Archive for the ‘Training/Tutorials’ Category

Illustrator Tutorial on Recoloring Artwork

Friday, September 24th, 2010

A Short Tutorial on Illustrator’s Recolor Artwork Function

Today, a short Illustrator tutorial on the recolor artwork feature. First take an image and run Object Menu > Live trace to convert yout low res image to vector artwork. Next set is to expand your traced file and then go to the Edit Menu > Edit colors > recolor artwork. In the window that pops up go to the color slider at the bottom and change the color you want to base your new art off of, I picked a brown color.

Next click on the pop down menu at the top of the same window and select your “Harmony Rule” I chose “shades” for this example.

The software then applies the new color scheme and shows a list of what original color is converting to what color in the new scheme.

One fun thing to try as seem below is the random color button, it basically takes the colors in your new palette and applies them randomly to the art.

Finally once you have your colors the way you want them click the “OK” button!

add any type or other elements and presto, you have created a nice scaleable vector poster/flyer/art!

Once you finish your artwork and are ready to print it, drop by our online printing site and sign up!

Christopher Robinson

Color Theory in Action

Monday, September 20th, 2010

The Top 100 Web Brand Colors

I enjoy running in to interesting posts on color theory. I found this gem on the top 100 Sites at COLORlovers.com which is a site produced by Darius Monsef. His site consists of a huge variety of palettes created by individuals, blogs, forums, trending and forcasting and about anything you would wish to know about color theory.

This particular graphic he created shows the main colors used in the top 100 sites on the web, no big surprise that the Blue Hues still remain king of the color world, especially when you look at the “psychology” of color.

Studies have shown Blue to represent Trust, Security, Technology, Order and Conservative, no wonder it’s so popular. Red which comes in a close second has been shown to represent Power, Energy, Warmth and Passion. When combining colors you can also combine the “meanings” of the colors but be cautious since as all designers know, not all colors go well together!

Graphic Courtesy of COLORlovers.com - click to enlarge

Want to know more about the psychology of color? I will be posting a resource blog with more information on that later in the week, so check back soon!

Already have your logo finalized and need some printing? Click over to our printing section and check out our current promotional discounts!

Christopher Robinson

Design 101 – Justified Type

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

A short tutorial on the “why” of “Full Justification” versus “Rag Right”

The biggest question you must ask yourself is “form or function?” When setting up text heavy documents, is the look more important that the readability? Is there a best case scenario in this artistic compromise? Quite a few designers LOVE to use full justification when even if the readability suffers greatly. I have a few example screen shots which I will discuss briefly below.

First off, we have a four column layout with text set to full justification. You can clearly see the odd spacing on some lines between words. Some of this can be adjusted to look a little better with tracking and kerning but that can lead to more problems with the first revision. This type of narrow column becomes very hard to read when set to full justification.

Suggest: Wider columns or rag right text

The image below is three columns set to full justification, its better than the 4 column layout as most of the text does not have the large spaces between words that makes it difficult to read, but as you can see where the text wraps around the picture you still get the hard to read spacing.

Suggest: Moving the photo or making text rag right

Below is a better option, although beauty (in typesetting) is in the eye of the beholder, I think a “rag right” setting makes the text much easier to read and maintains an overall better look with narrow columns.

Suggest: Looks pretty good but I would still think about wider columns to add legibility

If you must have “justified text” find a column width that works well with automatic word spacing as seen below, the larger the column the better your text will automatically flow, so make adjustments to your layout as needed to achieve the best look and readability possible.

Suggest: perhaps playing around with different options for image placement, but the text readability and overall look are both good

So many designers today don;t seem to pay attention to the details like typesetting. The usage of Kerning, tracking, leading and all the other options available to todays designers should be used with fervent zest! Once you have your design completed bring it on over to PGprint and see just how economically we can print your new work of art!

Christopher Robinson

Brochure Tutorial – Trifold

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

A Short Tutorial on Building a Trifold Brochure

Good trifold brochure design starts by beginning with a good solid foundation, in this case making sure your margins and folds are set up properly before even beginning the design and layout stage. We supply a wide variety of templates you can use to set up your own collateral material before submitting it for printing. Doing this step first will ensure your job will fly through production without a hitch on the technical side! Aside from that, image resolution and making sure you have bleed will keep you covered! Check out the tutorial below for an overview on the basics of brochure design!

Brochure Design - PGprint.com
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Ready to print you brochure? Check out our Online brochure printing at PGprint!

Christopher Robinson

Making Grunge Effects – Type

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

How to Make Grunge Type Effects

Today’s blog is a quickie on how to add grunge effects to type easily. First you will need some grungy images, best place to find these is on the web or take them yourself. Make sure before you use an image from the web that the owner/photographer has released rights for personal/commercial use and reproduction (see blog on copyright!) I found some images at Desizn Tech that are free for personal and commercial use, it is also a good reference site for for web designers, techs and anyone with an interest in design in general, back to the topic at hand…

Once you have an image in hand, make sure it has good contrast in the image for the area you want to pull out for your “grunge”. I adjusted the contrast a little in photoshop in the image I picked (from Desizn Tech) before placing it in Adobe Illustrator. Once in Illustrator I ran live trace and adjusted my options to pull out the dark areas. I set it to blakc and white and then ungrouped and removed the white areas leaving me just the black shown below.

Once I had the grunge for my image (see above) I turned the black to magenta so I could see the type and the image areas and overlap clearly (below).

At this point I selected the type, converted it to outlines, colored the grunge art white again and used the pathfinder divide tool to subtract the grunge from the type I then selected all the white areas using “select same fill color” and deleted the white parts. You can see the remainder (below) with points highlighted.

At this point you are done and have your grunge artwork ready to go, click on the image below to see a more blown up version. You can also have a two-tone look by putting another copy of the type artwork without the grunge effect to fill in the white areas with another color.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial, and when you are done with that “grunge” poster bring it on over and have us print it for you here at PGprint.com!

Christopher Robinson

Poster Design Tutorials

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Poster Design using Adobe Photoshop

Poster Design can be the most exciting type of design in a graphic designers arsenal of tools. Posters are also the most fun to produce. A single page, usually large scale, containing all the information necessary to promote, inform, educate and/or entertain the viewer. From gig posters to special event posters you can find a variety of great tutorials online.

The main issue with posters is to make sure they don’t overwhelm the viewer with information. A simple “what, where, when” will usually do. If more than that is needed design an ancillary piece such as a flyer that can be carried away. Put a small copy of the poster on one side and your other information on the other. If your design is strong enough people that may not have been interested in the event may take a flyer to the office or home and hang it on the wall providing you with more free advertising for your event.

Enjoy thes few poster/art tutorials below and search for more for further inspiration!

Once you have your poster designed, come back and see us for top notch quality printing of your Full Color Poster!
Christopher Robinson

Click image for link

Spot Varnish and Printing

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

How to Set up Spot Varnish for Offset Printing

There are a variety of ways to set up spot varnish plates for printing, the easiest way to to have your printer do it for you! If you do want to do it yourself here are two easy ways.

First, you can create a spot color layer in your photoshop images. This method has its pros and cons, on the pro side you can see the varnish on top of the image and make sure it lines up exactly how you want it. On the con side, the varnish layer will print with your photo when you try and do a proof. I use magenta as my spot color (but “name” it Varnish). In the final proofing stage through our prepress software we can print out a proof with varnish included or a proof with no varnish included, we usually do both, it cost a bit more but a LOT less than a re-run if your spot varnish is not set up correclty.

You can also set up a different file for the spot varnish. Once you have finished creating your design and it is approved do a “save as” and add varnish into the name at this point you can just fill the areas where you want the spot varnish with the spot color “varnish” (that you must create in the swatches palette). If your images are square just delete the content of the image box and fill the box with “varnish” if you have images silhouetted you will have to make a selection of the area in your image file and fill it with the spot color “varnish”. There are a variety of other ways to pull off a spot varnish color, the main thing to do is to have someone look at your file and make sure you have set it up correctly. This will require spending a few minutes with them and explaining your goals and concept.

Have fun with your set up… and when ready to print, call us for a custom quote!

Christopher Robinson

Black Ink and Offset Printing

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

The Confusion with Black Ink and Offset Printing.

simulation of color inks

Many designers are unclear exactly how inks react to other inks and paper itself. To start with the basics almost all inks are transparent. This allows for the advent of “process” or full color printing. The actual dot patterns produced by each color are set up in a rosette pattern and the colors overlap. The additive combination of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black Inks produce the spectrum of colors available in process Printing. When using black in a process Job your type (unless it is rather large block type) should be composed of only Black ink. Otherwise any mis-registration on press will give a fuzzy look. Shapes and objects on the other hand should be composed of a rich black, black ink and a combination of the other inks at different percentages (example: 70C, 50M, 30Y, 100K). This combination delivers a black that is “blacker” and a bit cool. There are a many variations of rich black used in the printing business. One thing to note is that with laser printers black will seem darker than on press. Also most professional design programs show a representation of “rich black” on screen. As a rule typically trapping software will overprint black ink, so if your black graphic overlaps another color graphic it will seem darker where the overlap occurs if you don’t use a rich black.

Christopher Robinson
If you need more help try our online common mistakes section

Bookmark Design for Printing

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Design bookmarks for online printing.

This is a brief video tutorial on print bookmark design by PG print. Bookmark printing can be created in Adobe InDesign, this tutorial is on how to set up and design a bookmark for printing. Our bookmark printing services will, in conjunction with this video tutorial, provide you with a huge head start on the setup process.

Bookmark Design for Printing
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Christopher Robinson