Jump to content
AP91172

Help w/ preparing for a print file

Recommended Posts

I am brand new to graphics software, and starting with new Affinity Designer. I have been watching video after video, and oh my I am so overwhelmed. I managed to make my first time ever picture, sort of I think. I don't know if I even started correctly, or if its even usable. So my question is, is there somewhere I am missing in tutorials information on how to set up my document before starting so that is ready for different uses? Logos, and most of all print ready. I have been looking, and read this page http://designinstruct.com/print-design/a-guide-to-preparing-files-for-print/   
Its an guide outline from start to finish to make something print ready, and a summary at the bottom to use. Is there anything like this for affinity users? Can anyone help me with this, as I need to get going. I guess I'm just not understanding all the formats, file types, what can be printed, what can't
Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you know where this will be printed? They will generally have guidelines as to how they want the output file prepared--such as bleed or not, safe zones, page size, color profiles, perhaps even PDF output profiles, etc. It is always a best practice to look on their web site, talk with them personally or via email. They also typically have a list of what types of output files they prefer--such as image formats (jpg, tiff, etc) or, as most desire, PDFs and in particular the type of PDF.

 

Without seeing your file or knowing how it will be printed and by whom, some general recommendations. First is what I called bleed above. Any design element (rectangles, circles, images, etc.) that is outside the safe zone should extend off the page equal to the bleed amount. The safe zone is the area inside the page area (called the trim) that no element of importance intrudes upon. So something important like text should remain in the safe zone. Think of safe zone like the margins one may set up. An example of these terms is below.

 

post-255-0-76910300-1480790295_thumb.png

 

  • In the above screen shot, the page size is a typical US business card size of 3.5" x 2". 
  • The safe area are the blue margin guides in the screen shot above, defined on the 3rd tab of the Document Setup screen. I generally use the same amount for the safe area as I use for bleed. In this case, the bleed amount is 0.125" on all 4 sides and so I will use the same values for the margins.
  • This design will have design elements that will extend off the page so the page set up has a bleed amount (4th section of the Document Setup) of 0.125".Because Affinity Designer (AD) does not show one the amount of bleed, I added a red rectangle around the page that is the page size plus the amount of total bleed. The bleed amount I used is 0.125" and so to take account that the bleed is on all 4 sides, I added together the bleed in both directions, which equals a rectangle 0.25" larger than the page size.
  • Now with the page set up, all that is left to do is to add the design elements for this example business card. 

In the screen shot below, I have 4 rectangles that extend into the bleed area all the way to my red rectangle showing my bleed amount. This way when the business card is trimmed to the page size (the faint white rectangle between the blue margins and the red rectangle showing my bleed amount), there will be color all the way to the edge of the trimmed to size business card.

 

Also shown in the screen shot below is my text is all within the blue margins, the safe area. The safe area can also be created with guidelines. As well, the image I used has its important parts within the safe area. I am not worried about a slight shift in this case when the paper is trimmed as it will not affect the image.

 

post-255-0-47131800-1480791089_thumb.png

 

BTW, that design is 99% from a PagePlus X4 template. I only really added the image, which came from Pixabay.

 

From here, you need to ask for clarification because I don't know what you don't know! It may also be that we would need to see a screen shot, where it will be printed, etc.

 

Mike

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you know where this will be printed? They will generally have guidelines as to how they want the output file prepared--such as bleed or not, safe zones, page size, color profiles, perhaps even PDF output profiles, etc. It is always a best practice to look on their web site, talk with them personally or via email. They also typically have a list of what types of output files they prefer--such as image formats (jpg, tiff, etc) or, as most desire, PDFs and in particular the type of PDF.

 

Without seeing your file or knowing how it will be printed and by whom, some general recommendations. First is what I called bleed above. Any design element (rectangles, circles, images, etc.) that is outside the safe zone should extend off the page equal to the bleed amount. The safe zone is the area inside the page area (called the trim) that no element of importance intrudes upon. So something important like text should remain in the safe zone. Think of safe zone like the margins one may set up. An example of these terms is below.

 

attachicon.gifcapture-000494.png

  • In the above screen shot, the page size is a typical US business card size of 3.5" x 2". 
  • The safe area are the blue margin guides in the screen shot above, defined on the 3rd tab of the Document Setup screen. I generally use the same amount for the safe area as I use for bleed. In this case, the bleed amount is 0.125" on all 4 sides and so I will use the same values for the margins.
  • This design will have design elements that will extend off the page so the page set up has a bleed amount (4th section of the Document Setup) of 0.125".Because Affinity Designer (AD) does not show one the amount of bleed, I added a red rectangle around the page that is the page size plus the amount of total bleed. The bleed amount I used is 0.125" and so to take account that the bleed is on all 4 sides, I added together the bleed in both directions, which equals a rectangle 0.25" larger than the page size.
  • Now with the page set up, all that is left to do is to add the design elements for this example business card. 
In the screen shot below, I have 4 rectangles that extend into the bleed area all the way to my red rectangle showing my bleed amount. This way when the business card is trimmed to the page size (the faint white rectangle between the blue margins and the red rectangle showing my bleed amount), there will be color all the way to the edge of the trimmed to size business card.

 

Also shown in the screen shot below is my text is all within the blue margins, the safe area. The safe area can also be created with guidelines. As well, the image I used has its important parts within the safe area. I am not worried about a slight shift in this case when the paper is trimmed as it will not affect the image.

 

attachicon.gifcapture-000500.png

 

BTW, that design is 99% from a PagePlus X4 template. I only really added the image, which came from Pixabay.

 

From here, you need to ask for clarification because I don't know what you don't know! It may also be that we would need to see a screen shot, where it will be printed, etc.

 

Mike

 

  Thanks for your time Mike, I appreciate it. I honestly do not know much at all. I only know what I have learned watching videos for several days straight, and messing with the program the last couple days. I can not figure out how to upload the cocoon I tried to make. It was strictly guess work. I did not know what to do with layers or anything. When would I want to rastersize something?

Ok heres what I am doing, and needing to do... I am extending my work(heat transfer vinyl, working with just a silhouette cameo cutter) to ink heat transfers. So I am starting a new store, that I needed to have going weeks ago for Christmas sales, and here I am trying to learn a graphics program I know nothing about-INSANE!

  So I am trying to make 1) my logo, 2) banner for my shop, and then of course 3) make my designs that I will personally be printing. After I get a logo made and saved in the way I need it, I will make my bus. card and send to prob vistaprint on the cheap, to be printed.

  So in the past when I was going to start a website, I remember the developer saying I needed my logo,banners and everything in Vector, and done to be put on a white background, or black so it could be used on anything I needed. Is this right? If so, what does this mean exactly as far as creating it? 

 

My designs I will print onto transfer paper myself using an Epson inkjet printer w/ heat transfer ink.

 

I hope I gave you enough information to help. I did watch the business card tutorial which helped a lot on bleed areas and such. Your info above is also great! Please forgive me, I am jumping all over the place

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't think too much on my using a business card as an example--that's all it was and was a conversational starting point.

 

I'll probably miss something, so just ask questions. You have basically three different jobs/tasks here.

 

The Logo. Designing the logo is the easiest, especially if it is to remain vector. Nearly any comfortable working page size will be fine. You do want the page size to be large enough so that if you print it to look at it the size on the printed page is large enough to really look at it. But the size when designing with vector doesn't really matter as vector information. Anything you draw with the drawing tools on the left of the screen, including text, the shapes, etc., are all vector. This means they can be scaled larger or smaller without degradation.

 

However, if you intend to add special effects (anything using the FX button, pixel-based brushes, etc.), then these are bitmap effects. Therefore if you will using these things and the intent is for print, do use a Print intent/preset and make sure the bitmap resolution is 300 dpi. And possibly use a page size that is reasonably close to the desired size.

 

Depending upon what the usage is for the logo, you will/may need to export in different formats. So, if you use the logo in printed work, a PDF may be the best output format. On the web it may well be a PNG (with or without transparency depending on the requirements), and with the cutter it may well be as an SVG.

 

For the specific task of a business card, the above mini-tutorial should suffice as for designing it and the output type will be a PDF, likely Vista Print wants a PDF/X-1a, which is one of the PDF types available in the drop down when you go to export a PDF.

 

The Banner. For this, you should understand the size the banner will need to be and it is helpful to then use pixels as the measurement unit. So let's say you require a 200 px tall by 960 px wide banner for the web site. That should be your page size. When you export, depending on what you are building the web site in and the contents and colors used in the banner, likely you will need to export as a JPG or PNG image.

 

As for the web designer recommending using vector when the output will be an image for the web--I also use a vector application for designing for the web. I may well use an image editor to edit images (photos and the like) but all layout/designing will be in a vector design application. Especially if there will be text involved. But do note the actual exporting will be as per above, an image format. It's just that the compositing of the design goes easier for me in a vector-based design application.

 

Printing to the Epson. I would always prefer to output a PDF for professional and local printing. It allows me to review the design before wasting any ink. The Epson will likely do better for transfer printing if you use RGB colors. Especially at each end of the color spectrum: the lighter or brighter or more saturated darker colors and Black itself.

 

Without samples, that's about what I can tell you.

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are helping tons Mike. I am mainly still very confused on document set ups types and colors. When to use what color options

So  LOGO- My set up page doesn't really matter? type, and  everything under COLOR options?  If so what are my settings supposed to be?  I know you said if I use special effects/ bitmap items, set up as print,300dpi, etc. so does that mean start that way with my logo anyway? Or save it plain, and then add special effects and save a different way?   Im confused on that because a lot of pictures have special effects, and are used for print and for say on a web site. So are the pictures made two different times, over again? Oh lord I hope you understand where i am confused on that. I will use the logo for different things(bus. card,making my simple banner for my shop,and probably put on a web site store sometime in the future,  and I may put a special effect when making, so how would I set it up?  I understand I will need to or can export in different ways as needed right?

BANNER- Mostly got that part,except again the set up- type what?colors ?

 

Business Card- Set up as print, set size,bleed etc and export as PDF

 

My designs to print on Epson- Color options-   you said  RGB   When would I use CMYK option, or another option? I keep reading about color profiles on my design program, my monitor, and on my printer. What do I do about that part of it, or know if I need to do anything?

 

Also, under preferences- General  do I keep import Text as PSD text, rather than bitmap checked or not.

Under Color Profiles- How do I know what those are to be on, or when to change them

 

I don't know what I could do for you for helping me, but I sure feel I need to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No worries...

 

Logo. Because of the mixed usage, I would simply set it up as a print document using default RGB as the color space (the Color Format choice drop down). Select the type of units of measurement you prefer to work in.

 

AD has chosen your system RGB color space already so unless you have special requirements that you would be already aware of, there's no real reason to change the Color Profile in the next drop down.

 

The page size settings should be roughly what you would want/expect a logo to be typically. What size that is really depends on the design--taller than wide, wider than tall, etc. So not knowing what the logo is I cannot tell you what size to make the page. And it really doesn't overly matter as it is resizable within AD without degradation even if there are special effects as AD will recalculate them as you resize.

 

The DPI field can/does matter, so opt for 300 dpi (it should be the default for a print document already). I don't like the "checkerboard" look of a "transparent" page so I usually leave that checkbox unchecked. For this purpose--that of a logo--it doesn't matter if you set the margins or not.

 

Your logo, once designed when set up as above can be used for print or the web just fine. It will need resized for whatever usage you use it on when brought into (using Place from the file menu), but again, the effects (if any) will recalculate for the intent of the job.

 

Banner. The banner will occupy a certain dimension on whatever web site or third-party store you create / set up. I don't know those dimensions. For this type of document, select Web and the units will automatically change to pixels and the color space to RGB. This is what I would want when designing for the web (it is the type of color you are looking at when browsing the web). Do note that the next drop down gives common page size presets. You will likely not want one of the presets. So down below the page presets you will be entering your own dimensions.

 

The dimensions to enter for the page size can be anything, but I tend to set the page size for the intended purpose. Fins out what the size of the banner needs to be--it will be listed in pixel dimensions. Enter those dimensions.

 

The DPI will default to 72. It really doesn't matter as the web doesn't think in DPI resolution. It only cares about the number of pixels. So this should not need changed at all.

 

The Epson printer and CMYK. Your printer may well be a 4-color printer using CMYK inks. But the way consumer inkjets work coupled with the OS print drivers information is passed through when you print something is to change all color information into RGB and then back to CMYK for the print head. They think in RGB. They print in 4 (or more) process colors (which is what CMYK is, a process color print technology). So one might as well design for them in RGB,

 

Further, as these are stencils, you want the richest colors possible. Which you will get using RGB for the color space.

 

CMYK for commercial print. Vista Print and the like will probably spec CMYK as an end color format for the PDF. For something like a business card where there is small text (like below 10 pts), one really needs to use 100% K (100% of only the black using the CMYK color model). This is because small text when printed using a "rich black" (which is black made from RGB or using percentages from 2 or more CMYK colors) tend to look fuzzy. Small details in text below 10 points tend to drop out in this case. So for small text, use 100% K only.

 

There's more...but I feel there already is a good amount of information overload from previous reading and from this thread.

 

So here's what I recommend. We need t see what it is you are doing at some point. Because it will be public at some point--at least the banner and logo--you can post here. 

 

I can understand about not having the stencils be available for public consumption. If you desire to keep them private, please feel free to send me a private message with your email address. I will then give you my email address. You can then feel free to email the AD files for directed input.

 

In both cases, it will mean far more when this advice has meaningful context and it will make far more sense when the advice is applied to the real world need.

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No worries...

 

Logo. Because of the mixed usage, I would simply set it up as a print document using default RGB as the color space (the Color Format choice drop down). Select the type of units of measurement you prefer to work in.

 

AD has chosen your system RGB color space already so unless you have special requirements that you would be already aware of, there's no real reason to change the Color Profile in the next drop down.

 

The page size settings should be roughly what you would want/expect a logo to be typically. What size that is really depends on the design--taller than wide, wider than tall, etc. So not knowing what the logo is I cannot tell you what size to make the page. And it really doesn't overly matter as it is resizable within AD without degradation even if there are special effects as AD will recalculate them as you resize.

 

The DPI field can/does matter, so opt for 300 dpi (it should be the default for a print document already). I don't like the "checkerboard" look of a "transparent" page so I usually leave that checkbox unchecked. For this purpose--that of a logo--it doesn't matter if you set the margins or not.

 

Your logo, once designed when set up as above can be used for print or the web just fine. It will need resized for whatever usage you use it on when brought into (using Place from the file menu), but again, the effects (if any) will recalculate for the intent of the job.

 

Banner. The banner will occupy a certain dimension on whatever web site or third-party store you create / set up. I don't know those dimensions. For this type of document, select Web and the units will automatically change to pixels and the color space to RGB. This is what I would want when designing for the web (it is the type of color you are looking at when browsing the web). Do note that the next drop down gives common page size presets. You will likely not want one of the presets. So down below the page presets you will be entering your own dimensions.

 

The dimensions to enter for the page size can be anything, but I tend to set the page size for the intended purpose. Fins out what the size of the banner needs to be--it will be listed in pixel dimensions. Enter those dimensions.

 

The DPI will default to 72. It really doesn't matter as the web doesn't think in DPI resolution. It only cares about the number of pixels. So this should not need changed at all.

 

The Epson printer and CMYK. Your printer may well be a 4-color printer using CMYK inks. But the way consumer inkjets work coupled with the OS print drivers information is passed through when you print something is to change all color information into RGB and then back to CMYK for the print head. They think in RGB. They print in 4 (or more) process colors (which is what CMYK is, a process color print technology). So one might as well design for them in RGB,

 

Further, as these are stencils, you want the richest colors possible. Which you will get using RGB for the color space.

 

CMYK for commercial print. Vista Print and the like will probably spec CMYK as an end color format for the PDF. For something like a business card where there is small text (like below 10 pts), one really needs to use 100% K (100% of only the black using the CMYK color model). This is because small text when printed using a "rich black" (which is black made from RGB or using percentages from 2 or more CMYK colors) tend to look fuzzy. Small details in text below 10 points tend to drop out in this case. So for small text, use 100% K only.

 

There's more...but I feel there already is a good amount of information overload from previous reading and from this thread.

 

So here's what I recommend. We need t see what it is you are doing at some point. Because it will be public at some point--at least the banner and logo--you can post here. 

 

I can understand about not having the stencils be available for public consumption. If you desire to keep them private, please feel free to send me a private message with your email address. I will then give you my email address. You can then feel free to email the AD files for directed input.

 

In both cases, it will mean far more when this advice has meaningful context and it will make far more sense when the advice is applied to the real world need.

 

Mike

OK Thank you so much. That helps tremendously.. I am needing a cocoon for my logo, so I made one, but it looks awful lol.     I am going to try and get some type of logo made asap. I think I need to use some clip art for help, since this could take forever, anyway will send it to your email when I get done. Thanks again

Alisa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I captured your email address and will contact you so you have mine...

 

But please edit your post and remove the email address so the spam bots don't find it and start sending you unsolicited email.

 

Take care, Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mike, the above tutorial you did for Alisa has filled in some of the gaps that I was asking regarding print setup/export options for press.

Just got my first first job using AD and it came out perfectly, so my concerns about CMYK TIFF output were allayed. 

So thank you, and I will keep watching this topic.

 

Michael


------
AD 1.7.1, AP 1.7.1;Hhave ADW, Serif PagePlus X8 and X9 on an old PC
iMac Retina 5K, 27 inch, Late 2015, 3.2Ghz i5, 8GB 1867Mhz DDR3, AMD Radeon R9 M380 2GB; 1TB HDD, macOS Mojave 10.14.5

Wacom Intuos 5 Pro (wireless - without lagging).

Visit my site: TechniSmart (when I ever find time to work on it)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Please note the Annual Company Closure section in the Terms of Use. These are the Terms of Use you will be asked to agree to if you join the forum. | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.