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Designing for Print

Say what you want about the future of print, but find me another medium that can provide a designer with the prospect of using an exquisite paper with embossing, foil stamping, custom die-cutting, varnishing, or various other effects that pulls a reader in and delivers a message all its own. I've seen art directors who sometimes spend days picking out just the right paper for an annual report. Use of custom inks such as metallics, pastels, or even magnetic inks (such as what's used for account numbers on bank checks) takes print a step further.

That being said, when you are designing for print, you have to be mindful of such things as image resolution, custom spot colors, transparency flattening, bleed and trim areas, folds, fonts, and color separations. Some jobs also require knowledge of government or postal regulations. Following are three workflows that are common in the area of print design.

Corporate Identity

Corporate identity projects include the creation of a logo and other materials used to identify a company or an organization. Examples are business cards, letterheads, envelopes, notes, and the like. Most corporate identity projects also focus on the branding and positioning of the company. Common applications used in this workflow are Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign (see Figure 3.1, shown on pages 5253).

Figure 3.1. An example of a corporate identity workflow.


Brochure

A brochure is used as an informational and marketing tool for businesses and organizations. The simplest type of brochure is printed on a letter-size page and folded into three panels (commonly referred to as a trifold or a “slim jim”). Common applications used in this workflow are Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Microsoft Word (or any other word processor) is also commonly used (see Figure 3.2, shown on pages 5455).

Figure 3.2. An example of a brochure workflow.


Advertising Campaign

An advertising campaign is an organized effort to publicize a company or an organization. Integrated campaigns often feature a series of ads that share a similar concept and might include print advertising, direct mail, or other methods of distribution. Common applications used in this workflow are Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Acrobat also can be used for campaign reviews (see Figure 3.3, shown on pages 5657).

Figure 3.3. An example of an ad campaign workflow.


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