We’ve made a lot of titles over the years which means we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. There are some common mistakes that we can point out that might save you from being in one of the lesser desirable categories.
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Should you hire a professional artist? It depends on your level of proficiency but one thing we can say, artists are great for design work but are not always good technicians. You want to make sure whomever you hire has experience with physical, commercial printing. The art needs to translate into a physical 3D product that can be printed. For example, you don’t want someone who designs for web only, or someone who has experience with only stationary grade papers and ink jet printers, or someone who doesn’t understand bleed and folding.
Don’t flatten your layers please – we need them for film output. Especially don’t flatten the template into your art, unless you want to print the template.
Rich Black vs 1C black Pantone.
Don’t plan for continuous art across different printed panels.
Reverse Side Printing
Special Paper Stocks are fun, but be sure you are accounting for their special features (color, texture, transparency, etc.). As an example, fiberboard (a wonderful eco friendly option) is a brownish color with a nubby texture. There are several pitfalls you would want to watch for. Colors will not print on brown paper like they will white paper. They won’t be “true”. You might need to print white under it to help. The texture means that inks are going to spread (saturation) and you would want to avoid fine lines and small fonts. Definitely oroof this with a press proof.
PDFs are awesome. The includes all the fonts and links and we really, really like them.
If we are making a disc for you and using a DDP image, that is awesome. DDPs have a check sum built in and they always work. But remember, what you submit to us for disc content, is what goes on the disc. Don’t add things to the DDP file. Be sure to check the disc content on your side by creating a physical recordable disc from the DDP file and testing it for pauses, cd text, etc.
The earlier you proof, the better it is for cost.
A little spent on proofing can save a lot of redo expense.
In general, anything custom probably needs special proofing. Special inks, papers, effects, post printing effects, all need press proofs.