Posts tagged ‘photoshop’

10 Must Have Design Websites to Check Daily

How do you start your day out. If you are like most designers, you start out with a little industry news and inspiration. These collections of online magazines, some with pdf version, are listed here to give you a kick start to your day.

Let us know what magazines or sites you go to on a daily basis to awaken your design spirit and get you moving each day.

InspiredMag

Need the newest articles for graphic and web design? This site has it all, from inspiration, typography, color theory, interviews, and freebies. Both for the graphic designer, print designer, or web designer.
http://www.inspiredm.com

CMYK

CMYK Magazine is where aspiring creatives showcase their talents to an industry driven by inspiration and new ways of creative problem solving. At the same time, CMYK Magazine is where creative directors, agency principals and art buyers recruit students and recent graduates at today’s top art-design schools: art directors, copywriters, designers, photographers and illustrators.
http://www.cmykmag.com

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January 26, 2010 at 4:18 pm 2 comments

Making the Most of Marketing Dollars, Planning and Prepress is key.

Making the Most of Marketing Dollars, Planning & Prepress Addressed

Although it seems fairly straight forward, there are many decisions leading up to and within each print project that directly affect its bottom-line and overall impact. Proper planning and specific attention to detail can save thousands of dollars. Working with a reliable and knowledgeable print solutions representative is a great start; a partner willing to provide practical solutions to make the most of your marketing dollars.

 The options to save during planning are endless with a little creative flexibility. And, below are just a few examples.

 Removing bleed on an 8.5 x 11 flyer allows for 10, rather than 8, to print at a time and on the same parent-sized sheet; paper is normally 30 to 50% of the total job cost.

 Think about using a self-cover format for multiple-page products. Removing the heavier cover eliminates the cost of an extra press form and may allow the project to fold in-line; every off-line process adds to the bottom line.

When preparing for a direct mail project consider the following:

•            Processing the mailing list(s) in advance will establish the actual quantity needed and potentially reduce waste by 7% or more.

•            Sticking to a maximum finished size of 11.5 wide x 6.125 tall, and staying under 3.3 oz, can save roughly $0.12 per piece in postage; a $2,400 savings with just 20,000 mailers.

•            Fugitive glue dot closures can be applied during the folding process for a small set-up fee, while the wafer seal application adds $17 to $20 per thousand in each direction; new USPS regulations require closures on all “open” sides.

 Once the final specs are established, a second place to prevent additional costs is in the final file set-up and content review stages. Utilizing each software application correctly and carefully reviewing projects before file release are critical steps in this process. Below are just a few examples of ways to retain cost controls.

 Using a document size larger than the actual trim size of the piece, forgetting to include 1/8″ bleeds or building multiple-page products in spreads, rather than single pages, can all add considerable time and costs in to the prepress process.

 Correctly specifying inks, throughout software utilized, has never been more important. Using PANTONE’s COLOR BRIDGE® profiles to establish your 4-color process builds will ensure color accuracy and avoid second and even third rounds of color proofs. To download free support tools, including the latest color libraries and PANTONE® Color Bridge Tutorials visit www.pantone.com. You will be asked to create a user account, then you can click on the “helpCenter” in the menu bar to select the “Color Library Updates” page.

 Running a quick spell check and having an “outside” set of eyes review the overall content, before final file release, will also help avoid costly mistakes. Discovering grammatical and layout issues beforehand will help to keep projects on track and on budget.

 To find out more about minimizing costs or about proper file set-up, please contact a Prisma Sales Representative, or Kyle Cardinal by calling 800 379-5777 or emailing  kylec@prismagraphic.com.

November 10, 2009 at 3:03 pm Leave a comment

Top 10 Adobe PDF Golden Rules

The top rulesWhen designing documents we at Prisma Graphic, have our top 10 Adobe PDF Golden rules which we are sharing with you.  If you maintain the following guideline, you will ensure trouble-free integration with an automated workflow.

1.   Always set up your document page size to be finished trim size plus 1/16” on all sides for bleed, even in the case of a document that may not contain a bleed.

2.   Select a color PostScript printer driver (PPD) and print your document to a PostScript file. Black and white print drivers will not contain all the necessary color information for the press.

3.     If you are creating a document that will be incorporating variable data, each page should be a separate PDF document. This is required for imposing variable data documents.

4.      Remember to:

a.      Create Acrobat 4.0 (or higher) compliant files.

b.       Exclude any preset security permissions.

c.       Flatten all transparencies.

d.        Always embed your fonts or create outlines.

5.       Do not use PDFWriter. PDFWriter is intended to be used to produce the smallest viewable files possible, and will exclude most of the elements needed for final high resolution output.

6.       If you are using the Acrobat Distiller PPD file, you must use the PrismaGraphic specifications. This will ensure that printing options have been set correctly for imaging within PrismaGraphic’s automated workflow. (see link for profile)

7.      When working on a Windows platform, you may either:

a.        Use the Adobe PPD to generate a PostScript file. The resulting PostScript file can be stored in any folder as “*.ps” or “*.prn”. The file(s) can then be processed using Acrobat Distiller to create the PDF.

b.         You may use the Acrobat Distiller printer to create the PDF in one pass. The latest Adobe drivers are available online at the Adobe Web site (http://www.adobe.com).

8.         When creating any document for Prisma Graphic, make sure that you are working in the CMYK color mode.

9.           When building the color black, use the following settings to ensure a deep rich black:

a.           Cyan = 40%

b.           Magenta = 30%

c.           Yellow = 0%

d.           Black = 100%

10.        When possible, set your general resolution to 2400 dpi (dots per inch).

a.            Color settings in distiller should be:

                  i.         Color images – 300 DPI (dots per inch).

               ii.          Grayscale – 300 DPI (dots per inch).

             iii.             Monochrome images 1200 DPI (dots per inch).

 For more infomation come to our website at Prisma Graphic

 

October 22, 2009 at 12:00 am 1 comment

The Portable Document Format (PDF)

PDF for printingThe versatile PDF format has become the de facto standard for file transfer. It is a “device independent” software application, and has a completely open system that can be used on a multitude of output devices and media. For instance, it can be used to convey information onto the Internet, in printed format, on cd-rom, or via e-mail without losing image quality or the layout, style, etc. of the document.

Its strength lies in, as the name suggests, the portability of the document it produces. What this means is that a PDF document can be transferred between systems, i.e. Macintosh® to Windows® PC, PC to printer, without being altered. So what you see on the computer screen is exactly the same as everyone else sees. In this way, it can be sent anywhere for remote proofreading, and this consistency can be conveyed to the final printed piece.

Adobe® Systems is the company that developed the PDF file format, and all PDF files can be opened and viewed using Adobe Acrobat® Reader® – a free download application from Adobe (www.adobe.com). PDF is a direct development of Adobe’s own PostScript® page description language that has been, and continues to be, the print industry’s standard output format. For the most part, PDF file format has gained considerable momentum because it addresses the needs of the overall multimedia market in general.

  • Simplified PostScript Code – PDF files reduce the complexities of the graphic constraints found in PostScript files that need to be rasterized by RIP devices.
  • Embedded Fonts – The type characters and instructions for kerning and manipulating Type 1 and TrueType® fonts are placed inside the file so the user does not need the font to view, process or edit the document.
  • Compressed Graphics – File compression can be dramatic with no loss of quality of the image. Vector graphic files can be reduced to 25 percent of their original size, while bitmap graphics can be reduced by up to 75 percent of their original size. All PDF files are scalable (to 800 percent) and printable on PostScript and non-PostScript printers.
  • Forms and Indexing Features – These Enables PDF to serve as a complete Integrated Document Management System.
  • Page Independence – Single pages can be sent to the RIP, rather than the whole document, giving significant workflow benefits in the production process.

Prisma Graphic has many tools available on their website to answer your questions, so you do make the right choice

October 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm Leave a comment

How do I make sure the color on my monitor will match what is printed?

When preparing digital images for print, it would be ideal if colors could reproduce on paper exactly as they appear on your monitor. Unfortunately, an exact match is not possible, but it IS possible to produce a close resemblance by properly adjusting your monitor and converting your files via color management. Many clients have multiple color profiles for different printers. Some clients never adjust their monitors even though they’ve been on 24/7 and their luminosity is slowly fading.

 Always test your monitor to see that it’s operating properly. As far as calibrating for color and balance, the best method is to match a color proof to the same CMYK file that made the proof, using the controls on your monitors.

Prisma Graphic has many tools available on their website to answer your questions, so you do make the right choice.

October 21, 2009 at 4:53 pm Leave a comment

Design Software. Making the Right Choice.

Media Files and color qualityChoosing the wrong design software can be detrimental to a designer’s productivity and general sanity at the workplace. There are hundreds of different applications and add-ons in the form of plug-ins or extensions that can be purchased. Downloadable images and art all come in a variety of color spaces and resolution. Even templates are available online, but are they right? … Where do you start?

1.                 Work in the right software. Generally, graphic design applications can be grouped into three different categories: image creation and manipulation, illustration, and page layout software. Illustrator® is a drawing (vector) program, ideal for logos, packaging, posters and single-page layouts. Photoshop® is a pixel-based (raster) program that lets you size, color correct and manipulate scanned images such as photographs and flat art. Neither is intended for multipage documents. For that, use a page layout program such as Quark® or InDesign®. Microsoft programs such as Publisher® and Word® are not intended for page layout. If you use these programs, it is imperative that you create a PDF/X-1a.

2.                 Build to size. Build your files at actual size unless your final size is too large for your software to accommodate. A printed piece with a final size of 8.5 x 11 should be built to 8.5 x 11 page size. Spreads should be created as two 8.5 x 11 pages, not as a single 17 x 11 form. And always, always, always include bleed around the document. (Minimum of 1/16 inch)

3.                 Are your color and resolution ready for print? Always preflight your file to make sure your images are at correct resolution and consistent color. Many files are supplied or downloaded as RGB, Index, DCS, 300 DPI, or 72 DPI, etc, etc, etc. It is best for you to address these issues and do any conversions while the file is in your possession rather than at proof stage. It’s easy to be misled by some of the “out of gamut” color seen on the monitors.

4.                 Prevent problematic files long before the print stage.

  • Banding
    If possible, avoid using vignettes and gradients on large areas. Adding noise will help minimize banding.
  • Getting Rich Blacks
    Large areas of solid black benefit from an undercolor (such as 40% cyan) to deepen it – creating a “rich black.”
  • Font type, Size & Color
    Knockout type should be larger than 5 pt. and should only knock out of one or two colors. All type 5 pt. or smaller should overprint. Minimum type to knock out of a 4-color image is 8 pt. Minimum size on serif type is 5 pt. and should print in one color only.

Prisma Graphic has many tools available on their website to answer your questions, so you do make the right choice.

October 21, 2009 at 4:08 pm Leave a comment


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