Changing Faces – Colour Management & Printing Processes

This morning we had a talk about colour management and commercial printing processes. I thought I would know a lot about these already as a previous course spoke quite in-depth but I learnt a lot of new things which I excited about. I can’t wait to use the techniques I learn to better my work.

Types of ColourThe first segment was on colour management and specification. I already knew about colours and which set is best to use when creating a piece of work although it was interesting to see the colours options side by side for comparison and how they link into each other. Another interesting thing I learnt was that colours are printing as dotted section, each section is one of the colours from CMYK. These sections are printed at angles to one another so we can see each colour, our lecturer said we can change these angles on our computers. This would be great for an even more experimental task project, I would have to do a lot of playing around but it could give some really interesting outcomes. Another thing our lecturer told us about was changing the opacity of some colours and then layering with other to create interesting effects. I realised I had already been doing this in the headings and quotes for my editorial piece. I had been really enjoying playing with this in my work that I think I might look at changing the opacity of the colour blocked sections I have. We also learnt about screen calibration for getting a better colour match from screen to print. It wouldn’t be necessary to do this now but it will be extremely useful later when working on live projects, my work would have to be at the best it can be.

Printing Process TrendsIn the second part of the morning we were taught about commercial printing processes including special finishes and bindings. This was very interesting for me especially finishes, a piece of design can really change once you add an appropriate finish. I wish they were more widely available for me now but if there ever is a time I want something specific I can always work around problems. The printing aspect of this talk was also quite interesting I learnt that for very big print production lithography would be best as the big amount of money is buying the equipments so the more you print the cheaper they are each time. Lithography would be perfect for a mass company such as Argos who prints thousands of catalogues each year. This has been the favourable method for decades but now as the modern world is approaching digital printing is getting bigger and bigger simply for the ease. Digital printing is better for shorter runs of printing as the price doesn’t change thought out. For my final piece the best way to print would be digital, I will only need one or maybe two copies of my outcome and its the easiest most convenient option I have. For a magazine like mine they might never need to be printed with the lithography methods as they change monthly or weekly.

At the end of the session our lecturer told us that we should start collecting design such as packaging, leaflets and other random things for inspiration. I have actually been doing this for quite a few years now and have a nice collection of things that inspire me in different ways. Lately I had been lacking in organising it but now I feel motivated to look though things and have fun.

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