Photoshop for compositors?
February 16, 2010 5:24 PM Subscribe
I will be doing print layout for a photobook with text... using solely Adobe Photoshop. What technical secrets do I need to know to make sure that graphics, background AND text come out looking cohesive and snappy on the printed page?
posted by Bardolph to computers & internet (16 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I want to create a family cookbook using one of those photobook services (probably Shutterfly). Their built-in design software isn't very flexible, though, so instead of using the site's design engine, I'd like to do all the layout on my end, save entire pages (text + photos +background) as single graphic files, and upload those directly for use in the book. I'll be using Photoshop CS2, which I know is not optimal for this sort of thing, but there's really no budget for Illustrator or the equivalent right now.
I am very much a beginner at this, so I was wondering if any more graphic-savvy folk around here could offer any technical tips, suggestions or caveats for moving graphics and text successfully from the software to the printed page in the fashion I'm describing. For instance, I used Photoshop last month to assemble text, background and picture for a photo postcard, and while the layout looked great onscreen, when printed the text came out looking... somehow muddy and flat, compared to the preset photo cards from the same site. Also, some of the graphic elements had crisper edges than others, even though I'd tried to be careful about using the same settings throughout.
That's mostly what worries me-- the little technical details that might make something that looks perfectly nice onscreen translate to amateurish crap on the physical page. I do know to be careful to use sufficiently high-res files, but beyond that, is there anything I should know about use of color, CMYK vs. RGB, getting nice crisp text, edge-of-page cropping, black values, or any other hidden pitfalls to be aware of?