Graphic Print Production

Graphic Print Production

The graphic print production flow consists of eight steps; each step has a purpose in order to successfully create graphically printed works. There will be four separate phases of this flow which contain eight different steps. Phase One – Idea and Concept The basis for your project primarily consists of step number one, Strategic Work; this step will let you know if a printed product is truly needed. You are in charge of this step; you will want to ask questions that will clearly define your product, define the goals in which you have, who you are intending this product for, as well as the purpose of the product.

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If you have decided that a printed product is right for you, you will then move on to step number two, Creative Work, this step is also controlled by you, you will be asking more questions, the difference being that the questions included in this step will bring the product into focus. Allowing you to develop the design while determining the message, and how you want it to come across to your audience. You will also decide what type of product you will be producing, and a general idea of what you want the product to look like.

Phase Two – Creative Production Although there will still be more questions along the way, the majority of them have been taken care of, finally you can start creating your project. Images and Text will be most creative, the digital original images, illustrations, and text that you have decided to use in your product will now be produced. Images are being checked, adjusted, and retouched; this usually takes place in Adobe Photoshop (PDF format usually), few images these days have not been retouched in any manner.

Illustrations are being drawn; usually in Adobe Illustrator. As you produce images, you are also composing text as well. Text and layout are usually created in Microsoft Word, this is excellent for producing and editing text, however it is not for print production. The creation and alterations of your layout have unique steps; if you are not careful when producing the layout it will increase your cost and in turn delay the printed product.

This is why layouts are usually sent to advertising bureaus, design studios, printing houses, marketing departments and companies. Whoever you choose to create your layout, must know creating a visually appealing layout isn’t enough, it must be suitable the printing plate phase; professional layout work is done using Adobe in Design. Within a layout you have to worry about many things; typeface, character size and color, line length and spacing, wording, images and illustrations and of course your company or organizations mission statement and logo.

You will be producing many different versions of your layout, from its infancy to adulthood, you will need a system in order to organize the different versions and the different files in which your layout consists of (you always want to keep a copy of your original images and illustrations as well as your text). After the adjustments have then been made to your layout, you will begin sending out many defend proofs to many interested parties.

These party members will be able to attach comments and instructions about the changes in which should be made; proofs are sent using PDF format, Acrobat (an Adobe program) allows the comments to be saved to the documents. Phase Three – Industrial Production The creation on high-resolution PDF-files, making images and documents print-ready, controlling imposition and screen frequency, as well as technologies such as a postscript, PDF, JDG, and different types of contract proofs is considered Prepress.

Prepress is performed by the printing house. Images can be adjusted for printing using what is known as an ICC profile; there are many different profiles in which can be used on the most common printing techniques. A key step in this process is known as a contract proof. This is when you present the high quality proof to the customer for their arrival or denial; if this step is skipped, and at the end of the finishing and binding phase the customer see’s the product and notices something isn’t how its supposed o be, the customer will not be happy with the product and it becomes difficult to reject a product after the printing has already taken place. This will always insure that the customer is happy before the work is completed, so that you will have happy returning customers. Printer’s always make sure that the page and image positioning, so that everything is correctly aligned, and the printing process is not flawed in anyway.

Quality requirements, the edition size, the printing material, and the format and type of printing product you are creating. Printing has two methods of producing your product. An age old traditional method is known as the printing press method; plates are produced using “static” which means that every product produced using these plates will look identical to the last. This method is very popular for such jobs as printing newspapers (large print runs, offset printing, gravure printing, flexographic printing and screen printing).

Printing presses are definitely popular with larger print jobs, especially with having the ability to print on different materials other than paper (plastic and cloth). Although this does make it more desirable to larger companies, it also has a higher startup cost, you have to develop film and printing plates as well as require several make-readies (this is a process were inexpensive or bad paper is used to make sure that the plates are well aligned and ready for the actual printing stage.

Printing does not allow call for the printing press system, smaller jobs call for smaller equipment, and printer’s (xerographic, inkjet and dye sublimation) are most commonly used for jobs consisting of 500 copies down to individual samples. Using a printer does have its advantages, lower startup cost, as well as the use of digital printing; all products do not have to match, you can alter the colors the images or even the text. One step in the print production process has influenced the product since the very beginning, would be finishing and Binding.

This process majorly impacts your decisions in the creative work phase. When deciding what you wanted your product to look like, you would also be taking into effect which visual affect you would like to give your product. There are common techniques used today to help you with these affects; surface processing (varnishing, laminating, embossing, etc. , cropping and trimming (cropping, stamping, creasing, etc. ), as well as binding (stitching, covering and casing). These techniques can be very helpful in the long run, with protecting your product from ease of destruction.

Some even allow you to move straight to the binding process after completion: varnishing, punching. The binding process will differ from product to product. There are many different techniques you can use, take books for instance in hardcover books the first and last page are glued to the insides of the covers, and soft cover books the cover is glued to the spine of the bound material. It is also known that the audience you are creating this product for plays a large role in the finishing and binding processes.

The product needs to be able to withstand the task at hand, computer manuals or text books need to be able to lay flat, as well as instructional guides such as cook books or garage manuals need to be able to withstand partials and grease and yet not affect the product; you will also need to look at the economic standards, you do not want to spend outrageous amount of money finishing and binding something that you would have to ask outrageous prices for in order to make a profit.

For the most part the binding process is taken care of at the printing houses and bookbinders. However if a printing press has online processing they have the ability to do the finishing process as well. If a printer does not offer finishing and binding, they usually have close ties with a bookbinder. Phase Four – Logistics After the customer has approved the final quality of the printed product, the printer or Specialty Company then begins the Distribution process. The cost of distribution has been known to exceed the cost of printing the product. Cost Affects Surely you have heard numerous times but, “Everything has a story, and everything has a price. ” I’m sure that you have been thinking “Oh goodness, how much is all this work going to cost me? ” You have possibly come up with your estimated amount in which you would like to spend. Many things can happen that will affect your total cost. Most printers have already calculated the price of paper in there estimate, although if you have a larger job, it can possibly make up fifty percent of your printing cost.

Also in the printing phase you also have to look at a make-ready; a make-ready is considered the priming plates and the paper used to check the printing press’ alignment to assure that the plates and paper will correctly align while printing. If you have a larger product, a make-ready will cost more, the edition size, format (Size of the actual printed product) and volume (number of pages) of a larger print will need more printing plates and cause the make-ready process to require more time and supplies to make the product align.

The fewer the pages in your product means lower prices. Larger products tend to have higher prices when it comes to these steps; however, many of the services in which you will need performed are usually billed per hour. If you have a larger project, you may be able to demand that you are billed per image that needs editing, or per page when it comes to layout work (scanning of images, image editing, creating a printed original and a proof print would be considered a page of work).

These two phases are similar; you can ask for per item pricing, you also need to describe in great detail the work in which you would like to see done (in some cases it helps to have an example handy of previous works or layouts in which you have acquired your ideas), it is not necessary for the same person or the same company to do the simple work as they do the more advanced work (Printing houses are often able to perform simple image editing, but advanced work should be performed by a specialist. Proofing is a major cost affect when it comes to the layout process, you will also want to be specific on exactly how many proofing round will be included in the price as well as the price of additional proofing if it serves needed. Having mentioned the per hour or per item pricing system, these prices vary simple tasks carry a smaller price per hour or per item, and advanced tasks carry a larger price per hour and per item.

Paper, finishing and binding all play different rolls in cost affect. The higher quality materials you choose to use in your printed material affects the cost greatly. The paper you choose to use for your printing can differ in quality if you have a higher volume of pages to be printed, you are better off choosing the cheaper paper, the large volume of pager will in turn make the product feel of higher quality. Odd layout use may create a large amount of paper waste.

A way to save on the paper portion would be if you generally purchase your paper from the printer in which you trust, try asking the price comparison for a few paper alternatives. After you have worked the type of paper you would like out, you then want to know how to save on your finish and binding. A make-ready is once again required for both the finish and binding process, and will also add to your cost, especially if you have a higher page volume, more pages means more make-readies.

On the other hand, varnishing is rather cheap, because it often occurs directly in the printing press; other techniques come at a higher cost because they are created manually. To begin the binding process, you will need to decide what materials you are going to be using. Spiral binding and thread-sewn bindings are greatly more expensive that a standard stapled or glued binding. Often offered by printing houses, packing and distribution can also be excluded from your quote.

Be sure that you inquire to if the printing house will be taking care of this phase for you. If the printing house does not take care of this step, you will need to begin thinking about delivery method, delivery address, packaging, placing in envelopes, and marking; the post office offers rates based on weight, and you don’t have to worry about exceeding postage limits; or you could contact another distribution. In order to save on cost in this phase, would have been decreasing the size of larger printed products, the more weight, the higher your price will be.

You may also want to look into the digital storage of your product; many companies offer their ability to store your materials. You may have to pay a monthly fee which will be set based on the amount of archived materials. If you ever want to reuse the materials that will be available at a cost, depending on how long it takes to retrieve the old material. Keeping up with environment, means making your printing decisions based upon what is best for the environment, such as reducing and possibly eliminating the use of materials.

If you aren’t able to eliminate the use of materials, you can also look into recycling many items, avoiding poisons and non-recyclable material, making sure the printing house is environmentally friendly, are there toner cartridges recycled, have you chosen finishing and binding materials in which can be recycled, minimizing transportation, are the inks from metals or plants these are all questions and ways that can reduce your waste. Service Provider’s and which is right for you a service provider is someone whom provides you with services you are looking for.

There are some factors in which you should look into before deciding which provider is right for you and your product; Quality and competence, delivery times and delivery guarantees’, capacity and resources, organization and working together, proximity and availability, references and direction, routines and conditions, quality and environmental work, economy and future. In order to find the right fit for you, numerous questions need to be ask to the potential providers; ask to see some of the jobs they have done for other customers, do they have a specialty (i. e. mage editing, if the image quality is not in high demand for your product, find a different provider, who doesn’t have this as a specialty), ask them to describe how working together will be carried out (what steps and factors will be critical for good results), in what way can they assure quality in work flow, ask how they can carry out certain service and how dependable they are, how can they guarantee their work (i. e. delivery times, how can they guarantee that the product will make the delivery dead line; while on the subject of delivery you may also want to make sure there is a delayed delivery clause in the agreement. does there facility have the resources to produce the volume you need, how important will you as a customer be to the company and will you receive the services in which you require, what times are contact personnel available and will you be contacting the same person each time or will it differ from task to task, does the company work in shift (if so they can often produce more and have shorter delivery times), ask for names and numbers of previous customers (this way you can ask the previous customer how they liked working with the provider as well as get an idea on how your experience is going to be, what routines you and the service provider are to be upheld (do they use a ALG2, this is a contract which is worked up between customers and service providers of graphic production), what are you responsible for, what conditions, quality guarantees’ and copyrights are routine, do they work with the environment and quality issues, are the certified with the ISO 14001, how is the company’s economic stability and ownership, what are their future plans to guarantee their long-term survival? Once you have answered these very important questions, you then need to decide which provider contains the important aspects in which you are looking for. What do you need the most and what can be added to the end of your “control. “


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