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Hello i'm new here, Q:Design Finalization

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  • Hello i'm new here, Q:Design Finalization

    Hello to everyone, I would really appreciate your help on an issue. I have
    recently graduated from school with a bachelors in Media arts and animation but I have a very strong Desing backround. I pretty much know everything about designing/and the programs but I have a step missing something that I was never really tought, and I would love if someone could direct me to a book or a website or just give me your thoughts on the issue.

    for example I can design anything but I dont know the steps for its finalization for example: If i have to design a dvd cover/cd cover I can design it but when i'm done with the design then what?.... and during the design process where do I get the specifics for designing a cd cover or a dvd cover is it all laid out in Adobe InDesing or quark? do you use a template of some sort? what does it have to be presented in? basically the final steps and what you have to keep in mind while you are designing it. same thing for designing a package for something. I feel like i'm missing a step to begin and to end i'm very good at coming up with ideas and looks and styles but I dont know much about the pipelines process I want to know how you go about designing a package or a DVD cover if there is a website or tutorials that just shows examples on the steps to making one. and the finalization how is it supposed to be setup before you send it to the printers are the colors supposed to be seperate or does it matter? those kind of question I know a lot of this you learn while you are working somewhere but I rather be informed first.

    thank you.

  • #2
    Are you meaning that you don't know how to set files up for print?

    Every job is different and you really need to deal with each job as you come to it. There are many different kinds of printing from offset to digital to large format to screenprint. All with different things to worry about when it comes to setting files up for plate.

    If it helps, most printers accept print quality pdf files. Be sure to include bleed and trim marks.

    Also, have a nosey in the Printing and Prepress section of this forum. Ask away if you have any questions, but you will notice that many people advise to ASK YOUR PRINTER. This is because every print company have different specifications and machinary. What works for me might not work for your printer. Before you lay up a file for print, you should know where the file is going to be printed so that you can get specifications from them. If there is anything you do not understand in the specifications, feel free to ask here.
    Last edited by Buda; 05-13-2007, 06:27 PM.
    It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" – Winnie the Pooh


    • #3
      Is that Venice, Italy?
      Another fine example of the university system at work...

      You should ask your school for half your money back as they only taught you half of your trade. It's sad. Prepress is always glossed over or is not a required course. It doesn't help to be able to 'design anything' but not be able to get it to print. And you will find that you can do things with the programs that do NOT print. At least not as you'd expect.

      You should really get some real world experience. It sounds as though you didn't even get an internship. I know you're raring to get out there and design but a stint in the preflight department of a printshop may teach you what you need to know about file prep.


      • #4
        PD, I agree that prepress should be taught in GD school, but there really isn't enough time in a 3 year design course. They have prepress courses, but designers just don't take them as often as they should.
        It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" – Winnie the Pooh


        • #5
          And I point out again, what good is a three year course if you don't have the skills to make a living at it when you get out. Three years is at least 6 semesters with at least 4 courses each. That's 24 opportunities to teach prepress and it shouldn't be an option. They should make the time. Sorry. If they can't teach the skills in 3 years, perhaps they should make it 4.
          Last edited by PrintDriver; 05-13-2007, 09:59 PM.


          • #6
            Prepress is a pretty big field with heaps to know, but the stuff that someone going into a job as a junior designer needs to know is only a very small part of that. I don't see why you wouldn't have time, in a 3-year course, to at least teach that much.


            • #7
              OK, in my course we were taught what are how to view separations, how to set up spot colours etc. When I was at school though, printing out seps didn't make any sense to me because I didn't understand why I was printing seps. Understanding why is a big part of learning. It's probably why I was so crap at maths. I could memorise the formulas, but I didn't understand why so I could never come up with a formula myself.

              If you can memorise prepress process, but you don't know why or how it works, then you're stuck when you come across something new.

              All my assignments were printed digitally. No student hands in an offset print assignment! It would be too expensive right? Seeing student work come through our company to be printed tells me exactly what parts of printing are lacking in design school. Maybe design school should be 4 years then.

              But the prepress troubleshooting that I do on a day to day basis was all learned on the job.

              Print is only a fraction of what designers go on to do these days. It's sad, but if you're going to learn photography, web design, illustration plus all the programmes to an understanding that can get you jobs in all the above, 3 years isn't going to teach you everything in enough detail. It's just a taster of all of these.
              It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" – Winnie the Pooh


              • #8
                Sure, but you are working in prepress. There's a lot more that you need to know that would be necessary for a typical junior design job ( of course, a lot of recent graduates will end up in a prepress job, but that's another problem entirely...).

                And it is a problem that in design school, every job you do comes off a laser printer - which is a lot more forgiving than a real press - but there's no way around that.

                Still, every assignment I did in the course I studied came back with two grades - one for design and one technical grade. The technical grade was based on a checklist you're given at the start of the assignment. If you miss part of the checklist, you have to fix it and resubmit. You get two resubmissions to fix everything, and if you don't you fail the course.

                (Which sounds a lot scarier than it is - I don't think there was anyone who failed on that second resubmission.)

                Now, that's not going to turn everyone into prepress experts or anything, but at the same time, they all knew what seps were and why they mattered.

                The ones with the better technical grades probably were quite well cut out for a junior prepress job, but I'd say that pretty much everyone who passed came out with enough of an understanding for a junior design job.

                And, seriously, there's some of that stuff you listed that you can just do without. Photography? Sure it's useful, but I'd put basic prepress skills well ahead of it on the list of things you need to know about. Same for illustration - very few people are doing much illustration work these days.

                Which isn't to say you shouldn't learn those things. But learning them instead of basic prepress skills shows some pretty poor prioritisation. Obviously they're things that students are going to want to do far more than trying to figure out exactly what is causing a print job to generate an extra plate, but the school's got a responsibility to make sure their students have the skills they need, and not just do the fun stuff. (Which is no slight upon those of you who enjoy working prepress. Really. But, let's face it, most of those students, if given the choice, would pick learning about photography).


                • #9
                  One of my favorite little resources is Pocket Pal from International Paper.
                  Sort of the "go to" reference book for all things prepress.
                  Viki Anderson Graphics & Design on Demand
                  Through the Looking Glass


                  • #10
                    Hmmm...I guess the problem with my course is that it was an Art and Design degree not a just a graphic design degree. It means that photographers and illustrators also do the same degree. I guess they're trying to get too many birds with one piddly 3 year stone.

                    I spent way too many hours in the photography dark room for what I am doing today. But I had to do it to get my degree.

                    True though, I'm working in prepress and junior designers won't need to know all the things I know, but damn, it would be fantastical if they did!
                    It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" – Winnie the Pooh


                    • #11
                      At my college we did not have a prepress course. It was even harder for me as I took Illustration as my major. What helped was a sweeping tour of various major publishing houses and agressive lobbying at a local Tech college to offer University students a short course in pre-press processes. These tours were organized by a juniour lecturer with insight (thanks to her) - I suppose this was a way to make up for the short-comings of the course.

                      I have to say I gained confidence in changing careers (from Illustration to GD)after the "sweeping tours" and the answers to the questions I asked... The rest I learnt from the "real world" the hard way.

                      Buda, your course sounds alot like mine. I loved the smelly dark room. Ended up in some venturing into uncharted waters...other story.
                      Purity and simplicity... and ubuntu.

                      If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
                      - Bishop Desmond Tutu


                      • #12
                        Hewligan is spot-on. There is no reason not to teach the basics of pre-press so they are understood. Giving a technical grade is a really good start. The problem is the lack of teachers who could give such a grade accurately (I wouldn't be able to do it cuz I only know what I do, which doesn't include seps and very little trapping). It's true a lot of pre-flighting is learned on the job but the basics should be there.

                        Designers are under the impression they need to be a Jack-of-all-trades in order to be marketable. You really don't need Photography or Illustration to be a good designer. You do have to know what makes a good photographic composition and you have to be able to sketch or know how to provide references for an illustrator. You don't even have to know how to code websites. I think of all the designers I know (and remember, I'm a print "broker" of sorts so I know a lot of designers), I think maybe, MAYBE, 5% do more than just design. And maybe 1% do website work. It's all in how you do what you do.


                        • #13
                          I completely agree with the PREPRESS issue. There are many things a designer needs to know from a prepress point of view, since it does affect your design in the end. I am a graphic designer (B.A. in Graphic Design) and work in a pre-press department of a small printing company. I personally don't see the difference in the two in this field. I strongly believe that a good designer will know and understand the steps in takes to get ones files printed. I get so many files from "designers", that really, make me laugh.
                          "I shut my eyes in order to see"


                          • #14
                            hi thanks for your input, I'm actually not a graphic design major, i'm A media arts and animation major, but I specialize in Motion Graphics. Basically I'm just curious about a couple of things in the graphic design field since this field share the design point but not the technical point of motion graphics, and would like to know if someone in the field could answer me some things. i'll just make a scenario:

                            Lets say you where asked to design a dvd cover what are the steps you need to take to design it, do you receive a template, or do you just go by the programs sizing that you design it in, what are the steps to take into account while you are designing it, not visually but technical, and when you are done how should it be presented

                            I know books and magazines are produced in Adobe Indesign/quark would a CD booklet be designed the same way? if so where would you get the sizing information.

                            Thas basically what i'm asking, If there are any resources available out there. I guess what i'm mostly curious about is package design. I know when you are asked to design lets say a box: you are given sort of a template (when you are not designing the box from scratch) I"m asking these questions becasue I would really like to get into some Video game packaging/ Or Sort of a DVD packaging Part time.

                            thank you I hope this cleared up a couple of things.

                            And i'm In Venice, California


                            • #15
                              Find a printer. Ask for a template and specs. Actually read the specs. Before starting to design.






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