Questions about printing, the process of reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing.

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44
votes
8answers
29k views

What kind of black should I use when designing for CMYK print?

my question is what kind of black should I use when printing. At the moment I use this black (split into CMYK) : C:0% M:0% Y:0% K:100% It looks fine in InDesign or Illustrator but if I save a PDF ...
24
votes
12answers
17k views

Should I design business cards in InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop?

Basically what the question says, what are the pro's and cons to using InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop for business cards? Or is there something else you prefer to use?
24
votes
6answers
21k views

What price should I charge for design services?

I was hoping I would find some people in the industry that could help me decide what's the best price to charge to design (in this case) business cards. What are standard prices for professional ...
24
votes
4answers
490 views

Should in-house clients receive native files to make their own changes?

I am the in-house designer for a company that employs 8 marketing managers. These marketing managers are the ones that supply me with the lion-share of my projects. However, more and more, the ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

What should you ask the printer?

We get a lot of questions in regards to what should my file spec be, what should I do with X and Y, how should I do my black etc. etc. and a large majority of the time we suggest to ask the printer ...
21
votes
11answers
19k views

What DPI should be used for what situations?

I've been seeing the word 'DPI' pop up quite a lot when I export my work out in Photoshop and Illustrator. While I know that DPI stands for 'dots per inch', and that if you have too low of a DPI on an ...
19
votes
9answers
125k views

What resolution should a large format artwork for print be?

For wall sized graphics and large banners (e.g 3m x 5m), what is an acceptable PPI for print. As i understand it 300 PPI is the typical for 'small' artworks (esp. for clean text resolution), however ...
18
votes
8answers
1k views

What are common mistakes that you see in “professional” designs? [closed]

This might be too subjective but I'm curious about other peoples' experiences. Mods, please close if this is too far into "not a real question" territory. I see many questions on this site about ...
17
votes
4answers
7k views

What's the difference between CMYK Black and RGB Black

I know this sounds a stupid question, black is black right? Wrong: It's black right? so why are the CMYK Values so far away from black?
16
votes
8answers
6k views

RGB and CMYK: Why both?

Any of you who have at least little experience with graphic design software, photography or professional printing, must have -almost undoubtedly- have gone through this: 'the struggle' of RGB and CMYK ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I make screenshots look good when printed in CMYK?

When printing screenshots alongside black text, black areas of the screenshot look a washed out "muddy dark grey" and "washed out". What causes this and can I improve the black color area?
16
votes
1answer
3k views

Is it possible to use a fully open source workflow for print design?

Is it possible to use only open-source tools in order to produce professional level artwork? Has anyone actually done it? If not, where are the current gaps? Assume I'm producing a small multi-page ...
15
votes
3answers
630 views

Bill a client for a design error?

A regular client of 3 years typically orders prints from us quarterly came in over a week ago with an order. Sometimes this client comes in with the designs and sometimes we do the designs in house. ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do newspapers use multiple columns?

This might not be the right place to ask, but I was wondering why newspapers use multiple columns? Does it take up less space, or is there a visual reason?
14
votes
5answers
16k views

How can I have prints with white ink?

Say, I have a small business card that has solid, dark background and white text. Registration, ink amount and look & feel -wise I'd prefer the paper itself be dark and the text printed in one ...
13
votes
3answers
872 views

Why do we still use points as a measurement of type size?

I'm in the UK, which uses metric units for pretty much everything now except road distances and beer (obviously best kept apart). Page sizes have been metric here and in most of the rest of the world ...
12
votes
3answers
8k views

Charging an Intellectual Property transfer fee for design work

So, you've finished a design job (eg. a logo design) and the client asks for your IP surrounding the logo, eg copyright, original artwork files, notes, sketches, all of that stuff that went into ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What should be considered when using very thin lines on a print piece?

I'm designing a card game and my friend (who is a graphic designer and works at a commercial printing establishment) told me to keep in mind the thinness of my lines when sending the docs to print. ...
12
votes
4answers
527 views

How could I adjust a design color scheme to account for paper color?

As a made up example, say I have a client who really wants a pastel blue paper but a color print on top of the paper. She knows there's going to be discoloration, but still wants me to go ahead and ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Examples of good academic poster design

Do you have any good examples of academic poster design? Most posters look exactly the same (I don't want to pick on anyone in particular), and from my experience at conferences, almost nobody reads ...
12
votes
3answers
26k views

What CMYK values should I use for rich black, and how should I handle tints/shades?

I'm working on a full color piece in Illustrator which has a few large black and grey areas. I'd like the black to be a rich black. I was thinking c30 m30 y30 k100. What is the best ways to match my ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Making a business card. Any advice?

I went around the web, reading articles about business card mistakes, and here is a full list of them: Don't use cheap materials/techniques or attempt to print your own. Don't use metal business ...
11
votes
3answers
266 views

Is it possible to tell from a printed sample what software/layout algorithm was used?

Is there a way to determine, or at least hazard a guess at, which page layout engine was used in the preparation of a given print publication? I've spend awhile looking at some quirks in the Times ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Displaying Black on a Black Background

(First post, yay!) Im working on a fashion lookbook for print and I'm displaying product colours on a black background, but what can I do for when I need to display black on black? Example: As you ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How to print photographic postcard/business cards

I'd like to produce my own double-sided mini post cards/business cards from my photos at 3x4" on 80 pound coated stock. I used to send them to a print shop with odd-number front page, even number ...
10
votes
3answers
29k views

What are the dimensions of a business card?

As per the title. What are the dimensions of a business card that fits in a wallet? (i believe it is a global standard?) Bonus marks if you can give the history behind how it arrived at that ...
10
votes
2answers
412 views

Justification and hyphenation without proper time and tools?

In my computer science studies we are being forced to write a report every now and then. I have a background in web development and have worked closely with both print and web designers for many years ...
10
votes
1answer
264 views

What should a designer consider when laying out print materials for elderly audiences?

I'm in the process of doing layout for a trifold aimed at the elderly population in my town, and I'm looking for some recommendations from folks who have experience laying similar materials out for a ...
10
votes
1answer
200 views

Apply MasterPage to even pages in QuarkXpress

I have created a new project with automatic text box (non facing pages) and have created a second master page that I would now like to apply to all even pages. InDesign has this option when I ...
9
votes
3answers
895 views

What is this style, a grid of varying dots, called?

What is this style called? I want to recreate this effect on a photo myself. Also, does anyone have tips on how to accomplish this?
9
votes
5answers
8k views

What is 5-colour printing?

When my print rep talks about five-colour printing, what does he mean? I know you have cyan, magenta, yellow and black - but what's the fifth?
9
votes
3answers
2k views

In a 85.6mm x 54mm business card, what is an ideal font size?

I would like to know what is an ideal and readable font size that I can use in a business card with the dimensions listed. Not too big but not too small. I was thinking it can be about 7pt for titles ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What is a spot/Pantone colour?

When should I use them, and how do I pick one? (NB: I know the answer, but think this question fills an important gap.)
9
votes
1answer
2k views

I need to print an image a certain size. What dimensions and resolutions should I use?

(This question is meant to be a resource to direct others to given that this is a common question.) Given the task of creating an image that will be printed at a certain dimension, what pixel ...
9
votes
3answers
126 views

Printing a consistent grey: is that still a challenge with comic books?

In a documentary on the American TV series The Incredible Hulk (1978-1982, dir. K. Johnson, with Messrs. Bixby, Ferrigno etc.), the producer/director explains that he tried to petition Stan Lee to ...
9
votes
2answers
273 views

What printing techniques or folding tools can I use to hand fold a commercially printed design without it cracking?

I recently created some tickets that were professionally printed then hand folded into an origami heart shape. We used 170 GSM paper and I'm not sure what ink the printers used. They arrived ...
9
votes
1answer
320 views

What is the purpose of always locating/starting new chapters on odd pages?

I notice that in every book I have always start a new chapter in an odd page and it leads me to wonder why. I have some written work that's about 40 pages long and 7 chapters; should I follow that ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the best practices and techniques to fix rags?

What would be the best practices to fix the rags on a left aligned text for print. Besides breaking lines and hyphenations, should you use tracking, and if so how much. Also, how would you judged a ...
9
votes
2answers
304 views

Overprint on metal containers or plastic tubes

I am submitting art to be offset printed on aerosol cans and plastic tubes. It uses 2 PMS colours. One plate is a 100% flood. The other one is a linear gradient from 0% to 100%. The gradient is to be ...
8
votes
4answers
21k views

Smallest font size for small print?

I'm setting up a document and the document has some * and footnotes. The document itself is A6 size, which is pretty small (postcard size). What font-size should I assign to the smallprint footnotes? ...
8
votes
2answers
20k views

How to prepare a design for CMYK printing?

This was asked in another thread. When I searched to see if this question has been asked before it was not. Per Meta we are encouraged to create threads that show quality solutions or to future ...
8
votes
4answers
6k views

Different Logo Colors for Different Uses, Appropriate?

I am finalizing the last step of my logo redesign process. Is it ok not to have a regular color when presenting my logo? I am thinking about having a defined list of colors for different use cases ...
8
votes
4answers
657 views

How can non-designers learn to approve a print layout?

I am not a designer, I am a scientist. I write papers in Word or LaTeX, the conference organisers give me a template with fonts, rules like "Caption for figures go below the figure, captions for ...
8
votes
3answers
635 views

What is the average pixel size for human writing?

While creating a form in .pdf format it occurred to me that I did not know or see where to get stats on what the average human pt or px size is for writing. Typically I would just design what ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I preserve legibility when overlaying text on images?

I have lots of creative images that I want to use, except when I put text over them it makes the text really hard to read. Other than a drop shadow, is there another way to make it more clear?
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Do you use colour lasers for proof printing?

I own an EPSON Stylus Photo RX640 printer which prints really good on special paper media, but is rather poor when it comes to normal (>75%) printing on plain papers. Beside that it's also quite ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

If I make a design in RGB mode and then change it to CMYK how will it look when it's printed?

I'm making a business card in Photoshop and it needs to be in CMYK mode. Now, I'm using a logo on it that I previously made for the client in RGB mode and when I put it into the CMYK mode business ...
8
votes
1answer
305 views

Creating a color scheme that looks good on screen and when photocopied in black and white

I'm trying to create a color scheme for text headlines that will have distinctly different colors for each level of header, but will also print out mostly dark. I looked at http://colorbrewer2.org/ , ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

What size should I make my gatefold brochure?

I am a web developer who now needs to create a brochure, so excuse me if fumble some terms. It is a gatefold brochure and the requirement is that the central piece is as close to square as possible. ...
7
votes
3answers
750 views

How can I automate the process of cutting intricate shapes out of paper?

I am trying to find whereabouts and name for this kind of automatic paper scissors, source of image here. I understand it so that one plugs in image with formats such as vector and raster and then it ...