Last week, we shared a few of the many considerations to keep in mind when designing for digital print, like color, transparencies, resolution, fonts and margins. Now, let’s turn our attention towards some additional pre-and post-production tips…
When designing for digital and saving image files, always make sure to embed the correct source color space. It is best to save images in either TIFF or EPS which can embed color information into the PostScript code. Also, if you are working in softwares that work off of links, such as InDesign, always be sure to properly package your completed artwork file. If a link goes missing, that image or artwork will appear very low res in your design; missing fonts will be replaced automatically with something similar. Packaging your files will ensure all fonts and links (photos, vector artwork, etc.) used will be stored together throughout pre and post production processes.
Test your Variable Data
One of the many benefits of digital print is the ability to incorporate variable data, allowing each printed page to be unique and personalized – mail pieces, letters, coupons and the like. It is important that you carefully consider the placement of static and variable information within your document. Always check your database to ensure information is correct. It is also important to consider how longer strings of data will work within the layout of your piece and the designated variable fields. Check to see how longer names, for example, are handled and keep an eye open for unnatural line breaks.
When designing for digital, always be considerate for how the final piece will be finished. In digital processes, because the toner sits atop of the paper in most cases, any area containing toner that will require folding is susceptible to cracking. To minimize this, consider avoiding heavy area coverage at folds. If that isn’t possible, you may look into scoring the sheet prior to folding.
In the case of perfect bound books, it is important to note that this process relies on liquid glue to hold the book intact. Since liquid glue may have trouble adhering to the substrate if it has been imaged, it is best to consider using a coated one side paper and avoiding any printing on the inside spine. For best results, ensure the image is held back 2-3 mm from the spine. Similarly, interior pages should have the same non-printing setback of 2-3 mm to ensure optimum glue adhesion.