Page 1

Printers are from Mars Designers are from Venus Ten steps to getting what you need at the printers


1

2

3

4

5

Thinking about stock

Pantone Colour systems

Don’t let Colour catch you out

The best Print Process

6


7

8

9

10

The bottom line

Printer speak

File preparation

Black and Special finishes

Avoid being trapped

y and quality

The Ten Steps


1

Choosing the best Print Process

Considerations: Budget Quality Quantity Sustainability 2D or 3D Techniques and Special finishes

Understanding the Print Processes will help you choose the best printing method for you, your design and your client. Offset Litho Most Litho printers offer 4 colour CMYK with additional 2 to 6 colour process including spot colour and varnish. Sheet fed higher volumes of over 1000 sheets- Generally up to A0/A1. 500gsm maximum Common uses: Brochures, Flyers Web offset Litho Roll fed high volumes usually one pass Good quality Common uses: Newspapers Flexography Packaging Lower quality image and registration Print on nonabsorbent surfaces such as plastics and metal Common uses: Packaging


An original Heidelberg letterpress C 1963

Rotogravure More expensive process so only suited to High volume Highest quality for image reproduction Common uses: High end magazines, Cigarette boxes, Broadsheets Screen printing Manual or automated Not as fine quality Unusual substrates or 3d objects Common uses: Retail bags, Digital press Mainly CMYK however recent technology offers Pantone spot colours up to six colours. No Metallic ink Sheet and web fed Both Short and long runs generally <500 copies specials and some offer large scale Generally RA3. 400 Gsm maximum Large format: up to 1524mm wide x 175m roll Common uses Brochures, posters, business cards


2

Considerations: RGB CMYK Process Pantone Techniques and Special finishes

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let Colour catch you out There are two main colour models for Designers: For screen RGB (red, green, blue) For printed work CMYK (Cyan, magenta, yellow and key) Brightness. hue and saturation are terms which help us specify and communicate colour information to your client and printer.

Hue

Saturation

Brightness or value


Gamuts and colour spaces help us to understand the range of colours available in a device or system. For example a screen can reproduce about 70% of the colours that are visible to the human eye.

CMYK 4 colour printers can reproduce only a small proportion of these colours. Most software has a warning signal when a colour is chosen out of CMYK gamut for example in Photoshop with a CMYK document, if an out of gamut colour is chosen, the alert is on the colour picker menu. Photoshop also offers a CMYK alternative. Remember different digital devices, our screens, our eyes all have different arrays of colours called colour spaces so the same colour can appear to be dramatically different.


3

Using Pantone Colour systems To be absolutely sure of the colour you and your client want to print use of the Pantone PMS colour system is essential.

Considerations: Budget Spot colours Process colours Monotone Duo tone Stock


Each colour within the Pantone system has a unique reference number to each hue and shade which when specified to a printer removes any room for error. Pantone Guides Pantone Solid - A range of solid metallic, pastel and process colours that can be used on different paper stocks and substrates. (Matte, Coated or uncoated stock) Pantone pastels - A range of flat,solid very pale colours. These are not tints but flat colours. (Coated and uncoated) Pantone hexachrome: A range of sic process colours (CMYK plus green and orange) Can reproduce 90% of Pantone PMS colours Pantone metallics - 300 special colours. Looking at the swatches below demonstrates the difference between a spot colour and its nearest CMYK Process colour.

The 806C is a florescent spot colour is more vibrant than its process CMYK equivalent because it is applied as a flat colour rather than being created from half tone dots of colour. Many Brands and Corporate logos specify their Pantone colours


4

Thinking about stock

Coated or uncoated? Coated stock has been treated so is not as absorbent as uncoated as a result the colour reproduction is much brighter than on uncoated stock Weight Paper is weighed in grams per square metre (GSM). Generally heavier papers are bulkier and do not fold as effectively. The weight of paper is also an important budget consideration not only per sheet costs but also for example the cost of postage if the items are mail shots or promotional material. Samples Obtain samples for your client and also to demonstrate to you printer the effect you wish to achieve. Ask your printer to produce a blank dummy or mock up so you can test the weight and feel of the product.

Considerations: Budget Weight Quantity Paper size Sustainability 2D or 3D Substrates


Iso paper sizes The International Standard ISO216 is the most commonly used paper size in the UK and Europe. Of course you can chose any paper size you want however the cost will be much higher and the lead times probably longer. The C series is for envelopes - A C4 envelope being ideal for holding an A4 sheet. Two other series which you may come across are RA and SRA which are used by printers. They are slightly larger than the A series to provide for grip, trim and bleed.

Height x Width Size mm A0 1189 x 841 A1 841 x 594 A2 594 x 420 A3 420 x 297 A4 297 x 210 A5 210 x 148 A6 148 x 105 A7 105 x 74 A8 74 x 52

Paper is one of many substrate available to print on. Plastics such as polypropylene are an environmentally friendly alternative


5

Image clarity and quality

Considerations: Budget Quality Quantity Sustainability 2D or 3D Techniques and Special finishes

Raster images Composed of pixels in a grid. Each Raster has a fixed resolution so if a low resolution is scaled up the image quality reduces. Print File formats: TIFF Vector images Contains scalable objects defined by paths rather than pixels which enables them to be scaled up without losing image quality. Print file formats: EPS, working files .ai Other file formats Bitmaps - Composed of pixels in a grid of fixed resolution Line art - Purely lines with no fill colour Greyscale -A tonal scale of achromatic tones that have varying levels of black and white Half-tones - A continuous-tone image reproduced as a composition of dots. Duo tones have two colour channels so cannot be sent as a CMYK TIFF. If created in photoshop they are saved as EPS files


How to avoid Common pitfalls Re sizing images - ensure the image has sufficient resolution to not lose quality. Software Indesign when placing images use correct file formats and ensure files are grouped in one folder. For example Illustrator use .ai Photoshop use .TIFF or if transparency use .psd, both with a resolution of 300dpi. Ensure you own or have Copyright permission for any images used. Ensure your file is in CMYK format not RGB Avoid bad file formats GIF is a file format for websites for images with large areas of flat colour due to only utilising 256 colours. JPEG can utilise 16.7 million colours in RGB and 4.5 billion in CMYK however because of its lossy format each time the image is saved you lose some quality. Most web images will be JPEG or GIF with a resolution of 72dpi and so to be avoided for any print based project. Colour channels Each digital image contains several colour channels. For example a CMYK image with one spot colour has five channels. Each channel corresponds to a colour printing plate. For this reason it is important to ensure any unused spot colours are deleted. Channels are also used for special finishes see step 7.


6

Avoid being Trapped What is trapping? When a design has adjacent area of different colours that are to be printed by different ink units on a press, unless the registration is perfect the results could look like the image below if no trapping is applied:

Ink-trapping techniques Spread - The lighter object is made larger to spread onto the darker one Choke - Reduce the size of the aperture that an object will print in Centred trap - A combination of enlarging object and reducing aperture

Considerations: Techniques Printer settings Software


Untrapped colours - Knockout or overprint? Overprint is when one colour prints over another while knockout is where a gap is left in one colour for another to print in. The overprint allows the cyan and magenta inks to mix to produce a different colour Knockout

Overprint Trapping and overprint in practise By default text and objects knockout rather than overprinting. Colours can be overprinted however they will only overprint in the order they are laid down in the printing process. EG Cyan overprint all colours, while yellow only black. Indesign has built in automatic trapping however speak to your printer if in doubt. Manual trapping presets can be set on individual pages if needed. To overprint in Indesign chose output/attributes


7

Black and special finishes Black Following from step 6, black is set to overprint everything. A mistake some designers make to create a good solid black is to use registration black which is 100% of each of CMYK. Registration marks are designed to help the printer register the plates so are designed to print on each ink plate. This amount of ink will create many problems. The solution is to find your favourite mix of black. Rich black : 63C, 52M, 51Y 100K Cool black : 60C, 0M, 0Y, 100K Warm black : 0C, 60M, 30Y, 100K Important to remember although all black looks the same on screen ie RGB they will not look the same printed out. Always ensure using a consistent mix of black throughout a document/image.

Considerations: Budget Quality Quantity Sustainability 2D or 3D Techniques and Special finishes


Special finishes Some printers offer special finishes in house whilst others will sub contract the work. This can be another factor when choosing the right printer. A laminate is a layer of plastic coating that is heat sealed to the stock A Varnish is a colourless coating can protect but increasingly is used to enhance in spot areas to enhance visual appearance.

Metallic spot colour

A spot UV varnish Embossing The printer needs the designer to supply the art work for special finishes as a separate file. The Colour channels in Adobe Software can be used. Select a spot colour not in use in the design and specify this channel with the special finish. The same technique can be used for die cutting shapes and nets.

Die cutting


8

File preparation checklist

»»

Check and check again

»»

Typos, spacing and misaligned

images »»

Image formats (TIFFS or EPS)

»»

Files are CMYK not RGB

»»

No RGB colours

»»

High resolution images

»»

No redundant alpha channels

»»

Bleeds 3mm beyond page

boundaries »»

Separate files for all Fonts and

images »»

Check us of a Consistent black


»»

If using a ‘spot’ varnish ensure

you have included this informationas a separate pantone colour and specify this in writing to the printer. »»

Print and Mock up any digital files

and send a copy with the file to ensure the printer now what you expect. »»

Check the file format preferred by

the printer (Often PDF although some prefer source software files ) Software specific Indesign has a ‘preflight’ option which enables you to check fonts, links, graphics and other information. Run this prior to creating the PDF Ensure the final design has been proofed by your client before sending the file to the Printers.


9

Considerations: If in doubt , ASK for advice.

Printer speak Binding Various printed pages are gathered and held together Bit map An image made of pixels such as TIFF, JPEG and GIF Channels Digital storage of colour information used by Printers to make separate colour, die cut, and special finish plates. CMYK Cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black), the 4 Subtractive colours used as process colours in printing DPi Dots per inch -the unit of measure for the resolution of an image. Imposition The layout usually on a A1 or A0 sheet of paper of the sequence and position of pages that will print so the pages will be in the correct order


Overprinting Where two different colour inks print over each other to produce a third colour. Proof sign off The most important stage in the Print process, where you and your client sign a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;proofâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; print off to print, an opportunity to make changes before committing too much money Registration Each colour printing plate has registration marks to allow the printer to accurately lay down each colour. RGB Red, green, blue primary colours of light, additive colours associated with a screen. Spot colour Generally a special non-CMYK ink colour however a two spot colour can refer to just Cyan and black for example. Stock The substrate including paper, card, metal and plastic which can be printed on Tint Half tone dots of a solid colour printed at ten percent increments Trapping Avoids imperfections in registration between two colours which otherwise may print with a slight gap.


10

The Bottom Line Printing costs MONEY and YOU are responsible for meeting your clients objectives and deadline or else you may find yourself out of pocket. »»  Obtain estimates from the printers even before you design anything to ensure this meets with your clients budget »»  Obtain samples of the Print shop work if they are new to you before you place an order. »»  Agree what proofs you require and at what stage you sign them off and if you want to Press Pass the job. »»  A good printer will generally mock up your design to ensure folding and guillotine lines are correct. »»  Be aware that Inkjet proofs can look brighter than a press run. »»  OBTAIN CLIENT APPROVAL IN WRITING AT EVERY STAGE


£ Back the following up in writing with your printer

»»  Insist any problems are brought to your attention immediately so quick decisions can be made or else deadlines may be missed »»  The size of the job, page dimensions and numbers »»  How many ink colours are required including Pantone names if included »»  nsure you agree on trapping mehods »»  Quantity, paper stock, prive and terms of delivery are on the Printer quote »»  Specify a job date deadline if appropriate »»  If you require a specific number of copies be aware that some printers under or over run up to 10%. Also special finishing can lead to wastage If the quantity is essential ensure this is clearly specified. »»  Double spreads may not be adjacent each other on the Imposition plate and because of cutter draw the crosover may not match up. If this is a concern discuss with your printer although this may cost more as they will have to cut the job in small lifts. Once you find a good printer and you have established a working relationship with them... respect and cherish them. They can make or break an important job and establish your client’s confidence in YOU!


Designed by Lisa Whitaker BA (Hons) Graphic Design Level 5 OUGD201

Printers are from Venus, Designers are from Mars  

Top ten steps to getting what you need at the printers

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you