We Know Complex Prepress Graphics
Prepress is the very detailed, vital work that happens between a graphic designer and a printing press. Just having a beautiful design on a computer screen doesn’t ensure it will look beautiful on the printed label. This is where the magic of complex graphics prepress comes in. Prepress includes color correction, image manipulation, trapping, step and repeat, and even spell checking and UPC code verification. It is very complex! Trapping is one major aspect of prepress that was on display with this label. Trapping is the critical adjustment and alignment of adjacent colors, as shown in this graphic. If presses were perfect, we wouldn’t need trapping, but in the real world, we do. Read more about trapping in this previous blog post.
Some Things are Still Better on the Traditional Press
Despite the massive growth of digital printing the past 2 years, we still know that some projects print better on the traditional printing press. We are fortunate to have the depth of understanding to help find exactly the right tool for your job – not just the latest buzz word. In this case, Alan from Hair of the Dog was collaborating with a European designer and they wanted to make a massive impact with their beer and their label. Bright, loud, fluorescent colors were their vision. We could get 80% of their vision – for less money – on the digital press, but they rejected that option. They wanted the best possible display on the bottle – they didn’t want simulated colors. For that effect, traditional press printing with expensive fluorescent inks was required.
Skill Takes Time to Develop
Traditional press printing takes much more complex file preparation. Much of this is done by computer on the newer machines, but for this job we had to rely on our over 30 years of complex graphics prepress expertise. They are true experts at making complex graphics come alive on the printed label. Not all colors are created equally – trapping requires a true ‘vision’ of what each color will look like when it is laid down on the substrate, and how it will look printed next to and over the top of adjacent colors. This experience comes with time – this isn’t the kind of job you learn about in art school. No fear here – just great results for the client.
Pushback is OK. Part of our depth of knowledge is knowing when to push back on design elements that will really NOT work well on press. Because we have the experience and the confidence, we are much more likely to give a professional, well reasoned suggestion to avoid a problem. We have seen train wrecks before – and we don’t like them! When an unprintable design comes in – or one that won’t end up with a pleasing result to the designers – we are ready and willing to put up a cautionary hand. In the end, we are sometimes surprised when our (amazing!) designer clients push us to do something we don’t think we can do, but there is always a healthy, professional discussion to make sure all the options are considered to get the best result. In complex graphics prepress, the details matter.
We Have All The Options
Because we offer very high quality printing in traditional and digital printing, we don’t have an agenda in the decision. We have all the tools and we will educate you to make the best possible decision. Consulting and showing options is always where we start. We consider cost, timeline, finished product quality, visual appeal, durability, and anything else that may be relevant to a particular project. Unlike companies with a more limited equipment lineup, we don’t have to try to fit your project into a narrow window.
Succeed with Us and Sell More Beer!
Ultimately, we don’t succeed unless the customer does. While we love beautiful, complex labels, we love profitable customers even more! Your success is the ultimate measure of our success.