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             17 May, 2021

Category:  Articles » Computers » Hardware


How to Make Graphics Ready for Print

         Views: 1686
2008-01-30 05:05:12     
Article by Celeste Yates

If you have ever printed graphics, images or photos, you probably have seen that what was on the screen isn't always what comes out of the printer. Colour shades might come out darker or lighter and sometimes they might come out completely different to the colour you had. If you are creating an image that you know will be printed, there are a couple of things you can do to prevent these hitches from happening.

The first step is to remember that a computer screen uses RGB colours and printers generally use CMYK. This means that your screen is composed of red, green and blue, which is different to the printer's cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black).

Most graphic programs will allow you to change the image into CMYK in the mode section. The image on the screen will be closer to the printed version if you change the image to the correct colour combination that your printer uses. It is best to work from CMYK from the start, however, if you are altering an already existing image then change the mode as soon as you can.

If you are scanning images in then use as high a resolution as you can. Rather have a file that is too detailed than one that isn't detailed at all. The higher the resolution means the higher the DPI (dots per inch). The more dots per inch an image has, the better the quality is. You can always lower the resolution at a later stage, but if you are going to print, then try use as high as possible.

You can get away with a low DPI for websites or any images that will stay on PC. But as soon as you print, every flaw will become obvious. The result will be your images looking pixelated.

The file type you use also plays an important role in your design to print process. Try and keep the file in its native file type for the programme as long as possible. For example, if you are creating the image in Photoshop, then keep the file in .psd format until you are ready to print. You can always save another copy in .jpeg for clients to see the process, as long as you return to your original .psd version when printing.

By doing this you minimise the gradual quality downgrade, which occurs with every conversion you do to the file. This happens particularly when you open your document, alter the image and resave, close and re-open over and over again. The more you resave and reopen the image, the more the quality drops. By keeping the format in it's natural state, you minimise the chances of low quality colour printing.

There are ways of checking which type of formats your printer works best in. Either read in the manual or ask the assistant when you get the printer. If you outsource your printing, phone the company and find out which format is best for their printers.

While you're talking to them, also check what their bleed lines are on the printer. Most printers are generally an eighth of an inch further on all sides. Checking the bleed line will ensure that you don't end up with your image being cut off of on one side. Some of the more advanced graphic programs have a feature that automatically compensates for bleed lines.

The most important thing to remember is that if you are outsourcing your printing to just ask your printing company what they recommend. They know their printers the best and probably will be thankful that you had the forethought to check with them. It will save frustration on both your sides. The result will be a high quality image, with perfect lines and correct shades of colour.

Celeste writes for Circle Leaflet Printing, who specialize in professional printing in the UK.

Specialized in: Leaflet Printing - Printing - Leaflets - Essex - Southend - Brochure Printing - Letterhead Printing - Poster Printing
URL: http://www.circleleafletprinting.co.uk
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