Production/Output Consideration

QUESTION: When you start a new project, should you be concerned about what method of printing will be used for the final product?

When starting a new project if is very important to know the final output. First of all, the output will determine what resolution you will need for your images and graphics. A designer would choose a different resolution based on the final output of the project. The resolution used in a newspaper is different than a magazine and the resolution of a magazine is different from a high-end brochure.

The final output will also determine color abilities or limitations. Is the project using a CMYK or a specific pantone color? If it is a screen print the color pallet could be limited. Knowing the color limitations may also reduce your options available with specific filters and effects.

The format the file is saved in could also become an issue as well. Many printers have reported issues with trying to print TIFF files that complex colored designs. Some printers may require a specific format for production and have specific guidelines how the file needs to be set up. One printer may want .125” bleeds set, while another prefers .25”. Many printers offer a profile that will set up the file to their spec’s, or instructions of how they want the file setup. Another thing to consider is has the file been setup with the appropriate trapping, chokes and spreads.

Fonts are often an issue when it comes to printing and production especially if a design uses TrueType fonts. While TrueType fonts offer some benefits to designers, they are known for their history of causing printing problems. Many times to avoid printing, and clarity issues a designer should choose Type 1 or post script fonts for their high resolution output and reliability.