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Success is a Double-Edged Sword

I’ve got some good news and some bad news.

But before I get to that, I want to put this news into a world context. My prayers and whatever aid I can give, to all of those affected by the recent storms and quakes. My “bad news” isn’t anywhere in the ballpark of that kind of having-your-home-and-family-swept-away kind of news. I get it. If you know of a designer who has lost their library because of recent events, please email me through the contact form on this site and I will do my best to get a copy of Designing for Print into their hands.

Now, the good news is the Kickstarter campaign has funded! There are 14 hours to go, so it is not too late to get your incredibly discounted copy of Designing for Print. There isn’t a ton of time either, so if you are interested I would definitely put this is in the do-right-this-minute column of today’s tasks! Click here.

The bad news is I have been so incredibly, phenomenally busy with the Kickstarter that I haven’t put any new content up for a while. I apologize for that. I really do love hearing what you think of what I am putting out there and receiving feedback on how it is helping you out.

Short and sweet, I’ve got to get back to Kickstarting!




Clean Files – The Good, the Bad and the Fugly – Part 2

I had a WordPress glitch and accidentally posted this draft of a post, sorry about that! If you want the real post you can find it here it covers:

  • Bleeds
  • Process Colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black)
  • Rich Black
  • Specifying process colors
  • Applying cmyk Color to Type
  • Choosing a Color Library
  • Specifying Pantone Solid Color
  • Specifying a Spot Varnish or uv
  • Naming Colors
  • Hairlines
  • Clean Pasteboards
  • Final Page Size
  • Proofing Type
  • Fold Marks

Meanwhile, the opportunity to preorder my book, Designing for Print is now! When I started the Kickstarter I was thinking the retail price of the book would be $85.00. But as things are progressing I am thinking the retail price will need to be close to $100 for me to cover my costs so now is definitely the time to get it for $50! Don’t wait, seriously, you will want to have this on your desk while you are designing or getting estimates. Design departments, get one copy for each team member and get everyone on the same page! Printers, buy them as gifts for your customers!  Pre-Order Now by clicking here


Imagine Working Fearlessly

Imagine that every time you sat down to work on a print project you knew exactly what you were doing. Every. Time.

Imagine toiling away in InDesign freely, in a state of flow, adding elements, images, colors, making size and bindery decisions quickly and efficiently… confident that the proofs were going to look as you expected them to… knowing that the days when the printer called and said “Houston, we have a problem” were long behind you… eagerly anticipating the client’s call, “OMG these look amazing! THANK YOU!”, instead of picking up this voicemail “Ummm, we got the folders, we need to talk, my boss is freaking out”. Imagine winning so many awards that it is pointless to continue entering contests…

That’s where I am at, relaxed, confident, mastery. It took me twenty years of designing, print buying, and running a printing company as well as being a CD to get here. I got here by making mistakes and learning from them because I was not trained –formally or informally– in designing for print. These are some of the mistakes I made:

  • I used the printer I liked instead of the right printer and paid 4 times what I needed to pay.
  • I printed turquoise ink on peach paper and got a brown image because I didn’t know ink was transparent.
  • To lower the price for a client I asked for a job to fold cross grain on laid paper (this is where the word fugly originated).
  • I had to pay staff to refold, by hand, 250,000 double gatefold mailers because I didn’t know how to proof hatch lines on a folded proof.
  • There is more, oh boy, so much more.

I wrote a book about designing for print so that people did not have to go through the expense and humiliation and trust rebuilding I went through. I know that you do not need an eight-week class to learn what you need to know. All you need is to read the parts of my book that are relevant to what you do. This works if you are a working designer, a print buyer or a student.

You can get by without reading this book. Your printer is going to fix your files without telling you. You are going to think that your printer is to blame for mistakes that are yours. You are going to pay way more than you need to when you buy print because you selected the wrong printer for the job. And your jobs are going to take longer.

Tense, worried, rushing v.s. relaxed, confident, flow.

It’s your choice.

Pre-order the book here.