There are various elements to consider when preparing for professional printing. From overall document settings and color fonts to line art and color images — preparation is key to a successful printing project.
Graphics are made up of rectangles, fills, and lines, designing these elements with intention helps produce troublefree printing.
Total ink coverage
Total ink coverage (TIC) refers to the maximum amount of ink that an object on a page should contain. TIC should be aligned with the paper stock and type of printing methods. Too much TIC will cause smudging. As a best practice, designers should avoid large areas of solid black ink, especially if printing with a digital printer.
Line thickness is another important consideration. A line smaller than 0.5 points is regarded as a thin line. Avoid thin lines in two or more colors,
Some applications have a line thickness called hairline, which is particularly difficult to print, make sure that no lines are smaller than 0.2 points.
Line-art needs special consideration when managing resolution. The final resolution of bitmaps should fit within the range of 800 and 1200 dpi. As a best practice, images should never be resized more than 20 percent in the layout application.
For a designer who spends hours perfecting an image, failing to prepare a grayscale image for printing can lead to a disappointing outcome.
When saving images, designers shouldn’t use file formats such as PICT, GIF, and BMP. Instead, TIFF and PNG are the best file formats for printing. Even then, specific platforms should be considered
Grayscale images consist of both shadows and highlights. The clearest point of the image should have at least a 2% dot to prevent the image from being blown out. Similarly, the darkest section of the image shouldn’t be pure black. Instead, a 95 % gray is recommended for shadow dots.
Resolution and size
Before sending images to the printer, the resolution and size must be set correctly. The final resolution should be (screen ruling x scale x 2). Depending on the quality of the image, the figure can range between 1.6 and 2.5.
Finally, designers should never enlarge images more than 20 % in the layout application. Doing so could lead to the resolution of the image dropping, losing the desired sharpness and contrast.
The same image preparation methods for a grayscale image are also applied to color images.
File formats, resolution, and size
Avoid PICT, WMF, and BMP images, their conversion to PostScript or PDF does not always go smoothly.
Remember that images should have the correct size and resolution and shouldn’t be enlarged or reduced more than 20% in the layout application.
Before sending the image to the printers, ensure the workflows align with their printing methods. For example, ensure that the printer supports non-CMYK color modes if needed.
Delivering quality printing since 1988
At Ritter’s Printing & Packaging, we take pride in delivering quality printing solutions. Our professional team helps your business thrive by helping with digital, offset, or large format printing needs.
Give us a call at 954-771–7204 to find out more about our services or contact us online.