Print Design Before There Was Photoshop
Of all the services Dynamic Digital Advertising provides its clients, print is closest to my heart. I cut my teeth in that aspect of the business long before there were computers. Some of the basics included: a simple layout for a brochure or sell sheet started with a manual word count; headings and subheads had to be accounted for separately; pictures fit in rectangular or square boxes, and errors were avoided like the plague once you got to galley form. Graphic designers were referred to as designers and they had almost no latitude when it came to color and sophisticated design. Don’t get me wrong, before there was Photoshop and manipulation, graphic designers utilized every ounce of their creative muscles to produce impact on a page. There are endless examples of wonderful work from top designers utilizing fonts and images and tag lines to make a product stand out.
Today however, the graphic designer does not have to depend on extreme meticulousness as he or she had to pre computer days. If a font is too large, it can quickly be changed from 18 pts. to 14 pts. If a client asks for words in a circle, that is not too hard to do either. If the client wants spot varnish, or metallic ink or an unusual fold, the answer is almost always yes with the appropriate budget. It is easy to find inspiration by checking others work online.
But some things are written in cement. When working with a Business Reply Card, included in a brochure, the United States Post Office has rules and regulations you have to adhere to. Bar codes have to be a specific distance from the bottom of the card, for example. When creating a calendar for print production, a graphic designer has to be aware that the specs are right for the printing company before releasing the piece for printing. Designing in the computer, it is easy to forget that holding a printed piece in your hand is not the same thing. Thankfully, several staff members are production savvy, and know how to check that a piece is set up correctly.
For the number of print catalogs, brochures and sell sheets we have designed and produced over the years, we have had very, very few problems. Luck or experience? I think it is both and I would add, the DDA’s brand of quality control.