West of East, Incorporated

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Designing for Print Media


Print is NOT dead...it's not even resting!
Even with the advent of the so called "New Media" and the Internet, the printed page is continues to be the most widely used and accessible form of business-to-business and business-to-consumer communication. But before your audience sees your message, they see the messenger. The design of the page sets the expectation, and beckons the reader to continue. West of East design/studios creates effective print designs that focuses attention on your message, making it more than just words on paper.

It seems there are a large number of graphic designers who started their career designing for the web, with little or no knowledge of the technical issues for creating content for print use. While basic design principles may be similar, there are many technical differences that can make the print medium especially challenging to the inexperienced.

Most are experienced with the way color is generated on a computer monitor, projecting light in varying shades of Red, Green and Blue to make the millions of colors you see on your screen. But paper is a reflective medium, and Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black inks combine with the white color of the paper to produce those same colors. If you've ever printed a picture of a nice bright blue sky on your inkjet printer, only to have it come out more purple than blue, you've experienced that difference. Also, the fixed resolution (the sharpness and clarity of an image) of the average computer monitor is 72 dots per inch or dpi for short. An image that looks just fine on your screen may look completely different when printed at higher resolutions.

When it comes to printing an actual piece, there are 'gotchas' like print bleed. Printers cannot print right to the edge of a paper sheet. To create that effect, the printer must use a sheet which is larger than the document size. Then the printer prints beyond the edge of the document size (usually 1/8), then cuts the paper down to the document size. It is the designer's responsibility to set the bleed correctly. Although 1/8 is standard, different printers have different requirements. Then the medium itself must be considered. What kind of paper? Coated or uncoated? What weight? Varnished, foils, thermographing?!?!

As you can plainly see, just being a competent designer isn't enough. Our experience and professional contacts in the print industry make sure that what you conceive can be produced. We use industry standard solutions like Adobe Photoshop and In Design and Microsoft Publisher. Our monitors, scanners and printers are color calibrated and profiled on a regular basis to ensure that what we see is what we get.

If print medium is your type of communications, we're your type of designers.


Visit our online portfolio for examples of our work!
[coming soon!]
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