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Pre-press tips for Photoshop users

Description
Here are some "must-know" tips for CG people who decide to start doing some pre-press and design for printing.

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Make from 3 to 5 mm bleed on every edge that should be trimmed
Printing surface is always bigger than required dimensions. When you do screen design you don’t think about cutting, because it doesn’t exist on screen, but, when you do design for paper you have to keep in mind that someone will have to cut edges of your design. So there is Trimmed dimensions and Not-Trimmed. As designer you are thinking in trimmed dimensions, but when you send file on printing you have to make tolerance in case that swings that cuts paper to fit required dimensions make mistake, and, it always make some mistake. If you don’t make your design bigger you will have white stripes at edges of your catalogue or flyer.  

Keep in mind that US print shops use the English system religiously. In case you didn't know, points and picas come from the English system, and its much easier for us to use all of our technology with those measurements. The bleed (that’s the area of excess design to allow for cutting) is always 1/8" or less depending on the room on the plates.   

In case of flyer, you have to make this bleed for all edges, in case of catalogue, only outer edges should have this because, edge that comes to bending line doesn’t have cutting.  


Make margins at least 5mm
All elements of design and all texts should be at least 5mm from edge of cut. I tried with 3mm, it was bad looking because on some places distance was smaller because problem of swings. In some cases you can go up to 10mm of margin.   

That is something that I noticed that beginners in graphic design should know. There is also some pure design tips about contrasts and colors, but I’ll leave it for some other tutorial.   

Use TIFF as final file format
I advise you to use TIFF format when you send design to printer company. I had cooperation with many printing companies and printing professionals and everybody agree that TIFF / CMYK is most trusted image format for color-safe exporting and transporting from design workstation to film exposition company.   

It is safe to use: LZW compression (more compatible) or ZIP compression (less compatible). For final file you can discard layers to reduce file size. Skilled print workers reported that ZIP compression may lead to corruption later on in the process of printing, also that LZW compression is not allowed by some applications (Heidelburg).   

Check http://www.omnetwork.net for more tutorials covering this and other design topics.

About author: Goran Grubic is skilled print and web designer from Serbia running design portal omnetwork.net (http://www.omnetwork.net/) which offers for free large unique tutorial library (covering Photoshop, Flash, 3D Studio, Dreamweaver and similar topics), free graphic resources (templates, elements, 3D models etc.), photography (free&royalty free, just use it!) and sounds&music loops for multimedia web development.

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Submitted by Radoslav on 2006-07-24 20:12:38. Since then read 38541 times.
Scored 4.32 points out of maximum 5 by 25 votes.

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