Designing artwork for print can be challenging in some respects as it is important to know the capabilities and limitations of printing machinery. The following tips and recommendations can be used when setting up an art file or logo.
Maintain a Base Design
Always keep your native design files on hand and in a safe place. Recreating artwork can be difficult and expensive depending on how complex your artwork is and it may never truly be faithful to the original. Utilizing your native artwork also allows for easy incorporation of your logo and company materials into new print projects due to easy manipulation of the original files.
Familiarize Yourself With Color Modes
Color conversions can be the Achilles heal to aligning your image across different platforms. Knowing how these colors interact with each other can save you headaches when it comes to choosing colors. The two main color modes that affect most projects are RGB and CMYK.
The RGB color mode is great for electronic uses since display screens (computer monitors, televisions, etc.) display images using Red/Green/Blue color combination. On the other hand, most full color printing presses utilize CMYK print consisting of Cyan/Yellow/Magenta/Black (K). Converting between the two can yield unexpected results as the color range and brightness between the two is far different.
Design Your Artwork and Color Scheme With Print Production In Mind
All too often, artists design complex, unique, and utterly beautiful works of art electronically but take no consideration for how it can be physically printed. Due to the inherent differences between electronic artwork and print, some design elements simply will not transfer over, or the cost to print such designs will be excessive and budget-busting.
Designing these elements to work well with printers can be a lifesaver on both ends and create a cohesive image that is easy to implement and replicate across numerous platforms.
Utilize Pantone Colors Intelligently
Full color (also called “process”) printing in CMYK is beneficial for a full color printed image but can have its limitations, especially when it comes to color matching existing media. Utilizing Pantone colors from the Pantone color libraries can help alleviate these issues and provide much more flexibility for color matching. The two can also be combined together – utilize full color CMYK for a full color image, and any additional color imperative elements of your artwork can be printed with additional Pantone colors to keep color accuracy for your brand.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for additional design tips when creating your artwork for your print job. You can also reference our design page for additional design resources when creating your label artwork!