Design Better Print with Four Easy Tips

Design Better Print with Four Easy Tips

Profile photo of Jared Craig

Jared Craig

Colour Expert at Capital Colour
Profile photo of Jared Craig

Latest posts by Jared Craig (see all)

blacksPROCESS BLACK VS. RICH BLACK
The composition of the blacks in your design shouldn’t always be the same. Fill solid areas with a rich black that consists of 40% Cyan 40% Magenta 40% Yellow 100% Black. By doing so the blacks become more solid and noticeably darker than just straight black. When dealing with type or similar small vectors the opposite is true. These should be filled with only 100% black as rich blacks can cause coloured edges to appear when registration issues occur.


noiseResultsFIX BANDING
This problem occurs when light colours fade to white. To fix banding, rasterize the element in Photoshop, then zoom in 300-400%. At this magnification every dot that prints should be represented by a pixel on the screen giving you a good idea on how the final file will output. Add Noise (Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise) increasing the amount until all banding is removed. Your goal is to add as little noise as possible to remedy the problem.

croppingCROP IMAGES USING VECTOR MASKS
Use vector masks (Photoshop -> Layer -> Vector Mask) to crop images. This way all the image data is retained until the file is ripped, at that point the outline is made using the vector information at hand. RIP’s will render vector shapes at a much higher resolution than raster ones. While this high resolution is not necessary for images, it make shapes and edges look extremely sharp. The key is to save the image out of Photoshop as a PDF or EPS, these are the only formats that will carry this information to the RIP.

screnn_typeUSE SOLID COLOUR ON TYPE
You should steer clear of colouring type especially small type unless one or more of the process values is 100%. Type made of nothing but screens become blurry and difficult to read. This worsens as the highest value in the process color gets further away from 100%. If light coloured type is key to your design consider using PMS spot colours. They will allow you to achieve light tones with 100% ink density giving clean crips type.

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