Designing for print? 5 tips for designers
Graphic design for print
We see gorgeous examples of graphic design through our doors, but when it comes to designing for print, sometimes client-supplied designs need a little tweaking to make them suitable for print. Sometimes it’s image size or layout; sometimes it can be that the colours that we see don’t match with what we know that the client wants. Changes are always more difficult to make when a design is completed, so what should graphic designers take into consideration when designing your work to be printed?
Colours for printing : Black
There will be a difference between colours for printing and colours that appear on your screen. This is why it is always very important to see actual image proofs and not approve work from just what is seen on the screen. Colours can also be affected by print finishes and paper used.
One of the biggest differences between print colours is for black. When working with black the colours that the computer picks are almost black, which leads to wishy-washy looking blacks. To fix this, choose the following CMYK values for a “true” black
Designing Print Bleed
When looking at proofs, you will see lines at the edges. These are print bleed marks, and show the printers where to trim the pages. When designing print, the edge around the document should be 3-4 mm. This white space is known as print bleed.
Dots per inch
Images on computer screens are set at 72 dpi – dots per inch. This is the picture resolution, and is fine for screens but if printed at that resolution, the picture will be pixellated. All pictures for print should be at 300 dpi.
Advice for design for print
If you are unsure of what information to include when designing work for printing and submitting a print brief, ask your printer. A good printer will give you all the information that you need and talk you through the whole process.