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40

I like the accepted answer, it has good advice, but I thought I'd expand on it a bit. For wall sized graphics and large banners (e.g 3m x 5m), what is an acceptable PPI/DPI for print. Here's definitions, so we know what we're talking about. DPI = Dots per inch = units used to measure the resolution of a printer LPI = Lines per inch = The offset ...


35

I assume you are asking how much you should charge to design a business card. The answer to that is: your hourly rate * the number of hours it takes you to complete the job The key is to figure out your hourly rate. That is: annual revenue $ / # BILLABLE hours you work per year Your annual revenue is all the money you need to bring in to cover all ...


25

In general you should use vector graphics in the artwork wherever practical, and deliver final artwork to the printer in PDF or other vector format. Your finished print will then be limited only by the output resolution of the print device. This is particularly important with text and line art — visible rasterization in the finished print will be very ...


24

Unless you have a very strong US-biased group of clients, use A4. A4 is an international standard, while Letter is only used in the US and Canada. It is also not necessarily true that "someone using an A4 filing system would have no problem fitting the smaller letter sized into the system" as Scott claimed, since Letter is wider (215.9 mm) than A4 (210 mm). ...


22

Ask them if they have a template? At our print shop we offer a full template selection that allows designers to enter in their desired output and it will email them a template file. We did this because many questions and files we received proved to be an issue in regards to accurate bleed, trim, and non-print elements. What black do you guys print? ...


22

I personally would let it slide since they are a regular client. It sounds as if it was a communication issue, so you may want to let them know somehow, "Hey we removed this item from the invoice due to a misunderstanding, but please note that our design fee is XXX for furture reference." That way they are aware, and you look like the "good guy" to a ...


21

Nice question! In theory, any of those (plus others you haven't mentioned, like the open source alternatives Gimp and Inkscape) let you design a business card. If you are particularly proficient with one of them, you might want to consider going for that one to save time. While the three Adobe products have some similarities of use, they all require some ...


20

To answer the first question: you want a printer who says they can do white. It's not a matter of 5-color printing, it's more whether that printer does that kind of thing. As you can tell from a look at the Pantone swatch book, there is no white ink in conventional printing. The translucency of the few whites that are available makes them unsuitable for ...


19

This is a real question, and it's a good one. It's also one that has entire books devoted to it! (One that I highly recommend, even to design school grads, is Robin Williams' "The Non-Designer's Design Book." It beautifully defines and demonstrates the biggest and commonest design errors.) Let's narrow it to technique errors, because I think that's what ...


17

Don't be guided by personal preference like 'effects', 'not fun' and 'clunky interface'. They are not relevant. As a designer you should pick the right tool for the job. This is not only about business cards. But applies to all pre-press productions. Adobes big three have overlapping tool space. But all three have their own speciality. If your design ...


17

Lots of great answers but I'm surprised none of them have talked about batch production of business cards with data merge templates. Even if you're designing for a 2-person startup, with any luck a year or two down the line they'll be coming back to you for business cards for their 8 newly hired employees, then coming back a few years later with a much ...


16

It is not as standard as one would hope. The common aspect ratios range from 1.423 to 1.8. For most ID cards and credit cards, ID-1 from the ISO/IEC 7810 (Wikipedia) standard gives the dimensions, which are 85.60 × 53.98 mm (3.370 × 2.125 in) with an aspect ratio of 1.586. This is also the standard business card size in many situations as it is highly ...


16

In addition to Philip's excellent answer (money always gets their attention), point out that the MMs are changing the documents so that they no longer reflect corporate standards. "The company branding is being diluted" is a good way to put it. Your job is to make everything look good and look consistent, and they are damaging the company's appearance. If ...


15

I've always thought DPI was somewhat of a misnomer... It really only applies if you are printing an image, otherwise, well, pixels are pixels. For an image on a site, well, it really doesn't matter, just get as many as possible, to fit the required size. Printers vary somewhat, but around 300 DPI is usually a good rule of thumb for anything around the size ...


15

Here are a couple of things you could do... Stroke the black: Use an outer Glow, this may not work depending on the rest of the design: Stroke all of them, this is what I think I would do:


14

I've worked on a lot of financial documents over the years (fund fact sheets, performance updates, brochures, announcement postcards, bond-issue ads) and 95% of them had footnotes and legal disclaimers at 8 pt (with body copy at 11 pt). Occasionally legalese might get reduced to 7, or in a serious pinch 6, but we usually yelled about that. Fonts can make a ...


14

You have a problem with how the process of creating these marketing materials gets handled, and some clear policies need to be put in place. At my company the designers, and only the designers, create layouts and make changes. Any changes that the MMs want simply get marked up and handed over. A few rounds of changes aren't out of the ordinary, but the ...


14

Advertising. While it's a noble idea that it was done for readability, newspapers, in general, have columns that are overly narrow compared to most given readability information/data. Having multiple columns allows for a very versatile ad grid, and, traditionally, newspapers were in the business of selling ads. It also allows more stories to appear on ...


14

Linked below is a short but good read summarizing different studies on line lengths. Studies were done as far back as the 1880s demonstrating that optimal line-length for reading was between 3.6 - 4 inches. Even 50 years later, this was still the deal: One of the best studies was done by Tinker and Paterson in 1929. Using 10-point black type on white ...


14

I've never dealt with this, but I can tell you what I would do: If you already have a printer lined up, ask them for the print specifications. If you don't already have a printer lined up, find one and ask them for the print specifications. I'm sure most are accustomed to clients sending them artwork and they will lay it out for them on their template. ...


14

That’s a halftone. Halftone is the reprographic technique that simulates continuous tone imagery through the use of dots, varying either in size, in shape or in spacing, thus generating a gradient like effect. It can be achieved in Photoshop by choosing Filter → Pixelate → Color Halftone. The example you posted looks like the halftone version of the ...


13

In addition to other answers, specific questions For advertising... What is the live area of the advertisement? Advertising is sold in "spaces". Many refer to things such as "half-page" or "quarter-page". These ambiguous terms mean nothing to a designer. Exact measurements need to be be acquired in order to properly configure the size of any ...


12

I can't remember a single academic poster, from my 'scientific years', that was (at all) well designed. All I can think of are walls and walls full of text (usually in the same font), and me not reading even 10% of them. But to be honest, most teams wouldn't have the budget for (or the tradition of) hiring designers to do them. Posters usually need to ...


12

Yes. Do one or more of these: Use larger text Use a bolder or simpler typeface Use a spot colour, varnish, foil or clear laminate for the text Increase the tonal contrast: If your text is black, make it rich black and/or slightly lighten the darkest areas of the image If your text is reversed out (white paper), slightly darken the lightest areas of the ...


12

Specific to screen printing What type of inks do you have available? Plastisol, water-based, solvent-based... The type of ink used will have an effect on the appearance, the texture of the print, and how durable it will be. Don't hesitate to ask for a printed sample of what they've got available. Do you you use any ink matching systems? Pantone Solid ...


12

Illustrator Make certain you open any new document in CMYK color mode. Yes open in CMYK, don't switch to CMYK if you opened an RGB document by mistake. Many things in Illustrator are dependent upon the document color mode. The Swatches, symbols, graphic styles, brushes, are all built to match the Document Color Mode. Switching color modes mid-stream does ...


12

Yes, Photoshop could be used to design a magazine. But, so could MSPaint. This is absolutely a job suited for InDesign. InDesign has much better tools for typesetting. If I didn't have InDesign available to me, I'd probably even use word processing software to lay everything out instead of going with Photoshop. It's definitely not the tool for the job.


12

I've found it best to target letter height and A4 width - i.e. the lowest common denominator solution.


11

Grande format resolutions, as various folks have pointed out, depend on viewing distance. Several answers refer to line screens, but technology has moved on. Very few, if any, grande format jobs are printed that way, and in any case, none of the answers indicated how to translate from PPI (dots) resolution in Photoshop to LPI (lines of dots at different ...


11

To maintain brand identity a logo should generally have a set color scheme. Generally... Full color Two Color (if appropriate) One Color Reversed If you vary beyond this and start swapping colors for every projects you greatly degrade any brand identity unless the color variations are for a very specific reason. Think of any major brand... does their ...



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