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Ty Talks: Printing


"Many graphic designers are not aware of what must happen to the computer graphics they produce in order to ready them for manufacturing reproduction. Their experience is limited to hitting ‘command +P’ and their computer graphic magically transforming the illuminated masterpiece on their Apple Cinema Display, to the disappointing rendition that appears on the tray of their inkjet printer. Most of the pre-imaging processes are automated in software functions that are built into the print driver, so people are not aware of how a computer graphic must be prepared for an imaging device. Since more and more of the images produced through inkjet, electrophotography, lithography and flexography start their lives as computer graphics, it is important to understand these pre-imaging processes to properly design computer graphics for the manufacturing process".

Read below to learn more:

Raster image vs Vector ? Vector images are mathematical calculations from one point to another that forms lines. Raster images are tiny pixels that form a picture.

Resolutions required for digital media and print media? Print: 300dpi Web:72dpi

CYMK vs RGB? CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and key. It also makes black. RGB stand for red, green, and blue.

Pantone colors/ process vs spot color? Spot colors are more opaque and can only be applied one at a time. Pantone colors were created to mix pigments for spot colors.

Preflight analysis for print and for web?

• File format • Color management • Fonts

• Spot color handling • Page structure • Thin lines

• Black overprint • Trapping

5.5 Transparency / Communicate intent to printer

Where are the transparent elements? Transparency elements can be found on the layers. They can also be used in plug-ins, effects, and filters.

Describe six pre-imaging file analysis processes that should be considered when developing a computer graphic for reproduction manufacture.

• Raster image processing (RIP) technologies that are common to all four manufacturing processes

• Color management for repeatability, as a part of the RIP process

• Trapping to lithographic and flexographic specifications

• Transparency, which is a visual effect that has a great impact on imaging

• Imposition for pre-RIP and post-RIP for media utilization

• Preflight analysis and automation for computer file creation

Describe four major imaging technologies that utilize computer graphics to image on different substrates. Electrophotography, ink jet, lithography, and flexography.

Describe the difference between raster data and vector data when creating a computer graphic file. Raster data will appear to look like pixels versus vector data using a mathematical equation to create a more smoother appearance.

Compare the raster resolution of the data for a typical lithographic plate-setter compared to the resolution of a typical inkjet device. Rasterizing the transparent type at 300 ppi, which is the typical resolution of a photo. It would be significantly different from the raster of the vector type at

128 the RIP, which might be 3,000 lspi for some plate-setters. The letter shape will be 10 times thicker over the photo, and that will be VERY noticeable if the type crosses the photo in the middle of the glyph.

5. How many addressable values can be recorded in an eight-bit byte of computer data? 256

6. What does the acronym WYSIWYG stand for? What you see is what you get.

7. What color matching library has been developed exclusively for process color printing inks (CMYK)? Pantone

8. What can a page layout artist do to a graphics file if the transparent elements on the page are dropping out or not processing in the RIP? Designers can use their layers to first stay organized. By isolating different effects on separate layers, it becomes easier to isolate and edit a specific effect.


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