Graphic Design II – Design
- What is a folder?
- Final layout
- Final artwork
- Preparation of print documents
- Repro and printing
The script for Praxismodul 2 is intended exclusively for use in class at the University of Applied Arts and should serve as a reference work for all course participants. It may not be passed on to third parties.
Welcome to the practice module Graphic Design II.
In Praxismodul 2 we want to familiarize ourselves with the basics of graphic design. As the subtitle of the course – ‘Type, Typesetting and Images’ – suggests, the focus will be on how to work with the various, graphic elements. The creation of a four-page folder in Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop will guide us in our endeavor.
Nowadays, graphic design is no longer reserved for specialists, but is accessible to many people. On your own computer, laptop, tablet and even smartphone, graphic creations can be produced in just a few simple steps. Technical progress and the increasing availability of technology in this sector are driving media forward and even creating new media – www, social media, ebooks, etc.
However, graphic design is not ever and ever reinvented, but evolves step by step. While the profession of graphic design and the industry as a whole has changed drastically over the past few decades, the craft still remains one that must be learned.
This hands-on module is not only for aspiring graphic designers, but more importantly for people who have realized the importance of graphic design in many areas of our daily lives and want to take a few first steps in this profession.
I would like to arouse your curiosity and provide you with a minimum of tools so that you can try out the field of graphic design for yourself. Of course, this also includes getting to know the industry jargon. What do professionals mean when they talk about kerning, bleed, and typeface? Only those who know the right terms and concepts can successfully google problems.
What is a folder?
Essentially, a folder is a printed product with a specific layout that is used for advertising, presentation or information purposes. A rough distinction can be made between product, image and information folders.
What are we looking at here – a product folder, an image folder or an info folder?
This is obviously a product folder. A product folder usually presents and advertises a product that is to be purchased.
- But conveying product information is only one of the communication tasks that a product folder must fulfill.
- The branding must take place.
- The product should be presented in the best light – high quality and clarity are required.
- The manufacturer or distributor must be represented.
- A product folder is a sales tool that salespeople and sales representatives can use during a sales meeting to visually support or illustrate their points of view.
Initially, it does not matter whether this is done with the printed paper folder in hand or with the digital version of the folder on the tablet.
Very similar content can also be found in an image folder. However, in an image folder, the focus is on the brand versus the product. The image folder is not primarily used to sell something, but …
- to put the brand, a product or a company in the right light,
- to emphasize the USP (Unique Selling Proposition),
- to launch an emotional benefit,
- to create desire among consumers or customers,
- to inspire trust,
- to convey a feeling of security and reliability.
All this should become tangible on paper, so to speak.
The task of an info folder, on the other hand, is …
- to provide information on the contents and processes of events or services, for example. We find them displayed in the foyer of exhibitions and museums. We receive them at cultural events, at trade fairs, at events of all kinds or at public offices.
- They are intended to inform us about the most important circumstances and often serve as a guide and orientation aid.
Regardless of the purpose for which a folder is issued, one of the most important questions that must be answered in advance is: Who is it intended to address?
Before a specific target group can be envisaged, it is necessary to be clear about what kind of people are to be addressed.
- Do you communicate B2B or B2C (business-to-business or business-to-consumer)?
- Do you have a trade or corporate customer in your sights …
- or an end customer or consumer …
- or does the folder contain useful information for a service prospect.
Am I addressing a trade customer, an end customer or a service prospect with our example?
Obviously a trade customer. This can usually be recognized by the strong company branding, the sales arguments and the detailed information on the ordering process.
Folders are multi-page, or at least four-page, print products that, unlike brochures, are not stitched or bound. If a sheet is folded once vertically in the middle, this is called a half fold. This makes the folder four-sided.
Since a folder has no cover, pages are counted from S1 to Sx.
In contrast, the page count of a brochure or book distinguishes a cover from the book block. Here, the pages are counted according to the pattern U1 (= title), U2, S3 (= first page of the book block), S4 … Sx, U3, U4 (= back cover).
The half fold is of course the simplest of the fold types. Here are a few more examples of common fold types, each of which forms an independent folder shape.
Let’s take another look at the product folder example …
Product folder example
Even more than for an info folder or even for an image folder, the basic rule “corporate design before beauty” applies to a product folder. The graphic designer always works within the framework of a corporate design. That is, she must follow the design principles established for a particular brand without exception, even if the result does not correspond to her graphic taste. The corporate design may only be bent to a certain extent where this is required by technical production requirements.
With the two boundaries – corporate design and technical feasibility – we have mapped out the field of creativity in folder design. All creativity can unfold within this field.
As already mentioned, we will use the design of a simple, four-page product folder as the basic framework for the workshop.
Let’s first get the exercise data from ownCloud and place it in a specific folder that we create within the semester folder.
> Download exercise data from the base.
> Create student folder “Last name-PM2” inside the semester folder .
> Move the exercise data into the student folder.
All laptop users can of course choose the location for the exercise data on their device. We will learn what to consider when setting up a folder, what graphic elements can be used. We will look at type and typesetting. We’ll take a quick look at image editing. We’ll explore a few simple design principles. Finally, we will create two output PDFs – one printable, the other suitable for tablet presentation.
Let’s start by creating an InDesign document for the creation of a four-page folder.
> Start INDD; New File.
> Print; DIN A4 portrait; uncheck Facing Pages; Bleed: 3 mm; Ignore Slug.
Since we want the background image to extend to the page margins, we need to add bleed to it. I already addressed this issue in Praxismodul 1. The background image must extend a small amount beyond the page edges. This edge zone, also called a bleed, ensures that no unprinted edges occur in the final trimmed document.
In most cases, a bleed of 3 mm should be applied. The values are usually between 2 and 5 mm.
> Margins 20 mm and OK.
By defining the values for the margins, we already define something like a type area. A type area is the area on a page in which text, graphics and images appear.
On the one hand, the type area is derived from the page format, on the other hand, its definition already represents a first graphic decision. The type area is the basis of every column and grid division on the page.
A folder is built up from individual pages. In order to be able to group the individual pages freely, we deactivate the two entries Allow Document Pages to Shuffle and Allow Selected Spread to Shuffle in the Pages palette menu.
> Uncheck Allow Document Pages to Shuffle.
> Uncheck Allow Selected Spread to Shuffle.
> Pages palette: Dock page 2 to page 1; set pages 3 and 4.
The layout in InDesign consists of four single pages of the closed format and not of two double pages of the open format (= DIN A3 landscape). A spread here therefore consists of two single pages (= DIN A4 portrait).
This offers several advantages:
- The center register marks can be used as folding marks.
- The four pages can also be printed individually or output as PDF. The latter is particularly important during the layout and correction phases. This enables the customer to output the individual pages 1:1 on his DIN A4 printer.
- The individual page layout also pays off at the very end when creating a display PDF. For presentation, for example on a tablet, the portrait format of the single page is usually preferred.
> Name “LY1-StaTeresa-Folder_4stg” and save.
Now we turn to the briefing and the data we received from the client.
The client’s briefing should contain all relevant information about the folder design. In any case, it should be in writing and contain clear statements in a concise form about the content, scope, background and process of the project. In addition, it can also provide creative suggestions or comparative examples that serve as orientation for the graphic designer in the creative process.
A verbally delivered brief that reads something like, “Let your creativity flow” is just as insufficient as a brief that discusses and specifies every detail. Creativity needs both – a certain amount of freedom and a clearly defined field in which it can happen.
The briefing for the folder design in the workshop looks like this …
> Open BR-StaTeresa-Salesfolder.rtf.
> Check image size and image quality Packshot; Check paths Logo and Rosette.
In any case, the input data should be checked before the offer is made. If the data is inadequate or unusable, the cost of preparing or procuring new data must be taken into account in the quotation.
Our input data has proven to be quite usable. Before we can get started, however, we still have to go through the rebriefing. The rebriefing is essentially about giving the client feedback on whether the briefing has been understood. In the rebriefing, points that seem vague or are still open are addressed. Together with the client, we try to further define the scope of the project, for example, the range of production costs or whether there are any preferences or ideas on the part of the client that should be taken into account.
This first important project phase ends with the so-called order, in which the client confirms the offer in writing(!).
Briefing, re-briefing, quotation, order characterize the first project phase in graphic design. These topics have been dealt with in detail in the Praxismodul Graphic Design I – Communication and Project Management.
Research is always the first step in the creative process that follows. Ideas are not born from nothing. The blank page does not tell us how to fill it.
You can use your own archive or the global archive of the Internet as a source for researching ideas. Or you can pick up a design compendium that contains selected design examples.
Each graphic designer also takes her cue from the work of others. This is by no means a matter of stealing ideas, one is merely looking for inspiration.
Another reason for the research is the desire to surprise the client with new ideas and approaches. There is no question that the basic requirements must be met, but the actual creative service, for which the graphic designer is booked, goes beyond that.
Of course, the ground of corporate design must not be left, but within this defined framework one should use all freedoms. Our briefing does not mention which images and illustrations are to be used as backgrounds or figures. So let’s briefly turn to image research, or image acquisition.
The first way leads naturally to the online catalogs of various stock photo agencies.
Let’s take a closer look at the top dog among the picture agencies …
> Internet browser / gettyimages.at
Fast facts: world’s largest stock photo agency; 80 million images; founded in 1995 by Mark Getty; 2016 merger with Corbis (Bill Gates).
Images are generally not “for sale.” The copyright remains inalienably with the photographer. Strictly speaking, therefore, images are only rented out by picture agencies. Strictly speaking, picture agencies only assign the right of use acquired by the photographer to a third party under specifically defined conditions.
Observing the licensing situation in the context of image procurement is therefore an indispensable prerequisite for legally secure use of the images in a wide variety of contexts. Failure to observe the licensing conditions can land you in hot water. Picture agencies such as Getty-Images take merciless action against unauthorized or improper use.
> Enter search term: “palm trees”.
> Activate filter.
The purchase of royalty-free images is very simple. Select image, select image size, pay, download. Even royalty-free images are not free. If one has paid, these pictures may be used mostly unrestrictedly, i.e. temporally unlimited and in different media commercially.
Most picture agencies allow the free download of low-resolution images for layout purposes. Of course, graphic designers like to take advantage of this to create design drafts. Even if the agency images are not used in the implementation, this procedure is completely legal. With a simple, free registration one receives the layout pictures even watermark-free.
If you want to access real free images that are offered in abundance on the web, you visit websites like …
> Internet browser / freeimages.com.
> Enter: “palm trees”.
If you don’t find what you’re looking for in this pool of 300,000 free images, you turn to the low-cost, paid alternatives in the search results, which then lead you to istockphoto.com. freeimages.com and istockphoto.com are subsidiaries of Getty Images. You can see the business model.
We will not start a download now, because our image set for our folder is already complete. Let’s view the material now in overview …
In order to place these four parts on the four folder pages in a communicatively correct and appealing way, we need to find a design concept. From a creative point of view, there are many different possibilities. It is important to always keep the communication goal firmly in mind.
Since a new product – the rum variety “Santa Teresa – 1796” – is to be introduced with the help of our folder, we resort to the concept of “unveiling”. In this case, the closed folder acts as a kind of envelope that reveals a “surprise” when opened. In other words, we decide not to show the product right away on the cover.
To jot down concept ideas like this, we like to make a scribble of it.
This does not require any great artistic achievements. All you have to do is make graphic notes by schematizing all the essential graphic elements in a folder outline.
Experienced graphic designers always make such a hand sketch with pencil and paper. This is a quick and easy way to find out whether the layout will work or not. You can definitely tell from my scribble that and how the elements will work in the folder context.
But there are other design aspects that can be gleaned. Page assignment, the functionality of the envelope character, headlines versus copy, etc. Easy to see also the hint of important design rules, like don’t get lost in details, don’t be afraid of white space or text wrapping in column typesetting.
The scribble shows the packshot on the left on S2. So it appears at the beginning of the double page spread – making it readable as an opening statement. This emphasizes its appearance as a new product.
The scribble also contains an element whose mention was forgotten in the briefing, but which is indispensable for a product launch in terms of communication: the famous NEW badge. Briefings can never be perfect or complete, which is why active thinking is also required in graphic design. Last but not least, this makes an impression on the customer.
But now let’s take the first steps in designing our four-page product folder.
First, let’s create a new document in Photoshop, which can then be used as the background image for pages 2 and 3 in our InDesign file.
> New document: A3 landscape, RGB, 300 dpi.
We decide to create the document in the final print resolution. Mind you, during the layout phase, it is by no means necessary to use such a high-resolution image file. But we must ensure that a high-resolution and thus printable image file is available last. Because in print the irrefutable truth of the image is revealed.
> Working color space Adobe RGB (1998).
The most important prerequisite for image processing is to be able to see the subject to be processed on the monitor as it will come out of the press during printing. An easy way to ensure this is to use color management based on ICC profiles. We choose Adobe RGB (1998) because this color space is particularly well suited for later conversion to Euroscale CMYK for four-color printing.
All those of you who have already taken Graphic Design I already know this.
And how to create a bleed in Photoshop is no secret anymore.
> Create a bleed: Select All cmd+A; New Layer by Copy via cmd+J;
> Enlarge canvas cmd-alt+C, Width and Heigth +6 mm each;
> Select layer content, delete;
> Inverse, fill border with white via option+Backspace;
> Layer name “bleed”.
Setting a guide line that marks the fold line helps us to divide the pages.
> Set vertical guide.
Now we can import the background image via copy/paste.
> hawaiin-sunset-1368289-freeimages cmd+A and import via copy/paste.
Once you have made sure that the background image will work in terms of resolution and quality, you can start distributing the required visuals on the background. Of course, we will use the previously created hand sketch as a guide. The first thing we will do is roughly position the packshot.
> Switch to SantaTeresa1796-Packshot.tif.
Our previous check showed that the image file is quite usable. Image quality and resolution fit. However, the packshot is bedded on a beige background, which we still have to get rid of. If a clipping path is missing, we have to create one ourselves.
While path creation may seem a bit tedious, a path represents the best way to crop, i.e. ultimately select, a pixel image with a compact, smooth outline.
Fortunately, we can use an already existing clipping path.
> Bring path palette to view.
> Select Packshot via cmd-click thumbnail clipping path.
> Bring it to “Untitled-1” via drag-and-drop.
> Save as “RLY1-StaTeresa-Folder_S2-3.psd”.
We can save the file with the name “RLY”, i.e. as final layout, because we have created it in print resolution and all the last required image elements are already present in it.
Since we have to find the perfect position and the right image size of the packshot during the layout phase, we will probably have to scale the visual several times. So, to avoid interpolation losses, we’ll convert it to a smart object right away.
> Convert to smart object; name as “StaTeresa Packshot”.
We place the packshot on the left side, without spending a lot of time trying to determine a final position. We want to remain open to any eventualities that may arise during the layout phase.
> Move Packshot to the left; position approx. 1/3 page width.
A critical look shows that the packshot has been imported, but has not quite arrived in our Caribbean world yet. Despite a certain tolerance in the layout phase, we want to get at least one aspect right already in the layout: the suggestion of a stand area for the packshot.
> Create a shape layer: Oval approx. 90 x 25 mm.
> Fill the area with StaTeresa Light Beige.
It is advisable to create shapes and silhouettes as shape layers in Photoshop. Since the shape remains a vector object, it can be scaled again and again without loss.
The goal is to create a stand area for the bottle like the one created by a spot light. To do this, the shape layer must now be blurred with a blur filter.
> Open > Filter / Blur / Gaussian Blur.
To be able to apply a filter to a shape layer, it must either be rasterized or converted into a smart object. Of course we decide to create a smart object.
> Convert Shape to Smart Object.
> Gaussian Blur: 40px.
> Motion Blur (0°/600px).
Now we still need to offset the Glow with the base to achieve a more natural look. We usually achieve this by choosing an appropriate blending mode for the layer and controlling the opacity.
Which blending mode is suitable for a given application can be easily determined visually in Photoshop by scrolling the Blending Mode menu.
> Blending Mode Screen; 100% Opacity.
> Save file via Cmd+S.
And now we bring the image into InDesign.
As long as we are in the layout phase, we can load the PSD master as such into InDesign. This has the advantage that every update of the image processing is taken over by InDesign without any intermediate step. This procedure is only practicable if the PSD master is not a very large file. Otherwise I recommend to create an EPS file with JPEG compression.
> Switch to InDesign LY1-StaTeresa-Folder_4stg.
> Rename layer to “background”.
> Go to S4-S1; draw frame up to incl. bleed; colorize with “Black”.
> Duplicate color mark, double click and colorize PSD deep black (91-79-62-97).
100% black does not bring the necessary ink density to the paper in print to achieve a rich, deep black. For this reason, a so-called deep black is often used for black areas. A simple deep black is CMYK 50-0-0-100, but the PSD black that we use here represents an even denser deep black, as it has a more complex total ink structure. The total ink coverage of PSD black is 329% and is thus clearly within the maximum total ink coverage permitted in sheetfed offset printing (approx. 350%).
> Activate frame, copy to clipboard via cmd+C.
> Via cmd-option-shift+V paste to S2–S3 true to position.
> Load RLY1-StaTeresa-Folder_S2–3.psd into the frame.
Now we proceed to import the already existing graphic and textual elements into the layout and assign them to the pages designated in the hand sketch. At this stage we don’t care about perfect sizing and exact positioning. It’s just a matter of gathering all the necessary parts in the document.
Let’s start with the logo and the signet. We have two options:
- Either we draw a frame and place the elements in the regular way with cmd+D or …
- we open the Illustrator files of the logo and the signet, copy the elements to the clipboard and paste them directly into the InDesign file. Advantage of this procedure: The elements can be edited directly in InDesign.
> Place logo top/center on S1 via copy/paste.
> Place center/center signet on S1 via copy/paste; mark with magenta (=100% magenta).
The correction color magenta makes clear that this element is in layout state and its color has not yet been defined.
On page 4, we create a placeholder for the QR code that does not yet exist.
> Place the magenta rectangular frame 20 x 20 mm in the lower right corner of the layout.
Now follows the text import.
> Draw a text frame on the pasteboard area on the right; import texts from the briefing via copy/paste.
Finally we create the NEU badge inside the folder.
> Go to S2–S3.
Contrary to the hand sketch, we decide to place the NEU badge in the upper left corner of page 2. In the upper right corner, we want to place the Santa Teresa logo again, because this must of course also be shown inside the folder.
In any case, we have to allow the layout some room for development.
> Create 56 x 56 mm rectangle incl. bleed via click and enter;
> Activate pen tool; delete the lower right anchor point; color 100m-100y-Red.
> Draw text frame; “NEW”, Myriad Pro Bold, 40pt; adjust frame to content; rotate 45°; center in badge.
Now a drop shadow for the badge.
> Open the Effects palette: Select Dropshadow from the Effects menu.
> Assign Color Black; Blending Mode Multiply, Opacity 75%, Distance 3 mm, Angle 135°, Size 1.5 mm and finally give OK.
The new labelling, a promotion labelling and the like do not have to be pretty, but unmissable. In any case, labellings should be clearly distinguished from the rest of the design elements in order to achieve the communication goal.
Once we have gathered all the parts or their placeholders in the document, we determine the targeted positions and illustration sizes. We start with the graphic elements – logo and signet.
We have already anticipated a certain design scheme in the hand sketch, which defines positions and proportions. But what makes us distribute the elements this way and not differently?
One likes to propagate certain design grids and zoning in order to master the blank page. There is talk of the human scale, the golden ratio, the Fibonacci sequence, the rule of thirds, and so on. However, we will not explore these quite interesting approaches in our workshop, but rather follow less metaphysical paths.
The two questions we will try to answer directly are:
- How can I distribute the elements on a page so that the distribution is perceived as “right” by the viewer?
- How can I make the page “exciting”?
“Right” and “exciting” are two very vague terms at first. But as soon as we consider the means by which these goals can be achieved, the graphic elements begin to speak to us.
The sensation of “rightness” sets in when we consider the following parameters, for example:
Area vs. Space:
The page can be understood as a plane or a space. The respective impression can be accentuated by certain characteristics. Glow vs. drop shadow; illu vs. image; grid vs. perspective; 2D icons vs. 3D badges – to name just a few differentiating features.
Clarity in design:
Few and clearly distinguishable elements in the page context invite engagement with the content. Too many elements, too little white space cause the feeling of not being able to grasp the page content well.
Hierarchy of elements:
A clear hierarchy of elements on a page makes it easier to engage with the content. The magic word is: weighting. Important things first; important things large; important things accentuated.
This is also about serving expectations. Logo rather in the header area; disclaimer rather in the footer area of a page.
We read from left to right. This is a direction that brings a natural dynamic into the layout. We should use this for the reading guidance in order not to give the viewer the impression of having to take detours when capturing the content.
Readability must be ensured in the typesetting and at the typographic level if we want to reach a reader. Contributions to readability are made by type area, typeface, pagination, line spacing and, of course, font choice, type size and similar parameters.
Avoidance of dissonance:
The design should be such that the page can be perceived as a cohesive whole. The point is not to suppress accentuation, but to avoid contradictions. This applies to all aspects of the layout.
As we all know, getting everything “right” is not enough in design.
An essential aspect for generating attention is tension.
A design is perceived to be exciting if we consider the following parameters, for example:
Symmetry is considered harmonious and desirable. But it is the break in symmetry that attracts our attention. A rectangular page looks more interesting than a square one, left-justified type promises information, centered, static type more polemic. Eccentric page weighting by highlighting a particular element creates dynamics, etc.
Perceiving the whole, or the closeness of a system may be calming factors for thinking, but a page layout must convey a certain openness on a wide variety of levels to be attractive. A certain generosity has an inviting effect, cropped images create tension, free-floating white space without any signs of horror vacui let the design breathe. These open scenarios can certainly all be realized within a strict design grid. However, anyone who begins to make the construction lines visible, to set frames and line up box after box, anyone who sees the type area as an insurmountable limit, cuts off the viewer’s desire for discovery.
1:1 repetition creates boredom. Accentuated repetition, scansion and interruption, clever alternation of graphic elements and white space, spacing, paragraphing, etc add movement to the page that we find exciting.
Emphasizing or overemphasizing individual elements creates preferred zones of increased gravitas for the eye. Accentuation prevents aimless wandering of the gaze on the page and creates weighting of content. Motto: think big. Accentuation can be of a color or image content nature, and can affect the proportions. In the end, accentuations represent highlights of any kind. But be careful, a page on which too many or even all elements appear accentuated will counteract the effect.
The design tool par excellence to create tension is contrast. Size contrast, color contrast, content contrast, element vs. blank, figure-ground relationship, etc. As a basic rule in creating contrast can be taken: the clearer, the more exciting.
The surprise, the unexpected, the unsuspected, the new, the extravagant are, of course, powerful attractors in any context and thus also in graphic design. However, we are dealing here with a dangerous instrument that may have the power to draw all interest to itself and cause the communication concern as a whole to fail.
Before we start with the actual typesetting, we need to pay attention to one more important foundation – the corporate design.
We take all the necessary information for the correct design in the sense of our client from the CD manual, the corporate design manual. In the context of the workshop, it will be sufficient to pay attention to a few key points that will serve us as design guidelines.
Design guidelines (excerpt CD manual)
Logo colors: PANTONE 4505; Olive CMYK 16-27-83-42; White
Background colors: Black; Beige CMYK 7-5-22-0
Copy font: Adobe Garamond Pro Regular
> Activate the logo on S1.
We have already decided on a deep black background. Now let’s take a closer look at the logo. We can create it in the greenish gold tone PANTONE 4505 or CMYK 16-27-83-42 or white negative. All three colors work fine on the dark background. Since the colored variant is the main logo, we put it on the title page and on the right inside page. We are happy to apply the secondary logo variant in white negative in a secondary area, such as on page 4.
The logo gold can be printed as spot color if desired. Since we produce the folder ourselves, i.e. we can determine the production parameters ourselves, we opt for the spot color. The advantage of spot color reproduction is obvious: We can use it to bring a real existing color to paper in a binding way or even print the gold as a metallic color.
The InDesign Swatches palette shows that the logo imported via copy/paste brought the spot color definition from Illustrator.
We never rely on imported color values being correct, but check all imported color values for accuracy.
The color mark has the correct name. The Colour Mode icon indicates a CMYK definition, but the Spot Color icon is active. Everything seems to be correct. Double-clicking on the color mark opens the Swatch Options.
> Open the Swatch Options by double-clicking the color mark.
> Open the Colour Mode menu.
A look into the Colour Mode menu shows that the PANTONE guide containing the desired color mark, namely PANTONE+ Color Bridge Coated, is not available for selection. The reason for this is that the monopolist PANTONE has provided a subscription model for the use of its color guides in the Adobe programs. Access to all PANTONE color guides is now only possible with the paid extension PANTONE Connect.
However, we are not irritated by this. With the help of a small workaround, this restriction can be easily circumvented. Without thinking about it, we set the color mode to RGB and enter the RGB values to be read in the real PANTONE guide.
The only thing that is decisive for the use of the correct PANTONE color in printing is the correctly indicated PANTONE name and the spot color definition.
> Switch to Colour Mode RGB.
> Enter the RGB values 152-134-66 in the corresponding fields and OK.
I will deal intensively with the subject of spot colors and spot color definition in Praxismodul 3 – Corporate Design, but also in the Photoshop workshop for advanced users.
For the placement of the logo on page 4, we consider two important points.
Firstly, the logo must not dominate here as it does on page 1. It must be instinctive for the viewer to recognize which is the front page and which is the back page, so that he or she picks up the folder right away.
And secondly, by placing the logo from page 4 by aligning it with the baseline of the logo from page 1, we create a graphic reference between the two. In this way, we avoid the impression of arbitrariness in the typesetting and make an important contribution to ensuring that the arrangement of the elements is perceived by the viewer as “correct.”
To move a copy of the front logo to S4, we use the Selection Tool with the Option and Shift keys held down.
> Duplicate and move a logo copy to S4 via Option-Shift-drag.
> Place back side logo (w = 65 mm) horizontally in the center of the page.
> Recolor backside logo to white.
Now we place an guide line on the baseline of the front logo. If we keep the Command key pressed, the guide line extends over both sides. We want to take advantage of this.
> Set the guide line to the baseline of the front logo while holding down the cmd key.
> Hold down the back logo until the preview of the element appears.
> Dock the baseline of the back logo to the guide line.
Now for the placement of the logo on the inside pages. We copy the front logo to the clipboard and switch to S2–3.
> Copy front logo via cmd+C.
> Go to S2–S3 and paste via cmd+V .
> Reduce S3 logo (b = 75 mm) and position right/top into the type area corner.
> Return to S4–S1.
We place the StaTeresa signet horizontally in the center of page 1 and bring it to an acceptable size (approx. 150 mm). We take care not to disturb the space around the StaTeresa logo at the top of the page and leave enough room for the bottom line.
> Signet (w x h = 150 mm).
> Move slightly down from the vertical center.
We assign a very dark color to the signet, which ensures that it just contrasts with the background. We don’t want it to draw too much attention to itself. The logo is the hero.
> New Swatch: 90K; Assign color to the signet.
Now we take care of the typography, i.e. font and typesetting.
The corporate design dictates that we use Adobe Garamond Pro Regular as our copy font, i.e. as a continuous text font, but says nothing about markup or a headline font. We’ll take these liberties, but first turn to Adobe Garamond and talk a bit about typography in general.
Getting to grips with type and using fonts correctly is one of the core tasks of the graphic designer. The wealth of experience she acquires in this regard over the years is her capital. Font selection seems made easy for us by the availability of numerous system fonts and tons of free fonts on the web. But I can assure you, the exact opposite is true.
The quality of a typeface is revealed only when it is used, and a misstep can have fatal consequences for achieving the communication goal. We’re not going to give a typography seminar here, but a few points about finding the right typeface need to be addressed.
First, it is important to consider the purpose for which a particular typeface is to be used.
Font selection (layout requirements)
Reading font for body text
Headline font for page titles, chapter titles, subheadings, etc.
Markup font in continuous text context
Typographic requirements (legibility, special typesetting, font styles, graphic use, etc.)
Do we need a reading typeface for volume copy, a headline typeface, a markup typeface, or a display typeface that will make a big impact.
Do we need a typeface that is still legible at the smallest point sizes, that works in negative typesetting, that is suitable for table typesetting, or that can be used as source material for the creation of a logo? Should different typefaces be used?
Font selection communication requirements
Suitable for corporate identity
Target group affinity
Suitable for the media
Technical requirements (print, web, office, licensing costs, etc.)
Then we have to consider what content is to be communicated.
Then we have to think about how to communicate the content.
- Who is speaking and who should be addressed?
- What tonality are we aiming for, i.e. what mood do we want to create or support with the design?
- On which communication level, in which communication channels will we communicate.
In addition, technical and commercial circumstances must be taken into account.
- Should the font not only be suitable for printing, but also work on different displays.
- Should the typeface also be used in the office sector or only in the products of a professional graphic designer.
- What will be the licensing costs depending on the requirements?
Working through this small catalog of questions already drastically shrinks the pool of possible fonts. Let’s take a look at the qualities of our body text font.
Adobe Garamond is an excellent reading font that is ideal for volume text typesetting. It has certain characteristics for this: the letterform itself, the serifs, the ratio of x-height to versal height, the stroke width, the punch size, tracking, kerning, and so on.
Adobe Garamond is a modern variant of the Renaissance antiqua of the same name, cut in the 16th century by Claude Garamond. Many of the best reading fonts are already of considerable age.
Adobe Garamond is very easy to read. It scores with a classic feel and conveys seriousness, premium appeal, and a sense of tradition. It therefore suits our noble rum, meets the target group’s expectations, and creates the desired mood. Since it is somewhat more robust than the classic Garamond, it is also suitable for negative typesetting, i.e. white on black – and can also be used well on the web.
It is part of the Adobe Typekit and can be used by all Adobe users virtually free of charge and largely without restriction. Uniqueness is not achieved by using it. If you want to achieve a distinctive character in the typeface, you should use a font of comparable quality, which, however, is not as widespread.
The system fonts, the Adobe Typekit or Google Fonts are understandably not really a good source for fancy fonts. For that, you have to go in a different direction when searching for fonts.
Let’s take a closer look at the process of finding fonts from one of the major font providers on the web.
> Font search: “ITC New Baskerville”.
Developing a good font is no walk in the park, it requires a lot of know-how, patience and creativity. Every single character of a font has to be designed, drawn and tuned. Even though font development tools make the task much easier nowadays, developing a font with ambition remains a time-consuming task.
And a 256-character font is no longer enough. Multilingualism, special characters, mathematical symbols, etc. drive up the number of characters per font. The current UNICODE standard allows about 140,000 different characters per font.
> Press the try button and enter “Santa Teresa”.
> Select an alternative font style.
The fonts are then mostly available in different font styles. Regular is usually joined by an Italic and a Bold. Some font families consist of dozens of weights.
Why am I pointing this out to you so forcefully? Because I’m arguing for the performance of the type designers to be rewarded accordingly.
If you have found a perfect typeface at one of the font suppliers or at one of the font developers, you can download and use it immediately after payment. You have the guarantee that the typeface is of high quality, both technically and in terms of execution.
And, not to forget, you are also on the safe side legally. License violations can be punished in the same way as images that are used illegally.
Generally, fonts are assigned to different font categories. The choice of a category already limits the search result considerably. The most common categories are:
- Dingbats (Symbols).
The graphic designer buys a font only once and then, depending on the license agreement, can use it on one or more devices for the rest of her professional life.
Once you have downloaded a font, you only have to make sure that it appears in the font menus of the programs for selection. To do this, use a font management application such as the Apple tool “Font Book” or professional tools such as “Monotype Fontexplorer” and “Extensis Suitcase”.
Attention: In MacOS it is not allowed for technical reasons to put fonts for loading into the font folder of the library and also on the PC you should take advantage of a font management program.
We start the Fontbook, bring All Fonts to view and activate the grid view.
> Start Fontbook and activate All Fonts.
> Press the grid view button.
The font library includes all fonts installed on the computer.
We could now use the search function to find out if Adobe Garamond Pro is already available. However, we want to go through the process of loading a font from the beginning. So we right-click on the All Fonts button to open the context menu and choose Add Fonts to All Fonts.
> Right-click the All Fonts button and select Add Fonts to All Fonts.
> Locate the FONTS folder in your local Praxismodul folder and activate the entire Adobe Garamond Pro family.
When loading, the fonts are checked at the same time. If any of the selected fonts are already active, select Skip in the import dialog.
> Select Skip in the import dialog.
With this, the font has been activated and is now available for selection in all programs that use fonts.
For recurring jobs, it is recommended to create relevant font collections within the fonts library. To do this, we create a Santa Teresa folder and add the font we just activated.
> File / New collection.
> Double click the new collection in the left side panel; name: “StaTeresa”.
> Return to All fonts view.
> Enter “Adobe Garamond Pro” in the search box.
> Add the Adobe Garamond Pro family to the StaTeresa collection via right-click.
Sample mode shows the font styles of the fonts folder in pangram view.
> Activate the sample mode button in the header area.
Pangram and dummy text
To estimate the effect of a typeface, the graphic designer uses a pangram that contains as many letters of the alphabet as possible. The pangram shows the graphic qualities of the letters. To check the typesetting qualities of a font in advance, one uses dummy text.
Adobe Garamond Pro is our copy font.
What is still missing is a suitable headline font. I leave it to you to find one. Since we don’t want to buy a font and won’t install any dubious free fonts in the computer studio, we’ll try to find a suitable font in the existing font pool of the workstations.
Also for finding the headline font we have to work through the mentioned catalog of requirements. In addition, the typeface must also harmonize with our copy font.
I decide on Myriad Pro Semibold. By choosing a non-serif, I set a modern counterpoint (contrast principle) to the Renaissance antiqua of the copy and thus secretly communicate that Santa Teresa can look back on a long tradition as a rum producer, but at the same time operates as a company in the present and uses the most modern processes. The smallest of details, such as choosing a headline type, contribute to communication and should not be done thoughtlessly.
Now let’s take care of the typesetting. The type area is already given by setting the margin zone to 20 mm. Now how do we subdivide the type area itself? We could set a rigid grid that gives invisible support to the elements. This would be useful, for example, if we have to juggle a lot of different elements. Since we only need to set a few elements in our example, we’re looking more for generic clues.
Also, in our example, it is not necessary to set all design parameters on the master page of the document. This is only recommended if you have to design a larger number of pages with the same structure.
This much we already know – and this can also be seen in our hand sketch –: We are dealing here with few, but very different contents. So a general, overarching definition does not pay off. We can proceed more freely here, but still not arbitrarily.
Let’s focus our attention first on the copy text. How to distribute the copy well. Due to our clever choice of image, the homogeneous black zone of the lower half of page 3 is suitable for positioning the copy.
> Draw a text frame in the type area; insert copytext and color it white.
> Object / Text Frame Options or cmd+B.
> Number 2; Gutter 8 mm.
If the lines are too long, the reader’s eye struggles to find the starting point of the next line. Shorter lines also promise more compact information and faster reading. In our example, double-column copy is not only graphically more interesting, it also invites the reader to read it.
The body text is set in a font size of about 9pt to 13pt, depending on the typeface. The line spacing, has a normal value of 120% of the type size. It, too, must be adapted depending on the application. Depending on the type selection and line length, the line spacing contributes significantly to the readability.
> Character panel (Character palette): Font size 13pt; line spacing Autom.
Whatever values are selected for the font size and the line spacing, they must ultimately be checked on a 100% test printout. On the monitor, these parameters are difficult to judge with regard to printing.
The choice of typeface also depends on the application goal. Do large amounts of text have to be handled or only small ones, do you want to convey cohesiveness and compactness or freedom and lightness in the typeface. Does the content convey pure information or an advertising statement, etc.?
Depending on which aspects are important, you can choose between flush left, flush right, justified, rough, centered, or even shaped.
Flush left always provides a smooth typesetting experience because it has even word spacing. It makes a natural impression.
The graphic designer’s skill is required at the end of the line. Line breaks and word separations must always be touched up manually to achieve perfekt ragging and avoid unsightly separations.
Flush right is not suitable for copy text for obvious reasons.
Justified is usually very well suited for columnar typesetting. Its blocky character sometimes seems a bit strict, but it manages large amounts of text well, as does flush left.
Justified must also be balanced manually. The aim is to keep the word spacing as even as possible and to ensure that word separations at the end of lines do not occur more than three times in succession. Neither is always easy to achieve.
Flush left, slightly ragged right:
Flush left, slightly ragged right gives the impression of being something in between flush left and justified. Since I advocate a clear distinction – also with regard to the alignment – I rather recommend to do without flush left, slightly ragged right.
Centered and shaped:
Centered, as well as shaped alignment are not well suited for copy text typesetting and are usually only used when a textual or graphic statement is to be made with them.
What type of typesetting will we choose? I think flush left is a good choice for our purposes. Since it is translucent, it supports the open scenery represented by the background image. In the short-spaced column set, it makes a good impression in combination with cleverly placed blank lines.
> Column break: Type / Insert Break Character / Column Break (via fn+line break) before “Ex eos …”;
> Set copy blank lines between “doluptat./Pore” and “labo./Itae”.
> Improve flush left by reducing the spacing (-5): “nistibus …” line and “etur …” line.
- The blank lines should not meet in the column typesetting.
- And the right column should always be at least one line shorter than the left.
We set the baseline of the last line of the copy text to the bottom edge of the type area, making it noticeable.
> Set the baseline of the last line to the bottom edge of the type area.
Now we want to set the headline in its own text frame and bring it close to the copy.
> Set HL text in its own text frame: Myriad Pro Semibold, 24pt; text color white.
> Bring the HL close to the copy.
The spacing between HL and Copy should be slightly larger than the spacing of a Copy blank line. This spacing is just right to make the headline stand out strongly from the copy, but leave it in conjunction with it and not overemphasize it.
The text block on page 2 communicates with the packshot. It contains the brand name, variety name, product name, quantity information, and alcohol content information. This is the core information of the product.
Since the packshot label features exclusive typography, we refrain from setting the text block in an exclusive font. We therefore decide to use the Adobe Garamond Pro here as well. This way we stay within the corporate design and don’t compete unnecessarily with the packshot typography.
However, we try to enliven the text with a differentiated design.
> Draw text frame;
> “Santa Teresa 1776” Adobe Garamond Semibold, 18pt, line break.
> “Ron Antiguo de Solera” Adobe Garamond Regular, 13pt, line break.
> “15 years” Adobe Garamond Regular, 13pt, divis for distinction, line break, blank line.
> “Alc. 40%vol” Adobe Garamond Regular, 13pt, line break.
> “0.7 L” Adobe Garamond Regular,13pt.
With the line breaks and the use of the blank line, we create multiple chunks that look loosely joined, yet are perceived as a unit and are easy to read. Once again, contrast is everything.
We now align the text block with the baseline of the headline on page 3, thereby linking it into the overall context.
> Cmd guide line baseline headline page 3.
> Alignment “15 years” at baseline HL.
It remains to find a place for the Enjoy responsibly line, which is obligatory for alcoholic beverages. To express its secondary status as a disclaimer, we place it small and away from the important text passages somewhere on the type area margin and even rotate it by 90°.
> Enjoy responsibly line, 10pt.
> Rotated 90°; left/bottom of type area.
The inside pages have now reached a state we can be satisfied with for the time being. We will save the fine-tuning for the final layout or final artwork phase.
On the outer pages, there is still some work to be done before we can complete the layout phase.
On page 1, for example, the bottom line is still missing.
> Draw a text frame in the type area of page 1; insert the bottom line via copy/paste.
> Adobe Garamond Regular Pro, 18pt, font color white, center horizontally.
> Text frame height 20 mm (like QR code) and dock to bottom edge of type area.
> Center text vertically: Open Object / Text Frame Options via cmd+B; Vertical Justification: Align center.
On page 4, the famous Che Guevara quote still needs to be designed and placed, as does the address line.
Of course, we are again using Adobe Garamond Pro for this. To emphasize the weight of quotations and statements, we like to center them and emphasize them with quotation marks and/or an italic font style. We use both in our example.
> Draw a text frame in the type area, insert the quote text via copy/paste and center it.
> Adobe Garamond Pro Regular, 12pt, text color white.
> Line break and blank line between quote and author.
The assignment of a font style like Bold or Italic must not be done with the electronic bold/italic markup. Always and without exception use the actual font style in the font menu to make sure that the desired font style is really used and not just an electronic corruption.
> “Nes ape ne destem iunt.” Adobe Garamond Pro Italic, 18pt.
The size contrast not only adds tension, but also makes it clear that the two lines are completely different types of text, here the spoken word, there the name of the person speaking.
In order to place a text element well on the field of a large empty area, the center position suggests itself. Since the elements have a tendency to visually sink downwards due to a mysterious gravitation, in such cases one chooses a slightly elevated position. This compensates for this undesirable tendency.
> Quote text block, Y: 120 mm.
We place the address line as a classic closing element and therefore place it at the bottom of the type area. It serves as reassurance and need not appear too large. There it enters into a relationship with the QR code placeholder.
> Draw text frame in the type area, insert address text via copy/paste; flush left.
> Text Adobe Garamond Pro Regular, 12pt, text color white.
> Shift tab to move URL to the right.
> URL Adobe Garamond Pro Bold.
With this, we have completed Layout 1 for the time being. Before we submit the result to the client, at least three things still need to happen.
- We compare the layout again with the briefing and our hand sketch and check whether all parts have been placed appropriately.
- We call in a colleague to check. The view of the other is an indispensable means of quality assurance.
- We print out the folder – on a reduced scale – and make a dummy. Only on the hand sample can the interaction of all parts and the functionality of the folder be assessed.
No matter how great the time pressure, none of these three points can be dispensed with.
Instead of the layout presentation, which we do without here in the workshop, we now take a step back and try to visualize the qualities of the folder. The qualities can be seen not least in what we did without when creating the design.
We have limited ourselves to a few elements and withstood the horror vacui. The guide lines and margins we have defined show how we have essentially accomplished this: By using an invisible type area and by making the elements correspond to each other using baseline alignment.
We ensured readability with restrained typography (no exaggerated font mix, clear typesetting, no markup orgies).
No off-topic elements, no l’art pour l’art, no flourishes and filler. We let our creativity be the servant of communication.
The set of design options discussed so far makes it possible to quickly and confidently create presentation and sales documents in which a product is the focus of communication.
Furthermore, it provides the graphic designer with a good basis for higher tasks. There is no better exercise for dealing with format, typesetting, typography and images than having to meet the requirements of a concrete, clearly formulated assignment.
Workflow scheme – Design to Print
Briefing > Rebriefing
Layout (collection, research, draft) > Layout approval
Final layout (typesetting, image editing, illu, proofreading) > final layout approval
Final artwork (fine typesetting, fine litho, fine illustration, printing parameters, final proofreading) > final approval
Preparation of print documents (PDFs, possibly proof)
Repro (artwork preparation)
The layout phase involves the creation and presentation of a design and an unspecified number of correction stages in which the design is perfected.
The layout phase is for finding and testing a design. The elements I handle in the process may not yet have the weight of finality.
After the client has approved the layout, the final layout phase starts.
At the latest in the final layout phase, the folder is built up in its final format and in its full scope.
Some elements of a textual, pictorial or graphic nature will only be added in the course of the final layout phase. Missing elements are always represented by layout images or magenta-marked placeholders in the final layout phase until they are added.
Sometimes, as in our example, the layout and final layout phases virtually coincide, i.e. the graphic designer decides to work in final layout mode right from the start.
This is only possible if the scope for design development is severely limited, for example by the strict specifications of a corporate design or the existence of a concrete template.
Time pressure or a small volume may also prompt the graphic designer to work from the start in the original format and with original elements. Of course, this requires a certain amount of experience and confidence in working with the elements and is not recommended in every case.
The final layout phase can only be completed when all the required parts have actually been assembled and finally placed in the folder.
Therefore, let’s finally create the QR code for page 4.
> Select URL and copy it to the clipboard via cmd+C.
> Activate QR placeholder with selection tool and generate QR code via right click.
> Type: Web Hyperlink; Paste URL via cmd+V and OK.
> Color field white.
At the end of the final layout phase there is always a proofreading. This must never be done by the graphic designer herself. The help of someone who is not directly involved in the project is needed. A binding proofreading must also be carried out on the client’s side, and there, too, it should only be done by someone who is not directly involved with the project.
Once all the details have been finalized and corrected, the client gives the go-ahead for the final artwork.
With the final artwork, all elements of the folder are brought into their final, printable form. As far as possible, the final artwork does not change the content or appearance.
- If corrections are required during the final artwork, this must be brought to the attention of the customer, who must respond by approving the artwork again.
- If corrections to the final artwork are requested by the customer, these are referred to as author’s corrections. These are to be charged separately.
Essentially, the final artwork involves carrying out the final typesetting, the final litho, the fine-illustration and checking for repro suitability.
Let’s start with the final typesetting.
> LY1-StaTeresa-Folder_4stg.indd save as… RZ1-StaTeresa-Folder_4stg.indd.
We take another look at the layout or final layout of the folder and subject all parts to a check and, if necessary, a fine adjustment.
> S1: We check the spot color assignment of the logo in the swatches.
Now let’s move on to the two inside pages.
- Let’s start again with the copy and check or fine-tune the microtypography.
- We examine the ragging of the flush left for the last time, set manual line breaks where necessary, make sure that the hyphenation is correct.
- We take a close look at punctuation marks in all parts of the text, quotation marks, special characters, ligatures, character and word spacing.
- The remaining text blocks are also subjected to a final detailed review.
In any case, there are two small kerning errors and one optical inadequacy in the text of the packshot that should be corrected. What am I talking about now?
The optical inadequacy concerns the year in the title. The “1” appears slightly off from the other digits. On the one hand, this has traditional reasons, but it can also be caused by the preparation of the digits for table typesetting. In normal typesetting, the character spacing between the digits must therefore sometimes be compensated manually. In any case, this problem always occurs with the slim “1”.
We usually successfully counter this problem by optically compensating the kerning.
> Select “1776”.
> Character Panel / Kerning: Optical.
If this simple measure is not sufficient to achieve a harmonious typeface for the digits, the character spacing must be compensated manually. This will not be necessary here.
Of course, we also make the optical adjustment for the „15″.
> Select “15”.
> Character Panel / Kerning: Optical.
The characters for measurements must not stick to the preceding number, but must also not be too far away. The distance that a simple space brings along is graphically a bit too big. I therefore recommend not to use a whole space for setting off the dimension character, but to set a so-called thin space (usually 1⁄5 or 1⁄6 of an em in width) for the space between the last digit and the dimension character. To achieve this, we resort to a very practical short command.
> Set cursor, cmd-shift-alt+M.
We still have to take care of another special case that we have ignored so far. This is on page 4.
The opening quotation mark just sticks to the first letter of the first word. The closing quotation mark of the Che Guevara quote hits a period. The text also appears in italics, which has the effect of literally catapulting the quotation mark out of the compound here. Such orthographically correct but unattractive character positions have to be compensated manually.
> Opening quotation mark, kerning 50/1000 em.
> Closing quotation mark, kerning -100/1000 em.
With a final save we finish the final typesetting.
The next step is to fine-tune the litho.
> Open RLY1-StaTeresa-Folder_S2-3.psd.
The PSD master is still in RGB mode. We will continue to keep this. After all, the folder is not only to be printed, but also output as a presentation PDF. For the litho workflow, working cross-medially means finishing the PSD master in RGB mode and generating two output files only at the end – an RGB file for the presentation PDF and a CMYK file for the print PDF.
The packshot still looks a bit weak and doesn’t really want to fit into the sunset mood. So we need to adjust the lighting situation of the packshot to the lighting mood of the background image.
> Duplicate Packshot Layer.
> Blending Mode: Hard Light.
With this, admittedly very simple, but purposeful measure we have brought some power into it.
Let’s take a step back and look at the result of our image processing. Of course, there is still room for improvement. After all, the subject now makes a reasonably coherent impression, the light mood of the sunset has captured all parts. Light, colors and contrast create a high appetite appeal.
We can now hide the bleed layer. Checking the color channels shows that we did not miss any strange pixels or artifacts anywhere.
> Hide bleed level.
> Check the separations: cmd+3, cmd+4, cmd+5, finally cmd+2.
Everything fine. Final save as RZ file.
> Save as… “RZ-StaTeresa-Folder_S2-3.psd”.
With this we have finished the image processing, our PSD master is ready. Now we will create the output files, which have to be placed into our InDesign file.
First the JPEG for the presentation PDF.
> File / Save a Copy: “RZ1-StaTeresa-Folder_S2-3.jpg”; Embed Adobe RGB (1998) profile; Quality Maximum; Baseline Standard.
Now the TIFF for the print output. In a first step we keep the RGB color mode for saving.
> File / Save a Copy: “RZ1-StaTeresa-Folder_S2-3.tif”;
> Uncheck Layers; Embed Adobe RGB (1998) profile; Image Compression: None; Byte Order: Macintosh.
So we use the convenient option of flattening all layers in the document while saving the TIFF file, i.e. reducing them to the background layer, which is recommended for printing.
This approach has two advantages …
First, the flattening is done automatically and does not need to be done manually.
Second, the PSD master is not changed by any of the actions I have to take to save it. And it shouldn’t, because it’s already finished.
In a second step we have to convert the image to CMYK. This is because we are aiming for four-color printing. All colors and tonal values are reproduced in proportions of cyan, magenta, yellow and black.
> Open RZ1-StaTeresa-Folder_S2-3.tif.
> Image / Mode / CMYK.
> File / Save a Copy: “RZ1-StaTeresa-Folder_S2-3.tif”; Embed Profile Coated FOGRA 39; Image Compression: None; Byte Order: Macintosh.
Now we merge the final artwork with the two finalized images.
> Switch to RZ1-StaTeresa-Folder_4stg.indd.
> Activate image and replace it with RZ1-StaTeresa-Folder_S2-3.jpg via cmd+D.
We save a RGB version of our final artwork. This simplifies the following workflow.
> File / Save as: “RZ1-StaTeresa-Folder_4stg_RGB.indd”.
Now we create a PDF that the client can use for presentation on a tablet or other devices.
> File / Export cmd+E.
> Adobe PDF (interactive).
In the export dialog we find numerous setting options that allow us to specify the appearance and functionality of the PDF.
> All Pages; Export as Pages.
> Viewing: Default.
> Open in Full Screen Mode.
> View After Exporting.
> Page Transitions: Wipe.
The compression settings are very important. Here you can set the balance between file size and image quality. Since in the presentation PDF the image quality is more important than the file size, we decide to use the lossless compression of a JPEG 2000.
> Compression: JPEG 2000 (Lossless), 144 dpi.
This file format is a further development of the well-known JPEG file format.
If the file size of the PDF is too large, JPEG (Lossy) is used and the quality is reduced.
144 dpi corresponds to twice the monitor resolution and is therefore perfectly adequate for a PDF that is to be shown on a display. You can even achieve halfway acceptable print results on classic office printers (LowEnd).
After pressing the Export button, the PDF is distilled and opens immediately in the Acrobat program.
Page 4 currently takes the place of the title in the PDF. We change this by moving the page thumbnail in the sidebar.
> Bring sidebar to view, set thumbnail S4 as last page.
> Save PDF.
We finish creating the presentation PDF by testing the PDF on a smartphone or tablet.
Final artwork PDF
Creating a printable PDF still requires a little security check in our InDesign file and also setting some preferences. We return to InDesign and first of all save a print version of our final artwork.
> Switch to RZ1-StaTeresa-Folder_4stg-RGB.indd.
> Activate image and replace with RZ1-StaTeresa-Folder_S2-3.tif via cmd+D.
> File / Save as: “RZ1-StaTeresa-Folder_4stg_5c.indd”.
The 5c specification in the file name is already a first hint for the printer that a spot color is used in addition to Euroscale CMYK.
To see the result on the monitor as it will come out of the press, we activate the overprint preview.
> View / Overprint View by cmd-alt-shift+Y.
> Hide guide lines cmd+Ü.
> Show Separations Preview Panel. Check color separations.
Checking the color separations is one of the indispensable quality assurance measures, as is inspecting the pages in the overprint preview and checking whether the bleed has been created or activated. Even in cases where time pressure makes the heart beat fast, these last steps must not be dispensed with.
> Check the bleed with the W key.
> Check separation of the inner sides.
If everything is set correctly and fits, the RZ-PDF can be written.
> File / Export cmd+E.
> Adobe-PDF (Print).
Also for the creation of a print PDF, numerous parameters have to be set in the Export dialog. Here it is necessary to apply full concentration one last time in order not to make any mistakes. First of all to the PDF presets.
> Open the Adobe PDF Presets menu.
> Select PDF/X-4:2010.
> Pages: All; Export as Spreads.
> Check Compression, resolution lower limit of course 300dpi.
> Marks and Bleeds: Activate Crop Marks and Page Information.
> Use Document Bleed Settings and therefore increase the offset of the marks to 3.117 mm.
> Save PDF and open in Acrobat.
We save the InDesign file one last time.
> Save file.
A final check of the PDF must not be omitted. Here I check again whether the bleeds are set, all parts are mapped correctly, whether any artifacts appear, and whether the image resolution is sufficient.
For the latter, we bring the PDF into 400% view and examine the pixel images in the document. If they appear perfect, they have sufficient 300 dpi. If the images are pixelated, the resolution is too low and I need to provide a higher resolution.
The final step in the final artwork phase is the repeated production of a dummy. This is also a part of quality assurance that should not be omitted.
If everything fits, we send the two PDFs, the presentation PDF and the RZ PDF, to the client for a final review. A final proofreading must now take place on the client’s side. If this can be completed positively, the customer gives the go-ahead for printing and confirms acceptance of the presentation PDF. The presentation PDF can then be used for its intended purpose.
On the graphic designer’s side, the print approval triggers the final steps in the preparation of the print documents.
Preparation of print documents
We assume that all the information for the printing process is already available. Where this is not the case, this is the last possible time to provide it.
It is always advisable for the graphic designer to contact the print shop before preparing the print documents. The key points of the job and the print parameters are discussed with a print expert or the necessary information is obtained from the print shop’s website.
In our case, the requirements and print parameters are …
Requirements/print parameters – Collected information
Job requirements: Folder, four-sided, five-color, 1000 pieces, delivery data.
Print parameters: Sheet offset, 60 screen, Coated FOGRA39, 250g/m2 art paper matte, folded, trimmed, delivered.
Both the requirements and the print parameters can be very different, in fact they vary from print job to print job.
Requirements and print parameters are summarized in a concise, clear statement and attached to the print documents when they are handed over …
Specifications – Cover Letter Printing Material Handover
Folder, four-sided, creased and folded to the final format
Format open: 420 x 297 mm (+3 mm bleed); Format closed: 210 x 297 mm
5/5c, Euroscale CMYK, PANTONE 4505
Coated FOGRA 39 (ISO 12647-2:2004)
Printing substrate: art paper matte, 250g/m2
Finishing: Dispolack matte recto/verso
Print run: 1,000 pieces
Delivery: place and time of delivery
The last step is to generate the print document, i.e. to write the print PDF.
> File / Export cmd+E; “DU-StaTeresa-Folder_4stg_5c”.
> Adobe-PDF (Print).
> Open PDF defaults menu: Select PDF/X-4:2010.
> Pages: All; Export as Spreads.
> Check Compression, resolution lower limit of course 300dpi.
> Marks and Bleeds: This time activate All Printers Marks.
> Use Document Bleed Settings and therefore increase the offset of the marks to 3.117 mm.
> Save PDF and open in Acrobat.
The PDF must be checked one last time. This is for your own peace of mind.
Now the print PDF and the specifications are sent to the print shop via e-mail.
Repro and printing
We chose sheet-fed offset printing because it is a very flexible and cost-effective printing process.
In the repro phase, the print document is transferred to the prepress workflow and prepared for the production of the printing plates. Final quality assurance measures are taken, and the print job and everything associated with it are planned.
At the end of the repro phase, the graphic designer usually receives a so-called brush proof, nowadays in the form of an approval PDF. This is used for the final check and approval for printing.
Once the go-ahead for printing has been given, plate production (CTP) takes place for the sheetfed offset printing process, the substrate is loaded, and the press is set up. Printing can begin.
If the graphic designer wants to keep a watchful eye on the actual printing process, she comes to the press proof. The ISO standards of the ICC profiles, the correctly selected PDF specifications or even a proof make the presence at the press proof superfluous in most cases. We have already talked about this in the Praxismodul Graphic Design I.
When you finally have a printed copy in your hands, you have to examine and assess the result. The folder is examined for any printing errors, cutting or folding errors, and the color and tonal reproduction are checked.
If the copy proves to be successful, a few random samples are taken from the print run if possible and these are also examined. If everything is perfect and turns out satisfactorily, one archives 2-3 copies of the printed folder and the created data and finishes the job with the accounting.
The long and detailed path we followed in the workshop contains just the most important milestones, techniques and processes of folder design.
Almost every job contains new aspects. But once you have a firm grasp of the basics that I have tried to convey here in the Praxismodul, you can turn with relish to the interesting, the new, the unusual, which is the appeal of graphic design.