So, my semester interning at Skai Blue Media is winding down to an end. In fact, as I write this, it is my last day at the office.

I have learned so much about creating graphics to suit a clients needs, color, font, layout, design, etc. What I never realized that is probably the most important aspect of graphic design is the technicalities of printing.

The work that you present to your client must be exactly as they approved it, or exactly as you have designed it on screen. The most important part of design is printing your design and having it look excellent! (Unless, of course, you have designed it for the web)

Some important things to remember

1. Make sure you export your files in CMYK color space, not RGB, if you print. It’s imperative to know that Photoshop works in RGB, so it’s beneficial to change the color mode while you are working on something.

2. Make sure you have your bleed settings correct. If you want something to extend to the end of the page, it must be filled to the bleed line. That way you avoid unwanted white borders that happens naturally when you size printing.

3. Be aware of the difference of vector and raster images, and how that might affect your print quality. For instance, if you place text in a photoshop file, the text will not be as smooth as text placed and exported from Indesign.

4. Make sure you study your printer settings! Paper, paper size, paper type, paper handling, paper feed, scaling the image, flip on short or long edge, double sided, single sided… you name it. It’s all very complicated and the smallest mistake can cost you time and money.

5. Try not to get frustrated. Printing can be your own personal hell but it doesn’t have to be if you calmly place your ducks in a row. Take your time and breathe!

I have learned these things over the course of the semester, and I have had my fair share of frustration fits. You live and you learn though, and now I know what I can do better next time. When everything works out as planned, seeing your work printed out is an amazing thing. It’s like your baby. You won’t want people to touch it but you will want everyone to see it, and spend most of your time showing it off.

Have fun and happy printing to you all!

-Taylor