Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Design for Print Workshop One - Illustrator.

Working with colour:
  • CMYK 
    • printing inks.
    • not opaque inks, they mix on the paper.
    • different percentages will produce most colours needed when printing.
    • subtractive colours, results in absence (almost black).
    • process colours, refers to CMYK. Inks used in the commercial print process.
  • Illustrator
    • Change preferences: plug ins & scratch disks - start up to scratch.
    • New document: colour mode - CMYK (print) RGB (screen).
    • Best desktop and interface for colour critical work is grey.
    • Change colour using fill/line colour picker, colour palette, swatches palette.
    • Swatch palette gives consistency.
    • There is a default set of swatches although you can set up your own.
    • Clear out all existing swatches - drag to bin, use cmd and shift to select multiple. Use swatches menu to select all swatches. Should be left with four: black, white, no fill and registration colour.
    • Registration colour is for trim, crop, registration and general printing marks.
    • To add new swatches go to colour palette, set ink percentages and choose a colour. Go to menu and click 'create new swatch'.
    • Go to swatch menu and change to small list view.
    • Another way is to have colours already on your art board, go to the swatches menu and click 'add used colours'.
    • This means you can get a colour scheme from an existing artwork.
    • The swatches added this way look different.

    • To change a swatch you can double click it and alter the ink mixture.
    • The swatches made using 'add used colours' is a global swatch. Any colour using this will be automatically updated if the swatch is changed. Nothing needs to be selected. A global swatch has a white triangle in the corner.
    • Using the colour palette you can alter the tint of a current swatch and then add the new one as another swatch.
    • Make sure no items are selected when you do this.
    • If the master swatch is edited then the tint swatches will be altered too.

  • Comercial print process
    • Spot colour - a colour that isn't made of cyan, magenta, yellow or black. It is not processed colour but ready mixed ink.
    • They can make things look luminous. e.g fluorescent, metallic.
    • Can be significantly cheaper as it reduces the amount of times the stock is passed through the printing press.
    • Very similar to screen printing process, with regards to ready made ink. Although screen printing is a lot more work.
    • It is a lot more consistent than processed colours and a percent off would create a different tone. Spot colours make it easy for the same colour to printed countless times. Good for corporate logos and packaging.
    • To select a colour use a spot colour library. e.g pantone.
    • Each colour will have a specific reference number. So printers know the exact way to mix the ink.
    • To access within illustrator go to the swatch palette menu and click 'open a swatch library' then 'colour books'.
    • There are different books for alternate stocks.
    • You can search specific pantones if you find it in a printed library.
    • By clicking on a swatch from the library it automatically gets added to your personal list.
    • Tint swatches can also be added from these.

  • Copying swatch libraries
    • When you open a new document swatches are automatically reset.
    • To save a swatch group go to the swatch library and click 'save swatch library as al'. Save in the swatches folder and it will be easily available.
    • To access this go to 'open swatch library' and select 'user defined' then click your desired swatch name.
    • Another way is to save it in the same place as the work it relates to. This makes it easy to transfer.
    • Use the 'save as ASE' option to use in other programmes.

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