As a group we were asked to try and answer the question ‘What is design for print?’ and try and sum it up in a single sentence.
As a group we came up with different ideas and points on what ‘design for print’ is.
- Something physical – with print/with communication.
- Mass production.
- Physical process.
- Scale consideration.
- Relevance of context – purpose/situation.
- Production process.
- Consideration on how and what you are printing on to - stock/texture.
- Colour consideration – Pantone.
- Scale of production – individual/one-off to batch and mass production.
- Can only design if you know the process as the process will effect how you design.
- Mock-ups and prototypes.
- Technicality of end product – packaging – folds, cuts, etc.
External information applied/transferred onto a surface. Taking into consideration the process, scale, purpose, situation and stock.
Is it possible to sum it up into a single sentence?
List of processes of design for print:
Metal type press
Wood type press
Format for Print:
- When designing for print you need to consider the margins and bleed. If an image is to cover the whole of the page, T-shirt, poster, etc. it must then be made larger than the required size. The reason for this bleed is so that when trimming or folding you are not left with an unwanted border or empty space. The common bleed is 3mm.
- The main format to consider, when designing for print, is what the end product is going to be. The size is especially relevant to the design, as pocket size requires a different format to a billboard.
Colour for Print:
- Print has its own colour mode – CMYK. This colour mode only applies when digitally printing, as with the likes of screen printing any colour can be mixed. CMYK – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key – are the only colours that can be printed. A combination of these colours will make the appearance of other colours. When printing with CMYK it prints loads of dots rather than a block colour. These dots are so small and frequent that when viewed by the eye they are barely visible. The density of dots affects the tone of the colour.
- Gamut colour. When designing work for print, especially when using colour photographs. The gamut colours are a subset of colours that can accurately be printed as you see them on screen. If the colours do not fin in this subset then they will not print as seen on screen. The Pantone colour swatches contain all the possible digital printable colours and how they appear on different surfaces.
- When designing for print the quantity of the final product must be taken into account. If the product is to be produced in a large batch in a short time the production must be considered and some methods would not be possible. Similarly, if you are only producing an individual piece or a one-off then different production methods can be used.
- Cost of production is something that is very important to the design of print. This includes stock, process, batch size, size of product, etc.
- There are a huge variety of processes that can be used to print so it is very important that this is taken into account prior to designing. The reason this is so important is because some printing methods limit what can be included in the design.
- Stock must also be considered in the process as some methods are unable to print onto certain stocks. For example, screen printing is fairly versatile, however, when printing on paper a finer mesh screen (with a higher mesh count) should be used, as opposed to screen printing onto fabric where a courser mesh (with a lower mesh count).
- When designing the finish must be considered as different processes give different finishes and different appearances. Context and use should also be considered when choosing a finish. Foiling will give a completely different finish to lithograph and the stock used will also give a different finish depending on whether it is matte, gloss or textured.
- Another element of finishing that should be used when designing for print is its location and situation. For example if the product is for outdoor use an ink should be used that will take longer to deteriorate in weather and if it is a product that should be used over and over again for a long time a similar consideration must be made.
- The choice of stock will significantly affect the design, whether that is to do with its colour or its texture or finish. Stock can create complications if you want to use a certain process or want to have a certain finish, as it may not be possible with a chosen stock.
- The final product will also affect the stock choice. For example if you are going to produce recyclable packaging you must use a recyclable stock. Stock also allows you to experiment and product some interesting and alternative work by changing what you print onto.
All 6 points link together and elements from each affect the others.