Monday, June 6, 2011     17:19

Design Articles

Creating Visual Impact

A print design project communicates a message, but that message will go unnoticed unless your marketing project has the visual impact to get a reader's attention...Read More

Typography: Choosing the Right Typeface for your Project

The typeface that you choose for your print project is an important piece of the overall design process. With over 20,000 typefaces available and more being created every day, where do you begin? Read More

Optimizing Website Photographs and Graphics

How long do you wait for a website to load before clicking away and trying another URL? Most people won’t wait longer than an average of 8 seconds with a 56K modem. Although many things can effect the load time of a website, improper and overuse of graphics and images is one of the more frequent problems...Read More

Principles of Design

In design, balance is best understood when compared to the physical world. Think of a physical object, such as a glass of water. When the glass is tipped or off balance, it falls over and spills. To keep a scale in balance it must have equal weight...
Read More

Using Dashes in Typography

The shortest dash; should only be used between words or to break syllables at the end of a line of type...
Read More

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will my project take?

What file formats will I receive?

How do I pay for design services?

What if I don't like the design concept presented?

Will my printed piece look exactly like it does from a printer or computer monitor?

How will I know what the final piece will look like?

Should I use digital or offset printing?

What paper should I use?

How do I choose what colors or inks to use?

What is a bleed?

What types of images should I use?

How does the 4-color process (CMYK) work?

How long will my project take?

A general turnaround time for a 1st round comp is approximately one-two weeks. Many factors determine the "time schedule", such as the delivery of information from the client, turnaround time for approvals at each stage and the number of rounds required to ensure your complete satisfaction with the final result.

How do I pay for design services?

Artisan Design Studio accepts payment from major credit cards through PayPal, as well as personal or business checks.

Will my printed piece look exactly like it does from a printer or computer monitor?

Not very likely. This is due to the fact that many scanners, printers, digital cameras, and even graphics programs create images based on the RGB (red-green-blue) color profile. These are the colors that computer monitors and televisions use to display images on your screen, but a printing press uses a totally different color profile - CMYK (cyan-magenta-yellow-black), otherwise known as 'four color' printing.

How will I know what the final piece will look like?

Pantone colors or pantone to process colors (for 4 color process) will be selected to determine your color preference. These color selections will be given to the printer. A digital proof can be generated directly from your electronic file, but may not be exact and may be of a lower resolution than the final output to plate. The color you see on press is affected by many different variables, paper and press gain to name a few. You can get a good idea of the final look of your piece, but the final result is largely dependent on the quality of output from your printer.

Should I use digital or offset printing?

For smaller quantities (under 500) it is usually most economical to go with a photocopier or digital color copier. There are usually limitations to certain types of paper and specifications. If you need larger runs (500 or more) or specific requirements (i.e. high gloss paper, foil stamping, full bleeds, etc.) the offset printing press may be the best (or only) choice.

What paper should I use?

Choosing the right paper for your project is important to the final outcome. There are many different grades, colors, weight and textures to choose from. Four-color printing is best on a white-coated sheet. Uncoated papers are used primarily for one or two color printing jobs. See About Paper for more detailed information. Also, your designer can make recommendations and send you samples to help narrow down the choices. Paper samples can be provided .

How do I choose what colors or inks to use?

First, determine how many colors you want to use. A one or two color job is generally the most economical for the printing process if you have budget constraints. However, many digital printers offer good prices on four-color printing. Choose your colors based on personal preference, to match existing marketing materials, or let your designer suggest colors. Sample Pantone chips can be provided .

What is a bleed?

Bleed is the term for printing color, photographs, fonts or graphics that go right to the edge of the paper. The layout of your piece will indicate a bleed by extending those areas off the actual page. Bleeds sometimes add to the printing cost if a larger sized paper needs to be used for printing.

What types of images should I use?

If you are scanning the images yourself from photographs it is better to save them in either tiff, or eps format. These image formats will preserve the color and sharpness of your pictures the best. File formats like gif or jpg compress the picture's color and pixel resolution and this can cause color shifts and blur.

If you are using pictures from your digital camera they will work just fine if they are jpgs; the quality of jpg images from digital cameras seems to be much better than jpgs that are used on the web. You must do the math to make sure that it is high enough in pixel resolution though. For instance, if your camera puts out a typical image of 1280 x 960 pixels at 72 dpi you get about 17" x 13" of photograph (at 72 dpi). This is the same amount of detail as in an image which is 4" x 3" at 300 dpi so it's safe to reduce or enlarge that image up to about 4" x 3" in dimension.

You should scan your images using a resolution of 300 dpi or higher at the final dimensions you intend to use so that your colors will look smooth and hard objects will look sharp. In other words don't scan at 300 dpi and then enlarge the picture by 200% in your layout program! This is another reason why you should not use images that taken directly from the web - they are probably only 72 dpi in resolution and will look very blurry if printed on a printing press.

How does the 4-color process (CMYK) work?

Four color process is a system where a color image is separated into 4 different color values by the use of filters and screens (usually done digitally). The result is a color separation of 4 images that when transferred to printing plates and printed on a printing press with the colored inks cyan (blue), magenta (Red), yellow and black, reproduces the original color image. Studies in a major publication revealed that the use of color increased readership by 40% or more. A university study showed a 65% increase in the retention of material when full color was used instead of black and white.