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Best Practices for Graphic Designers, Color Works by John Cantwell, Eddie Opara

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The cover of Eye 83 uses an
exploded version of Massimo Vignelli’s
famous Knoll posters. The extraction of
the Knoll logo into the basic printing color
CYMK state gives the iconic mark new
vitalization and spirit.
Lots of publishers have given up on print. We absolutely
and completely believe in print. If you’re going to print
something, you might as well make it very good. You
make it an object, an object that people want to pick
up and in some cases keep in on their shelf. Magazines
and books on that high end are merging together.
Eye on Print
Simon Esterson
fig. 001
96 Color Works Production & Information
4.3
Eye on Print
4.1
The Eye 80 cover, by Simon
Esterson Associates, is a one-of-a-kind
computation composition, symbolizing
the macrostructure of paper. The wash of
contrasting light and dark color strength-
ens the dimensionality of the abstract
structure.
Lots of people right now are rediscovering paper and different print
finishes and formats. They’re rediscovering techniques like gatefolds.
People are looking back at books from the past few hundred years for
ideas that have been forgotten. For a time, everyone wanted to make
a standardized four-color magazine, with heavier paper stock for the
cover and standard paper stock for the inside. Standardization made
it very easy for certain elements in the publishing industry, and it made
for a very boring product.
If you’re printing today, it’s got to be a visual treat. But the work itself
should be the hero. You shouldn’t be doing design to overwhelm the
work you’re showing. We change the typefaces in every issue of Eye
because we don’t want to get into a sort of fixed format. It seems that
if you’re making a magazine about design, it’s good to show different
type in action, working in different ways. When we use color, we often
use big alleys of color to signal the opening of something, or behind
certain images for a change of pace.
For me, designing is about where things go on a page, the flat feature,
and how many pages are in the issue. If you go back to the great mag-
azines of the past, they did spreads over many pages. We have that
luxury with Eye; if we want, a feature can go on for ten or twenty pages.
The decision is between the editors and us.
In printing today, there are base standards with regard to reproduction,
which means you can get to press in a relatively forward way and have
security about the result. Even so, we must always perform color
retouches and proper color proofing. Then we deliver the printer a set
of PDFs and a set of color-correct contracts in chrome and digital. The
point is to try to match the press to those digital proofs.
I don’t think you should go to the printer to try to rescue a job. You go
to a printer to hit the exact proofs that you made. But whether some-
thing is “correct” will always be subjective. We have all the color analysis
tools and color management tools that the Heidelberg press has, and
in the end it’s still a judgment call. We always wind up saying, “Should
we try a bit more red? Should we take some yellow off of it?” And we
try to do that in an organized way because the machines are expensive
to run. You’re not trying to make a bad proof good; you’re trying to get
as absolutely close as possible to the proof that you’ve already made.
We try to select the right printer for the job. There’s always someone
that will print your job for less money; that’s a fact of the printing
industry these days. But you should try to find the right printer for that
job, and you should try to work efficiently and talk about problems
before they occur.
In the end, a printer wants to be printing and not standing there while
a client fiddles. I think it helps if you show knowledge and confidence
about the way the printer needs to work. It also helps to be decisive:
If youre going to add red, do it and don’t take it away again. That
knowledge comes with a bit of experience about being on press.
Ultimately, you should choose a printer that will print a job without
fig. 002

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