Eye-catching design is an essential component of any print project. However, there’s a lot more to a successful print than design alone. Here are some things to keep in mind when designing graphics for print:
Digital vs. Print
In the digital space, graphic designers can work with unlimited access to colors on a backlit screen (computer monitors display color using RGB light). In practice, though, it’s important for designers to understand the limitations of modern print machines, which display color using CMYK ink (four-color process printing). Generally, our state-of-the-art presses can handle most jobs without much degradation in image quality, but reasonable expectations must be set before delivering a finished product. Color matching experts do their best to make sure every print run is as true to color as possible.
Ask the Experts
It’s common for companies to employ in-house designers who adhere to strict brand standards. It’s equally common to outsource design work to a third-party design agency. Regardless of how you create your designs, it’s wise to partner with a printer that also offers in-house design services. Even if you’re not using them for design, these specialized teams can be an invaluable resource when creating and delivering print files.
No matter how a design is created, it will always run through a last line of defense in the prepress department. In prepress, print experts double check every aspect of a design file to make sure it’s ready to go to production. Some of the most common reasons a design will get sent back for revisions are:
Low resolution images
RGB to CMYK color conversion
Inaccurate cut files
Insufficient bleed area for production/installation