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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

49
votes
9answers
40k 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 ...
28
votes
12answers
25k 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?
28
votes
6answers
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 ...
27
votes
9answers
165k 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 ...
27
votes
10answers
5k views

How can a designer explain their work to non-creative people?

One issue I face personally is how can I, as a designer, effectively explain my work to potential clients or people that do not have a creative side. I know how to explain what software or process was ...
26
votes
6answers
30k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
526 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 ...
22
votes
11answers
23k 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
8answers
8k 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 ...
18
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
8k 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?
18
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?
18
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 ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Do I absolutely need a bleed for the interior of my book, if images cross over the edge of the pages?

This is the first time I've put images next to the edges of the pages in my books. I understand that that the printer may cut 1/16 inch off the pages, so that's why I let the images slightly overlap ...
16
votes
3answers
809 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. ...
15
votes
4answers
4k 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?
15
votes
6answers
20k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
12k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
6k views

Is it essential to type “WWW” when our design contains URL, or is it a matter of taste by now?

I love the appearance of traditional url's, because the www in front of them eases and speeds up my understanding that there's definitely a certain web adress. But is there any established guideline ...
14
votes
2answers
3k 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. ...
14
votes
3answers
990 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

An error in printed book is my fault: what do I do? [duplicate]

I designed a kids' activity book for my client. She handwrote all the text correctly and I typed a sentence out incorrectly. She approved the proof before print but that was the 6th draft so I guess ...
13
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
12
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
1k 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
3answers
55k 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
3answers
996 views

Who is responsible for text mistakes in a print project?

I am a graphic designer and my project was to design and print a cocktail catalog. Everything worked fine till the client realized, when I delivered the printed catalogs, that a cocktail΄s description ...
11
votes
3answers
35k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k 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.)
11
votes
3answers
291 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
3answers
39k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
971 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?
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
383 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
520 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
434 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
340 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
934 views

Question about bleed

I'm starting to do designs meant for printing, but I'm fairly new to this medium so I don't really understand how bleed works and how much bleed should I specify for: Business cards Large format ...
9
votes
5answers
10k 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
4answers
31k 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? ...
9
votes
4answers
4k 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?
9
votes
2answers
577 views

How do I ensure that an image with a heavy color overlay will be visible in professional print?

I have attached a detail of an image I created for a client. When printed on an inkjet you can barely see the overlayed image. I hoped that when professionally done it would be okay, but can anyone ...
9
votes
2answers
508 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
501 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
4k 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
333 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
5answers
2k views

Letter or A4: which is a more sensible default?

I have a document that recipients are expected (or are likely) to print on their own. It is not clear whether the majority of users will be US or non-US, so there isn't a clear preference for letter ...