yeah hell yeah
May 14, 2015 10:05 AM   Subscribe

Accepted an internship that I didnt apply for, so I'm less prepared than I'd like. I need a refresher (preferably online) on inDesign and also a crash course on print production.

In 2013 I finished a course of study in graphic design. Since then I haven't been able to go back to school because of finances, so I'm a bit rusty.

Last week I was contacted by a former adjunct instructor who is the creative director for a large historical foundation. She asked me to look over the job listing, and if I was interested it was mine. I went in for an interview yesterday and accepted. (Yeah hell yeah!!!!)

Her department is print, with some web (email blasts and banners). My focus in school was multimedia, I'm slightly out of my element. I saw some of the work they were putting out-marketing collateral, event signage, brochures, mastheads for individual departments, etc.

The position starts in June so I have time. I just need you to point me towards (preferably online) resources where I can learn InDesign, and everything you've ever known about print (output,terminology, the works).

Thanks everybody!
posted by FirstMateKate to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: is totally what you're looking for. i searched there for print production and got many returns, and also when i searched indesign.
posted by koroshiya at 10:42 AM on May 14, 2015 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Off the top of my head (assuming you're in the U.S.), and I apologize if you know some or most of this:

If you're creating for the screen, use RGB colorspace; for print, use CMYK from the start.

Printer parlance: Use the number of colors on each side of a piece of paper to describe your piece. If you are printing only black on one side, that's called "one over zero" and written 1/0... that is one ink color on one side, zero printing on the obverse. If you're doing full-color on both sides, that would be "four over four", written 4/4; the 4 "process" colors being Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK (CMYK).

If you're using custom colors like Pantone (solid, not process), that changes things a bit. Pantone solid colors cannot be reproduced using CMYK printing (Pantone process, however, can). It requires special ink, and probably moves you from the realm of digital printing to offset printing where they're putting ink on your paper with rollers. This will be more expensive.

Different projects require images of different resolutions. By and large: video screens: 72 pixels per inch (ppi) although higher-resolution displays may have changed that, print: 300ppi. If you're handling large banners or exhibit displays, usually around 100-150ppi. Make sure you ask the vendor.

The more labor associated with your print piece (i.e., cutting, folding, scoring, perforating, bindery), the higher the cost. Most (?) print shops will print standard 8.5" x 11" pieces 2-up on a larger piece of paper stock. They won't just run standard paper through a printer. What this means for you is that they're probably already cutting your final piece from a larger piece of paper. If so, then you might be able to get "bleeds" at no additional cost. Ask your printer about this.

A "bleed" is when the ink touches the edge of the piece. You can have no bleed (paper color all around the edges), or full bleed (ink goes to all 4 edges). If you desire this effect, you should include an extra 1/8 inch of artwork (image, plain color, etc.) so that when it's trimmed to final size, there is a bit of wiggle room for minor inaccuracies during cutting.

InDesign allows you to include a bleed & slug area for the document. For bleed, it will display a red line around the specified page size for the bleed. Align artwork to this. If you do have bleed on one or more edges, you may have to change the PDF export settings to include crop & trim marks before sending to your printer.

Paper stock is important, and there are a lot of different thicknesses, textures, and finishes. Decide ahead of time if you want slippery slick glossy pieces, a matte finish, or sturdy paper for your print project. Then have your print shop stop by your office with samples for you to look at, flex & touch. Keep in mind that when using heavier (cover or card) stock, smaller pieces like business cards will be more rigid than larger ones, like a report cover. Ask them to bring something that's close to the desired size of your finished pieces.

When dropping images or artwork into InDesign, link the files; don't embed. In Photoshop or Illustrator, create the image at its desired orientation, size and resolution, then "place" it into InDesign. You shouldn't rotate, crop, or scale inside InDesign; it just complicates things.

If placed images/artwork look weird inside InDesign, that's because it's showing you a low-resolution preview image. Under the "View" menu, select "Overprint Preview" to see what it will actually look like. Be sure to get rasterized images at the right resolution (300ppi), since they'll look fine on your screen, but will print fuzzy.

That's all I can come up with for now. You can message me (?) if you have questions. I've never used MeFi's messaging, so your mileage may vary.
posted by xiix at 11:14 AM on May 14, 2015 [9 favorites]

Find out who they are using for a printer, call them, and ask to speak to the head of their pre-press department. Tell them you are going to be starting in June, you have a weak background in print, and want to do everything you can to make their life easy when you send in files. Can you buy them lunch to chat about it?
Also start with Pocket Pal
posted by Sophont at 3:00 PM on May 14, 2015

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