Designing graphics for print & advertising

Although the digital medium is taking over every industry & form of communication, the print industry is far from dead. Wherever you go, you will always see a hoarding on the side of a bus or at the back of an auto. Even if you do not step out of your home, the newspaper has advertisements with creative designs & images. Job opportunities for graphic designers continue to be vast & ever-growing in the print industry. The opportunities of exploring creative career opportunities can vary from doing print production for out–of–home media to creating advertisement for newspapers & magazines. There is a variety of print production methodologies employed in the industry.

As opposed to digital designers, print designers have to work with critical aspects such as the actual dimensions of the final file, the dpi (dots-per-inch) & ink density restrictions. A common misconception is that print designers only handle the layout & typography. But in reality designers are not restricted to these alone. They also must ensure that the image is set in CMYK, set appropriate screen resolution, and manage white spaces.

Designing graphics for newspaper advertisements can be quite tricky. Screen resolution must be set between 120-150 dpi & must follow the rules of ink colour density. This means that the combined amount of ink on the paper cannot exceed a certain threshold. For example, out of the four colours in CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black) cannot add up in total past a certain value.

When a designer deals with graphic files for print production, s/he doesn’t simply drop a .jpg or .png file into InDesign or Quark Express, and hope to get a decent print. Designers use a .tif file because it is an uncompressed version of the graphic file. This avoids any loss of quality & to conserver bit depth. Also, TIFF images are easier to manipulate & translate into CMYK colour workflow.

Understanding things like colour swatches, the difference between the regular CMYK colours, spot colours, and the pantone colour matching library are all things that are very important to understand digital print production. If you make a mistake in understanding the difference between spot colours, CMYK & pantone, you may end up costing your client lakhs of rupees depending upon the print media.

If you are designing graphics for print media, it is essential to master the nuances of print designing rules. Print designing is a vast field and every graphic designer that is going to be working with print media should make herself acquainted with the rules of print designing.

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