You may be the master of Photoshop, but making your design the stuff of legends isn’t enough. Ask yourself: “Will it look the same when printed?”
That’s the gist of Paul Wyatt’s article regarding design basics on Creative Bloq (formerly Net Magazine). While you have the option of hosting the poster online, it can have an even longer reach if displayed prominently in public. However, striking a balance between design and print output is not always an easy task.
CMYK Over RGB
The subtractive color model (CMYK or cyan-magenta-yellow-black) is the printing industry standard. Its opposite, the additive color model (RGB or red-green-blue) also works well for print media but appears more vibrant on the monitor. CMYK is what most printing companies use.
One reason for favoring CMYK over RGB is the number of color variations it can produce. Compared to RGB’s 16,777,216 potentials, CMYK can only dish out a million. However, this also means that a poster made with RGB has a higher risk of looking “out of gamut.” If the printer doesn’t recognize the RGB colors, the output may not fully resemble the preview version.
PDF Over JPEG
To get the fullest color, save print files in PDF rather than JPEG format. Experts say that JPEG’s compressibility can be a letdown when it comes to Los Angeles poster printing. Contrary to its name, high-compression JPEG produces pixels as far as the eye can see, a sign of inferior quality. That’s because it packs the file to reduce file size.
You can use a low-compression format to enhance file quality, but your chosen printing company may find it a hassle to download a large file size that’s loosely packed. PDF, on the other hand, keeps the image quality optimal without the need for file compression. Thanks to freeware, it’s also easy to convert JPEG to PDF.
Don’t Hold Back on Quality
You’re printing something that will be seen by hundreds or possibly thousands of passersby in your community each day. Why hold back on getting the best printing service that offers premium-grade materials?
Stick to printing services that make use of the ideal materials for poster printing—a service guarantee you can count on from a reputable company like Master Copy & Printing. After all, the poster paper comprises only half of the poster’s overall look. Besides, there’s no reason to be less particular about quality when the printing company offers premium materials at friendly prices.
(Source: “The designer’s guide to printing a poster,” Creative Bloq, February 20, 2014)