Designing For Digital Printing Part One: 5 Quick Tips

Digital printing offers unparalleled flexibility for designers and printers, but some designs may need to be adapted to meet the file setup standards of digital presses. Digital printers have specific paper requirements. Designers should consult with printers to select the optimum digital paper for their job, giving special consideration to grain direction, ink type and print technology.

  1. Finish First – if a project requires folding, binding, scoring or die-cutting, designers should discuss file setup with printers beforehand, making sure to plan for finishing requirements in the design.
  2. Size Matters – it pays to use standard stocked sheet sizes in digital printing – they’re precision sheeted for optimal performance in digital presses, and nonstandard sizes can cause registration, alignment and ink transfer problems.
  3. Fight Flaking – the maximum coverage of toner or ink for most digital devices is 280%.  Printing upwards of 400% process color can cause toner or ink to flake off, increase dry times, and cause offsetting or chipping during post processes.  Printers may suggest CMYK blends for rich blacks.
  4. Smooth Out Solids – large areas of solid color, blends or gradients tend to show mottle or banding with digital printing.  If you can’t avoid solids, use filtering techniques such as patterns or textures.
  5. Check Resolution – save images at no less than 300 dpi, and keep line art at a minimum of 600 to 800 dpi (depending on the type of digital press) for optimum results.

Tune in next Wednesday for Designing For Digital Printing: Part Two.