Sending Work to the Printer | Dylan Mierzwinski | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Class Introduction


    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.

      How this class works


    • 4.

      Why is printing confusing?


    • 5.

      Printers: An Overview


    • 6.

      Color: An Overview


    • 7.

      The Ideal Life of a Printed Piece


    • 8.

      The Artwork Guidelines Checklist


    • 9.

      Resolution & Dimension


    • 10.

      Color Modes & Profiles


    • 11.

      Bleeds, Trim, and Safe Areas


    • 12.

      Assessing and Applying Color


    • 13.

      Fonts & Transparencies


    • 14.



    • 15.

      After Submitting the Job


    • 16.

      Thank You!


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

If you’ve ever finished a beautiful piece of digital work only to hold a dimmer, duller, less awesome version in your hand after printing, this class may be for you! Although printing something can be as easy as hitting “Command + P” on your keyboard, the process of printing is very technical, highly specialized, and varies from print shop to print shop, so it makes sense there’d be some confusion! In this class I try to break down the mystery into manageable, applicable bits so that you can start sending your work to the printer and loving the results. Here’s what I cover:

  • What makes printing confusing
  • Types of printing services and print shops
  • Color gamuts, models, spaces and profiles, as well as the difference between spot and process colors, and how to apply them (yes, I talk about Pantone guides!)
  • The ideal life of a printed project
  • How to setup your files in both Photoshop and Illustrator for great results, and also how to review your files in Adobe Acrobat
  • How to facilitate design work between a client and a print shop, and how to handle expectations, mistakes, and challenges

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Dylan Mierzwinski

Illustrator & Lover of Flowers

Top Teacher

I'm an artist and educator living in Phoenix, Arizona, and my main mission here is to inspire you to fill up a sketchbook. And then to acquire another and do it again. You see, my sketchbooks have become a journal of my life as intimate as a diary; a place to meet myself on the page, to grow, to express, to enjoy myself, and to heal. And to commemorate my favorite snacks if I'm going to be so honest about it. It's the greatest thing ever, and all people deserve to dabble in creative practice.

In my time as a professional illustrator I've gotten to work with clients like Anthropologie, Magnolia, Martha Stewart, Red Cap Cards, Penguin Random House, and many more. As of this writing I've enjoyed teaching over 150k of you here on Skillshare, as well as many ... See full profile

Level: Beginner

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Class Introduction: Hey guys, my name's Dylan [inaudible] I'm an illustrator and selling enthusiasts living in Phoenix, Arizona In this class, we're going to be talking about sending your work to the printer. We're going to go over basics like types of printing and color terminology. I'll show you how to prepare your files in Photoshop and Illustrator. We'll also talk about some of the more elusive details to printing like how to work as the go between for your client and their project and the printer, and what to do if something goes wrong. Let's get printing. 2. Class Project: For your class project, you're going to choose a print on demand service or print shop to get a design of yours printed. Follow along with the steps in the videos to find the artwork guidelines for your printer, prepare your file for print, and hit Submit with more confidence than you may have had in the past. I recommend starting with a print on demand service, since the cost and volume are low. On the Project page, you'll not only find my project, which you can base your off of, but links to some products I recommend to get started with. Super excited to see what direction you go in. 3. How this class works: I know I gave a lot of disclaimers before jumping into things in my classes, but this one is sort of warranted. My classes usually have a small to large ratio of lecture and demoing, but this class is really heavy on the lecture part. As I was researching, I realized that it isn't really enough to simply show you how to set up your bleeds and colors phases in Photoshop and Illustrator, though we will; but I wanted you to understand the reasoning behind the settings because that's what's going to make you more comfortable in your workflow. The benefit of me doing it this way is you get all the information or the harder part up front, which means the execution videos, the actual 'here's how to apply these things' parts of the class are super short and fast. Even better is if you need to reference how to set up your resolution or export your file, you can easily find the video you need without having to sort through the lecture. I hope you'll come with this information with an open mind and be gentle with yourself for taking it all in. I don't think you guys are stupid. On the contrary, you're trying to learn more to expand your discipline. I simply don't want you to get discouraged by the technical stuff we're going to be going through. Finally, as I got deeper and deeper into researching this class, it was clear the rabbit holes just weren't going to end. While I feel proud of all that I've gathered to share with you, I by no means want you to think this is everything in the printing world. Let this be your confident first step. Let's do it. 4. Why is printing confusing?: For most of my life, the printer was an annoying hunk of plastic that gathered dust on her computer desk. It never really worked when you needed it to and it was always running out of ink, and in fact, not much could turn my dad into angry dad quite like our printer. When I started learning design, I realized that there would come a time when I'd have to make nice with printing again, as I'd be dealing with a lot of projects that needed to end up on a physical piece of paper. Like some of you, I was told the definition of RGB and CMYK, told the colors on paper will never be as vivid as those onscreen, told color accuracy is really important for clients and then we just moved on to the next topic. Those three pieces of seemingly helpful information derailed my intention to print for a long time because those few pieces alone asked more questions than they answered. I know it pretty basic, but I just didn't really understand how we could look at CMYK values on a screen at all, and how do we ensure that my colors are accurate for my client? How what I do as a designer figures into the printing process at all, like what's my role? Eventually client work came up that required printing and so I had to do it, and slowly but surely, that dropping of my stomach after submitting each job subsided, and I realized that printing isn't so scary. It is a complicated subject matter and I've made mistakes before, but for the most part it's a steep but forgiving learning curve. Let's first talk about why printing is so confusing. First, it's technical and highly specialized. Essentially, digital data is traveling from our computer to an output device that needs to translate that data for a different medium. That data needs to work with actual machinery to execute the process, so not only is the theory of it difficult but the actual mechanics of it is difficult too. From my research, it seemed like people in the print industry specialize in one part of the process or type of printing overall, and they get really, really good at that. This means there are few people who truly grasp the process in its entirety and can articulate how it works to people like us. Secondly, it varies. There isn't just one type of printing machinery or print process. Each Shop offers different types of printing services with different printers, ink stocks and specialties. Lastly, it's technology, so it's evolving. Things like printing an RGB, edible inks, invisible inks, fluorescent toners, etc, are all just examples of ways the print world is evolving right now. As soon as you have a rule down, like only use CMYK for printing, it's usually broken by a sweet new technology that actually can print in RGB. That makes things difficult. What does that mean for people like us? Well, you know what else is highly technical and varies from unit to unit, cars. How many of you took driver's out, and now drive a car regularly? How many of you fully understand how your car functions? My guess is very few. I know, I don't, and so don't lose hope over printing. It is technical and you'll need to look under the hood just to get a rough feel for how things need to be. But you don't need to become a print expert to be an expert in your own part of the design process as it relates to printing. 5. Printers: An Overview: There are more or less six types of printing. Offset, digital, flexography, silkscreen, letterpress, and thermography. Offset and digital are the most common. That's where we're going to be focusing on the most. Offset printing is when the data for our print file is used to burn a plate that gets attached to the printer. Inked images go from the plate to a rubber blanket and are then applied to the paper, hence offset. Almost all commercial print shops offer offset printing. Offset printing can be broken into two categories, sheet fed and web. Sheet fed offset printing uses already cut sheets of paper to be fed through the press, and then once done, they can be put through various finishing processes for folding and binding, etc. Web offset printing uses a roll of paper to be fed through the precedent very high-speed, followed by the sheeting, gluing, folding and even fragrance adhesion that happens inline right on the press. All of that functionality and speed has its downsides though. Web offset presses are heavier, larger, more expensive to maintain, and sometimes so loud they need their own soundproof room. If something goes wrong in one part of the process, the whole presses down. In sheet fed printing, if something goes wrong in one part of the process, the whole press doesn't need to be suspended, but if it does, it's not outrageous for a print shop to have a second offset press. It's much more common for them to have that than a second web offset press. Sheet fed presses allow ink to dry naturally or to have a coating applied and then dried naturally. With web offset printing ink drying times have to be expedited because the whole presses so fast. Regular web offset presses are cold or only use uncoated stock because it drives faster. This is how newspapers are printed. There are heat set web offset presses which bake the ink on to either coated or uncoated stock to help the ink dry, but this can lead to fluting where too much moisture is drawn out of the paper ink, which can result in a ripple or a wavy effect. Both types of offset printing are high-quality. They work best for long runs and high volume. That's what the price point accommodates. They supports true spot colors, which we'll talk about a little later. They also offer a wide variety of stocks and sizes. Web offset printing does have less options than sheet fed though. As a real-world example of offset printing, it's common for magazines to print their covers on sheet fed presses which are higher quality to use as a wrapper for the interior pages, which are printed on a web offset press, which are lower-quality for their high-volume jobs. Unlike offset printing, digital printing uses no plates to apply the image. Instead, the file data is sent directly to the printer, which already results in lower costs in handling time. Digital printers and presses are either toner based, which think laser printers or pigment based, think classic ink-jet printers. Toner based printers are what you might find in an office, and these printers charge the paper with static electricity, which attracts toner, Which is like a powdered ink to the charged areas. They are not great for visual work because they have a limited CMYK gamut or range of colors, and the toners aren't guaranteed for light fastness, they're not as long lasting as pigment based printers. However, laser printers are really fast. Pigment and ink based printers have little nozzles that spray ink onto the page. They're excellent for photography and artwork as their extended color gamut or range of colors. It's very vivid and often can't be reproduced on offset process. There are a few reasons for this. Sometimes digital printers have additional inks beyond the basic four, which are cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Instead they have added ones like light cyan, and magenta, even orange and green. Even the ones that do only use the basic four. The pigments to use in the anchor finer and can add more power than an offset presses. Additionally, the internal look-up tables that printers use to convert colors from RGB to CMYK are getting really sophisticated and can sometimes just render color better than offset presses, will talk more about these color terms and the color section. They are just not as fast. Not old school inkjet slow, they're just not as fast as offset printing or even digital laser printing. Since there isn't a plate determining the oppression on the page like with offset printing, digital printing gives us a unique impression each time. This opens the door for variable data printing, meaning each piece can have something different on it within one print job. For example, If I printed an invitation design on an offset press, not a digital press an offset press. A plate would need to be made for that design, and that plate would be used to apply this same image to every invitation I ordered. But with digital printing, I can swap out the addresses on each invitation, making each one unique and saving time on addressing them. This also makes QR codes and bar-codes possible on marketing items. If you've ever printed with and seeing the promotion of their print affinity technology, then you're already familiar with variable data printing. Moos print fluidity allows you to order business or postcards where one side of the pack is all the same with varying opposite sides as many as you want. Digital printing doesn't have a lot of inline finishing, but your work can still be finished off press if needed. In fact, if you're interested, during my research, I found out that there's actually like a big heated debate in the printing world about doing everything all on the press versus keeping printing and finishing separate. Yeah, that's the thing. Digital printing is high-quality with a price point that accommodates low volume, which is less than 500, which is great. There's not a lot of support for true spot colors, but as I mentioned earlier, they still pack a punch with color. There's a wide variety of printable surfaces. Not just paper socks, but metals, glass, plastic, auto wraps, fabric and more. A real-world example of digital printing is spoon flower. Spoon flower can offer custom fabric because they were one of the first to use a wide format digital press to print on the fabric, which is essentially just a large inkjet printer. Instead of the traditional textile mill method of developing screens and plates for each color and design, or using some type of chemical sublimation, which is very expensive. That's digital printing. Flexography is a type of printing that supports photographic art texts and vector art and applies it to irregular surfaces and flexible packaging. Like snack bags, pet food bags, corrugated packaging and things like that. Silkscreen is typically for textiles. You might have a silk screen t-shirt and your closet right now, but can also be applied to irregular surfaces like bottles and jars and cans. Letterpress is a long-standing method of using pressure and ink to press an image or text into the sockets being applied to, its super fancy. It's very drool worthy, and it's also pretty expensive per piece, and finally, thermography is a different way to get texture on your piece, which is where heat is used to react an agent that's added to the paper similar to embossing. With all of that info, let's look at when it's best to use a print shop, print on demand service, or even print at home. Traditional print shops are going to have more capabilities with handling complex and customized print jobs, as well as better quality assurance for high volume work. If a client comes to you wanting 10,000 brochures, it's not going to make sense to place that large of an order with a print on demand service like this to print. In general, since larger print jobs are a bigger investment anyway, it makes sense to work with a specialist who can offer their expertise. Most traditional print shops list examples of what they can do, but it's by no means an exhaustive list. Whereas you can't call up this to print and ask them to print a custom folded booklet for your client. You're stuck with the products that they list as offerings. Print shops are also more apt to offer proofs before the job goes to print and additionally, if you're going to be working with true spot colors, which again we'll talk about soon. More than likely you'll need to work with a traditional print shop. Print on demand and on-line printers. With this I mean to print moo overnight prints. They're great for the middle people, which is most of us, for clients who aren't overly fanatical about the shade of red being used in their logo. Who need low to moderate volume and have someone usually you, the designer to comprehend artwork guidelines and execute the print job. The cost of these services is often much more competitive than print shops that have made ready and higher overhead costs. The downside is proofs are hard to come by, meaning you'll probably have to invest in a small order to ensure everything looks how you need, and there isn't a safety net of a print pro helping you out. Sure most of these services have like some QA that looks over your files to make sure there aren't glaring issues, but this isn't the same as a printing professional who's been doing this for decades. These services are also excellent just for testing out printing on your own. They offer a range of products that are both functional and enjoyable for your home and office. You can design a few items and have them printed to help your own printing education, all without breaking the bank. At-home-printing, usually with some type of digital inkjet printer is great for very low volume work. As discussed earlier, some inkjet printers have a wider color gamut than offset presses. If your work is illustrative or requires vivid use of color printing your own prints at home could be a really great option. Inks and papers can be expensive to buy. Like I said, any type of volume work is really best for print shops and print on demand services. In home laser printers are rarely viable options for acceptable printing quality. As we talked about, they're really great for crisp text and fast production, but they don't always offer great color reproduction or management. This is the big takeaway from the whole class when in doubt, just call and ask a printer. I used to think that I shouldn't do that because I should be able to figure it out on my own, but now that we all know that printers are all different, it's actually smart to call the printer and ask lots of questions. 6. Color: An Overview: Hi, it's me again, the disclaimer queen. I'll put a note in on this video where I start the actual color talk for those of you who haven't been scarred by color and would like to jump ahead as I'm certainly not trying to waste your time. But, if you've been confused by printing primarily because of color, I would like to try and give you a hug with my words, to come for you in this difficult time. Since starting my design journey and even since doing research for this class, I found myself many times thinking, this is so frustrating. Why do they make it so hard to understand, like all caps? Then it dawned on me, there is no "They". Humans didn't just show up on this earth and say, "Let there be color." It's just sort of this thing we have in our lives and we don't have any control over it. It's duly scientific and subjective and so, doesn't it makes sense that it's pretty difficult to take color and harness it, let alone standardize it for use across nationalities and technologies and applications? When you start to look at it that way, it makes sense why it's confusing. I'm just saying all of this so that you won't beat yourself up if you haven't understood it before, and instead, accept that it's just one of those things. The good news, as I've said earlier in this video, is you don't have to have an exhaustive understanding of color as it applies to printing, to have a success printing color. Instead, you'll need to wrap your head around a few of the main terms in order to make better choices based on the printer you're using and the project you're working on. Going back to the car metaphor, you need to know that the brakes stop the car and the engine makes it go. You don't have to understand it mechanically, but you need to be familiar. Let's get to it. A color gamut refers to the range of colors a certain device or object can produce. I'm going to link to a video that I think can support this and describe it much better than I can. But I will take an example from that video, adopt it and share it with you because I think it really demonstrates what gamut refers to. Say I've got a box of 12 crayons. I can color a broader range of colors than I can with a box of 12 colored pencils. With the pencils, even if I pushed down as hard as I can, I'm not going to get as saturated colors as I can with the crayons, and the crayons can also color lighter values, so it offers me a bigger range or gamut. Printers, are the same way. They have a certain gamut or range of colors they're able to print, whereas a digital camera screen may have a broader gamut and be able to display brighter, darker, and more saturated colors. Even paper has a gamut. Uncoated stock can't produce as vivid colors as coated stock, so there's a difference in gamut between them. It's really just a way to compare color models and spaces. A color model is a way to represent colors as numbers. Within those models are recipes to create a certain color. For example, the recipe for white in the RGB model is 255 255 255. We have various models because they differ in their application. Models can be compared by gamut. For example, RGB has a larger gamut of colors than CMYK. The two best-known color models for designers are CMYK and RGB. RGB, red, green, blue is an additive color model of red, green, and blue light. An additive means that as you add the colors of light together, you get white. You should design an RGB when you're creating digital work that will be consumed on a screen or device that uses light to create its colors. CMYK, cyan, magenta, yellow, and key, or black is a subtractive model of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink. Subtractive means, in theory, as you add the colors of ink together, you get black. If you actually mix cyan, magenta, and yellow together, you get a muddy brown. We have the black as the fourth color. You should design in CMYK when you're sending your work to be printed with pigments or inks, which is what CMYK is. There are two exceptions or special items that I want to mention here. As a refresher from earlier, some inkjet printers don't only use CMYK inks. Some now come with additional cartridges like light cyan and light magenta and orange and green. These printers not only have a wider color gamut than an offset press, but they're expecting to receive RGB information for it to convert it correctly, instead of CMYK information, which in some instances the printer will convert back to RGB then to CMYK again. In those cases, our conversion for our colors from RGB to CMYK might candy cap are potential gamut. But if we supply it in RGB, the printer is able to better convert the colors based on the available inks. Sometimes they can even reproduce spot colors really well. But even those with only CMYK inks still may convert better due to sophisticated internal lookup tables. Again, ask your printer if you're job could benefit from the file being an RGB instead of CMYK. Secondly, you probably won't run into this very often, at least not yet, but I thought it was cool and I wanted to mention it, that there are these laser or LED printers being developed that expose traditional photographic paper with RGB lasers before developing it with chemicals. Those machines do use actual RGB data to do this, so you wouldn't print that using in CMYK. There are other color models too, examples are Lab, HSP, which is hue saturation value. Sometimes it's hue saturation brightness or hue saturation lightness. Grayscale, which is luminosity and indexed. A color space or profile is a standard that defines a color model. In English, you can think of a color space like a flavor of a color model. Some flavors of RGB are bigger and more robust than others. Examples of this, again, taken from that video that I linked to, are SRGB or Adobe RGB. Both are color spaces that use the color model of RGB to map the colors. The difference between the two are their gamuts. SRGB is a more limited color space, but because of that, it's also like a lowest common denominator. There are virtually no devices that won't be able to display the full gamut of the SRGB color space. Adobe RGB, however, offers a much larger color gamut within the RGB color model. To give you a theoretical example, if I took a picture of a piece of grass, and my camera in an oversimplified version of what it's doing to store data, stores the color of that grass as 100 percent green. That green could display differently based on the color space I'm in. One hundred percent green and SRGB might be a slightly less saturated or bright color than 100 percent green in the Adobe RGB color space, which has a larger gamut and therefore has a more intense green. Note that the color value itself didn't change in both instances. The oversimplified color data is 100 percent green, but because the gamuts between the spaces differ, the color displays differently. The main takeaway here is that the space is simply a way to ensure that what you're seeing on your monitor, how the colors are being mapped, is the same as how the printer will be using them. We'll be going over how to implement these things in a later video. Earlier we talked about offset presses supporting both process and spot colors. But what does that mean? Process colors refer to the colors created mixing CMYK inks and pigments together. As your piece is printed, different screens of color are layered on top of one another to create a color. Spot or solid colors are pre-mixed to the desired color and applied to the piece as is. Pantone colors are all spot colors. You tell the printer the color number you want. They mix it and it's applied to your piece after the process colors had been applied, if applicable. The best way to remember if you have a hard time keeping them straight is process colors require the process of separate colors being layered to create a single color, where a spot or solid colors are all ready a solid color, they need to be in our applied as is. Some of what we went over should start making some more sense now. Offset presses support process and spot colors, while digital presses don't have full spots support, that as we've talked about, digital presses have an extended gamut at that reinterprets spot colors really well. In the world of printing specifically, there are set color systems to help standardize the use of color. The best-known system in the US is called Pantone, which is a proprietary color space that uses 15 base colors to mix over 16,00 spot colors. They also provide resources for matching and reproducing pressers colors. Did you know that it isn't the only standard like it? ANPA is a spot color system with spot colors for newspaper printing. TOYO is a Japanese spot ink system that's gaining popularity in the States, and similar to Pantone has a set number of specific spot colors. The difference is the color model that they're based off of. TRUMATCH, an American standard I believe, uses the same color model is TOYO, but with a focus on accurately picking out process colors, not spot colors like TOYO and Pantone. All of this is to say there are many standards for color. Since Pantone is so prevalent in the US, though we'll focus on the guides for that. There are all types of guides for different disciplines, but for the most part I can recommend two. There are process color guides for coded and uncoded stock, and there are color bridge for coded and uncoded stock. Process guides, although from Pantone don't have anything to do with spot colors. This is similar to the problem TRUMATCH tries to tackle. Every page of the guide has two columns of delicious process colors to choose from. One book shows all of these conversions on coded paper, while the other shows all the conversions on uncoded paper. Beneath each swatch is the corresponding CMYK formula that you'll need to implement the color. One glance of the uncoded CMYK guide instantly communicates the limitations of CMYK. If you have one, go to the orange section and you'll see what I mean. There's not a lot of bright and vibrant oranges to choose from. Color bridge guides, as the name suggests, try to bridge the gap between spot colors and process colors. You get to guides in one. In fact, if you can only afford to buy one set, as they're pretty pricey, I would recommend the Bridge guide. Every page of the guide has two columns of color. On the left is a Pantone spot color. On the right is the best representation of that color using process inks, along with the CMYK formula and hex value. Again, there are two books that show these values on coded and uncoded stock. These guides are helpful in more ways than one. The obvious is you have a way to approximate how your process or spot colors will look on a given stock. Lessening the margin of error with color accuracy, as well as consistency for branding. You're able to determine whether you can print a project with process colors, or whether you'll have to spring for a spot color to producers color CMYK simply can't. They're great tools for understanding the limits to the CMYK color gamut. You can really develop an intuitive feel for where CMYK might fall off and how things will look not on your screen, which can all steer your choices as a designer. For example, maybe blue is a classic color that CMYK can't produce very accurately. If I know that my client doesn't have the budget or interests to afford spot colors on all their printed collateral, I probably won't brand them with a navy blue or is similarly difficult color like a bright orange. They can also help you get a better understanding of how stocks offer different gamut. The colors on the coded stock seem to leap off the page, whereas colors of an uncoded stock, seem less vibrant. Lastly, lean on it to help you educate your clients on color. If they want a certain color that you know could be troublesome, you can sit down with them with a guide and show them why they should or shouldn't produce the piece in a certain way. In a later video, I'll show you how to specify spot colors in Photoshop and Illustrator. What does all of this mean? It means that in order to wrangle in all that we know about color and put it to use, we need to have a color management system. Now traditionally these are super technical calibrations between devices, but I'm stealing and adopting of the term to talk about a more casual workflow for how we can handle color and print successfully. The steps that you can add to your workflow could be understanding and implementing artwork guidelines provided by printers. Setting color space and using the right color model, which you're learning in this class, so good job. You can get a device to calibrate your monitor to help ensure that what you're seeing on your screen is standard. Very few monitors are set up to handle color accurately by default. Note I haven't done this yet, but after researching for this class, I'm probably going to go for it soon. It seems like you're getting really accurate with making your screen look close to what you can expect the printed page to look like. Using colored systems like Pantone and TRUMATCH to communicate color are great ways to strengthen your success rate with printing and managing expectations. Looking at proofs of your work obviously makes it easier to sleep at night sending a job to the press. I'll show you later how to proof, or view your colors in a way that better resembles the printed page. You can use ICC profiles, which are sets of data that help tag your document with the correct color space and input and output information. For example, the book publishing company, Blurb, has its own ICC profile that you can download and use on Adobe products to ensure the files and colors will translate correctly to their press. The more you print, the more you'll naturally add to your color workflow. Lastly, this is a super advanced measure, but there are companies out there that can help with a technical color management system. 7. The Ideal Life of a Printed Piece: The first thing you can do to make your printing life easier, is to not fall into the trap that most designers do. I know I have, which is bringing the printer in too late. From all the information in the previous videos, you now know that printing as a technical discipline with many options and paths. As soon as you know you're working on a project with a print destination, you need to start asking a lot of questions and communicating with a printer. If you're working with a client, educating them on the nuances and complexity of printing, then agree on a direction. Bring the printer back in the loop with the direction you're moving in and collect any guidelines you'll need to keep in mind. Get your client and printer to sign off on stages along the way so you have something to fall back on if there's an issue down the line. The process of designing and checking in can have many iterations. Rely on proofs whenever feasible see, you can get approval on how the final product will look before sending it to press. From there it's prepping the final file and sending it off. Keep all this work in mind when pricing, you deserve to be compensated for putting in time on this crucial part of the project. You might have to call for printers, explain your project to them, ask them questions and play telephone between the printer and your client, and then do the actual work for the project. All of that is billable and the reason someone hires a designer. Of course, sometimes you have questions for your client or information for your printer. But in general, I try to stick to the model of going to the printer with lots of questions and going to my client with lots of information and options. 8. The Artwork Guidelines Checklist: There's a basic list we can use to make sure we have all the information we need for our project. Let's go over what these items are first then I'll show you how to handle them in both Photoshop and Illustrator. These aren't in any particular order. I just tried to group them in ways that might seem organized. Starting with resolution and dimension, resolution refers to how many dots or pixels there are per inch. If I could build a picture with 72 dots or 300 dots, the 300 dot image is going to be able to show more detail. This is why so many printers require your images to be 300 DPI, so fine detail is represented cleanly. The exception to this are printers that print on different materials like Spoonflower and Society6, who ask the resolution be 150 DPI for a quality print on their tapestries and fabric. Another exception is when you're printing large format like posters and billboards, in which case the viewing distance can change the resolution. We view billboards from many feet away, so having perfect crisp lines isn't as important as an invitation you're holding in your hand a foot away from your face. If you're working in large format, be sure to ask your printer what resolution your output should be. If they say 150 DPI for a large project, you could work on your project at 300 DPI at half the size, then export it at twice the size, and therefore half the resolution. Dimension refers to the actual physical size, for example, eight inches by 10 inches. As a side note, a file size is determined by both the resolution and dimension because the amount of pixels drives up the file size, and the amount of pixels is determined by how many are filling the inches on your product. So if I have a five inch by five inch image at 300 DPI, and a five inch by five inch image at 72 DPI, the 300 DPI file is going to be larger because it has more pixel data than the 72 DPI picture. The relationship between resolution and dimension is super important. There are lots of really great explanations out there of how they work if you need more detail than I've given here. I'll be sure to link to some helpful articles in the class resources. Moving onto color, space and models. As we talked about earlier, choosing a color model and space is simply assigning our document a tag, if you will, for which color collection should be used to view the colors as intended. You'll be working in RGB or CMYK, more than likely CMYK, with a color space that's determined by your printer. For example, Artifact Uprising, a company that does photographic prints and books, so probably digital press, request your files are in RGB and in the sRGB color space. Your printer will let you know what color space or profile you should be in, or even could provide you with the ICC profile that will automatically plug the correct info in for you. Trims, bleeds, and safe areas all have to do with document boundaries. The trim line is where your artwork will actually be cut, so if I'm working on a five by seven invitation, the trim line will represent the five by seven area. The safe area is a reasonable margin within your trim area where you should not extend important text and graphics past, to keep it clear of the trim line. Bleed is a way to extend your artwork past the trim line to ensure the color is printed from edge to edge, for example, if I have a postcard that has a yellow background, I want this area to extend larger than my postcard so that after it's trimmed, it goes all the way to the edges without a small white border. If your project has borders that touch the edges, the printer will probably give you a margin for how far the border should extend into the bleed, as well as how far it should go on the inside of the trim area. Here, we're reviewing the colors in our document, assessing final process and/or spot colors and applying them, and also assessing our black values. Let's talk about the darkest values in your artwork, which can be described as flat black or rich black. Flat or standard black has a CMYK value of 0-0-0-100, and produces a very dark gray that's flat. Rich black, however, brings in small amounts of the process colors to add dimension and weight to the black, so 30-30-30-100. Use flat black for fine lines to ensure crispness by preventing potential ghosting, which is when the screen for each color is slightly misaligned or misregistered, resulting in a blurry, strangely colored line. You'll find ghosting on newspapers sometimes. Use rich black in larger areas to create more dimensional dark value. Fonts and proofreading. Proofread your stuff. It's very common for designers to overlook misspellings and mistyped information. After all, we're converting color models, implementing design theory, communicating a message, solving problems, so it makes sense that you're looking so closely at the kerning between an I and an E that you don't realize that heist is spelled wrong. This happened in the Dark Knight series. Isn't that so dumb? I like to read my work over twice to myself out loud, not in my head because your motor skills will trip over issues better than your brain, well if you're reading just in your head, which is constantly correcting things for us. Then have someone else read it, then have five more people read it, then make sure your client reads it, and just really make sure they read it for sure, because printing is a long and expensive process, so don't let a misspelling ruin all that hard work. You can even throw the copy you're given into a Google Doc and it'll do a great spell check for you. It even has current football player names up-to-date, so that's cool. Photoshop and Illustrator do have built-in spell checkers, but I recently discovered Illustrator didn't know relatable was a word, so not cool. For most printing projects, you'll be submitting a PDF. In these instances when you aren't providing a working file and supporting assets, you need to outline your fonts. This way, it doesn't matter if the printer has the fonts you've used or not, everything will print correctly. You want to have all your text editing completed before this, or just keep a copy of the text on an invisible layer until you know for sure that it's final. Also use this chance to check that none of your font sizes are too small. I'll link to a resource on this. Transparencies and other effects, drop shadows and such, are being rendered by the graphic software you're using, so to ensure they'll print correctly, they should be flattened. Illustrator has a quick way to handle this that will take a translucent instance of a royal blue and change it to it's fully opaque hue of the same effect. This one's pretty simple. You just want to double-check your line weights just to ensure none are too thin for intended print quality. I have linked to a helpful guide that helps display common line weights as they look in real life. If your project calls for specialties like die cutting, and bossing, or gold foil, you'll need to supply artwork that lets the printer know where this will be happening. In most cases, you'll designate a color to represent the area that has this special treatment, and output that out artworks separately. For instance, offers foil on their business cards, which I've ordered before. I supplied them two files, one with the artwork to be printed, and the other was a black and white document where the black indicated the areas that needed to be foiled. Keep in mind that die cutting and bossing are big, intense jobs that will require a lot of communication with your printer upfront in order to run the course of the job successfully. Finally, we get into exporting. As I said earlier, when you get to exporting, you'll most likely be exploiting a PDF, or in the case of some PODs, a high res JPEG. Sometimes you'll instead send a working file, in which case you'll also need to bundle the assets that are in the document, for example, fonts and images used in a document will need to be supplied along with the working file if they haven't been imbedded. Both PODs and print shops usually have their file prep guidelines on their website. To find it, I usually scroll to the bottom of the site and look for something along the lines of FAQ or help. Something that will lead me to documentation. From there, you may find the words artwork guidelines or file prep or something, and this, my friends, holds the gold to printing successfully for that printer. It will state all the important ways you need to set up your files. If something isn't listed, you can either call them to double-check, or know that it might not be pertinent to their specific printing process. As always, if you're confused about these guidelines or even a little unsure, just reach out to the printer to clarify. Lastly, some PODs and other printers have working files you can download as templates. These will already have the correct settings and will usually have guides for bleed, trim and safe areas. 9. Resolution & Dimension: Let's take a look at how to set up your resolution and dimension in Photoshop. If you're starting from scratch, then all you need to do is pay attention to rate over here. You can see I have my width and height. It's usually going to be in pixels, but I like to switch it to inches or when I'm working in print because obviously, that's the unit I'm used to and right here is where you set your resolution. You can hit "Okay." If you're working from a document that has already been started, you can find out what the resolution and dimension is by going down here and clicking, and it'll show me the width is 3300 pixels, 11 inches by 5100 pixels or 17 inches at 3300 pixels per inch, which is what I want. If you're not seeing those numbers, just click on this arrow here, and you can pick document sizes. If you need to alter your resolution from a working file, you can go up to image and image size. You can see that I can change the resolution here. Now, the only thing is, you want to keep in mind that you can't just take a picture or an image that's at 72 dpi and bump it up to 300 and expect it to be a sharp image, because essentially, Photoshop is going to add pixels, but it's going to guess based on the pixels that are around it. It's not always going to be an ideal result. But if you need to change your resolution, that's where you do it. Let's take a look at how to set resolution and dimension in illustrator. From the new doc dialog box, just like in Photoshop, you'll see that I have my width and height and I can also set it to inches. But you'll notice that I don't really have my resolution anywhere. If you hit this "More Settings," then you can see my raster effects. I can set these to 300. The reason that it's not as out in the front as it is in Photoshop, is because Illustrator is a vector program, and so you're really not setting a final resolution until you're exporting a graphic from illustrator because vectors inherently don't have resolution. I've got my raster effects settings to 300. I can set my width and height and I can hit "Okay." I had two art boards, so that's why they are two. If you need to change your resolution from a working file, you can go up to effects and document raster effects settings. You'll find these here. Those settings are really only important in Illustrator if you're bringing in external images that have 300 resolution. You want to make sure that you're able to size things correctly. If you are way too big and you bring an image in or something, it just makes sure that images and things that are rasters are going to view correctly. If you need to change the dimension of a working file, you can just use your art board tool, which the keyboard shortcut is Shift L, or it's this icon over here that looks like a page with a cross hairs on the top corner. You can either click and drag or you can go up to the width and height up here and dial in what you want. Maybe I want this to be 11 inches by 17, I can hit "Enter" and "Zoom Out." When I'm done, just go back to my selection tool and I have changed the dimensions. I can also set the resolution on export if I'm exploiting a JPEG. I could go to "File, Export, Export As," select a "JPEG." If I have more than one art board, I can determine which art boards I want to export. Then this is where I can set my color mode, the quality, the resolution, and whether I want to embed the ICC profile or not. 10. Color Modes & Profiles: Let's talk about setting up your color model and your color space in Photoshop. We're actually going to take a look at the settings first. If you go to Edit and color settings, we can set up some general rules that we want to happen all the time and so the first thing we're going to look at are these working spaces and this is basically saying, this is the space that I want to work in when I'm in Photoshop. If I'm in RGB, I want to be in the sRGB color space. If I'm in CMYK, I want to be in the US web coded swap V2 or whatever. You can change these if you want to and then down here you can also tell it how you want to manage the color. For instance, if you bring in something, do you want it to convert the image to the working space that you've designated up here, do you want it to keep its embedded profile or do you not want it to color manage it all? Then down here we have these options where we can ask it to ask us when it's opening if there's a profile mismatch or when we're pasting something, if there's a profile mismatch or if there are missing profiles. If you have these things set up to how you want them, then it's going to be easier to just switch back and forth between the color spaces if you need to while designing. Since we already have a document open, I'll show you how to change your model and profile in an already opened document. I can go right to image mode and you can see that right now I'm in RGB, but I can switch over to CMYK and since I had that checkbox, this is just letting me know, hey, you're about to convert to CMYK. It's telling me I'm converting my model to this profile, this US web coded swapped V2. This may not be what you intend if you want to change it, go back to Edit and go to convert to profile, so I can hit okay and now you can see in my file up here that I am in CMYK. It was also saying that we can go to Edit and convert to profile so that's going to bring up some of the similar options we're used to where we can set the destination space that we want to set it to. That's going to be the working area that we set up in our settings which for CMYK is the US web coded. If I want to switch that I can and then this is going to determine how it interprets switches over pixels and so I just keep these as they are because they don't understand them enough to change them and that has always worked for me. If you are starting a new document, open one up. Then all you need to do to set your color mode is right here beneath resolution. You have all of these different color models which they referred to as molds in Photoshop and then down here, you're advanced settings might be trolled up like this, but you can take that down and then you can go ahead and get in and change to whatever profile you want and hit create. Just like in Photoshop, if I go to Edit and color settings, I can set up my working and my color management policies for which profiles I want to be associated with which working spaces and so I wanted to show you that. You can also set your color mode when you're starting a new document, you'll see my color mode is right here and I believe you only set your profile through those settings and so I've got RGB set or just like in Photoshop, I can go ahead and go to edit, assign profile and I can change it if I want so I can set it to the working or I can pick one of these ones and hit okay. A tip that I found is helpful in Illustrator too. If you're having a hard time, if you've already created artwork and your document isn't set up correctly, it's so easy to select everything you need, copy it, and open up a new document and set it up as you need. Don't be afraid to try that too. If you set everything up in RGB and you're having a hard time converting, just open a new documents, set it up as you need it to be, copy and paste the artwork and as long as you have your settings set up, illustrator will ask you, do you want to convert this to the proof the color mode it's in and then you'll just say yes. 11. Bleeds, Trim, and Safe Areas: Photoshop doesn't have any really built-in bleed capabilities and what we're going to do is simply add on our bleed to our trim size and that's going to happen in this dimension area. Your printer will supply the guidelines for what your bleed should be. I think usually it's a quarter inch and so the width obviously is going to add on to both the left and the right. So if I have a quarter inch on each side, that's adding a half an inch. So I'm going to change my width to eleven and a half and the same for the top and bottom. If I want a quarter inch bleed on top and bottom, I need to add a half an inch. So 17.5, I have my resolution set and I can hit Create, and so now I have the bleed built right in and what you can do is you can use your guides. If you don't have your rulers over here, you can go up to it's under View and Rulers. I have the command R memorized, so that's what I use if I need to bring these up and you can drag your guides out, and I'm watching the little tick marks up here to determine about a quarter inch just so that I know where my trim line is. I'll drag these out. Great, and then so now that I, this is one is just not even close. So now that I have those setup, I know where my safe area is going to be, which I'll just give it another quarter inch within the trim just to keep it safe. Again, just way off, we go and bring these down and now I know where my trim and my safe area is. So if I want a full bleed color, remember even though my document is going to be trimmed at 11 by 17, I want to make sure that I extend all the way so that when this is trimmed off, it goes from edge to edge and doesn't have a white border around the trim line. If you already have a document open and you need to add some bleed, then you can go to image in Canvas size and you can just go ahead and change that. So let's say I hadn't done this already and I had to add another half an inch, it'll go to 12, and 18 and hit Okay and you can see that it's just going to grow from the center the little bit that I need. If I need to set up my document boundaries in Illustrator, then starting with a new document dialog box. You can see that bleed is something that is built right in, which is something that's nice over Photoshop. So it's really easy for me to just dial in my, that's an eighth of an inch. I can go a quarter inch, Bleeds and hit Okay and you can see that what I get are these red lines around and so you might be used to exporting things in Illustrator and having the art board be the document bounds. But in the case of a bleed, it will export this bleed information. So if I were to extend my artwork to the bleed and export this as a PDF. Even though the art board is right here, it's just really acting as my trim line and it will export this extended area. If I need to set up my safe area, then just like in Photoshop, I can use my guides. One thing that's cool here though, is once I have them set up, if I decide that I just don't want these cross hairs or if I just want my own shape, then what I can do is grab the rectangle tool grab, drag that shape out, and go up to view guides, make guides and so now if I get rid of, my guide's over here. You can see that there's this pink box leftover, and that is my guide that I made, which is nice so I can lock it like anything else and I've got that good to go. If you already have a document ready to go or setup and you need to add a bleed to it. You can always edit and add a bleed by going to file, documents, setup and then you can see that I have my bleed right here and if you don't need an even bleed on all sides, then uncheck this check box so that you can toggle these independently of the other ones. 12. Assessing and Applying Color: If you're working in RGB but want to see how your colors might be converting to CMYK, You can prove them. Now, this really is just a slight indicator. It doesn't always get it all the way, but we're going to go up to View. You can see that I have this proof setup right here. Basically, this is saying when I'm proving my colors, do it based on this. I want mindset to working CMYK. Then you can see proof colors has the keyboard shortcut of Command or Control Y, which means it is toggle evolve. I can turn it on and off. Watch up here where it says RGB. I'm going to hit "Command Y", and you can see CMYK shows up. If I keep hitting Command Y, it's going to turn on and off. I can look at my document in try and zone into where things are changing. I am seeing a slight difference. I'm not sure if it's going to translate through my screen to the screen recorder, to the compression of the Internet, but I can basically see as I expected, that since all three of these are pretty bright colors, they're dimming slightly when they're in CMYK. So I just might want to keep that in mind that maybe these aren't going to print how I think they're going to. Additionally, and I'm not sure if the screen recorder will change this, but you can bring your brightness down on your computer. That can give you a great indicator to, or at least like a general ballpark of how your colors might print. If I want to apply a process color to my document, then it's pretty easy. I have a yellow picked out for this process yellow. What I can do is double-click. If you don't have a guide, then one of the things you can do is select this when you have your color picked out, like let's say this yellow, say I wanted a yellow like this, I could click color libraries and then select the one that I'm using, and it's going to find the closest color that it thinks I'm looking for. If you don't have a guide, that can work pretty well. This is there. Since I'm choosing a process color, I'm going to go ahead, but I'm in my color bridge, so I want to go ahead and go to Color Bridge Uncoated. I know that I'm looking at the right colors because it says UP, which is uncoated and process. Which is what I want. I want process colors. Sorry about that. I have an app that helps monitor my color temperatures from ice creams, and it's not supposed to turn on. I know that I'm in the process colors. According to my color bridge, the color I was looking for was actually 107. Trying to use this color dropper, and these arrows is a nightmare. The best way to do it is to just quickly type the number on your keyboard. So I'm going to type 107. That brings it up. I'm going to hit "Okay". Now, that color is loaded into my foreground, and I can just Command-click on my layer over here and hit Option Delete to fill that with my foreground color. Now, it is true that CMYK prints a little darker than the page, but even when I turn this down, this isn't the type of yellow I'm really looking for. I can tell it's a little light, and so I'm going to actually fill it with a different color. Another way to do it is to just dial in the numbers yourself. I can see that the 0, 2, 79, 0 down here for CMYK is the Pantone 107 that I picked out. I'm going down one step and use 0, 4, 95, and hit "Okay", and fill that. That looks much better to me. You want to try and split the difference if you can. You'd want it to be maybe a touch lighter than you want it to be in the print, but not so light that you'll be upset if it's to washed out or something. To add a spot color to this is a little bit more intricate. Luckily, Illustrator handles this a lot better, but it is a few more steps in Photoshop. So bear with me. The first thing that I want to do is I want to make sure that I have my areas setup where the spot colors going to be correctly. For me, I chose a spot color for this blue. For one thing, you can see that my blue is all on one layer and where things overlap. So were these black lines are, you can see that's knocked out from the blue beneath. Also, that there is nothing beneath the blue. I have this, the checker board letting me know that there is no color back here. That's because the way that this is going to work is it's going to print all the process colors first. So it's going to use CMYK to go ahead and print this on here. If I have any of these background pixels, or even this blue in here, that's going to first print with process colors, and then the spot color is going to be applied on top of it. That could give me some errors with how the color looks if it's going on top of other inks. So I just want to make sure that it's easy for me to basically just use this layer as a guide for where the spot is going to go and make sure that everything beneath it is already knocked out and ready to go for me. Once you have that, you're going to save this as a selection. So I'm going to Command-click on this little icon, and that will select everything on the layer perfectly for me. I'm going to go over to my channels here, and down to this icon. It looks like the Mask icon that's in the Normal Layers panel. That's going to add this Alpha channel for me that basically saves that selection. You can see even if I were to delete that layer in this channel over here, I could Command-click and select that still because it saved the selection for me. I'm going to undo that because I do still want that blue layer for reference. Now, we need to add our spot channel. First about these channels, we're not going too deep into this. Actually, I need to change over to CMYK before I do this. I should have changed over to CMYK before I was applying those values to the colors actually, but I didn't. I forgot. Now, you can see my channel say CMYK. I can check on this yellow to see that it come over. All the colors did shift a little bit, so 0, 4, 95. Back to these channels. We're not going too deep into channels. But basically, these little pictures you can see here are representing the masks for each screen of color. If I turn everything off except for my yellow screen, wherever it's darker is where there's more yellow, and where it's lighter there is less yellow. You can see that even though this is the yellow color, it uses grayscale to tell me the values of how concentrated the yellow is in different places. All of these colors, as we know, are going to get laid down and then our spot color will get added on top of it. So we need a separate channel to designate that spot color to talk to the printer to say, "Hey, there's this other ink that's supposed to come in." All I did was click this little fly out and I'm going to click "New Spot Color". I can go ahead and click on this color. I have my books again. Let me explain what's going on. Right now I have my color bridge open, and it is the uncoated one. I have picked a spot color from it, not a process color. Remember, the bridge guide is supposed to help you find a good substitute for a spot color when you need to use process color. That being said, I'm actually not going to pick the color bridge uncoated guide because that's going to give me the process values for the other color. I picked 310. Instead of giving me the 310 Pantone spot color, it's going to give me the 310 processed color, which is not what I want. I'm going to Pantone solid uncoated, which I'm already on. Of course, since I was testing this out before I recorded, it's already there, but let's say I was in the wrong spot. I'm just going to go ahead and type really quickly again. It's going to bring my color up and I can hit "Okay", and hit "Okay". Why isn't there any blue? Well, if we look over here, we can see that this is a mask, and right now where the spot channel is, it's all white, which means none of the pixels of that spot channel are being revealed. This is where our saved selection is going to come in handy. I'm going to Command-click on that. Then with my spot channel selected and my foreground sets of black, because remember, black is what's going to reveal this mask and the colors beneath, I'm just going to hit "Option Delete" to fill my area with that. Looking at this, the color looks a little lighter than I want. So I might even go in here and choose 311 instead. Yeah, that looks closer to what I was looking for. Now you can see even though this artwork is turned off, the spot channel is making the color be there. Then if I deleted that, again, you can see the blue is still there because it's the spot channel that's telling it to be there. Again, I made sure, let me turn this off, I made sure that there were no process colors in the place where the spot color was going to be so that it didn't get laid over top. Let me turn this back on. Now, if I were to export this, and we're going to over exploiting in another video so don't worry too much about this, I'm going to export it as a PDF, and I'm not worried about my Alpha channels, but I do want my spot colors to be saved. I'll go ahead and save it. I want to make sure it's going to be output as CMYK. If I go to open it, you can see, well, Dylan, you lied. It's white and it's not blue. Well, that's because right now I'm viewing it in preview and preview is for documents made for the computer and we just need a file for print. It's just not really as sophisticated to show us what we need. One thing I want to point out is you can see with these two windows open that this yellow is a little bit more washed out. Once you export, you can really see the full conversion to CMYK and then you can tweak the colors if necessary. If I notice that wow, this orange is a lot dingier, I might go back in here and intensify the orange and then re-export it and see how. I like it. But I digress. What I want to do is I want to open up my PDF with Acrobat instead and you can see that it's showing the blue in here. But what's even better is one of the tools we can use. If I go to tools and down to the bottom to print production, there's this output preview that we can pull up and sure enough, I can see that I have all of my process colors and then I have my pantone plate right here. What's nice is if you look here as I drag the cursor over the spot color, you can see that sure enough it's registering that there are no process colors underneath there and that it's a Pantone spot color 100 percent of the way, taking up the space right there. If I had not knocked out those pixels. I'm going to go ahead, so you can see I'm going to turn the spot channel off and I'm going to fill these pixels back in with the top color of the background. I'm going to turn the spot channel back on and re-export. Everything is the same except those pixels, the background pixels are back there. Save it again in the exact same way. Make sure that my output is set how I want it. If I open this one up in Acrobat, we get different results. Do you see how the turquoise is now sad looking? Now the total coverage area is 126 percent because there are those process colors showing up underneath. If you look there versus the other one where this turquoise is nice and blue, it's because it is showing me that it's only 100 percent covered by that spot channel. If I turn off this overprinting, it's going to take that away. The same here. If I take the overprinting away, I'll see my background color. One thing I want to show you that I almost forgot, I'm really happy I didn't, is to make sure that if you need to do a screen of a color. There are sometimes when you're only limited to two spot colors for a design and you're thinking, well, that really limits me. Well, you're not only stuck with the 100 percent value of that spot channel, you have all the range of tones in between as well and that still counts as one color. Since this is a mask remember, in areas that I want to use lighter values for the spot channel, I can just paint with something lighter than black. Let me bring this up here. A gray color is going to come through as you do this way, you get this selection made. You can see that as I paint with gray, it is making this a little bit lighter. I forgot to get rid of that background layer I made back there. You can see that we can see the checkerboard through there. If I export this again and bring it into Acrobat, you're going to see that the calculation is no longer at 100 percent spot channel there. Just open it up and see. Is it this one? I was talking and not paying attention to what it was called. Open this up, let's see. Just so you know if you have a PDF open already in Acrobat and then you update it and open it sometimes you have to close it and open it. Let me just re-save this and pay attention to what I'm doing, so save as. Now in overprint preview, you can see that this color blue is lighter and if you look at my total area coverage, it's saying it's only 60 percent. That's how you can set screens up in Photoshop. You can also use this tool to see how much black is in an area. If you look over my total area coverage, it's saying that my black is made up of 75 percent cyan, 60 percent magenta, 67 percent yellow and 90 percent black, which is really heavy. That's 300 percent coverage for this black. What I can do is I can go into Photoshop and go to my layers, find where I have my black lines and I can knock out all of the process inks behind them because remember they're being layered on top. And so if I'm able to remove all these process inks that are beneath the black that's going to help reduce my black coverage. I'm going to command click on my black areas and then go to each of these layers and just erase and that's going to erase any of the pixels that are behind my background. Now sure enough, if I turn off my lines, you can see that there's nothing behind there. I'll go ahead and export this again. I'm going to open it in Acrobat. Now when I go over these black areas, it is not different because it's not only the knockout. I also need to make sure that the value of the black on this layer is not too much. I have some pretty thin lines in here, so I don't want to do rich black. I'm going to go with a flat black, so the 0, 0, 0, 100. I'm going to fill that layer with that. Now I should be able to go ahead and save it. There we go. Now you can see that as I scroll over this, that's exactly what those numbers are 0, 0, 0, 100. Now I don't have to worry about any ghosting happening or sometimes if you get too much ink piled up on the paper, then things can catch on it and tear it so you want to just keep an eye on that. That is how you assess and apply all of your colors in Photoshop. You can see that I'm in CMYK mode. I can see that up here and if I want to apply a process color just like in Photoshop, I can go ahead and double-click on this. This is where I'll get my CMYK values and so I can just enter those in right there. If you want to do the trick where it tries to guess the closest one, instead of doing it in the color picker, you're going to do it in the recolor artwork tool, so I'll click on that. We're going to click on this button that limits the color group to the colors in a certain swatch library. If I go to color books, you can see I have access to all of my Pantones here. If I were picking a process color, I'd want one of my bridge, I could do this and you can see that color changed ever so slightly. If I double-click on it, you can see it opens up the Pantones. I can keep that where it is or I can type one really quickly and pick one and add it that way. That's two ways to bring it up. Or you could go to your swatches and click on this fly out and go to "Open swatch library", "Color books", and those are all there too. Then same thing. I can open up my bridge uncoated. This is nice because it just has a little search box where I can bring up my colors and then just select one. Now I know it's the right process color that I want. If I need to make a screen of a color just like I did in Photoshop, it's actually a lot easier in Illustrator. I'm going to open up a color book of actual spot colors, right now I have processed colors, up to solid uncoated and I'll just pick a color. Now this is a spot color. If I double-click on the swatch, you can see that it's a spot book color. If I want a screen of this, I want to use this color and use its multiple values, the way that I can access those is by going up to window and color and that's going to bring up this tint ramp that shows all the tense of the color. If I click on one of those, then you can see that I can go ahead and export this. Don't worry, we'll go over these. It's going to save already. Have one named that. That's fine. Go over it. I have my settings, how I want them. Let's save. I'm going to go ahead and open in Acrobat. I had one open, so I'm going to close it. Go ahead and open with Acrobat. You can see that right here, it's saying this as 100 percent Pantone. If I go down, it's 45 percent Pantone. Doing that color ramp is the way that I'm able to go ahead and add a screen in. The nice thing about Illustrator is it's also really great for remember, we are talking about assessing blacks. I'm going to set this to 0, 0, 0,100 as a flat black and then I'm going to copy this and change this one to 30, 30, 30. Do you remember how in our Photoshop document in places where we had black laying on top of other colors, there was overprint that was making the black really thick? Well, you'll see that even though this is a rich black rectangle on top of another color, the spot color, when we look at the output preview, it's not going to calculate. This is too high. Assessing your blacks is literally as easy as checking what their levels are and then setting them what you want to be. You don't have to worry about knocking the stuff out beneath. Once again, I'm going to go to save as. We'll talk about these. I'm going to do black tests AI. Save it. Everything is fine. Save PDF. Open with Acrobat. You can see that this is the 30,30,30,100 even though it's laying over that area. The same as this one that's on top of the white and then this one that's flat black retains its values at 0,0,0,100. Illustrator is super. I'd say it's a lot more streamlined with applying process and spot colors and assessing your blacks. 13. Fonts & Transparencies: To convert editable text to a flattened layer or in Photoshop the term is to rasterize it, you can select the layer that has type on it and either go to type and rasterized type layer or you can right-click on the layer and go to rasterize type. So now you can see instead of having an editable text layer, I now just have a layer of pixels that is shaped like the text. You can see I have a drop shadow on this circle. It's an effect that's being rendered by Photoshop. So I just want to go ahead and right-click and say rasterize layer style, and now that is flattened and good to go and should print without any issues. Luckily, illustrator makes it super easy for us to outline our text and to also flatten our transparencies. If you just need to outline some texts, then you can just grab it and go to type, create outlines and you can see that, it just changes it two shapes. And I'm going to hit Command Z and undo. You could also, if you wanted to go to object and expand because remember what we're doing here is we're trying to take any effects that Illustrator is generating and we want to try and flatten them so that we can control them better. So that however our printer is viewing it, it doesn't misinterpret what we're doing. So I can hit expand and you can see that I'm going to get a similar effect and hit undo again if you've got text the entrants parenthesis In your document then you can knock everything out all at once. So you can see that I have two circles here that are showing up as a darker color than they are, and that's because they have their opacity turned down. If I wanted this exact look to stay the same, but don't want these to be translucent objects, I can just grab everything, go to object, flatten transparency and I get this really awesome view that's going to help me convert all texts to outlines. I can convert all strokes to outlines if I want and I'm just going to make sure that everything also looks good. Sure it does. I'm going to hit okay. Now what I have is a group of shapes, I'm going to ungroup them, and you can see when I click on this, I actually get a lighter colored shape. It's no longer translucent and this one is now this blue purple color where they were overlapping and this one's and even darker color and you can see my text is now outlined. So illustrator makes it super easy to knock out in one fell swoop. 14. Exporting: Now, we get to save in Photoshop and export our file that we worked so hard on. First of all, what we're going to do is go to Save File and Save As and it might be a good idea to save a fresh PSD that is set up just for printing. In case you need to make any changes, you just have something that's separate from the file that you did all the artwork manipulating in. Then we're going to Save As again. I'm going to go ahead and go to Photoshop PDF. You can see that there's some color choices down here, it says use proof setup which is working CMYK and embed color profile. These are all going to be overwritten by the saved PDF dialog box anyway, so I'm not really worried about it. The one thing you do want to pay attention to is if you have spot colors. If you made a spot channel, not just if you filled one of your areas with a spot color, you have to do the spot channel. This checkbox will be available and you'll want to make sure that that is checked. I'm going to go ahead and I don't need my layers to be editable for my PDF and I will hit ''Save''. It's going to tell me that I'm about to override any settings I had in there. Here are the main things you want to see. Generally speaking, this standard dropped down, a lot of printers I see want you to give them a file, this PDF/X-1a:2001, which already has some output information in it and converts it to this working CMYK profile. That's where you would find that drop-down if that's one of the things you come across, or you can set it up yourself. You can go to Output and you can take a look and make sure that everything is set up how you want it. Yeah, so we're all good to go. I can go ahead and hit ''Save PDF''. It's going to do its thing and now, I can go to where I just saved it and take a look. I'm going to open mine with Adobe Acrobat and just take a look and everything looks how I wanted to. This is the CMYK file and I brightened up my oranges and yellows and everything looks great. I think, it's going to print really well. If I want to save a high res JPEG from Photoshop, I'm going to go to File, Save As, and select JPEG from the drop-down. This time when I hit ''Save'', you can see that this is where I can decide how I want the quality to be, so I can turn that up all the way. I can set my baseline or my formatting options, but keep in mind that this JPEG is going to create an image that's at the resolution that you were working at. You want to make sure you're already in your good resolution and they can hit ''Okay'' and that's going to export and give me my JPEG. If you are sending a working file, then you will want to save this as a PSD and put it in a file with the fonts and any images that you have that needs to be embedded and zip that all up and send it to the printer. Finally, we are to the export settings in Illustrator. They are pretty straightforward considering everything else that we have done, so if I want to save as a PDF, I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to go to File and Save As. I have PDF chosen and if you have more than one artboard, you can just tell it whether to stick to artboards and whether you want all of them or just arrange. I'm going to hit ''Save'' and just like in Photoshop, I've got this really nice drop-down. This is a super, super common. In fact, I'd say every time I've had to give a PDF, it's been in this standard, so it's nice that that's right there. We have this, marks and bleeds. Most printers actually ask that you do not supply these, but if you come across one that does want these, then this is where you can find them. But if you've got a bleed, this is where you want to make sure that it's going to export the document bleed settings as well. I can go to Output and see that everything is all set and I'm going to hit ''Save PDF''. It'll open in a new document and if need be, I can go ahead and open this up in Acrobat. Just like with my other PDFs, go into Print Production and Output Preview and I can just check to make sure that everything is looking how I want it to. That's it. If you need to export a JPEG, then what you're going to do is go to File, Export, and Export As and I showed you this earlier when I was showing you how to set the resolution. I'll hit "Export", CMYK quality 10, high 300 ppi and I can keep that ICC profile embedded in there. One thing that you should know is that JPEGs can't hold on to spot colors. Lastly, this is really cool, something that Illustrator has that Photoshop doesn't is if you're sending a working file and this isn't just for a printer if you're collaborating with someone on a piece and you need to send them the working file. If you have images that are not embedded or fonts that are in it, you can actually just go right up to File and Package, and you can ask it to copy the links, collect links into a separate folder, copy fonts used in a document, can have it make a little report about what it's doing and you can say what the location should be and what the folder name should be. When I hit ''Package'', it is going to warn me, this is pretty cool, it just says, hey, you can't just share fonts like you each need a license for the phone and I say okay, and I hit ''Okay'' and now, the package has been created. If I go here in my now very messy desktop, here it is, overlay test folder, and everything is put in there and it's all ready to go. 15. After Submitting the Job: If you've brought the printer in early, asked questions, and educated your client, all that's left to do is wait. Printers are so accurately computerized that there are rarely issues during press, and if there are, the printer knows what responsibility is on them and will usually do what they can to right the situation. Even Vistaprint, which is probably the most consumer friendly printer out there, will reprint or credit your account if there's any type of issue. If you get a result back that you or your client is unhappy with, try to diagnose exactly what the issue is. If it's color disappointment, you'll probably have to work with the printer to figure out where the miscommunication happened. That is, if the color disappointment is justified, some clients will just need to understand that CMYK has a limited gamete compared to the screens were so accustomed to seeing now. Honestly guys, if you get your settings right, you'll be surprised that your work delights you in person just like it did on the screen. It can be helpful throughout the process to get sign offs from both your client and the printer that everything is cool at each stage. That way, if something does go wrong, you've got something to point to that shows you are on top of it. This is also again, why when working with a client, proofs are so valuable and I'll keep pushing them. Whether an actual proof from a print shop or just a small order from a POD showing them something and saying, this is what it's going to be and getting there okay, is a much better tactic than keeping them in the dark about how big the print world is. Not communicating the limitations of printing, ignoring the artwork guidelines because you're confused to move forward, and sending the project off to print anyway. Also, consider putting something in your contract about not being liable for issues with printing. I didn't research this tidbit before adding it to this class, but maybe it's an idea you can look into. The good news is there really just aren't many times it's going to be an issue. Clients think they care about a lot of things that they seem to actually ignore or not even notice in the final piece. Face the project with lots of questions and communication and you should be golden. If you do end up making a mistake, try to make it right with the client, apologize and own up to it and ask how you can right this situation. Call the print shop and tell them your mistake and see if they have solutions or advice for better avoiding it next time. Luckily, most of my printed work has turned out just fine, even if I've personally been unhappy with a color vividness or what have you. However, there was this one time where I wasted a lot of money and time. I worked for a solar power company in New Orleans as their main creative and one of the items they needed me to make was a door hanger to leave at homes describing their service. I was pumped as it was one of the first times I had really done something for print, and I designed a really eye-catching door hanger with complimentary colors and flashy shots of the solar panels. The job structure at the time was a little wonky, so the guy that was dealing with the printer A wasn't me and B wasn't interested in giving me any guidelines from the printer in his defense. I also was green enough to not have asked, and so I just let him drive the project. I proofread everything, I asked others in the office to proofread and away went a little project to the printer. The door hangers came back and they looked so good. The coded card stock made the colors pop and I was pleased that my guesstimating at the proper font sizes was pretty close to ideal all good. Until my boss came up to me in a fury asking why the phone number at the bottom of the hanger was incorrect. Oops! Boxes and boxes of door hangers with the wrong phone number. Should other people, especially the guy leading me on the project have thought to make sure I had the right number or that I put the right one? Possibly, but no, it's my job, so I didn't think to check if it was correct, I just copy and pasted. Since I knew it was my fault, I knew I had to make it right. We realized that the phone number was by itself on the design and on the backside, there is no pertinent information where the phone number was at the bottom of the thing. We gathered a bunch of the warehouse workers and we all started cutting off phone numbers. Our saving grace was that the website was set up to take new orders and the URL was safely and correctly listed at the top of the front of the hanger. Not the most ideal, but not bad for a pinch. It took eight of us about two hours, maybe three to cut through everything. At the end of it, feeling humbled and embarrassed, I apologized again and bought a bunch of pizza for the warehouse guys. The expensive good pizza with all the meats on it. I'm still a designer, I'm still alive. Issues happen, rise to the occasion and make it right as best you can. 16. Thank You!: This is the part of my class where I tell you, thank you for taking this class and encourage you to share your projects with all of us and both those things are true but this time I'm also thankful for you for asking for the class. I'm motivated by external deadlines and expectations. In the name of wanting to be able to teach you well, I had to finally tackle the depths of printing myself. I learned so much in the process and I hope you did too. I hope it encourages you to not be scared of what you don't know, intimate Google your friend, and to dig deeper and deeper and deeper. Of course, you can ask any questions to me too that you have lingering. I can't wait to see those projects of yours and if you are ready connect with me over on Instagram @Dylanmierzwinski.