graphics terms explained:
If you're mystified by designer jargon, allow me to help by explaining some common terms.
A "press check" is when you visit the press room where your printed material is actually being produced for a last-minute check to see that it comes out looking the way you want it to.
The press operator will have your plates on the press and ready to go, and will run out a single copy on your chosen material (paper, card stock, vinyl etc.) to check for any problems that got past the designer, proofreader and editor or supervisor: misspellings, color mixing issues, art mis-registration etc. Any such errors will usually necessitate one or more new plates being generated by the designer or prepress department.
Once the problems are corrected, the press run of your actual product can begin. After that, any errors you may still find will be your responsibility.
This is one I learned the hard way: Those nifty photos you took with your new digital camera may be the wrong resolution for your purpose. Most digicams have a default resolution set at the factory; this may be low (72-96 dpi), which will make pics unusable for printing but fine for online display; or high (300-600 dpi), which works great for print but may take ages to download.
If you haven't changed the camera's resolution since buying it (like me), check its user guide and see how to find and control the default resolution used by your camera. The user guide will be either printed in the box or in PDF format; if you didn't get one with your camera, a quick Google search on its model number should turn up a link to one at the manufacturer's website.
If your model allows it, use separate presets for low-resolution online photos and print-quality images. If you're not certain about an image's resolution, there are many software packages available that will help you find out.
free or dirt cheap goodies
This is where I hip you to my favorite free or super-cheap resources for design work.
If your budget doesn't allow for expensive stock images, you want to check out FreeImages.com or Pixabay for lots of high-quality photos you can use in your projects absolutely free. A membership is required to download, but this is free as well and easy to set up. Freepik is a similar site for free vector images.
Need a logo for a company and don't have a print-quality copy handy? The Brands of the World site is your friend. Thousands of vector drawings of logos both famous and obscure are avalable for download with a free membership. Just be careful to abide by the copyright laws of your area and pay attention to the terms text you have to check off each time. You can also participate in critiques of new logos from designers or submit your own for review.
Here's where I share with you my knowledge of the graphics profession, tips for better design and special goodies I uncover that you may like. Below you'll find a blog where you can leave messages, comment on my work and/or the site and interact with me and others. Suggestions? Complaints? Compliments? Bring it.
Currently, I live and work in Atlanta, Georgia, having recently repatriated to the USA after nearly four years living in Mbabane, in the southern African nation of Swaziland. I can work on-site for clients in the Atlanta metro area, and have the capability to work remotely for clients elsewhere in the USA and worldwide.
I am a member of several freelance work sites including Guru, UpWork, Freelancer.com and PeoplePerHour, as well as a number of other sites which offer similar services. Watch your favorite freelancing site; you never know where I might turn up...!
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Entire contents ©2013 and beyond by Matt G. Leger. All rights reserved internationally.