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Thread: Design vs. Print Output

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    Member tinytoes has a spectacular aura about tinytoes has a spectacular aura about
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    Design vs. Print Output

    Hello. I'm a freelance graphic designer. For those who work in the printing process, what tips can you share with me so that I can make sure my designs look great in print. I deal directly with clients and they usually just get my files and take it to the printers. I don't speak with the printers. And most of the time I get blamed if the print looks bad. Colors are all wrong, crop/trim areas are all wrong. I'm not proud of my work because most of the time, print output is bad. What instructions can I give to clients to give to their printers?

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    Junior Member saleem.azm81 is on a distinguished road
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    it depends on which software u r using

    try to keep it as simple as possible

    regarding colours it must be converted to cmyk before printing and always keep some extra margin ex for A4, you keep 21.6x30.3 here 3mm extra at all sides for cutting after the final print

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    Junior Member saleem.azm81 is on a distinguished road
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    try to get your monitor colour calibrated, other wise same colour on different monitor u will notice different color

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    Member tinytoes has a spectacular aura about tinytoes has a spectacular aura about
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    Yup, I always work in CMYK unless it's for web. I also add .25" for bleed area every time. My monitor is also calibrated. I guess it's not my fault then, huh? Printers here are not as smart like in other countries.

    Thanks for your replies

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    Donor Shap will become famous soon enough
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    Communicate with printers!

    Quote Originally Posted by tinytoes View Post
    I don't speak with the printers.
    The blame game is enjoyable, if you like heated discussions, extra tension and ultimately, frustration on all sides.
    Practically, try to get in direct contact with the printer(s), listen carefully to what they say about you files. Sometimes (?!) they know what they are talking about, but use inaccurate terms to describe and explain their views.
    You should try to make sure they use control strips on 4color process print jobs, learn to read and interpret these correctly. Control bars are a must to objectively judge the print quality!
    After a while you may find life easier...

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    Banned Alec is on a distinguished road
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    It is really good to have such topic. I am also a designer and want to make my designs the best.
    It is really a tough task to give a layout on the paper of our design through printers.
    It mostly depends upon the software which is being used. Always try to have a best software for your product.

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    Junior Member Kostas Kapa is on a distinguished road
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    First of all make sure your screen is calibrated.
    Then (as Shap said), talk directly to the printing company and let them guide you step by step. It is also important to request the color profiles they use (possibly FOGRA 39), send them to you, instal them to your system synchronizing the Adobe suite that i assume you use, in order to produce the best PDF files possible.
    There are several color profiles depending on the paper you are printing on. Coated, Uncoated, Yellowish etc..

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    Member tinytoes has a spectacular aura about tinytoes has a spectacular aura about
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    Oops sorry that came out a little harsh. I'm not really allowed to talk to the printers, is what I wanted to say. It would really be a lot easier if I'm able to send my files directly to the printer but everything I do has to go through client. Me > Client > Printer. Printer > Client > Me.

    Thanks for all the help

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    Donor Shap will become famous soon enough
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    Insist on direct communication

    Quote Originally Posted by tinytoes View Post
    most of the time, print output is bad...
    Try to convince the client that it is clearly his interest that technical matters get cleared up between the professionals. To help "smooth sailing", he should assist that.
    Ask the printer for ADVICE.
    You may be surprised how often you'll get helpful answers if you use humility and refrain from any type of arrogance.
    Good luck.

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    Junior Member AresFF is on a distinguished road
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    If you are really not allowed to talk to the printers, then you're probably in for a rough ride. In order to get accurate color you need to find out the recommended color profile and what paper is used, as well as requesting proofs so you can accommodate for shifts in certain color channels. A CMYK Panto ne swatch book is also pretty helpful at times so you can get an idea of what those different color values on the computer might look like.

    Also what's the reason you can't talk to them if you don't mind me asking?

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    Junior Member Luoyong5281 is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinytoes View Post
    Hello. I'm a freelance graphic designer. For those who work in the printing process, what tips can you share with me so that I can make sure my designs look great in print. I deal directly with clients and they usually just get my files and take it to the printers. I don't speak with the printers. And most of the time I get blamed if the print looks bad. Colors are all wrong, crop/trim areas are all wrong. I'm not proud of my work because most of the time, print output is bad. What instructions can I give to clients to give to their printers?
    I suggest you can print a Epson for color target and make a mockup for reference to your printer.
    I love printroot.

  15. #12
    Banned kbrandon is on a distinguished road
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    I've made it a point to email the printer directly, rather than the client. In my email I include instructions to contact me with any changes and that they are NOT allowed to alter the file. Like you, I've found that the printer often tampers with my file otherwise, often at the client's request. This has led to some less-than-attractive results.

    As was suggested elsewhere, you may consider investing in some color calibration software/hardware. I suggest EFI. As I understand it, this should allow you to save a ICC profile with your document to better ensure color accuracy (though I am unfamiliar with this process).

    Finally, although this may seem rudimentary, here are the basics of professional print production:

    (1) Use CMYK color (or Grayscale or Spot, where appropriate). Never RGB, Index, etc.
    (2) Any images should be at least 300ppi.
    (3) Ensure black type is truly 100 black (i.e. C,M,Y=0 K=100) and is set to overprint.
    (4) If arrk/background color bleeds off the page, include a bleed of at least .125"--more if multi-paged books.
    (5) Include a safety margin of at least .125" (more for multi-paged documents). Text and other essentials elements must not extend beyond this margin. Otherwise there is the potential these will be lost in the trimming process.
    (6) Always embed fonts (or outline/convert to curves)
    (7) Use the right program! I prefer Adobe InDesign for most everything, with photo editing in Adobe Photoshop and vector/logo design in Adobe Illustrator. I have a friend who prefers Corel Draw rather than InDesign, though.

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