DESIGN AND PRINTS: A RELATIONSHIP THAT MUST WORK
With the dominance of the new media (internet), many schools of thought have opined that the design and print media is on its way to extinction.
While it would be a case of delusion to disregard this school seeing the obvious impact of the new media on communication dissemination and reception, one must not also forget that prints are still a vital part of our existence and would be for long.
For now, educational books are still printed, newspapers, magazines, brochures, and directories are still printed, cards invites etc and still printed. So, until when all these changes (if at all they will), attention must be paid to prints and its processes.
Away from my defense for the design and print media (winks), the aim of this article is to examine the all-important interplay between design and print. I would be highlighting 5 things a designer ought to know when printing so as to ensure a flawless transition from the screen-design to the printed copy.
One thing digital design has over print design is the fact that digital designs are editable and can be reviewed intermittently. This is not the same for print design. It is therefore imperative for the designer to ensure every information on the brief received from the client is correct.
Also, when you are done with your design, it is wise to do a critical proofreading of the work and possibly call on friends to help you proofread too because there might be some errors you won’t just see for yourself.
Another way to remove the chances of errors is to print a miniature copy or two of the work to check the output and to examine if the details are correct.
It is not unlikely for clients to just tell you “hey, I want you to help me design a banner for my business” and when you ask “what size do you want”, they go “please help me figure it out, just something nice”. Truth is most clients save corporate bodies/agencies and few informed folks don’t really know anything about sizes.
A way out of this is to disturb them to give you a size or something they want it to look like (even if it’s not on foot or inches). This gives you an idea of what you are designing and would forestall printing problems.
Quite a number of printing problems emanate from this point. As a print designer, you should ensure that high-resolution images are used for your designs. You can leverage on websites that provide free images. In a case where you can’t find a good high-resolution image, you can resolve to take photos of the object or person with a standard camera, not phones!
Also, a knowledge of color and color schemes is essential. The color scheme for print is CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black). This means if your design is RGB, you must convert to CMYK else you’d have your work messed up when printing. Designs should also be done at 300dpi for quality output. DPI (Dots per inch) determines how sharp the design would be when printed.
Many times, you can have aspects of your design ripped off when printing or cutting the printed work. An easy way to prevent this is to leave some space around the edges. Usually, the standard is 3mm.
5.THE MORE, THE MERRIER.
Never print the exact copies of the design. Many things can happen at the press; the printer can develop a fault and decide to take it out on some copies of your work.
So, it is healthy to always plan to print beyond the exact amount (Obviously, this means you would factor contingencies into the quotation you would give your client).
Having extra copies can serve several purposes; you can keep them and add them to your portfolio, you can use them as replacements for damaged copies and you can just give them as a gift to your client (trust me, the client would be delighted).
Meanwhile, you or your team might be looking to outsource your designs needs, At image boosters, we offer amazing packages for SME’s and startups in Graphics design and animation which in turn are vital to the new media, marketing, and brand communication. Our team of creatives develops fresh ideas that will take your brand to the next level.
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