Graphic Design 101




A graphic artist is someone who uses art as a way of visual communication. Graphic art is a unique way of combining graphic elements and words to express an idea or give over information. Graphic artists can design anything that you may need for your business. Just to name a few, a graphic artists can create ads, business cards, greeting cards, brochures, envelopes and stationary.


A graphic artist who specializes in printing can help you through all the steps of your project, from beginning to end. Instead of submitting your files on your own to a printer, have your artist do it for you. Avoid all the trouble and grief that is caused by files which are not set up properly for print. Graphic designers who are knowledgeable about the printing process will be able to set up your project according to specs required by a specific printer and guarantee it will print as well as it looks on the screen.


Q. What are the most common programs used by a Graphic Designer and how can I learn the software?
A. Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Indesign.
(You can take a course to become proficient in the software. Contact PrintProsDirect for more information.)

Q. Can I enlarge a picture without making it blurry?
A. Resolution is commonly referred to as dpi (dots-per-inch). This describes the clarity of the image. The higher the dpi, the clearer the picture. To achieve a sharp, clear image on a finished product, 300 dpi images are required. Pictures that are taken at 300 dpi (dots per inch) should print clearly. If you enlarge a 300 dpi picture, you will be losing resolution and making the picture unclear and blurry (as you are spreading the resolution across more space. If a picture was taken with low resolution, there is nothing that can be done to make it high resolution.

Q. What is the difference between RGB and CMYK color?
A. RGB and CMYK are the two most popular color modes used for design. RGB (Red, Green and Blue) is used when designing anything meant to be exported for electronic displays and monitors. The images are created by combining red, green, and blue light. CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black)is the typical color mode used for printing (example: advertisements, brochures, or postcards).

Q. What does a bleed mean and how is this set up?
A. A bleed is when artwork and/or background color is intended to extend until the edge of the document. (“Bleeds off” the edge of the page).
In order to achieve this, the actual file is designed larger than the final piece. The artwork is printed and trimmed down to the final size. (Printers do not have the capability to print until the edge of a document).
Files with bleeds will need a bleed, trim and caution zone.

For the Graphic Artist:
Q. Why does my cursor look like an x instead of the appropriate tool?
A. Your caps lock is on.

Q. Why doesn’t the red eye tool in photoshop work? (greyed out)
A. Many options in Photoshop only work in the RGB color mode. You are likely in CMYK mode.

Q. What does the puppet warp tool do?
A. Go to Edit- Puppet Warp- You can then go and place out three pegs. A peg where you want to make a change in position and an “anchor peg” above it and below it. Move the middle peg and you will be able to readjust the position of your picture. (You may not do this on a locked layer). Used best for fixing posture of people in a photop.

Q. How to be sure that your fonts are embedded properly.
A. Turn off local fonts in acrobat. Open your file and open document properties, select Fonts and all font types used in your document will be listed there. Each font must say embedded subset or embedded next to it. If it doesn’t then it is not embedded in the PDF and its not a print ready file. If you converted all fonts to outlines or paths or curves then there will be no fonts listed there at all. This is a good way to avoid font embedding mistakes.

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