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The ad specifications sound easy enough to set - it's a 4 5/8" W x 2 3/8" H four color cmyk ad.
I'd like to take it on but before I agree, I want to make sure I don't run into problems and produce shoddy work.
Does anyone here do both web & graphic design and know of potential problems I can run into jumping into this new medium I know next to nothing about? Any tips for making the transition?
On the web, images are displayed at 72 pixels per inch. For print you will need to set your images at 300 pixels per inch for photographs and scanned artwork, and 600 pixels per inch is the recommended minimum resolution for highly detailed line artwork. Note that these numbers are "rule of thumb" and individual needs for any particular project or piece of artwork may necessitate different settings.
Of course, if you're using scalable vector graphics this is not as much of an issue.
Second thing I encounter is ignorance of color models - all the time I see people submit artwork as RGB (for monitor) colors instead of CMYK or Pantone spot colors (for print only).
Finally, learn how to make a printer-freindly PDF document, using your chosen printing company's press specifications (preferred image resolution, font embedding, et al). A properly formatted PDF will eliminate hours of headaches when it comes to reproducing your documents in print. Your chosen printer should be able to provide you with the proper PDF settings and how to install them in Adobe Acrobat.
One more thing - improve your proofreading skills! Catching a typo on a webpage after launch may be embarassing, but it's easy to fix. Catching a typo after a full color print run is embarassing and *expensive* to fix.
One thing I'm not sure about: I'm allowed to use 4 colors. When I think 4 colors, I think colors not including black, white, and shades of grey. Is this what they mean, or does it include black + greys. For example, when I save for the web in photoshop only using 4 colors, it counts the blacks and greys as colors. I called the magazine to ask them this directly but they haven't returned my call yet.
4 colors = Usually any combination of Pantone spot colors (from the Pantone Formula Guide previously known as the PMS Guide (Pantone Matching System)). Typically you'll see this type of printing in silkscreen processes.
You cannot take a 72 dpi image and increase the resolution to 300 while constraining proportions. Although you can take a 300 dpi image and scale it down to 72 dpi with no loss in quality. Remember, it is always easier to scale down than to scale up when working with Raster based images.
With Vector art (outlines), you can scale up or down to any size as there is no loss in image quality due to everything being in outlined format. Vector based art is usually generated in Adobe Illustrator and is required for all print jobs when dealing with spot colors (for color separations).
From this point forward, you should be developing designs at 300 dpi CMYK and then converting them for the web. It is much easier to work backwards from print to the web. It will be a transition to take all of the previous web and convert it to print as you'll have to redo everything in hi-res.
4 color process = CMYK (Cyan/Magenta/Yellow/Black). Thousands of colors can be achieved using the CMYK color model.
Thanks, I understand this but the way my client worded it to me was this:
It's a horizontal ad that is 4 5/8" W x 2 3/8". I'm allowed up to 4 colors. They can take the following file formats: Quark, Photoshop, Illustrator, & Pagemaker. Color images must be saved in CMYK mode.
It could have been a misunderstanding on his part if they meant 4 color process though, and not a limit of 4 colors allowed to be used in the ad. I should probably wait until the magazine returns my call and get the specs directly from them.
But I would not assume anything based on what the client said, as clients are generally pretty ignorant when it comes to artwork specifications and will frequently get something confused. I would wait until the publisher returns your call.
Get a good grip of both operating systems as this will help you produce better sites especially when you are transferring data from print to web media (which might mean from MAC to PC).
I would study colour models too. Know the difference between RGB, LAB, CMYK, HSV and CIE.
BTW don't worry most people make the transition from web to print far better than from print to web ...
What was said earlier about typos is the first law ...
Best is to have at least 3 people other than yourself check your text for typos ....
( I just found one on the new beta MSN search page "about" ...they can correct it real fast cos its a web page ...were it a page in print and in production /distribution they would have just annoyed most of the 60 million inhabitants of France ...and they'd look "mega mega dumb" ..for now you can let them off with just one "mega".
I have just been offered a job as a graphic designer for a company to produce all of their catalogues, flyers etc. However although I have been trained in all of the relevant programs I feel I am more of a web person, used to designing the interfaces for cd-roms and presentaions etc. I'm concerned that the two are different things and I won't be able to make the change.
I found this an interesting read recently... [andybudd.com...]
It talks about the web being information design, but imo that is what catalogue production etc is anyway. Hopefully I'm write and its just my nerves playing havoc.
I think a good designer can work in both media without much difficulty. However, understanding the different limitations and technologies takes a bit of time.
For a web designer transitioning to print, I'd recommend spending time looking at good examples of print design - fashion, architecture, and design magazines; high-end catalogs; billboards, and other stuff. See what works for you and would be appropriate for the industries you work in.
The magazine is referring to four color process, CMYK, as stated above.
Pantone Matching System puts out a nice swatch book which will show you how colors will look in CMYK, instead of just guessing.
If you are using a layout program, such as Quark and PageMaker, be sure to remember to give the magazine the fonts. If you decide to do it in Illustrator, change the fonts to Outlines, and this is not a concern in Photoshop.