Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Choosing a printer and selecting paper, part of Designing a Brochure (2009).
Before we roll up our shirtsleeves start designing in the Adobe Creative Suite, we need to consider how we are going to get our brochure printed. It's always a good policy to begin at the end. So before we invest too much time in actually designing stuff, we want to figure out who is going to be printing this. There is no point in designing a fancy brochure that no one is going to able to print, because it is just too complex, or it is going to be too expensive for us to print. Your commercial printer is your partner in producing the brochure. So you want to choose someone who is helpful, who is willing to advice you, who is willing to hold your hand, advice you on printing techniques and advice you on paper choices. Show your printer a mock-up. This is essential because with your mock-up you can identify any potential problems, you can get an idea of costs and you can also discuss any printing extras like spot varnishing or embossing or whatever other fancy techniques that you might consider using.
If possible, if your printer is local, obviously if you are printing online at some remote location this isn't going to be an option but if you are working with a local printer then request a press check. It's an interesting thing to do anyway to go to the print plant and see your work coming off the press and it's your last chance to fix any potential problems. When making your paper choices, the paper that you choose for your brochure is going to play a big part in its success or failure. So it is very important that you consider what types of paper stock you are going to working with.
Ask your printer to recommend the paper. Maybe you have a brochure or several brochures that you really like. Take those along to your printer and ask them to match it. Ask to see the printer swatch books or perhaps you can go to a paper supplier and request swatch books or sample from them. Paper is very tactile and there is no way I can show you in the two-dimensional world of a training video what paper is like. You have got to feel it, you have got to touch it, bend it, fold it. Your paper should reinforce your message. So if you are a non-profit group, you probably want to avoid having a sleek and glossy paper stock. Likewise if you are producing a brochure for a luxury car brand, then you probably don't want to have an uncoated dull looking stock.
Typically photos reproduce better on coated stock but that's the massive generalization. There is an almost infinite number of paper types available and there are many excellent uncoated stocks on which photographs will reproduce just great. These days of course we tend to use online printing a great deal and online printing can be extremely cost effective and of excellent quality. But to keep cost low, there may be a very limited number of paper stocks available. Don't rely on the descriptions on screen alone, request samples and make your decisions based upon those samples. So with all of this in mind, having identified your printer, having a fairly good idea of the paper stock that you are going to be working with, it's now time to start designing.
InDesign CS4 and Illustrator CS4 Essential Training are recommended prerequisites to fully execute the techniques in this title.
- Integrating InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator
- Establishing a workflow that combines maximum efficiency with maximum editing flexibility
- Working with a printer at the outset
- Designing with grids to create balance
- Choosing fonts and color palettes for a consistent look and feel
- Manipulating images for maximum impact
- Exploring different brochure formats and folding
- Proofing and printing the final product