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10 Ways to Help Designers Visually

The best way to communicate to a designer is through visual stimuli.
When it comes to delivering a project, it’s best to learn printer hacks to avoid a catastrophe. Here are some things to teach designers so they can make sure the final product is perfect.

1. Coated vs. uncoated

Have two paper swatch books in front of you. Explain coated paper vs. uncoated paper.

2. Bleeds

Take a video of your guillotine cutter in action, preferably a job with a bleed. Zoom in on the crop marks and then text it to your designer client.

3. Grain

Pull two samples together and get something with a black solid. Fold one sample with the grain, and the other against the grain. Put them side-by-side and photograph. Open the image and crop to the relevant image area and mark as a favorite.

4. Waste = Cost

Save paper by showing your designer what happens when there’s wasted space for varied page sizes.

5. Quantity Matters

Walk in to your pressroom and film a sheetfed press at the delivery end while it is running for 30 seconds. Confirm run speed with the pressman. Text video to client explaining that’s how long it takes for the quantity of the brochures/posters, etc. to run through the press and why they should opt for digital printing on this short run.

6. Printing is Green

To save paper, calculate how many pounds of trim, corrugated and electronics you recycle each year. Next time your vendor picks up a container, take a picture. Put a photo on your website with an infographic of the tonnage your recycle annually.

7. Ink Changes Color

Ink formulas with a high percentage of opaque white (basically all pastels) will shift within a year. Pastel colors are great for a short-lived item like an invitation but not so good for an identity system.

8. Paper makes a difference

Next time you have photos running on white paper, order some extra sheets of ivory, canary and grey uncoated paper. Add those colored sheets to the job and photograph the same detail area of all four colors. Make a montage (easy with the Layout app for iPhone). Send this montage to a client who is wondering about running a job on colored stock and put it on your website too.

9. How to read a swatch book

It’s as simple as looking up the date – so many times papers have been discontinued, so it’s a simple fix.

10. Art takes time

Create a schedule. Design and art takes time. By setting up a schedule for your designer as a .pdf graphic, they can set up expectations to when and how they need to work.

This article is excerpted from “10 Things Printers Can Teach Designers” published by Printing Impressions.

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