Design for Print Questions
April 8, 2014 9:23 AM Subscribe
Graphic (print) designers/printers/small press people/publishing folk/or anyone experienced with graphic printing, Can you answer a slew of questions about the Creative Suite program, color management, pre-flight, and the like? I'm moving into print for design work, specifically for commercial publishers, and I've been doing hard-core study of Creative Suite and pre-production for the last several months, but niggling questions remain. Can you help? It would be such a relief to get answers from real people rather than books, videos, Websites, and my own darned inferences.... Quite a few snowflakes inside.
posted by Violet Blue to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I'm looking to have a thorough working understanding of design for off-set printing at a technical level ASAP. This is specifically for commercial printers, and it's mainly for book covers—though I may take a stab at working with interior page design, too. (I do understand the state of the industry, so no need to be concerned about that.)
I've been doing extensive study of the field over the last few months, as noted, and I plan to do a good deal more. But in the interim, there are questions I've not yet been able to answer, and I was hoping you could help. One of many is whether you see any immediate printing problems with the samples on my portfolio page. (The link is in my profile.) But there are several others. In no particular order:
Creative Suite Version
(1) Am I going to be okay working with Creative Suite 5 in the publishing industry? If CS5 too old, what version should I be using? Is anyone using Creative Cloud?
(2) I don't need an embedded CYMK profile in CS if I don't have a laser printer that's color managed/matched with my CS programs, right? (i.e. I can ignore it?)
(3) Should I set my CS color preferences to CYMK or Lab?
CYMK, Pantone, Pantone Plus
(4) Is the CYMK coated chart in Pantone Plus the preferred default for choosing CYMK colors? Are the colors shown reasonably accurate? Any warnings/caveats? (I don't have access to the Bridge line right now.)
(5) Are there any general rules of thumb for printing spot colors? (I know yellow can read as muddy and blues can read as indigo in CYMK....)
(7) What are some guidelines for using rich black?
(8) What are some guidelines for target photo resolution?
(9) What's the rule of thumb for converting pixels into dpi?
(10) What file size would always be too high or low—for an image resolution, or even for files without images?
Printing Gradients and Screens
(11) Is there anything I need to know about printing standard CS gradients? (I've read about dithering.)
(12) Is there anything I need to know about printing screens (partially opaque blocks of color)?
(13) Finally, any caveats for printing layers of screens and gradients?
(14) Where can I find a good pre-flight checklist?
(15) Where in NYC can I find a (cheap!) printer to print out laser samples of my work, to make sure it prints well? (I'd only want a few samples of each.) Or if you're not in NY, what kind of shop do I look for?