81 × 114 mm

3.19 × 4.49 in


57 × 81 mm

2.24 × 3.19 in


40 × 57 mm

1.57 × 2.24 in


28 × 40 mm

1.10 × 1.57 in




Art Work How to prepare work for sending to print

Grid should be thought in every graphic design course but if you are hearing this for the first time - I can honestly suggest you go and research it! Basically what it is is just paralel or crossing bars/lines on the artwork. It might be one of the essential parts of design. Grid is such an amazing help while designing, it

helps you set all of the designs in place and make it easier to navigate and design. Publications especially because you can set up a masters page and have you’r grid consistant troughout the whole publication, it will not only improove your time of designing but keep consistancy trough the publication or any other artwork.


Resolution One of the first things to consider when opening a file in any of the creative software is the resolution of images you might be using. There is quite a simple rule with this which doesn’t even need much explanation just memorising. For any printed images the resolution has to be no less than 300dpi (dpi = dots per inch).

Bleed If you haven’t been using bleed for your printed work, from now on as you will become aware of it - you need to start using it all the time. Bleed is the printed area outside of the art works margin after it’s trimed. Why do we need a bleed? Well because it prevents any unprinted areas to eppear in your trimed work. Easy as that. Use the bleed. Even a small bleed of 3mm usually the snadart bleed for any printed art work.


Crop Marks

Margin Margin is usually most needed when creating a publication tho many other art work might benifit as well. Margin is the edge of the border. It’s important to leave enough space from the edge of the paper (usually talking about bodycopy) so it would be easy and simple for the audiance to navigate and read trough it.

One of the usually made mistakes is forgeting to put the crop-marks in. It’s not really a big problem even before sending to print there is still an option of having the crop marks. It is a higly useful thing for printing. If you have a white backround, usually what tends to happen You crop it badly or are not sure of how it should be croped and than waste loads of time trying to figure it out. Well, now you know - COP MARKS.

File Size Which file size should I save my art work? It’s quite an often consideration. There are so many file formats out there

that more than often it becomes really confusing. There are few possible options but it’s always worth talking to the printer, they will tell you what file size suits them the most. These are the two main best file format fro print. There is always an option to save it as the original file format of the creative software you are using, let say you are suing inDesign, you can saqve it as an inDesign file, the only big problem with all of these formats is that you need to make sure that the printers you are using HAS the software otherwise your art work might be modified while opening in a

different creative software or even worser NOT open at all. TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) is an industry standard designed for the handling of raster or bitmapped images it also allows to edit, scale and manipulate the image after it has been saved as a tiff and placed to a program. (Portable PDF Document Format) this is one of my most ofthen used file sizes. PDF allows you to embed fonts in a document, so type and layout both preview and print consistently wherever the file travels.


Imposition Sounds like a really fancy thing but basically all it is is the arrangement of a printed pages of a publication in the sequence thet they are going to appear when being printed. It’s more like a visual

guide for the designer so he could do the rest of cosiderations such as what stock which pages are going to be printed on and where could (if needed) the special colours go.



A rotary printing press is a printing press in which the images to be printed are curved around a cylinder. Printing can be done on large number of substrates, including paper, cardboard, and plastic. Substrates can be sheet feed or unwound on a continuous roll through the press to be printed and further modified if required (e.g. die cut, overprint varnished, embossed). Printing presses that use continuous rolls are sometimes referred to as “web presses�.

Print Methods. You don’t need to learn it, just know it.

Offset lithography uses a chemical process in which an image is chemically applied to a plate (generally through exposure of photosensitive layers on the plate material). Lithography is based on the fact that water and oil do not mix, which enables the planographic process to work.


Rotogravure (Roto or Gravure for short) is a type of intaglio printing process; that is, it involves engraving the image onto an image carrier. In gravure printing, the image is engraved onto a cylinder because, like offset printing and flexography, it uses a rotary printing press. Once a staple of newspaper photo features, the rotogravure process is still used for commercial printing of magazines, postcards, and corrugated (cardboard) product packaging.

Offset printing is a commonly used printing technique in which the inked image is transferred (or “offset”) from a plate to a rubber blanket, then to the printing surface. When used in combination with the lithographic process, which is based on the repulsion of oil and water, the offset technique employs a flat (planographic) image carrier on which the image to be printed obtains ink from ink rollers, while the non-printing area attracts a waterbased film (called “fountain solution”), keeping the nonprinting areas inkfree.

Wash Printing is a special technique that allows the most delicate of colours to be applied to a substrate.It uses ink that has been heavily diluted in order to produce a flat colour that is more subtle than light special colours such as pastels. This wash is applied by the preprinting the sheets with a flood colour of the diluted ink.

Silk Screen Printing (Screen Printing) imposes an image on to a substrate by forcing ink trough a screen that contains the design. It’s not one of the most time efficient printing methods because it takes time for the screen to be prepared and the artwork needs to dry before applying a second colour, but screen printing allows a different use of varied colours and adds that special feel of craft and to the work.


Letterpress printing is a method of relief printing whereby an inked, raised surface is pressed against the subtrate.It is one of the first commercial printing methods and the raised surface is usaully made by pieces of type put together. This printing method is not used as much these days.

Hot-Metal Printing also knowned as hottype composition or cast metal is a process of creating type in lines of molten metal. It allows the production of large quantities of type in relatively inexpensive fashion. The metal charactersare movable so you can re-use them again and again.

Eco-printing is a water bassed printing process used to apply watter to cloth. It uses relatively small quantities of plant material in a recycled dye-bath and requires such material as wool and silk.

Thermography is an inline print finishing process that is used to produce raised lettering on paper subttrates.Thermographic powder is deposit on to a sheet of paper while the ink is still wet. The powder sticks to thewet ink, and fuses to it when the subtrate is passed trough an oven which leaves the raised surface with a mottled texture.

3D Printing is quite a difficult process which is more than ofthen hard to get right. The backround layer has to be oversized, layers that will be on similar depth grouped together and the different combinationsof the art work must be exported to create the viewing angles. There are specific technologital machines created specialy for 3D printing.

Lino-cut Printing is a low volume, reliefeprinting method in which an image is cut into a thin piece of linoleum that is inked and mounted on pieces of wood. The wood is than pressed against a sybtrate, and must be re-inked for every impression.



Finishes For a more special feel

Lamination is the technique of manufacturing a material in multiple layers, so that the composite material achieves improved strength, stability, appearance or other properties from the use of differing materials. A laminate is usually permanently assembled by heat, pressure, welding, or adhesives.


Coating is a covering that is applied to the surface of an object, usually referred to as the substrate. In many cases coatings are applied to improve surface properties of the substrate, such as appearance, adhesion, wetability, corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and scratch resistance.

Some new coatings formulated using nanotechnology promise to create long-term surface protection.[1] In other cases, in particular in printing processes and semiconductor device fabrication (where the substrate is a wafer), the coating forms an essential part of the finished product. Coating and printing processes involve the application of a thin film of functional material to a substrate, such as paper, fabric, film, foil, or sheet stock. This article discusses what is frequently termed “roll-to-

roll” or “web-based” coating. A roll of substrate, when wound through the coating machine, is typically called a web. Coatings may be applied as liquids, gases or solids. Coatings can be measured and tested for proper opacity and film thickness by using a drawdown card.

Embossing is the process of creating a three-dimensional image or design in paper and other materials. E m b o s s i n g is typically accomplished by applying heat and pressure with male and female dies, usually made of copper or brass, that fit together and squeeze the fibers of the substrate. The combination of pressure and heat raises the level of the image higher than the substrate, while “ironing” it to make




Print Manual  
Print Manual  

LCA (BA) Graphic Design course project 'Print Manual'.