Graphic Design Lesson: Final Output Setups

January 26, 2010

There are people out there who have created a Photoshop, Illustrator, and JPEG files and print them, thinking that they’re going to get a perfect picture…but they don’t. It’s a low resolution printout and it looks hideous. Well, did you set up your documents DPI/PPI correctly?

When you open up a new file, the one thing that gets overlooked in MANY cases out there is the Pixels Per Inch or Dots Per Inch setting. This number is usually defaulted to either 72, 240, or 300 and each of those numbers are for different output sources.

If you’re strictly viewing the artwork on a television, computer monitor, cellphone, or any video (RGB) device, your out put should be 72 DPI. As for the pixel dimensions, you should always consider monitor size. Most people out there will have a computer monitor and the resolution of 1440×900. Creating an image larger than that would be pointless because of image file size and just how much of the image will run off the screen. So a pixel dimension within 1440×900 would be suitable for any monitor.

Now we get to print. If your artwork is going to be printed on something, whether it is a letterhead, #10 envelope, billboard, business card, etc., you should ALWAYS set it to 300. It’s because 300 will print perfectly. But you’ll sometimes get artwork that will be at 200-240 PPI, that’s perfectly acceptable, but you’re just getting close to what won’t print well.

The size of what you’re going to print will relate to the pixel dimensions too. For example, let’s say I wanted to use a photograph taken at 300DPI and has a pixel dimension of 1050 x 600, and have the photo printed on both a 3.5″x2″ business card and across an 8.5″x11″ brochure. So it’s going to look perfect on a business card, because a business card measures 3.5″ x 2″ which is the equivalent of 300DPI at 1050 x 600. But if I were to stretch that same photograph across a 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper, it’s going to look horrible. So make sure you know what your pixel dimensions are!

There you go. I’m sad the Vikings lost. 😦

Please Brett Favre, come back for another season.

Also, get your printed envelopes and commercial print produced at We print tons of stuff, like 6×9 catalog envelopes, 9×12 booklet envelopes, 8.5×11 letterheads, bank drive-up envelopes, business cards, postcards, and much more. So print with us today!

Vun Run


Digital vs. Offset Printing

January 21, 2010

What’s the difference? Well, that’s what I’m obviously here to tell you.

First we’ll start off with the tried-and-true offset printing.

With offset printing, you get the best image quality which would be perfect if image quality will be an issue. Why this is true is because a lot of today’s presses uses a computer-to-plate system which is better than the earlier computer-to-film system. Film was bad because it had a good chance of getting scratched, and that scratch will show up on the final piece of artwork. Also, offset printing works with a wider range of printing mediums: Paper, Clothing, Wood, and much more.

You also get the ability to have your choice of 1 color, 2 color, 3 color, and 4 color printing (and sometimes 6 color). Digital presses can only do CMYK (4 color).

The biggest factor advantage with offset (to me, at least) is that as you request more units to print, the price of each individual unit goes down. For example, if you order 1000 #10 Envelopes, each envelope will individually cost $.28 while order 5000 units will only cast $.10 each!

On to the digital presses…

With digital, they only have an ability to print in CMYK 4-color process only (as I have stated before). Also, color accuracy does suffer a bit with this and are only able to print on paper.

Print layout accuracy and efficiency is much better on a digital press because ink and water doesn’t need to be balanced.

But the biggest thing is the price of digital presses. 4 Color press jobs on a digital press will rival those prices of a 2 color job on an offset press.

If you need something in a moments notice, the offset printing might take a long time because they have to make the plate, set the inks, load the paper, then you to get your prints. But with a digital press, the turn around time is much much quicker than that because there is less work to do to set it up.

Well, you made it through the article.

Have any questions?

Post ’em below.


You: Voice Your Opinion

January 21, 2010

Custom Designed Envelopes

What type of things relating to graphic design or design in general annoys you? Certain fonts? Certain styles? The dreaded drop shadow?

Feel free to voice your opinion on the bottom!

Posting and reading other posts will probably make you more aware of bad design, too!

…And keep it clean. 🙂

Graphic Design Lesson: Tips for File Organization

January 20, 2010

Quit laughing.

“File organization? Really?”

“Yes, really.”

You would be surprised on how many times I see designers have files in multiple places. They’ll have the InDesign document on the desktop, all the artwork from Illustrator and Photoshop are in their Documents folders and such…this happens to be a horrible way to work.

First things first. You should always work from one directory. Then organize things from there. What I usually do is create a new folder on the desktop, and then I’ll place the indesign file in the folder, then place all the artwork for it in another folder inside the directory. This way, you won’t lose files in case you just need that one file.

Now one might think that just keeping your files organized is good enough, but they’re wrong! Regardless of which Adobe program you’re using…

…always organize your layers!!!

Name each layer for whatever piece of art is on that layer. This way, if you need to make changes, you’ll know exactly where they are. Also, instead of deleting objects on your artwork, keep it on a different layer. There will be a time when you might resort to that artwork you had just deleted.

Then if you’re strictly working in InDesign, package your artwork when you’re done and make a backup of where all the artwork originally is. To do this, go to File->Package. What this does is that it grabs all the artwork and organizes it for you in a single folder. BUT be warned. I have seen many cases where this feature doesn’t grab all the artwork. So double check to see if it did. It might take a long time do it, but that’s what you need to do for perfection. 😉

That does it,
Blog Blog

8 Ways to Design a Successful Postcard

January 14, 2010

8 Ways to Design Successful Postcards

Written by Britt Brouse, this blog also captures some key things that are wrong with a lot of self mailers nowadays, and possibly even design as a whole.

Heed this advice.

Also, if you need postcards printed or anything else, come to We are your ONE-STOP SHOP for all of your printing needs. Whether you need custom printed envelopes, notepads, or presentation folders. We’ve got you covered.

Create an Effective Self Mailer

January 14, 2010

How To Create An Effective Self-Mailer

I just keep stumbling across great marketing information.

If you don’t know what a self mailer is, they are things sent through the mail that don’t require an envelopes. Postcards, booklets, brochures, pamphlets, etc. The main point of a self mailer is to eliminate one of the biggest problems with mail…opening the envelope. That is one of the biggest things on why people just toss it in the trash is because they do not want to waste time opening up mail they are just going to throw away anyways.

Try it out.

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