Thursday, June 11, 2009

Low Cost Printing with Black Plate Technique

This printing techniques tips could be the cost savings on doing printing matters by choosing black plate optimizing. This technique tips only well-handed by the expert graphic designer or experienced printing companies to be tight on printing cost. When designing a piece for translation or other variety data, the main trick is to keep anything that changes on the black plate, or key plate only.

By doing this you will be able to keep the other three plates when you change over from one language to the other, and you will only have to pay the cost of the black plates. If you were to translate a flyer in 5 languages and you used this printing method, you would be paying the cost of 8 plates instead of 20. The more pages your design has, the more you save...

When dealing with any languages, the most obvious element that changes is text. Any text that is going to change once translated, should only appear on the black plate and not on any other plate. Avoid using blacks which are formed by any percentage of cyan, magenta and yellow, because they will appear on all 4 plates.

Make sure you also set the trapping of your black text to overprint color. This is usually the default in layout applications. There are a couple exceptions to this as explained below:

Lock Everything That Doesn't Change
Lock all your pictures and other colored elements on your page so that they don't move. If you mistakenly move them and you don't realize you did so, it will be a disaster when you try to print your job. The new black plates of your languages (or other text variations) will not fit onto the other plates.

If by any chance you do move objects around which shouldn't have been moved, make sure you undo it. If you nudge a picture towards the right, for example, don't nudge it back to the left. Undo the nudging so you are sure that your picture is back to its original position.

Using Knock Out Black Boxes for Better Visibility
There are times where very colorful backgrounds make it tricky to simply use black text, as your text tends to get lost. A way to get around it is by drawing a black box and makes your text white. See this illustration of using a knock out and black box.

When you use reversed or knockout type, you need to set the trapping of your text box to knockout. If you leave the trapping set to overprint, the picture behind the box will be printed entirely and when you change the black plate, the image will show through the white text.

Using Overlay Trapping for Colored Text
There is a way to used colored text even when you are restricted to only changing the black plate. You will still have to use a black box, but this time, instead of laying the black box right on top of the picture, you put it on top of another colored box.

Let's say you want your writing to be red. Draw a red box wherever you want your text to go. Then put a black box containing your text on top of it. The text in this black box needs to be of the same color of the box which you have underneath. So if the box at the back of your black box is red, then also the writing inside the black box is to be red. Now set the trapping of the black box to overprint. This will result into a black mask which will cover the red box entirely, a part from where your text is.

When you change the black plate, the black box will still be there untouched, and you will put another black mask on top of it. The red will again only show through the letters. If this is not clear, look at this animation of overprinting. Putting everything that changes on the black plate doesn't have to limit your design possibilities. Discover how to be creative with your layout even while saving money.


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