Frequently asked questions for print projects
A few common questions that come up during print-based projects are:
- What are suitable files to supply project content?
- At the completion of my project do I get to keep all files associated with my job?
- Who owns copyright of my commissioned design work?
- What colour modes are commonly used in printing?
- What is CMYK, process colour or full colour?
- What is Pantone Spot colour or solid colour?
- What is colour matching?
- What is a high resolution image?
- What is print stock / paper stock?
- What is diecutting?
- What is embossing?
- What are spot varnishes and other special finishes?
All images should be high resolution TIFF or JPG files, in CMYK colour if possible, and should be no less than 300dpi at final output size. See the guide to image resolution below for more information. All text content should be final, fully proofed for spelling and details included, and should be in digital format e.g. a Word document or similar text file.
Sauce will supply any press-ready print files upon request, and if requested can supply low resolution files for suitable for web use. If your project included a logo design, you will be supplied with standard print and web file formats: EPS, TIFF, PDF, JPG and PNG, and can request other formats as necessary.
As part of our company policy we do not give out working files unless necessary for a print supplier, or when negotiated as an additional client engagement contract.
All Sauce Design commissioned work is carried out in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) and common laws of Australia.
“Commissioned Works:… In general terms, if a graphic artist is commissioned to create an artistic work, the graphic artist will own copyright, unless there is an agreement to the contrary. In these cases, the client will have the right to use the work for the purposes for which it was commissioned.”
– Extract from the Australian Copyright Council Information Sheet G75 Graphic Designers.
For more information please download Graphic Designers G075 from the Australian Copyright Council website.
Clients can negotiate with Sauce Design a fee for the full release of copyright for their commissioned work.
Additional applications of the work outside the original intended purpose including additional licenses and/or assignment of copyright interests are subject to written consent by Sauce Design. Market rates apply for such additional applications including modifications to original work.
CMYK, pantone spot, duotone and greyscale.
CMYK stands for Cyan Magenta Yellow and Key plate (or Black) and is process colour or full colour. This type of printing is used for reproducing multicolour images, such as photographs. The 4 colours are mixed via various concentrations or ratios of dots in offset printing to create a wide range of hues.
Pantone colours are created without screens or dots, they are referred to as solid colour. The colours are created by mixing exact ratios of inks based on 14 basic colours. Colours printed in this way can be cleaner and brighter than CMYK. Pantone spot colours are mainly used for the printing of corporate logos or when printing only one, two or three colour jobs.
Often colour matching is required when converting a spot colour job i.e. the colours of your logo, to process colours to enable printing in CMYK. For example you may wish to advertise in a glossy magazine that is printed in full colour. To reproduce your logo in the advert it must first be converted to CMYK before it can be printed. At Sauce Design we use the PANTONE COLOUR BRIDGE system to match your spot colours to the corresponding simulation in CMYK, in combination with matching by eye. Often there is no better way to match colour than by comparing quality swatches in good natural light.
When supplying a digital image for print it will be required at 300dpi at final output size. For example, if you were having an A4 brochure printed with a full page image – that image would need to be 300dpi at 210mm x 297mm (A4). When scanning images for print, set up a custom resolution to suit your output. If your are having professional photography taken for your project, your photographer should supply you with high resolution copies. Please note: it is never advisable to ‘size up’ an image by any more than 10 percent, as this will result in a loss of image quality.
Stock refers to the paper, card, board etc that your project will be printed on. Paper stock can have a gloss, satin or matt finish, can be coated or uncoated, and is generally specified by these properties and by the weight measure grams/sq metre (gsm). The heavier (higher gsm) the stock, the more sturdy / rigid the paper will be.
Made after printing, diecuts are areas of the printed product that are partially or completely cut, shaped, or cut-out. The die is a steel blade used to punch out the desired shape. Printers often have standard dies for common cuts, however a custom die can be created for a unique piece.
The creation of a three-dimensional design or image on paper, created by heat and pressures to reshape the surface. Embossing can be done on plain paper or combined with ink, images, or foil for special effects.
A glaze or plastic coating put on a printed piece, varnish adds a glossy, satin, or matt finish. Varnish is applied like a final layer of ink after a piece is printed, and may be applied to parts or the whole of the product. Spot UV varnish refers to (as the name implies) the finish being applied to parts only. It may be clear or tinted, and is sometimes referred to as lamination.
Varnish can be used functionally to reduce glare or enhance readability or as a design element to smooth, highlight, add texture, or create added dimension. A consideration of the use of these types of finishes is the end use, and life-cycle of the product. As Sauce Design is committed to encouraging eco-friendly solutions, we would suggest alternatives to these finishes if the product is a short-term item – as the product may no longer be recyclable.