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8 Things Every Artist Should Know About Printing Their Work

June 7, 2016 4:42 pm

Most artists want to print their work, but it can present you with some problems. Here are eight things that you should know about printing your work.

1. Don’t Put Critical Parts Near the Edges

When you are printing your work, there can be movement that occurs. This sometimes means that a few millimetres at one of the edges can be missed off. That’s why you should always make sure that there is some space at the edge of the work that you can afford to lose. This simply stops you from being disappointed later.

2. There Are Many Different Materials to Print On

There are so many different kinds of materials that you can print your work onto. You should explore all the options and see which one you think would be best for your work. Canvases, metals and photographic prints are all possible. And then there are things like t-shirts that can be considered.

3. Bleed and Crop Marks

Bleed and Crop marks help the printer to know where to trim the work. It will usually be printed with a bleed, which is a blank space that can be removed afterwards. It’s up to the customer to add these bleed marks if they want to get the result that is best for them.

4. The Right Software Can Help

Certain software formats are best for saving your work. Using the right format makes it much easier for the printer who’s doing the work. For documents, brochures and posters, software like Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress are best. For graphics, Adobe Illustrator is best.

5. Images Need to be the Right Sizes

When you add images to your work, you will probably adapt their size. But it’s important to remember that when you make an image bigger, its resolution decreases. And increasing the resolution might seem like a quick fix, but you will be cloning the pixels. And that doesn’t help the quality.

6. PDFs Should be Used Carefully

PDFs can be useful and problematic, so it’s important to use them correctly. If you want the printing to take place from a PDF format, it needs to be set as ‘print ready’. It should also be centred and have the right crop marks in place. If it’s missing any of these things, it just makes the process longer.

7. Include Relevant Fonts

When you send your work to be printed, only the fonts that the printer has will be able to be printed. So, if you have downloaded or created some specialist fonts for your project, you need to send these too. If you don’t send them, then they won’t be able to be printed on your work.

8. Mount It

If you want to present your work in a neat and attractive way once it’s been printed, you should mount it. There are many different kinds of mounts, so explore the options to find out which is best for your work. A simple aluminium mount is useful for many different types of work.