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Desktop Publishing

It is tempting to think that a Designer who can Design Websites and Graphic Design may be able to handle your printed publications and marketing material too, this will often end in suboptimal results. This is because the expertise of a Desktop Publisher are hard-won lessons in the technical specifications of print that are not perfect analogues for on-screen digital deliverables. For example, have you ever witnessed the following issues in printed works;

  • Blurred, pixelated or stretched imagery
  • Radical differences in on-screen and printed colours
  • Text that came too close to the page edges
  • Overly congested pages crammed with content
  • Fonts/typefaces that were gimicky or jarring
  • Your company logo not appearing crisp/sharp
  • Bands of colour rather than smooth gradients
  • Unnecessary decorations like vines and flowers

These issues regularly occur when novice Designers make the transition from Digital to Print work, and as a Design teacher I see this more often than I'd like. It results from a lack of sufficient technical knowledge regarding; print resolutions, colour spaces, laws of page composition, classical proportions and the canons of the printed page, lack of attention to kerning and leading, overzealous type choice, confusion over raster/vector formats, incorrect planning for and application of dithering and understanding of printer-capabilities and just plain lack of experience on the printed medium. Not to mention the most frequently violated principle among Designers lacking Design maturity; the utilisation of negative space.

A poster photographed at a  Henry Halloran Trust event

Been there?

If your forays with in-house or print-shop Designers have not panned out the way you'd like, don't underestimate the significant gains to be had by trialling an experienced Desktop Publisher who understands printer specifications and has Designed for a diverse set of printed formats. In my case, that includes;

  • Books & catalogues, perfect (PUR) bound
  • Business cards (BC) and w/compliments slips
  • Canvas prints and tote bags
  • Flyers (DL) and brochures (A5+)
  • Letterheads and stationery
  • Merchandise (promo), pens, shirts, USBs
  • Packaging, cardboard
  • Presentation folders (A4)
  • Posters (A3 through A0)
  • Pull-up/rollout banners
  • Signage and laser-cutting

If that sounds like what you need Let's talk Print

And as one final tip;
many Designer's portfolios these days employ Photoshop-ed images that depict their Designs on physical products [1] [2], don't fall for these templates - always ask a Designer to bring their physical printed samples. Because in this deceptive new twist in the professions of Visual Design: seeing is misleading; only holding is believing.

Students receiving the printed catalogue for their Graduate Exhibition