Full Color Printing
Nowhere has desktop publishing made so profound a change in the capabilities of an artist as in full-color (4-color process) printing. Simultaneously, the artist has more choices and more pitfalls than ever before. The world of full-color printing represents an amazingly complex communication process between the artist, his or her creative software, the image setter and the printing press.
While an artist is designing, it is important to understand how each of these processes work. It can be a very frustrating experience when artwork which looks great on the computer screen fails to return the same results on press.
In my example to the left, I began with the design. It is a 3-panel fold brochure and I wanted the piece to work regardless of how it was opened. This required special attention to the cropping and bleeding of the images.
Color is one of the areas where many full-color print jobs fall apart. A computer screen utilizing "RGB" sampling where the colors are combinations of red, green and blue light. Printing presses rely on "CMYK", the combinations of cyan, magenta, yellow and blue ink. There are colors in each process which can not be duplicated between the two. After choosing my initial palette in this piece, I verified that the colors would transpose well from screen to press.
The example I've shown was produced on a PC platform. Contrary to popular belief, it is no more difficult to produce printed pieces on the PC as it is a Macintosh platform. The key is understanding the screen to press process.