Print design is a type of graphic design used to create artwork that is not only pleasing on screen, but that will also reproduce well onto paper. Best practices for print design allow the seamless and ideal movement of graphics from the computer screen onto the printed page. Though in many cases digital printing has been a quick fix for bridging the gap between screen design and printed output, many types of printing still require a thorough knowledge of machine reproduction to translate properly. As luck would have it, Publicide specializes in many forms of printing that require an understanding of the physical parameters, constraints and freedoms of each machine’s capabilities.
PRINT DESIGN FOR DIE STAMPING, OFFSET + DIGITAL PRINTING
Designing for die-stamp printing (which includes letterpress, foil stamping, embossing + engraving) requires an understanding of copper platemaking, color separations, artwork ink + foil coverage, as well as the trapping and prepress requirements that allow the output to appear as expected on press. For platemaking, different line weights require different types of metal, multiple colors require multiple plates, and creating heavy color floods often requires larger paper sizes and different types of ink or foil.
Offset printing has benefited from some automation in bringing graphic design to print but still requires an understanding of spot color / Pantone ink systems, trapping, ink coverage limitations, and how different paper types will influence the lay-down of the ink. Offset Business Cards designed with heavy floods of ink and full bleeds are very different to produce than linework and typographic designs.
Even digital printing, to a certain extent, requires some knowledge of how the image on the screen will look when it arrives to the paper. The RGB colorspace allows for a much wider color range than the CMYK colorspace of digital printing. Getting the most saturation and brightest colors for print requires color build adjustments and an understanding of the halftone screening process that makes digital printing possible.
PRINT DESIGN: PAPER TRAILS
Paper is a very important consideration for Print Design—there are few designs that print the same on all types of paper. We get a lot of requests to print on cotton and textured papers at Publicide but sometimes smooth papers are a better choice. Very thin linework can get lost amongst the textures of felt and vellum papers, while heavy graphics often look even bolder when printed on textured stock. Textural discourse is essential to communicating print design onto paper; it is far more compelling to blind emboss fine type onto smooth paper than to try to discern a delicate emboss against a textured background paper with competing detail. Ink and foil lay down very differently on coated paper versus uncoated, and again differently on textured versus smooth. Pantone even has multiple books to show the varying appearance of the same ink color on different paper types; PMS 485 is red how ever it is printed, but 485 on textured/uncoated paper is a very different red than 485 on high-gloss coated cardstock.
PRINT DESIGN CONSULTING AT PUBLICIDE NYC
We could go on in great and exhausting detail here, believe me, we could GO ON. But the important thing to know is that Publicide is here for print design so that you don’t have to be. Our print specialists are at the ready to troubleshoot, make design adjustments, and offer a variety of paper and print techniques that will have your screen designs looking their best. Custom printing is our specialty because we believe that all graphic design can benefit from print design considerations.
Our Print Design Consulting Services are a great way to get our expert eyes on your work. If you’re just starting out and are interested in certain paper + printing techniques but are not sure about the best type of artwork to create, a print consult will get you in the right direction in just 30 minutes! Alternately, if your graphic design is complete and ready to print, a consultation is the best way to explore the wide range of paper and print techniques available for your project at Publicide. If you already have your Print Specs ready, or want us to recommend the best specs for you, send your artwork in to get a custom printing quote and begin work today!