Bleed is a printing term that refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet before trimming. In other words, the bleed is the area to be trimmed off. The bleed is the part on the side of a document that gives the printer a small amount of space to account for movement of the paper, and design inconsistencies. Artwork and background colors can extend into the bleed area. After trimming, the bleed ensures that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed document. Check out the illustrations of a ‘good’ file vs. a ‘bad’ file below for a better understanding.
It may seem like there is never time to proof something thoroughly the first time, but when it is not done, you may end up making time to do the entire job a second time. Just what are some of the things that should be checked during the proofing process? Here is a list to perfect your proofing strategy:
Proof the text.
The first place to start is the text. Review all text for spelling and grammatical correctness, check punctuation, and most importantly, accuracy of content. Making changes to text later in the production process will only slow things down, so make sure that everything is perfect before moving on to the next step.
Proof the images.
Viewing the images on your computer is a great place to start, as long as your screen is calibrated properly, but keep in mind that the colors on-screen will not be a perfect match to the colors that are printed. Be sure to check the size and resolution of the image. For high-level image quality jobs, it may be wise to have a physical proof rather than just an on-screen proof of the images done on professional proofing equipment–you will get a better idea of the true color of the piece.
Proof the pages.
Checking an entire page of an original can be done on screen, but it is also a good idea to print out the pages. Look over the typography, placement of images, illustrations and text, as well as hyphenation and line arrangement, page format, and bleeds.
The difference between a thorough proof and no proof at all is the time you may spend having to redo a job. Taking the time at the beginning will save you time and money in the long run.
One of the best things you can do to ensure your printed document looks good is to make sure your image resolution is at least 300 dots per inch (DPI) at the final output size.
Caution: You cannot simply convert a low-resolution photo to a higher resolution by increasing the DPI in your imaging program. The printed result will be a blurry image.
The term resolution is also known as PPI (pixels per inch). It is a measurement of the number of squares (called pixels) of color information available in an inch of space. The more squares, the better the image quality. Below is an illustration of how the same image might appear at different pixel resolutions.
The low-budget project can be the bane of a designer’s existence, or it can be an exciting challenge. With a low-budget project, the client usually has everything to lose. This letterhead project is probably all he or she can afford, perhaps for months or even years. It has to do the job right, or there may never be a second chance.
You will find that it is possible to do a lot with a little.
- Make a low budget into an asset by producing a package that’s stylishly down-at-the-heels.
- Spend the bulk of a client’s budget on one expensive but attention-getting element: a heavy paper, a die cut, engraving, or embossing.
- Rely on a strong design in one or two colors, with ordinary offset printing on common paper stocks.
Producing nice layouts and stunning graphics is only half the battle. Solving your client’s design problems is the other half. As a designer, you must try to create practical and aesthetic designs targeted to your client (and your client’s clients). Here are a few tips for achieving those goals:
|Printing: Most letterhead is printed with offset lithography, which offers more options than most people use. Die cuts, foil-stamping (a specialty printing service), varnishes, and a variety of other printing tricks can help make a piece stand out.|
|Logos: Most established companies have corporate logos that must be included in their printed products. While corporate identity design goes far beyond the scope of this article, even an outdated or downright ugly logo can, if used creatively, be part of a fresh, new design.|
|Artwork: Artwork gives a piece personality. It communicates without words and targets the emotions.|
Older than Jesus
The first sheets of paper were made in China in about 200 BC. Since then, it has become indispensable. Paper was originally intended to be purely a carrier of images and scripts, but because of its natural properties — strength, flexibility, and durability — and its low costs, it has subsequently been developed and exploited to produce a vast variety of items from disposable clothing to loudspeaker cones. However, the main use of paper continues to be as a surface on which to print information.
It Doesn’t Have to Be White
In recent years, there has been an encouraging increase in experimentation with different sorts of papers and in the diversity of techniques, both traditional and new, which designers apply to them. Whereas in the past there may have been some resistance to this, both printers and manufacturers are now becoming increasingly accommodating.
For designers, choosing the right paper for a job should be just as important as choosing the right typeface — both decisions are part of the designer’s creative input. However tight the brief, however demanding or restricting the client, the choice of paper is generally made by the designer.
At Ussery Printing, we specialize in searching out beautiful, alternative papers. Would you believe we have over 463 different papers available, over 86 different kinds of white paper, 200 different colors, and 31 different textures?
We care, because paper matters.