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Print By Design 4 Must Knows: Part 1

Designing for print can be a bit overwhelming. If you have only been designing for the web, these tips will help you on your way to learning the print side.

1.) Bleeds – This is one of the most important tips for designing for print. Bleeds are essential when trimming printed pieces to the correct finished size. When setting bleeds for your new document you will find the bleed options right in the new document dialog box of your design program. Typically, a bleed of .25in is the standard but you can even use a bleed of .125in. Also the only time you won’t need a bleed is if the document has nothing printed on the sides (example: a white border)

2.) CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow & black (key)) is a subtractive color system where inks are mixed to create a range of different hues, much like mixing paint. The more you use the darker the colors get. Failing to select the CMYK color made when starting your new document will default to RGB (Red, Green, Blue) which will show colors that are brighter but unachievable with ink. You must keep in mind that colors that use large amounts of cyan, magenta, yellow and black will quickly become oversaturated and any total values containing over 280% coverage may result in ugly muddy colors and set-off (when the ink remains wet and transfers from one sheet to another). Also, don’t forget that design applications will show vibrant color fine on screen, but in reality prints always appear darker than your original design

Stay tuned for tips 3 and 4 next week and for more information contact us at

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