Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Garbage In, Garbage Out!

Graphic Investments is primarily a designer and production coordinator for print projects. This includes a wide variety of complex printing projects from 1 color to 5 color. This brings me to the heart of this article. “Garbage in, garbage out”! This is a very common term used by the graphics trade to refer to artwork.

With almost any printing web site there is a section dedicated to the type of files required and the specific dpi required to get work accomplished for a print project. These requirements are pretty standard based upon each companies ability to work with certain file programs. and can be found under, "Acceptable File Formats" or "Pre-flight Information". PDF format is now the choice of file for most printers.

One catch, your average business owner who needs a brochure, business card, pocket folder, book or sales material has no idea what is required to produce a project for printing. Secretaries are not working in the correct programs for printing and the owners do not want to be bothered with acquiring the knowledge of print production.


Owners do however have realized the benefit of owning a
web site. This is where they believe that print production designers can get artwork for the project in mind.

Someday I would like to see a front page national newspaper run an article with the headline splashed across the whole header of the publication:

“Warning: Internet images and logos taken off your web are Garbage for printing!”

Garbage in, garbage out.

Even the most awesome looking logo or picture online is not the quality required to print from. These images are 4 times less resolution than required to produce a printed project. The images above represent an image how it would look if used as a high resolution image designed for printing. The "fuzzy" image, represents how your image would print when taken from the Internet.

Good enough has now become the norm because of the ill conceived notion that If we have a good web site I can develop a brochure that will help keep your company branded.

My advise is to have a graphic designer, not a web designer, develop the branding with print quality artwork and scan and store pictures at print quality resolution.

This is the correct way to produce all your artwork. These images, logos and text can readily be converted for the Internet. The web art can not be converted for printing.

If all you have is artwork developed for the Internet you will need to have a graphic designer start from the very beginning to assure the quality and integrity of the printed piece. This will be costly and could have easily been avoided had you developed your art for printing, then used it for the Internet.