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Print Production Fundamentals
Illustration by John Hersey
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Choosing the correct type of printing for your project


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Print Production Fundamentals

with Claudia McCue

Video: Choosing the correct type of printing for your project

As you start to brainstorm your next print project, be thinking about the appropriate printing method for the project. So that you can design for the printing process, and remember your favorite contact at the printing company can help you make this decision. It's helpful if you know the capabilities of the popular printing processes. Offset printing of course is the most popular most widely used printing processes. And that applies to both sheet-fed presses and web presses. Sheet-fed presses can produce products like product manuals, pocket folders they can create very high quality work.
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  1. 2m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 7m 5s
    1. What is print production?
      1m 51s
    2. Understanding roles and responsibilities
      5m 14s
  3. 13m 49s
    1. Communicating with your printer
      3m 49s
    2. What does the printer do with my files?
      2m 39s
    3. Understanding the importance of contract proofs
      1m 57s
    4. Handling corrections and alterations
      2m 8s
    5. Attending press checks
      3m 16s
  4. 13m 27s
    1. Choosing the correct type of printing for your project
      3m 15s
    2. The art of letterpress
      1m 33s
    3. Understanding the advantages of sheet-fed printing
      2m 22s
    4. Using a web press for long runs
      1m 39s
    5. Understanding thermography
      1m 38s
    6. Considerations for digital printing
      3m 0s
  5. 15m 11s
    1. What's a process color?
      2m 55s
    2. What's a spot color?
      2m 52s
    3. Exploring how ink behaves on paper
      5m 14s
    4. Comparing monitor vs. press output
      4m 10s
  6. 15m 15s
    1. Building to the correct size
      4m 37s
    2. Folding and trimming
      3m 18s
    3. Setting up for die cutting
      3m 19s
    4. Embossing
      4m 1s
  7. 3m 17s
    1. Choosing an application
      3m 17s
  8. 9m 54s
    1. Understanding font formats
      1m 45s
    2. Using OpenType fonts
      5m 20s
    3. Fonts to avoid
      2m 49s
  9. 13m 52s
    1. Comparing raster vs. vector images
      3m 23s
    2. Understanding color space
      4m 26s
    3. Examining image formats
      6m 3s
  10. 13m 13s
    1. Looking at image resolution
      7m 16s
    2. Masking basics
      5m 57s
  11. 39m 53s
    1. Understanding Illustrator
      2m 34s
    2. Illustrator layout tips
      2m 48s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure
      6m 29s
    4. Using swatches
      5m 22s
    5. Working with effects
      5m 16s
    6. Cautions about some effects
      1m 23s
    7. Importing images
      2m 41s
    8. Exploring fonts
      2m 42s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      3m 2s
    10. Saving as PDF
      4m 36s
    11. Gathering up the pieces
      3m 0s
  12. 57m 8s
    1. InDesign layout basics
      5m 21s
    2. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method one
      7m 19s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method two
      3m 21s
    4. Working with color and gradient swatches
      7m 12s
    5. Making gradients and creating a rich black swatch
      4m 45s
    6. Exploring fonts in InDesign
      2m 54s
    7. Importing graphics
      7m 49s
    8. Copying and pasting graphics
      3m 38s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      2m 21s
    10. Packaging up a print job
      6m 57s
    11. Generating PDFs
      5m 31s
  13. 22m 43s
    1. Using Overprint Preview in InDesign
      3m 3s
    2. Managing swatches in InDesign
      5m 29s
    3. Preflighting in InDesign
      7m 58s
    4. Using the Links panel in Illustrator
      3m 16s
    5. Using blending modes in Illustrator and InDesign
      2m 57s
  14. 35m 35s
    1. Basic forensics in Acrobat
      11m 3s
    2. Using Output Preview
      5m 30s
    3. Dealing with display artifacts
      2m 52s
    4. Using TouchUp tools
      8m 17s
    5. Converting colors
      4m 11s
    6. Using preflight profiles
      3m 42s
  15. 3m 27s
    1. Submitting the job
      2m 29s
    2. Being a good print customer
      58s
  16. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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Print Production Fundamentals
4h 26m Beginner Jun 29, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join author Claudia McCue on a journey that introduces the printing process and reveals the keys to designing a document that prints as well as it looks onscreen. This course takes you on the floors of two commercial print houses (BurdgeCooper and Lithographix), to better understand the life cycle of a print job and observe printing presses in action. Along the way, discover how to better communicate with your printer, choose the correct paper, inks, colors, and fonts for your project, and how to correctly lay out your documents in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. This course is designed to help you and your printer produce a professionally finished print job, whether it's a business card, brochure, or multipage magazine.

lynda.com thanks the BurdgeCooper and Lithographix printing companies for access to their facilities and permission to film on site. Learn more at www.burdgecooper.com and www.lithographix.com.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the importance of contact proofs
  • Handling corrections and alterations
  • Choosing from offset, letterpress, thermographic, or digital printing options
  • Understanding how the inks, colors, and paper interact
  • Building a document at the correct size
  • Folding and trimming
  • Choosing fonts
  • Working in Illustrator with swatches, effects, and more
  • Laying out a document in InDesign
  • Generating a final PDF
  • Troubleshooting print issues
  • Preflighting your print job in Acrobat
  • Submitting files to the printer
Subjects:
Design Print Production Design Skills
Software:
Acrobat Illustrator InDesign Photoshop
Author:
Claudia McCue

Choosing the correct type of printing for your project

As you start to brainstorm your next print project, be thinking about the appropriate printing method for the project. So that you can design for the printing process, and remember your favorite contact at the printing company can help you make this decision. It's helpful if you know the capabilities of the popular printing processes. Offset printing of course is the most popular most widely used printing processes. And that applies to both sheet-fed presses and web presses. Sheet-fed presses can produce products like product manuals, pocket folders they can create very high quality work.

web presses are high quality as well but they're for longer run such as publications or textbooks. Both processes can provide in-line finishing, you see that more commonly on web presses. Both types of printing press support more than four colors and they may allow the addition of spot varnishes and aqueous coatings, which can enhance the appearance and the value of your final printed piece. Letterpress is an old process it's really essentially the same process that was used by Gutenberg in his original Bible.

So because it's time honored it can create elegant results, there's a depth in character because there's pressure as the ink is applied to paper. It's great if you use heavy and sometimes exotic stocks. When would you use letterpress? When you're creating invitations or announcements or business cards or even just an art piece that you want to use to showcase the depth and the character of Letterpress. If you're creating a project that will require low numbers of pieces such as Excel sheets or perhaps postcards, business cards or event announcements, your jobs are good candidate for digital printing. While most digital presses are limited to four color process.

Their pigments often allow the rendering of wider gamut than offset presses. Some digital presses even offer in-line binding, and if you're considering exploring the world of customize one-to-one marketing your solution is digital printing with variable data components. Now the price per piece might be a bit higher because of data management, such as buying and cleansing and mailing list. It's been proven that the response rate for one-on-one mailings is substantially higher than for conventional generic mailings. So it's worth the extra effort and cost. If you're designing for irregular surfaces such as bottles, pens, sports equipment or textiles your job may be a candidate for silk screening it's not just for t-shirts, if you think that, you're missing out on some interesting possibilities.

Screen printing isn't limited to flat surfaces and simple imagery. Modern photosensitive resists and fine screen materials make it possible to screen photographic content and fine typography onto a variety of surfaces including metal and plastic and wood. If you're involved in the creation of flexible packaging for products such as pet food, fertilizer, ingredient, snack foods, flexography is the solution. Flexible rubber plates of flexography-- and that's why it's called flexography-- make it possible to print on thin metalized stock, heavy paper and bag material that couldn't be handled by offset presses.

Once you learn the strengths and the advantages as well as limitations of the wide variety of printing processes, you are better prepared to determine the path your job should take. And you may find that the particular capabilities of one of these processes can inform and possibly inspire your design.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Print Production Fundamentals.


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Q: The exercise files provided aren't working in my version of InDesign (CS4/CS5). What should I use?
A: This course was recorded using InDesign CS6. For InDesign users working with CS4 or CS5, IDML files are provided.
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