Today Jason from evolution print came in to talk about the world of commercial print and what we need to know to get our designs to look their best once we leave the safety of the college.
Their main process id Litho printing. This means the use of etches aluminum plates that each take one colour; C,M,Y or K. The plates are coated and the machine that etches them burns away creating a printing surface (intaglio). The plates are very flexible and wrapped around rollers which are then coated in very thin layers of ink which the paper is then rolled over to transfer the ink.
They can do a huge variety of sizes, something that puts litho printing in front of digital printing in certain situations.
Although they can print on a huge number of papers when requested they all boil down to: gloss, silk, matt and uncoated.
People often get confused by the difference between uncoated stock and matt. Matt paper is a type of photographic paper and does have a coating that allows for crisp finish especially when images are concerned. Uncoated is precisely what it says on the tin, in fact the ink is absorbed much more readily with uncoated stock and the dots tend to bleed creating a less sharp look. Not that this is an undesirable look. They get around the problems of uncoated stock by printing a thin coat of finish over the printed surface to seal in the ink so that it doesn't rub off the surface or bleed too much.
The main difference between litho and digital print is that it is much cheaper to print larger numbers with litho than with digital. So, this is simply something to bear in mind when you consider a print job, sometimes digital is more feasible and more economic.
When it comes to booklet printing certain problems tend to arise. Self covers can cause less trouble than a cover that is a completely different paper, texture and weight, than the papes inside the booklet. The sections of the booklet (pagination) could sometimes be in different stock and this can really confuse how the book functions and opens.
Litho printing is priced differently to digital. Where as you are charged for the surface area that is printed in digital (double sided is more expensive) litho has a base charge for the creation of the plates and then replication is basically simple. Hence the cheaper production of greater numbers. This means that if you have something double sided where you can use the same plates then there is very little extra charge.
Designers Often Get wrong:
-Always include a bleed of three mill and any crop marks.
- When sending a document to print, send both the original document and the pdf so if anything needs to be changed it is easy.
- When printing business cards don't set out the full page for print just send a page of the size you want printed with a single version of the card. Placement and gutters will be worked out by the printers.
- Always ask how they want the art work sent over- don't include spines or gutters
- all images should be 300dpi.
When it comes to proofs there are two ways that evolution do it. One is a hard copy proof that is digitally printed and then signed off by the customer and then there is the pdf proof. you choose which one you want dependent on the job.