Art today is not what it was a decade ago, or even two decades ago. The digital standards of art have gone through a lot of changes. Web designers, and graphic designers alike will tell you this. There is a switch that needs to be made from digital elements to print elements, and this could cause a bottleneck in your business if you’re not careful.
Too often, people assume that the art elements of their business are easy to work through and you just go from screen to print. That’s not at all true. Sure, there are some instances where this may get you buy, if you look at your print collateral, you’re going to find that there are issues related to the print quality. It’s for that reason why you should look into working with print ready artwork, that way you can streamline promotional consideration, art examples, and much more.
The Creative Side
First and foremost, anyone that is working on the creative side of your business should be working within professional settings. They should be ready with logos, graphics, and much more. These should have several formats, and be ready for print, which means that there are several elements that should be kept in mind. The parameters of every project should have both a digital element and a print element.
When creative individuals work on these projects, they should work within RGB for web and CMYK for print. Printers today aren’t going to publish the vibrant colors that are standards without the 4-color process. When you print in RGB, you’re forcing your software to tell the printer to delete spectrums of color that can affect the quality of the end result, which matters big time. Make sure that you work with the right formatting at the start of every project, or your end results will not be grand.
Moving forward with print ready artwork should have special elements in the programs used. For instance, if you’re working with vector art programs, the print profiles should have settings that are meant for publishing. When going to print, there should be saved protocols that speak to the density of the finished print, as well as the color schema, size of file, and resolution. Without this, creative people will have to remember to change the default settings and that could end up causing problems with the end results.
No matter what industry you’re in, creative elements can span several file types, naming conventions and more. To reduce confusion, there should be several versions of the same file, saved in folders that are specific to the print need. Creating print ready work means having files that are saved for that reason. A JPEG file should be the version that is printed out. A vector image should not be put on a website, and a photoshop file with multiple layers, shouldn’t be the file that is worked on for PDF formatting. There should be a file type saved for every purpose, including print ready solutions.
The tips mentioned above are meant to help creative teams streamline their projects. One of the biggest problems that businesses will face is organization. When you have multiple projects in the pipeline at the same time, it’s easy to lose track of files, settings, and deadlines. This is why it’s imperative that organization is prioritized. By having print ready artwork, and files that are clearly labeled, updated, and placed in the right areas of a computer, time is saved. When an artist is sick, or perhaps on vacation, directors should not be confused as to where to locate files and which ones are meant for print and which ones are meant for digital collateral. Organization standards matter, which is why the start and end of every project should have specific naming conventions, settings, and so on.
Time Is Money After All
The reason why all of this matters is simple: time is money. No matter what business you’re in, it’s important to remember that any time saved is a penny saved on the other end. Creating print ready artwork is a way to streamline the creative process. By having all collateral ready for print in the beginning, money is saved in the long run. This can add up fast, and can change the way that work gets accomplished.
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