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You have to learn the basics and skills of printing
- Dec 15, 2018 -

Today's graphic designers pay too much attention to the renderings and neglect the effect of landing. Due to the lack of understanding of the printing process and the material of the paper, the renderings are far from the real ones. In fact, printing is a very interesting thing, just like experimenting in the laboratory, understanding the characteristics of different materials, and constantly trying to experiment with the material process that best suits your design.

First, the printed documents

Currently, PDF is the most convenient file format for communication between customers, printers and colleagues. The format of advertisements and media files submitted to newspaper and magazine publishers is also PDF-based. The final output of the printer is also high-resolution. PDF file.


Adobe Acrobat, InDesign, and Illustrator can save PDF files. In order to avoid repeatedly modifying the file settings to affect the design process, what you need to do before you start designing is to optimize the compression program with predefined settings. In Indesign, click PDF Preferences → Print Quality. Then make a custom PDF setting, click File → Export, select .PDF format, and set the crop, bleed, and printer registration mark in a pop-up window. Check the file settings again in Acrobat to make sure it is accurate.

printing poke

If you are using InDesign to arrange books, remember to select the "Page" option when exporting files, instead of "Span", export each P separately, the print shop can help us imposition.

Font embedding is something that careless designers must remember. If the font can't be embedded, it's usually because it's missing in the folder or the printer limits it, so after opening it, the font will be replaced if you The design is a squiggly, and when printed out to become a traditional Song, it is sad reminder. So remember to embed the fonts when exporting the files. The preflight check in InDesign and AI can help us avoid errors.

Second, printing paper

The choice of paper is definitely the part that needs to be considered in the design process. The thickness, texture and color of the paper will affect the feeling of the design image. In the process of making a sample, several papers can be selected to ensure the effect.

Paper is calculated in grams (g) or grams per square meter (g/m2). The thickness of the paper is measured in calipers or millimeters, but the thicker the paper, the better the quality.

Paper opacity refers to the extent to which text or images can be transmitted, depending on the density and thickness of the paper. Professional paper companies have their data or experience available to you for reference.

1. Matte paper, glossy paper, glossy paper

Different paper surfaces affect the brightness of the printing ink, and the matte paper absorbs the ink on the surface, and there is substantially no reflection gloss. Matte paper is used to print text and text, such as newspapers, books, etc., for easy reading. However, after the ink is printed on the glossy paper, it will stay on the surface, so more light will shine on the paper under the font, and the light will be reflected and the color will be deeper and stronger. This paper is suitable for book covers, magazines, brochures and outer packaging. and many more. Wax paper is the paper between the rough surface and the glossy surface. The color of the ink on the glossy paper is not as strong as that of glossy paper, and the surface is not glossy.

2. Coatings and polishes

The role of paints and polishes is to protect the ink and enhance the ink area.


A printing coating that can be mixed with other inks or used alone. It can be used on matt paper, glossy paper, and glossy paper.

UV coating is commonly known as UV

Apply with liquid and harden with UV light. This coating can be used on matte and glossy papers for precise partial or full coverage.

Waterborne Matte, Satin and Gloss

The price is relatively high, often as the last layer, so it can only be fully covered.

Laminates (Lasminates)

It is a plastic interlayer or transparent liquid layer in paper that has a protective effect.

Third, printing color

Printing or printing color cast is the biggest headache for designers. The prints we see are made up of three elements: light, paper and ink. Monochrome printing is used when the budget is tight or when a specific color is used. For example, many brands or companies use a specific Pantone in their printed work, which is very effective in maintaining color uniformity to ensure color perception of the brand. It is recommended to buy a Pantone chromatogram and choose to print relative to the color number.

Second, three-color printing allows Pantone color mixing, overprinting two transparent inks can produce a third color, and printing black and white images with two colors and three colors can enhance the color effect.

Four-color printing is known as CMYK, cyan, magenta, yellow, black, and can create countless colors according to the ink ratio. This is the most common thing we have now.

playing cards printing

cards printing

Pantone System: The Pantone Color Matching System (PMS) includes a color reference manual and a color guide. You can select a Pantone color code or enter an accurate CMYK value to select a color. The printer comes with these guidelines and matching inks, so look at it. Instructions.

Pantone is also known as spot color, and there are many color choices, but we know that the color of the paper will change when it encounters different papers. In order to get closer to the design, there are many versions of PMS color samples for different papers, such as matte paper and copper.

Calibration Detector: Let's say that this designer can understand it, because this does not require us to operate. Proper calibration and use of profiles can get infinitely close to the colors you see on the screen. Many modern monitors are equipped with presets and programs that help us get the basic values. In recent years, colorimeters for confirming each color point have become readily available. The colorimeter cycle is used in many different modes to read the current state of the display and properly adjust the video card to create new ICC configuration text.

Is it complicated? Yes, the school color problem is a grinning little goblin. If you encounter an experienced master in the printing house, then he can help you get everything done. If not, use spot colors. The color of the screen is not always printed accurately, so when printing the finished product, remember to try a few more times, and play the sample several times to ensure that the batch printing is correct.

The problem with color matching that many people encounter is RGB and CMYK, RGB is the screen color, CMYK is the four-color printing, RGB color can not be played, can only be adjusted to close color with CMYK, so remember to put it before printing The file is converted to CMYK format, otherwise there will be problems when passing the press. There are also friends who print in less batches and can only print to digital print shops. At this time, color cast is inevitable. You can only try to get close to the effect you want. Experienced friends have a good match for CMYK. However, contact with a small number of printed friends, it is recommended to go to the print shop to select the paper, play a sample, if not, then bring the source files, change the value on the spot, it is best to find a staff to help, they are familiar with their machines until they are satisfied.

Small Tip:


Many designers like to use the "color black" or "super black" color scheme on a large scale. This color scheme is C60 M40 Y40 K100, for images, not text, this color scheme is more comfortable than K100 pure black.

printing game cards

Spot color

The fan sample guide contains more than 1,000 Pantone spot colors, with special versions of gold, pink, luminous colors and more.

Color matching

There are more than 3,000 Pantone prints in the guide book, with a CMYK tonal percentage. This guide was formerly known as the Pantone Four-Color Simulated Spot Color Guide.

printing news


In this guide, the Pantone code ending in C indicates a color that matches only the glossy coated paper. The Pantone code ending in U is represented as a matte paper-matched print color.

Fourth, the printing process

Several common printing processes are:

The scientific name is called hot press transfer printing, referred to as hot transfer printing, commonly known as hot stamping, hot silver. It is a method of hot stamping metal foil onto printed matter by means of a certain pressure and temperature, and a cold pad printing.

It can be better with the convex or concave process; the colors that can be used include gold, laser, spot color and so on.

1. Over UV

It is UV glazing, UV is the abbreviation, it is to dry the curing ink by ultraviolet irradiation. UV is usually a silk screen process and there is now offset UV. If UV is used on the film, it is necessary to use a UV-specific film. Otherwise, UV will easily fall off and foam, and it will work better with special processes such as convex and bronzing.

2. Lifting / embossing / embossing

The scientific name is embossing, and the process of forming a pattern by local pressure change by the pressure of the printing plate is that the metal plate is corroded and becomes a pressing plate and a bottom plate for pressing. Divided into cheap ordinary corrosion version and expensive laser relief version.

The convexity is performed by using a convex template (positive template) to emboss the surface of the printed matter into a three-dimensional relief-like pattern (the partial protrusion of the printed matter causes a three-dimensional effect, causing a visual impact). To increase the three-dimensional feeling, it is necessary to do it on paper of 200g or more and high-weight special paper with obvious mechanism.

The embossing is to use the concave template (female template) to emboss the surface of the printed matter into a embossed pattern with a concave feeling (the partial depression of the printed matter makes it have a three-dimensional effect and causes a visual impact), and the three-dimensional feeling can also be increased. The paper requirements are the same as the convexity. Both convex and concave can be combined with bronzing, local UV and other processes.

The embossing is a texture of the full version of the grain on the surface of the paper after being pressed by the metal roller of the engraved texture.

3. Die cutting

The die-cutting process is to make a special die-cutting knife according to the design requirements of the printed matter, and then roll-cut the printed matter or other substrates into the desired forming or cutting process under the action of pressure.

Applicable to products with more than 150g of paper as raw materials, try to avoid patterns and lines close to the tangent line.

4. Glitter

Just put a layer of glue on the paper and then sprinkle the powder on the glue.

5. YO

It is a spring-like object, mostly plastic, generally used on the spine of notebooks and notebooks, and is used for page turning.

6. Laminating

Pressing a layer of transparent plastic film on the printed paper, there are crystal film, light film and matt film, many places are called different, not environmentally friendly.

7. Flocking

It is to apply a layer of glue to the paper, and then apply a layer of fluff-like material to make the paper look and feel a little flannel.

8. Brushing

Brush a layer of color on the edge of the paper for higher thickness paper, often used for business cards.

9. Screen printing

It can be operated on flat objects, spherical objects, curved surfaces, and even concave and convex surfaces. For example, clothes, wood, etc. can be printed, and the flexibility is large. The printed ink layer is thick and has a strong three-dimensional effect. The screen printing process equipment is simple, easy to operate, simple in printing and plate making, low in cost, and strong in adaptability.

Little egg

Speaking of screen printing, here is a wonderful paint that can be combined with screen printing. It is called reversible temperature-changing achromatic paint. The English name is Thermochromatic ink. Its characteristic is to display a certain color at normal temperature. After the temperature disappears, the color disappears into a colorless color, and immediately returns to the original color after cooling, and its change process is reversible.

There is also a laser cut (Laser Cut), which uses laser technology to write text on the object. The technique is not engraved with the word, the surface of the object is still smooth, and the writing is not worn. The engraving machine has three engraving modes, hollowing out, engraving and stroke.

Using laser engraving and cutting, the process is as simple as printing on paper using a computer and printer. The vectorized ai file can be easily "printed" into the engraving machine. Processing accuracy can reach 0.02mm.

The above are basically enough for daily printing needs. If you want to be particularly powerful, please buy a copy of "Printing", which has hundreds of printing processes to choose from, but not every printing company can achieve.

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