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Printing & Print Design (Topic) - Blog Posts

The 26 Best Envelopes (and Where to Buy Them)

The 26 Best Envelopes (and Where to Buy Them)

The way something is packaged has a major effect on the person receiving it. You'd never give someone a loose birthday card without putting it in a nice-looking envelope, particularly if you expect it to be mailed. It's especially popular for businesses to print envelopes with a custom design when they want to put forth a professional image. Envelopes do much more than ensure your mail reaches its destination—they let people know that you care about the presentation of your message. Whether … [Read more...]

How to Print Like a Pro: Understanding Double-Sided Printing

How to Print Like a Pro: Understanding Double-Sided Printing

You're ready to select print options for your new marketing supplies. But every time you pick something out, it won't work. The printer says the stock isn't compatible with the imprint method, or you can only coat Side 1 of your design, not Side 2. That would be fine, except that you're trying to order folders—which obviously have more than two sides. The printer isn't much help, either; they're just babbling on in their techy jargon, which sounds like it's just a bunch of made-up words. … [Read more...]

Image File Types Explained: Which Format Should You Use?

Image File Types Explained: Which Format Should You Use?

You're finally done with your design project, you go to save your file, and suddenly you're bombarded with over a dozen possible image file types to choose from. It can be a bewildering experience if you're not sure what you're doing or the difference between them, but we're here to demystify the process for you by helping you understand the cold, hard truth: There are only a handful of image formats that really matter. Now, before you die of shock and outrage, we'll fully admit—there … [Read more...]

Is That Printed Color Background a Bad Idea? Pros and Cons

Is That Printed Color Background a Bad Idea? Pros and Cons

If you've ever done theater or public speaking before, you know that the background behind a subject - even something as simple as a red velvet curtain, as opposed to a plain white wall - can make a big difference. To that end, design clients sometimes pick a colored stock for their marketing materials because they want to accent their design with a more interesting background. But the same results (and in many cases, better results) can be achieved by printing a background color in ink … [Read more...]

5 Ink-Saving Fonts Every Eco-Friendly Designer Must Know

5 Ink-Saving Fonts Every Eco-Friendly Designer Must Know

A 14-year old boy recently made headlines when he claimed the government could save millions of dollars every year if they switched to using the font Garamond in all of their printed materials. While his claim was not exactly accurate, it did bring attention to an often neglected issue—the fact that some fonts require more ink than other fonts, which is bad news for the environment. If you're concerned about creating unnecessary waste and utilizing green business practices, then you should … [Read more...]

Which Print Graphic Design Career is Right for You?

Which Print Graphic Design Career is Right for You?

So you've got a talent for print graphic design and an interest in the print industry—you may be asking yourself, "where do I go from here?" It can be intimidating breaking into a new field or looking for a new job opportunity, especially if you're not aware of the types of career options you might have. Before you settle for making print design something you do "on the side," take a look at some of this exciting graphic design career info within the print industry. Each one of them can help … [Read more...]

Why JPEG Images Suck for Printing

Why JPEG Images Suck for Printing

Back when the Internet was still fairly new, the JPEG reigned as king of all image formats. Thanks to its ability to compress complex images into a low file size, JPEGS were the perfect format to use with dial-up modems and floppy disks. But nobody has used those ancient relics in years-so why does the JPEG still have such a stranglehold over us? It's not that JPEGs are necessarily bad or obsolete; it's just that they're not always the best format for the job. And these days, they're rarely … [Read more...]

PMS Color Printing: Tips for Finding & Working with Pantone Colors

PMS Color Printing: Tips for Finding & Working with Pantone Colors

If four-color process printing is like mixing together flour, sugar and baking powder from scratch, PMS color printing is a little like using pre-made cake mix. You don't have quite as much flexibility with your recipe, but it's a great choice if you're looking for a consistent taste because you always know exactly what you're getting. This guide will walk you through the definition of PMS color and its pros and cons, as well as tips and tools for finding, matching, identifying and converting … [Read more...]

44 Color Scheme Tools for Picking the Perfect Print Palette

44 Color Scheme Tools for Picking the Perfect Print Pallette

Your life is controlled by color schemes. That might sound dramatic, but think about it for just a second-would you go to an important job interview wearing a mismatched suit? Or a violently clashing hair or makeup color? Chances are that your living room, your wedding theme and even your high school colors have consisted of tones based on some sort of conventional color scheme. Human beings prefer living in a world where colors go together, which is why our brains turn to mush whenever we … [Read more...]

The 108 Best Photoshop Plugins and Extensions for Print Designers

The 108 Best Photoshop Plugins and Extensions for Print Designers

In case you haven't noticed, we're pretty keen on Adobe Photoshop; we've even shared a ton of our favorite Photoshop tutorials. But even a great program like Photoshop can be improved upon. If you don't believe us, here are 108 reasons why you're wrong. This enormous collection of the best Photoshop plugins for print designers takes something good and makes it even better by giving you more control, more power and more options than what's available in your standard Photoshop toolkit. Plugin … [Read more...]

38 Typography Tools for Print Designers (Better Than Adobe Suite)

38 Typography Tools for Designers (Better Than Adobe Suite)

A Swiss Army knife allows you to do a lot of different things at once (like remove a screw or open a wine bottle), but sometimes what you really need is a strong pair of scissors—a tool that only does one thing, but does it much more simply and elegantly. It's the same way when working with typography in print design. The Adobe suite is powerful and multifaceted, but when you need to create a new font from scratch or identify the name of a particular typeface, it pays to have a few more specific … [Read more...]

How to Use Our Folder Design Templates

How to Use Our Folder Design Templates

Company Folders' pocket folder design templates are free to download and customize however you like. To help out, we've assembled a handy guide to downloading, modifying, and drawing inspiration from our folder design templates. Finding & Downloading Templates All of our folder design templates can be found on the Company Folders website by clicking "Design Templates" in the footer area. Here are a few examples: Colorful Church Welcome Packet Folder Template The Golf … [Read more...]

How to Use Our Die Cut Templates

How to Use Our Die Cut Templates

When you order a Company Folders product, our die-cut templates act as your canvas when you construct your artwork. If you've download your desired template but need help editing it or applying your design, let this handy tutorial be your guide. Step 1: Open or place the die-cut template in the program of your choice. If you are using Adobe Illustrator, you can simply open the template file directly. However, when saving your project, make sure you do not overwrite the original … [Read more...]

10 Tips for a First-Class Printed Design Portfolio (with Examples)

10 Tips for a First-Class Print Design Portfolio (with Examples)

You've already posted all of your graphic design work online, so who really needs a print portfolio, anyway? As a matter of fact, investing the time to create an outstanding printed portfolio can pay off in a big way—even if your work is strictly digital. Unlike online portfolios, physical portfolios cannot be clicked away. Since they're physical objects that take up space, clients can rediscover them even after putting them in storage (long after they've deleted your web portfolio from their … [Read more...]

Are These 6 Social Media Mistakes Ruining Your Print Ads?

Are These 6 Social Media Mistakes Ruining Your Print Ads?

Why do so many graphic artists still fumble horribly when it comes to promoting social media with print ads? It's not like they haven't had plenty of time to get on the ball. Social media's been around for over a decade now, and you'll be hard pressed to find a company that doesn't have some sort of presence on Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter. There's really no giant, hidden secret to learning how to advertise social media, nothing that makes it more difficult to work with than a website … [Read more...]

13 Popular Print Design Trends (That Make Us Cringe)

13 Popular Print Design Trends of 2013 (That Make Us Cringe)

Nobody wants to be the one person to miss out on the latest trends, but keeping up with fads isn't always an indication of quality. If it were, people would still be dancing the Macarena and playing pogs. Likewise, many of the popular print design trends of the past just end up making artwork look dated and unprofessional by modern standards. But not every printing trend is a relic from the Clinton era. Some are relatively new fads that are so widespread and standard that nobody really stops … [Read more...]

Adobe Illustrator vs. Photoshop vs. InDesign – Print Design Guide

Adobe Illustrator vs. Photoshop vs. InDesign - Print Design Guide

Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign represent the “big three” of the Adobe Creative Suite—but never assume that one is interchangeable with another. Use the wrong design program to create a certain element of your artwork, and you might end up with blurry text, sloppy layouts, or a logo that you can never resize without turning it into a pixelated nightmare. Using all three programs together, however, turns them into the ultimate dream team. You can maximize the strengths of each Adobe … [Read more...]

The Top 8 Free Font Sites for Print Designers

The Top 8 Free Font Sites for Print Designers

Some would say that finding the best fonts for your print media project is like looking for a needle in a haystack, but it's actually more like trying to find a needle in a stack of other needles. Just when you think you've conquered this herculean task and discovered the one font that seems to perfectly encapsulate your vision, you'll find that the font is outside your budget range, unsuitable for print, or not safe for commercial use. To help out, we've written reviews of the best free … [Read more...]

Worst Fonts Ever! 11 Examples of Bad Typography in Print

Worst Fonts Ever! 11 Examples of Bad Typography in Print

Fonts are like celebrities—some are famous, while others can be downright infamous. When an audience sees a font in your print media design that they just can't stand (be it overused, ugly or unreadable), you can lose their attention in a heartbeat. We've already discussed how to properly use typography in your print media project, but there's one more rule that print designers should take to heart: avoid using notoriously bad fonts in your designs. To that end, we've provided you with a … [Read more...]

9 Stylish Folder & Brochure Folds for Print Designers

9 Stylish Folder & Brochure Folds for Print Designers

The reason paper makes for such a versatile medium is its ability to transform into something entirely different. As a child, you probably created airplanes, miniature footballs, or fortune tellers through paper folding techniques. Likewise, with a wide variety of folder and brochure folds, a single sheet of paper stock can become a cool tri-panel folder, a fancy multi-page brochure or practically any other form of print marketing. When creating marketing media, there are many different types … [Read more...]

RGB vs CMYK vs PMS: Deciphering Design’s Confusing Color Jargon

RGB vs CMYK vs PMS: Deciphering Design’s Confusing Color Jargon

Every industry has its own unique lingo that can sound like complete gibberish to the uninitiated. The print design industry is no exception to the rule. You may have heard the terms RGB vs CMYK vs PMS in relation to color when designing for print, but you may not know what each acronym stands for—or, more importantly, why you should care. However, if you want your final design to look the way you intend, it's imperative that you educate yourself on each of these color profiles and the … [Read more...]

17 Essential Tips for Printing Fonts

17 Essential Tips for Printing Fonts

Since visual elements are such a large part of print design, many designers make the mistake of focusing their attention on shape, line and color while neglecting the typography used in the design. However, text is one of the most crucial aspects of any print marketing collateral, as it provides the most information to the audience. Without taking special consideration when printing fonts, you can end up with a final product that looks unrefined and is difficult to read. Keep these tips in … [Read more...]

99 Best Free Fonts for Print Design

When designing print media collateral, a good font can grab the eye and captivate the audience—but the best fonts for print ads often require you to pay a licensing fee for use in commercial marketing. This can increase the cost of your print campaign and leave less money in the budget for special options like coatings, die cuts and embossed elements. Fortunately, there are a bevy of free fonts for print design that are beautifully designed and don’t cost a dime to use commercially. Keep in … [Read more...]

20+ Die Cut Design Ideas for Print (With Examples)

It's easy to find inspiration in a unique color, font or logo when creating print marketing collateral–but the shape of your media is one aspect of design and branding that is often overlooked when brainstorming for ideas. Need some examples? Consider the green soda bottle in the image to the right. Any idea what brand it is? You could certainly tell if it were labeled, but there's nothing about the shape itself that tells us anything about the brand. Meanwhile, the Coca-Cola bottle is … [Read more...]

21 Tips for Working With Your Folder Printer

For first-time buyers, the process of ordering custom presentation folders can be a bit confusing. Choosing the wrong option or neglecting a crucial design element can increase production time and cost for your folders and leave you with an inferior product. Your folder printer should be able to walk you through any aspect you're unfamiliar with, but your best bet for the perfect product is to know how to best work with your printer beforehand. Using a Template Make sure you understand … [Read more...]

What to Look for in a Folder Printer

What to Look for in a Folder Printer

When you hire a babysitter for the first time, you never choose them at random. You evaluate them on specific criteria: experience, personality, recommendations from others, and so on. It's important to take these things into account because you're trusting another person with something precious: the well-being of a child. On some level, choosing a printer for your business's presentation folders is based on a similar principle. Your company's image and reputation are of vital importance, and … [Read more...]

Tips for Designing and Printing 4-Color Process Folders

Tips for Designing and Printing 4-Color Process Folders

From the name alone you might think that custom, 4-color process folders mean you're limited to only using four colors in your design. In truth, it allows you to use more colors in your folder design than any other available imprint method. 4-color process printing reproduces the colors in your design by mixing different quantities of cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) ink. The ink is mixed during the printing process itself, much like a color printer from your home or office. This … [Read more...]

Infographic: Choosing Between Printing Methods

Infographic: Choosing Between Printing Methods

The printing method you choose has a major effect on the quality of your marketing materials, especially when you consider the other elements it needs to work in tandem with: design, stock, coatings and other factors. If your print technique is incompatible with any of these elements, it can make your finished product less attractive or even downright illegible. For that reason, it's vital to select the right method for your particular project. Embed this on your site Learn more about … [Read more...]