Practice — Print Production & Presentations

Blog 6 — Chapter 6

Summary & Review

Chapter six of Graphic Design School: The Principles and Practice of Graphic Design, by David Dabner, Sandra Stewart, Abbie Vickress, is apart of Part 2, the Practice portion of the text, titled “Tools and Technologies.” Chapter six is an introduction to developing an understanding of print production and presentations. This chapter includes: preparing files for print, key graphic file formats, creating a convincing presentation, paper stocks and finishing, printed color, print media, digital printing, correcting color proofs and press checks.

I learned the details of preparing a file to be sent electronically, meaning that it is necessary to include: a) final approved document; b) folder of all linked images; c) a folder of all fonts; d) printer instructions and profiles; e) output or a low-resolution PDF; f) detailed comp dummy; g) ink swatches; h) note to the vendor; i) email information. It is important to consider the size of the file, legalities of type, and the appropriate format to send a file into the printer.

This chapter was another reminder of the art of craft, the techniques that need to be done by hand and presented excellently. To create a convincing, winning presentation of a product, color, format, and craft all play a role in the overall production. One quote from the book is, “Good craft skills are essential and, although a bad concept can’t be saved by a good craft, a great concept can sometimes suffer if it is poorly crafted.”

An example of great finished production, not only is it a clever design with a solid color palette, but the craft and final display is successfully executed too!
Similarly, this display that appears to be an overhead shot of a metropolitan city, is unlike most other product presentations. The creation of 30–40 boxes of varying sizes and colors, versus one simple shot of a box, is a great lead to follow.

There are multiple paper stocks, finishings, coatings, multiple different systems of color that all can be considered in the printing process. Another term that is useful to know is “press check”, an initial print that can be looked at, questioned and double checked. All misspelled words and unaligned edges should have been solved at the proof stages, but at this point, keeping a keen eye for any “just in case” is important.

Further Research

In further research, I read through an article that discusses the art of choosing the right paper for a project, something I had not thought nearly enough about! In my experience thus far, I have focused intently on the design of the type, color, layout etc, and then rushed to FedEx to have it printed on *whatever* paper in order to turn it in on time. However, through this chapter and the article I read, I learned that choosing the right paper is more essential than I once thought, as it tells us about the function of the product, its feeling and quality. It is important to consider the end goal, which includes the type of paper, at the beginning of your process, in order to get the right *feeling*, as well as optimize design and production according to your budget.

There are so many paper choices to pick from! Variety includes color, texture, weight, coated, uncoated, opacity, brightness and more!

These are some important considerations that the article outlined:

  • What is your final product?
  • How long would you like the durability of the product to last?
  • What feeling do you want your product to give the receiver? Should it be fancy? Cheap? Solid? Traditional?
  • What kind of material will the product be handling? Will it be spread after spread with large photos? Or a textbook?
Check out this garbage bag packaging, arguably extremely effective because of the simplicity of the cardboard, black and single color ink, all together. Imagine the same product put in a paper bag, or a thoroughly marketing-covered design — it would not have nearly the same visual effect (or functional quality) that this design does.

After answering these questions, consider these:

  • Coated or Uncoated?
  • Thickness and Weight
  • Opacity
  • Brightness

The article also encouraged designers to feel free to contact the printer at the start of the project, ask what they recommend as well as what they have in stock. A strong relationship with your printer is definitely something worth working for!

Works Cited

Dabner, David, Sandra Stewart, and Abbie Vickress. Graphic Design School: The Principles and Practice of Graphic Design. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley, 2017. Print.

“The Art of Choosing the Right Paper.” Design & Illustration Envato Tuts+. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2017.