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How to Create Print Friendly Web Graphics
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How to Create Print Friendly Web Graphics

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Working in web design probably means you’ve never been in the situation which sees your designs being sent to be printed. Web graphics and print graphics do not reproduce colour in the same way and ...

Working in web design probably means you’ve never been in the situation which sees your designs being sent to be printed. Web graphics and print graphics do not reproduce colour in the same way and there are different colour models in use, which we’ll discuss in more depth below.

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    How to Create Print Friendly Web Graphics How to Create Print Friendly Web Graphics Document Transcript

    • How to create Print Friendly Web Graphics. Working in web design probably means you’ve never been in the situation which sees your designs being sent to be printed. These occasions do occur and it’s often the case when a new web-based business is branching out and attending industry conferences and networking events. In these instances printed materials are necessary for discussion and promotion. What do you do if you’ve only got access to your web graphics? In most situations these graphics aren’t appropriate for printing and in fact your graphics will need to be designed differently for printing purposes. A closer look at Colour Models Web graphics and print graphics do not reproduce colour in the same way and there are different colour models in use, which we’ll discuss in more depth below. RGB Colour Model Web graphics operate using the RGB model through which every colour we see is created using a series of red, green and blue pixels. This colour model has been designed specifically with electronic devices in mind. Print graphics tend to use either the CMYK or PMS process. CMYK Colour Model Also known as the four colour process the CMYK colour model utilises a series of cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks to product a range of different colours. PMS Colour Model PMS stands for pantone colour matching system and uses mixed inks with established colour values. PMS is a colour system owned and managed by Pantone Inc. and using this system guarantees the exact colours you need. In an ideal world… We’d all ensure our graphics were designed by professional graphics designers and therefore all designs would be provided in both web-ready and print-ready versions. In most instances though we put together our designs for web use and then need another solution for print. No printing company will be able to print files using the RGB colour model so you need to convert your graphics to CMYK or PMS. This is perfectly possible in most graphic software programmes but unfortunately you can’t always achieve perfect results. The Resolution Problem
    • Web designers will often find their main problem comes in the resolution and the inability to rescale graphics without losing quality. This becomes a problem when you’re trying to blow up web graphics for use on banners for example. Image resolution for digital image is measured in pixels per inch or dots per inch and the more of either in any given square inch the higher that image’s resolution. Web graphics tend to be compressed to a relatively low resolution for quick download capabilities. They tend to be fine for web use but not for printing. When creating print ready graphics they need to have a resolution of at least 300 dpi and you will need to save your file in PSD or vector format so rescaling is no problem. The image problem can also effect fonts, and even when you choose a high-quality image file such as a PSD you’ll still need a proper font file to view them correctly and this might be a file which your printer doesn’t have immediate access too, especially if you choose a font which isn’t commonly used. You need to ensure you send across font files as well as your images to your printer. Formatting Image Files The most popular image file formats for web use are JPG and PNG as they’re designed particularly for web use but these formats aren’t always effective for printing. You need to ensure your print-ready files are in as close to ‘raw’ format as possible and the most common formats for this purpose are AI, EPS, PDF and PSD. If you want to ensure your graphics are both print and web ready then the best option is to have both mediums in mind from the offset. There are options available to you if this isn’t so and if in doubt you can always talk to the print company you’ve chosen for additional advice.