Communication is conveying a message from one person or group to another. The content of this book deals with the use of printed images to convey these messages. Printing is the primary vehicle for communicating graphically.
Messages are printed in order to communicate. Printed messages may serve many different purposes. The specific purpose will depend upon the need of the individual or group that is communicating. For example, printed messages can be used to inform, influence, stimulate, question, and entertain.
Planning is essential to the printing process. Careful Planning will enhance the effectiveness of the printed product. Planning will also contribute to efficient production.
THE PLANNING PROCESS. Planning is a process. It is an integral part of graphic communications. Planning begins with acquiring data about the job to be done. It results in a series of decisions relating to the printed product.
In order to plan effectively, accurate information is needed. One way to obtain this information is to ask questions of yourself and others involved in producing the printed product. Some information-gathering questions that should be asked are:
· What message is being transmitted?
· Why is it being transmitted?
· Does the type of message require a particular kind of treatment? For example, must it be dignified or can it be humorous?
· How will the finished product be used?
· What audience do you wish to reach?
Information gathered in this way will help you decide important questions relating to format, style, size, method, number, schedule, and cost.
· What form will be product take? Will it be a single sheet, a booklet, an entire book?
· Are illustrations to be used? Will they be line drawings, photographs, or a combination of both?
· What size will the finished product be?
· Will the sheets be trimmed, folded, perforated?
· Will the sheets be bound? How?
· By what method will the product be printed?
· What type of paper will be used? What color paper?
· Will colored inks be used? If so, what colors?
· How many copies will be printed? Will reprints be needed?
· How long will it take to complete the job?
· How much will it cost?
After these decisions have been made, the next step is to develop a graphic plan for the printed product. This plan is called a layout.
A layout is a graphic plan for a printed product. The layout shows the arrangement of type, illustrations, and other elements to be included. It also conveys information about how the job is to be printed.
LAYOUT SYMBOLS. A layout reflects the visual appearance of a job to be printed. It need not and generally does not contain the actual elements to be included in the final product. Symbols are often used to represent these elements. See Figure 2-23.
Type Matter. Parallel lines are generally used to represent small type (10 points or less). Medium type, 12 to 18 points in size, is usually depicted by a series of wavy lines. Words in 24-point type or larger are generally "roughed in" to size.
The weight of a typeface can be conveyed by the heaviness of the lines drawn. Spacing requirements can be suggested by changing the distance between the parallel or wavy lines.
Solids, Reverses and Tints. Solids may be represented in two ways. The solid area can be outlined and the word solid written in its center. A charcoal pencil may also be used to darken the solid area.
Reverses are treated in the same manner as solids. Either outline and label these areas or darken the reversed areas with a charcoal pencil.
Tints and shaded areas are usually represented by outlining or by shading with a pencil.
Photographs and Line Drawings. Illustrations can be indicated by outlining the areas they will occupy. Diagonal lines or sketches of the illustrations should be included in the outlined areas.
Colored Effects. Color can be represented in a layout with pastel chalks, colored pencils, or colored felt-tip pens.
LAYOUT TOOLS AND SUPPLIES. Items essential for preparing a layout are paper, pencils, a straightedge, a line gage, and a place to work. Two or three charcoal pencils of different hardness are especially useful. These pencils can be used to suggest not only the shape but also the tone of the printed image. Felt tip pens can also be used for this purpose.
Drafting instruments, especially a triangle, T-square, and drawing board are helpful, However, they are not absolutely essential for preparing a layout. Other useful items are a type catalog, a clip art book, an ink-color, an ink-color chart, and variety of paper samples.
After the color separations have been produced, the use of a prepress proofing system is suggested. The probability of error is high in color separation work because every original is different and the process is usually performed under time restrictions.
The primary purpose of a color proofing system is to catch errors or mistakes prior to the press run, where corrections would be expensive, mistakes will reduce profits and could prevent potential future work from a customer.
There are two traditional methods of proofing color separations, and a third techniqure that is evolving with the new electronic technologies.
The first traditional method is to proof with a set of inks on the press. The second is to use a photographic or photomechanical proofing system. The photo-mechanical proofing systems are more popular and more economical.
Photo-mechanical proofing systems are categorized into single sheet or laminate color proofing systems and overlay color proofing systems.
The advantage of single sheet or laminate proofing is that the viewing light is reflected from a single surface and light refraction is limited.
A major advantage of overlay proofing is that individual colors, secondaries, and three color overprints, can be examined independently. with the increase of undercolor removal in four color separations, overlay proofing is becoming more important to the press crew that must compare the press sheet to the proof.
The third technigue of pre-press proofing is emerging from electronic pre-press technology. The electronic or digital color proofing systems can be either soft proofing on the visual display terminal, or hard copy proofing using recorders, cameras, or ink jet printers.
Many prepress proofing systems are available. Each of these systems has their own advantages to the industry.
Regardless of which proofing system is selected, some basic requirements should be observed. Basic requirements of a proofing system include:
1 .The proofing system should match the press run or ink capabilities.
2. The proofing system should have consistency in results.
3. The proofing system should have a minimum of operator skills requited.
4. The proofing system should have customer acceptance.
5. The proofing system should be practical for in-plant use (pressroom).
6. The proofing system should selected should work from both negative and positive final films (separations).
Most large color separation houses will use several different systems of prepress proofing. This is done in an effort to give the client a selection or choice.