Monthly Archives: March 2011

Print–ready vs. press–ready and how to know you’re ready

Print–ready Pdfs what are they and what does it mean? I get requests all the time for, “high resolution Pdfs.” And what is exactly is that? You see, when saving a file as a Pdf you have many options. Among them are print–ready and press–ready, there’s web too but that’s for later. When I see a designer asking for a, “high resolution” Pdf I think they don’t know what they want. I try to figure out how it’s being printed and send them what I think they need.

But here it is in a nutshell; print–ready is for things that will be printed out on an office printer or at a copy shop. Saving Pdfs in this version will produce good quality printed material for handing out. This might even include a short run brochure or flyer that you might want to run off in–house. Press–ready is for things being sent to a commercial printer. High run digital printing or offset printing. Press–ready Pdfs strip out unnecessary ancillary information. It keeps the information a printer will need for printing a quality piece.

If you get a request for a high resolution Pdf first ask, print–ready or press–ready. Likely they will respond, high resolution. If you’re sending it to a designer, send a press–ready version if it’s to another office (or office like place) send print–ready. Just remember to tell the recipient what version it has been saved.

Designing within the brand, the sequel

I wrote about how important it is to design within the brand, now it’s time to get specific.

  1. Your brand has probably two or more typefaces, for the logo, for titles, for copy–that’s what you use when you’re designing. Not other ones, this is also a case for not using esoteric or expensive fonts.
  2. Your brand has a color scheme. One to two colors (hopefully not more) plus black and white. Use those colors. Not close to, not tints or shades unless it is part of the brand. The exception of course is if your brand is photo based.
  3. Your brand has a feel, a tone, a sentiment if you will. Stay in that. Clowns and balloons are out if you’re a funeral home. Dignity, always dignity. Lawyers do not want to be irreverent. Candy and pastry shops do not want to be somber.
  4. Layout. Does your brand have a layout that is used? Logo bottom centered? Top Left? Screened behind? (Don’t screen behind, I’m giving examples.)

By the way, when I’m saying, “Use those colors” or “That’s what you use when you’re designing.” I mean having designed, policing your designer. I admit, I advocate using professional designers, I am one after all. But truth be told, designing isn’t your skill set and is a waste of you as a resource. Do the math.

Designing within a branding

Designing within a branding is as important as using a logo correctly. Some companies have very strict rules as to how to design within the branding some are looser. Think about some commercials you see on TV. Do you know who the advertiser is before the logo comes on screen? It’s because you’re familiar with their style, i.e., branding. Here’s a sample of a small company that does big things for their community. They have a branding with looser rules nonetheless, these ads are recognizable and linked to this company.