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Monday, August 29, 2011

Offset Printing vs. Digital Printing

If you are a designers or even a small business owner marketing your company, at some point you are going to have to get professional printing done.  You will encounter the decision of Digital Printing or Offset Printing.  So how do you know which to choose?
In years past really the only way to get a professional looking print job was to do offset printing.  Digital printing was left to home desktop printers and really did not have much of a place in a professional print shop.  That has changed though, thanks to improvements in technology.  Now we have cost effective choices.
Offset Printing is best used for mass print jobs; newspaper, magazine, national direct mail drops, even business cards to name a few uses.  The beauty of offset is the 1000th printout looks as crisp and clean as the first.  When you provide your printer with a full color design they will go through a prepress process.  Part of this process is creating plates for the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black values in your design.  These colors are layered on top of each other at varying percents of intensity to create the full color design.  Although the actual printing process is not terribly expensive the prepress process can affect the final cost. 
The more you print the less the per piece cost is because the pre press cost will be the same regardless of how many prints you do.  So you can think of spreading $100 of prepress costs over doing 10 prints you would pay $10 for each print, or you can spread $100 in prepress costs over doing 100 prints and you would have $1 per print.  This is just an illustration of how mass printing can benefit from offset printing.  Of course you would still pay for paper, printing and post production costs.
Digital Printing is kind of like how you hit send and print to your home printer.  Of course there is more to it than that and a professional printer has a higher quality printer in general.  There is little to no prepress, you are just paying for the paper and ink for each print out. 
If you have ever tried printing a lot on your home printer you will notice the 100th print is not as clean as the 1st, a professional printer has that same issue.  This is why digital printing is best used for small print jobs.  Although I have to admit this issue gets less obvious as new technology is released.
As always I recommend asking your professional printer to offer their view on which process you should do.  They will be able to give you a cost breakdown to each process and recommend which is best for you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Adobe Trial Versions

It can get costly buying all of the design software you need.  There are some ways to get savings.  First of all if you are a student almost everyone including Adobe will give you full versions of software at a discounted price.  Ok, so a business owner can’t get student pricing but if you know what programs you want to use you can buy them in a package which offers great savings. For example Microsoft packages their applications and so does Adobe.  So maybe you don’t know what programs you want yet, well why not test drive them first.  For Adobe you can go to http://www.adobe.com/downloads/ and get a 30 day trial to test out.  At the end of the thirty days you can make the decision of buying or removing, but at least it is a chance to use the software and see if this is something you would like to purchase.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Blog Tutorials

Check out the video tutorials in this blog.  Roll your mouse over the Tutorials navigational link to see the drop down menu.  Photoshop; saving options, resizing images, the type tool and adding color.  Illustrator; type tool, making a burst, knife tool.  HTML; your first html page.  CSS; creating rounded corners and creating a drop shadow.  Notice  if you purchased the ebook “Your New Business Logo” the Illustrator tutorials go along with some activities in the ebook.  More coming soon!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

eBook Sales

How exciting books are starting to sell!  In case you missed it check out the latest book for sale Your New Business Logo it outlines how to create a logo in an easy to follow ebook guide using Adobe Illustrator. It is for sale on Amazon and Smashwords. 

It is kind of funny after spending months writing and rewriting an ebook like this you would think the hard work is done once you post it.  WRONG!!!  The job is just starting.  Really getting the book posted was a job in itself. 

Being a designer I first took the text into InDesign so I could do a pretty layout. Sadly this is not appropriate for an ebook format.  After reading through all Amazon had to say about publishing on their site I reformatted the entire book in html, thinking I would still be able to retain some formatting.  When I saw the book after uploading that was not the case. It put images anywhere it wanted, which being an instructional ebook kind of messed things up.  Not to mention when I went to upload to Smashwords I found they only accept .doc format. 

So I reformatted again all in Word.  I have to admit it did adapt to digital formats nicely.  Unfortunately Smashwords still said my book had errors and could not be in the Premium catalog, which I wanted. I reformatted for now the fourth time. This time did do the trick.  Ok,on to marketing!  BTW, thanks for buying my book.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Serif vs. Sans Serif

There are pros and cons to both but certainly worth considering.  Let’s explore what each is first.  Serif refers to the little tiny lines that come off of the very edge of a typeface.  For example if you look at a “T” in Times Roman you will see the strong cross on the top of the “T” and if you enlarged you could also see these little appendages that come off of each end of that cross.  Sans Serif is easy to remember it is NOT Serif.  Which of course we can guess means it does not have the little tiny appendages coming off the end of the letters.  These terms are used with any type foundry and it is reflecting the style of type.
What does this mean to your type selection?  Depending on color choice and complexity of design the Serif could get lost and make the overall design harder to read; likewise there are times the little appendages can lead the eye to the next letter making it easier to read.  My suggestion is to try both and see which one is more legible in your design.  Remember the trial and error should be worked through in production instead of publicly in the actual publication of your creative.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


In choosing type for your logo it is best to use one or two different typefaces.  The first typeface would be more ordinary and the second can be a bit more decorative.  Mixing two decorative typefaces would clash, as would two ordinary typefaces.  You need that ying and yang of type which in all reality would complement each other nicely.
You also need to take the target audience into consideration.  A wedding planner might have a script with loopy curves (like English Roundhand) for the main typeface; where as a general contractor might choose typeface that is more blocky (like Impact).  Whichever direction you take remember your audience needs to be able to read it so don’t go too crazy and risk losing your identity.
Check out this link http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/08/08/80-beautiful-fonts-typefaces-for-professional-design/ it actually shows you a variety of typefaces so you can see the differences for yourself.