Some people are mystified by the magik of the internet – how is a website made and how does it end up in virtual space?
Funnily enough, print design does not seem to have the same mystique – although it should. Perhaps this is because even the most rudimentary of ‘desktop publishing’ tools can be used to produce competent artwork. Even the ubiquitous Microsoft Word has empowered many budding poster designers with its rubbishy WordArt (Gawd help us!).
Those with a more refined ability can produce a half decent flyer or leaflet in MS Publisher or something similar. And when it comes to printing, you just click the button on your menu bar and out chugs your advert for the scouts jumble sale, at an ink-indulgent photo quality maximum of 1200dpi.
So why bother with designers? Good question. Have a look around you. The streets and the internet are full of examples of excellent and imaginative graphic design. Look again… there’s also some dismal old rubbish and, whilst style may not be particularly important if you’re looking for a lost cat (although lost cat artwork is becoming quite collectable), a poorly executed piece of design could make or break a deal.
But, before I lose the thread entirely, what I wanted to say is that, like the mystery of getting a website on-line, getting a document ready for commercial printing is a job of skill (and the right software). Publisher, Word, Powerpoint and other word processing programs use an RGB colour profile, whereas litho printing uses a CMYK profile. Also, Word will compress images making them too poor quality to print commercially. Unravelling the mysteries of commercial printing takes communication, attention to detail and knowledge. That’s what you pay me for!