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THE OFFSET PROCESS Leah Miller Design Specifications John Kramer & Matt White Spring 2013

JANUARY 16, 2013 WELCOME TO DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS! Also know as DESIGN SPECS, or SPECS. Wednesday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. 601 Newbury Street Room 340 WHAT ARE WE ALL DOING HERE? Well, most of us took this class because one, it is required for design majors, two to learn about the specifications of printing, which is a crucial skill in creating nice print pieces.

WHAT IS GOING ON? We don’t know! This class’ curriculum has been revamped so we can learn the specifications of the many mediums in which we will be working as designers of the ever changing technological age. So the administration threw Matt White into the mix of designers so he can educate us on his web expertise while John Kramer sticks around to show us that print is not a dying art. So as they sit and ramble, we will sit here, interested, unorganized, confused and intrigued. Ready for structure and ready for action, ready to make it happen.

WHAT’S NEXT? After much anticipation they hand out the ballots and based on our interest, they divide us into groups who will each explore the design specifications of each of medium listed below: GRAPHIC IDENTITY LARGE FORMAT LETTERPRESS MICROSITES MOBILE APPS OFFSET PRINTING SCREEN PRINTING TIME BASED

Through our research we also explore the lovely design assholes who keep our life aggravating and exciting.

JANUARY 23, 2013


Today we focused on learning the basics of offset printing and the potential it has. As we learn more we are brainstorming a concept for a final project that is related to the class.

How many copies will we print?

We learned we will be printing our final product with Unigraphic located in Woburn, MA. We were all excited by is the idea of creating a book about the different topics we will learn in class such as spot color, CMYK, etc. and how they apply to offset printing.

How many topics will there be? What are our options for printing?

IDEA NUMBER ONE A small book with basic tips and information that would be useful to everyone in class. Options to explore use color, paper, layout, etc.

When will it be ready to print?



Unigraphic and their printing options

Bring in sketches or examples for your own idea.

Ideas for a production piece Offset example prints

IDEA NUMBER TWO Make a one page book that folds out into a poster with information about offset on one side and the class on the hidden poster side.

We all hope to come in with a deeper understanding of what offset printing is and how to properly utilize it. To visit the printer and work with them soon to fully see and understand the process and our printing options.

JANUARY 30, 2013




Printers Available:

UV OFFSET PRINTING 7-color 28” x 40” KBA Rapida 105 Hybrid press: • UV and aqueous coating • Up to 30 pt. stock • Corrugated, film and plastic substrates • Lightweight papers and pressure sensitive labels • UV inks and coating • In-line finishing with hybrid effects htm (This website has great pictures)

4-color Halm UV envelope press OFFSET PRINTING 6-color 28” x 40” ManRoland press with aqueous coater 5-color 28” x 40” Komori press 5-color 20” x 28” Komori press 4-color 12” x 18” Kodak DI press 2-color 12” x 18” Heidelberg Printmaster Tech Lightning 2- color 20” x 26” off-line UV and aqueous coater

BRAINSTORM IDEAS FOR FINAL OFFSET PRINT PIECE 1. Poster of Design Term References WEBSITE REFERENCES html The sketches to the right and below are examples of page layouts, logo ideas, color theory, and imposition folds.

JANUARY 30, 2013 Each design group presented their initial research discussed, as we followed along by looking through the wordpress blog. Following we dispersed into our groups where we compared and critiqued our sketches and research. We began planning out what we will be printing.

TARGET AUDIENCE The spec class both teachers and students 20 year olds Both Genders Creative types

IDEA We decided to focus on a square fold out poster that encompasses information about design spec. Each fold will make a square, each containing different spec concepts like color, typography, process, etc. Suggested poster size if 25” x 25” We will design a sleeve to put the folded poster into.

Designers TO DO Make square mock up with color information from today’s demo. Research folding patterns and make

JANUARY 30, 2013 The images are mock folds and notes from class about color specifications and different folds.

FEBRUARY 6, 2013 WHAT WE DID FOLDING PATTERNS Found examples of monotone offset printed posters that fold into smaller booklets. Ex: AIGA BONE SHOW 2013 Poster Researched other types of folds and made mock ups based on the color information we learned last week.

We learned how to use Pantone Colors in inDesign. I used an ink yet printer to test the primary CMYK colors in different levels of transparency and ink values.

1. Color Panel 2. New Color Swatch 3. Color Mode 4. Pantone 5. Select your color 6. Viola!

FEBRUARY 13, 2013 WHAT WE DID OVER PRINTING I made four files on my computer with CMYK and RGB color blocks, one in a vertical file and one in a landscape file. I ran them through the printer twice, so the files overprinted to stimulate the effect of offset printing. By using Magenta, Yellow, Cyan, and Black in both CMYK and RGB color modes, viewers can see the difference in color hue, saturation, and value even though they are considered the same colors.

FEBRUARY 13, 2013 OFFSET PROTOTYPING Through the use of inDesign and Illustrator we made digital prototypes using the multiply function and levels options to stimulate the over printing effect of offset. Images show the combination of text and image, using CMYK colors of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and the proposed colors and logo as designed by the Graphic Identity Group.

FEBRUARY 20, 2013 WHAT WE DID: OFFSET PROTOTYPING This week we explored different ways to apply overprinting to various shapes, images, and text in the context of an offset printed, 8-fold poster. The pieces below from left to right show the files that were arranged on the computer and then the final files as they were overprinted. The image to the left shows text that was printed over monotone and duo tone images.

FEBRUARY 20, 2013 IMPOSITION FOLDING Today’s class was quite the struggle. John Kramer gave us the printer spreads and instructed us to fold the Design as Practice booklet. This taught us about imposition, which is the arrangement of pages on the printer’s sheet. This booklet turned out to be an unusual situation in that after many discussions and methods of folding, we determined that for the 36 pages, the large sheet needed to be cute into four different sheets, then folded, and combined, instead of four folds and three cuts. Below is an image of the page that drove us crazy. We ended up numbering the pages so we new the proper order and orientation. After consultation with John we discussed our final book. We are decided to use a double sided piece of 11” x 17” in order to make a small 16 page booklet, with normal imposition fold. In the upper right is a prototype which shows us the size and process of folding so we can anticipate layout and trim size when setting up our files for print.

TO DO Develop 3 to 4 page spread layouts and test overprinting with different color combinations

FEBRUARY 27, 2013 WHAT WE DID SET UP PAGE SPREADS FOR IMPOSITION FOLDING AND TESTED OVERPRINTING COLORS I set up InDesign files that were laid out to imposition fold into a 16 page booklet with 4 1/4” x 5 1/2” pages, using two spot colors. Below you can see the four files I set up to be overprinted on both the front and back of each page. To the right are the overprinted pages, imposition folded, stapled, and trimmed.


FEBRUARY 27, 2013 WHAT WE DID CONTINUED DESIGNED PAGE SPREADS FOR BOOKLET Below is an image of what the folds of the book look like before trimming. To the right are compositions for each page of the booklet in an imposition fold layout. Our booklet will either be about what we learn during class time such as terms, methods of printing, printing specifications, and document set up or all about the different groups in class and their projects.

Present to class and decide on a design for our booklet including colors, type, and content.

MARCH 20, 2013 WHAT I DID REAL SIZE MOCK UP Based on feedback from the color combinations I made a to scale mock up of a 16 page booklet about the process of offset printing.

MARCH 20, 2013


Today I presented my book about offset printing to the class and revised it based on comments.

All assignments must be completed on the date specified.

I also developed an agenda of things our group needs to accomplish in the final five weeks.

APRIL 10: Design final mock up as a collective whole, based on feedback from individual mock ups. Present to other groups at the end of class. Compile instructions for other groups to follow, on how to prep their file for the final printed offset book.

MARCH 27: Decide on final 2 colors used in offset book. APRIL 3: Set up drop box and share individual book layout ideas and critique.

APRIL 12: Finish book and present to class for one last critique. APRIL 17: Prep files and send book to Unigraphic for print. APRIL 24: Group Field Trip to Unigraphic to see book on press. MAY 1: Present and distribute final printed offset book to class.

TO DO Communicate time line to group members and have each person choose 2 spot color combinations they would like to see the offset book be

APRIL 3, 2013 WHAT WE DID 2 COLORS FOR OFFSET BOOK We compiled each group members color choices prior to presenting them to the entire class.

APRIL 3, 2013 DECISION MAKING After a lengthy discussion about the branding cohesion, and screen and ink jet print inaccuracy, we decided to not have the class vote on their color preference but decide amongst our selves. We had a half hour circular discussion with the Graphic Identity, Screen Print, and Letterpress group in an effort to develop cohesion between our three printed projects, but came to the consensus that if the Graphic Identity group could give us the solid coated pantone colors as used in the logo, we could each decide what colors looks best on our print materials using the different inks specific to our group’s method of printing. The class was quite strenuous but very productive. After an exhausting four hours we were able to decide that the pantone magenta and pantone 375C would have the best overprinting effect, allowing our book to have three very distinct colors. We also learned that our book does not have to be 4 1/4” x 5 1/2”, and can be trimmed to be 4 1/4” x 4 1/4,” which is not only Meagan’s favorite square shape but the perfect size to fit in the CD sleeve.

TO DO Develop instructions to prep files for offset and make book mock ups.

APRIL 10, 2013 WHAT WE DID I made actual size mock ups using the specifications in our instructions to make a mock up of suggested pages for the offset book about the class, for groups to use as a reference.

APRIL 10, 2013 WHAT WE DID We also each worked on our personal book about offset printing. I made actual size mock ups using the instructions for making duotone photos, but with spot colors of my choice.


APRIL 10, 2013 WHAT WE DID We wrote instructions on how to prep files in Photoshop, indesign, and Illustrator for offset printing. These were posted to freedcamp and the wordpress, and will be presented today, so that each group can learn the specs of offset printing and can prepare a file that emulates their group due by April 10. Please send your file and questions to brittanymcguire@

OFFSET SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS Objective: Each group should submit an image in the two chosen colors. This image will be constrained to a 4.25” x 4.25” page with a .125” bleed. The image is open to interpretation and can be a photo, illustration, or anything you want as long as it represents your group and fits the guidelines provided. Use Gotham Typeface and either Illustrator or Photoshop for best results.

PHOTOSHOP How to make a duotone image: 1. Open or create grayscale image 2. Image > Mode > Duotone 3. Make sure Duotone is selected from pop-up menu, and click color swatches to select your two colors: Pantone 226 C Pantone 375 C (NAME MUST BE EXACTLY AS SHOWN!) 4. If you add type or objects, experiment with Layer effect (Multiply) to create a color overlay that happens with overprinting. 5. Save as .psd or .eps to retain duotone info.

1. Select exact color names from Swatches palette: Window > Swatch Libraries (way at bottom) > Color Books > Pantone + Solid Coated 2. Select the same colors (see Photoshop option above) 3. Go to Window > Transparency. Select your object and experiment with Transparency effect (Multiply) to show create a color mix by overprinting. Grayscale option: 1. You can submit a grayscale option and the offset group can tag the photo and the background with the two colors in Indesign. Indicate in email what % of each color on which shapes.

APRIL 10, 2013 Although many of the groups were not happy with the additional task at hand. We were able to collect a file from all groups except Microsites. We complied the files into a final booklet whose layout was a modification of Tess’ personal book. We had to edit some of the files we had, and worked with the groups to have a properly prepped file. I worked on cover variations. Meagan filled out Microsites’ survey. Brittany modified the group comp. Tess worked on the table of contents.

TO DO Upload 2-3 images for the group offset page of the final booklet. Choose a preference for the cover. Work on group pages of the booklet such as client, designer, and field trip pages.

APRIL 17, 2013 WHAT I DID Uploaded 2-3 Drafts of what to do for the offset group page. Cover page variations Client page variations

APRIL 17, 2013 Made decisions on offset, table of contents, cover and group pages. Developed language for book introduction Conversed with groups and fixed up all bleeds, names, typography, and colors in the final book to prep it and get it ready for print.

APRIL 24, 2013 Updated last of all files to make sure bleeds, size, color, and typography are all formatted properly. Then we packaged the file and sent it off to unigraphic to print.

MAY 1, 2013 Our offset printing group took a field trip to Woburn, MA to see the print facilities and our book on press so we can make changes if needed and sign off on it after.

Offset Process Book  

Design Specifications: Offset Process

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