Non-Designer Tips

DESIGN ESSENTIALS

Whether creating a brochure for print or PDF distribution, the University branding essentials are:

  • University logo
  • Nebraska N (campus icon)
  • Color palette
  • Typography

When used appropriately and creatively in design, these elements help convey a consistent image for the University.

DESIGN PROGRAMS

  • The grid examples are shown using Adobe InDesign. InDesign and QuarkXPress are the recommended programs for graphic design. Both are licensed and available through the Site License Coordinator in Computer Sales. If you have a question regarding your software, please contact Printing Services before starting your project.
  • Publisher, Word, Word Perfect, PageMaker and other desktop publishing programs are highly discouraged for use when creating a publication to be printed using digital offset technology.

TYPOGRAPHY-ONLY LAYOUT

  • Typography can be used in a graphic way to capture the reader’s attention and emphasize key points. Communicators can also use other elements of design to create a compelling layout—including, but not limited to, white space, color and scale.
  • Regardless of the size of the headline type and imagery, use good spatial judgment when placing the UNL Logo and Nebraska N so they do not overpower or become overpowered by the headline type and imagery.

COLOR PALETTE

  • The University’s color is PMS 186CP at 100%. Do not use less than 100% tint or transparency, as the red immediately becomes pink.
  • Publications printed with four or more color covers must have red as the dominant color on the outside front.
  • Publications with two-color covers should be printed in red and black unless there is a programmatic connection between the ink and/or paper color and the activity/ department (e.g., Grassland Studies and green)

OR

  • a process reason for similar publications being printed with different colors of ink/ paper (similar forms or multiple activities within the same department). Publications with single-color covers must have the Nebraska N in red, black, or reversed out of a color. There must be a programmatic connection between the ink and/or paper color and the activity/department

OR

  • a process reason for similar publications to be printed with different colors of ink/ paper.

SPOT OR CMYK/PROCESS...CONFUSED?

  • It’s very simple. The term spot color is referencing a print piece that is designed using specific colors...like the University logo, PMS 186CP and Black (yes, black is considered a color). CMYK or process color is used when you have four or more colors in a piece...like a photograph of the University. Process color is always made up of four colors, hence the name 4-c process: 1. Cyan (C), 2. Magenta (M), 3. Yellow (Y), 4. Black (K). Make sure when designing your piece that you use the correct logo for a spot or process printed piece.

COLOR SPACES (LAB, RGB, AND CMYK)

  • A color space is a range of colors in the visible spectrum. Lab, RGB/HEX, and CMYK are all color spaces. Lab is what people see. RGB/HEX is the space used by cameras, scanners and color monitors. CMYK is what most printers lay on paper. Lab is the largest color space, and CMYK is the smallest of these three. The colors in one color space that are not in another color space are called “out of gamut.”
  • At the very least, you should be aware that your image may be in RGB (red, green, blue), but your image will print in CMYK. Because of this difference in color space and gamut (range of colors), the image you see on your computer monitor may not match a 4-color press.

MONITOR CALIBRATION

  • The main purpose of calibrating is to set white and black points, contrast, brightness, and gamma (mid-tone density).
  • Because monitors differ from one to the next (even same brand and models), no two will respond in exactly the same way. The older your monitor is, the more likely it will lessen in both brightness and clarity. For color-critical work, most monitors are dependable up to only two years. Some are better. Some are worse. You will have to be the judge. Calibrating your monitor is very important for color-critical work. Do this every time you need colors to be accurate. Even high-end soft proof workstations require frequent recalibrations.
  • You will need software to calibrate your monitor. Adobe Gamma (supplied with the Windows version of Photoshop) and Monitor Calibrator (Mac OS only) are simple to use. Both programs have “wizards” that can guide you, step by step, through the process. There are also a variety of more sophisticated software that can be purchased from third party developers, as well as high-end software that is included with the purchase of a monitor that is specifically designed for color-critical applications.

COLOR USE

  • Images/Logos are in CMYK, Spot, or Grayscale (i.e. not RGB) as appropriate to print design
  • Large areas of black need to be “rich black” (C40/M20/Y40/K100) for 4-c process jobs
  • 2-3-c = Spot/PMS Colors (Identical naming conventions for spot colors; i.e., PMS 186CP = PMS 186CP, not PMS 186 CV or CVC)
  • 4-c files = Process (4-color, CMYK)
  • Eliminate all unused colors in the file in the Swatch Palette
  • Convert/remap any RGB or unneeded colors
  • Black body text = 100% Black with no other ink mixes (double check for the “color” Registration or Auto in Swatch Palette, replace with 100% Black)
  • Go to Window/Output/Separations Preview to double check for proper color separations as appropriate to design

IMAGERY

  • To ensure high quality results, make sure all photos and graphic elements are 300 dpi at 100%. Often, Web images have been reduced to 72 dpi and are, therefore, unusable for printed materials.
  • Whenever possible, use photographs of University students, faculty and staff in publications representing the University.
  • If photographing people who can be easily identified, always use an approved image release form.
  • If using stock photography for backgrounds, etc., always purchase and download the high resolution version.

PRINT SIZE REQUIREMENTS

When designing print materials for the University, there should be consistency in their size.

PREPRESS

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

  • Web images do not work for print, even if your client insists they will work
  • High resolution images = 300 dpi at 100% size (images will not hold resolution if they are increased in size more than 110%)
  • Do not embed images
  • Spot color example: 2-color = 1 red and 1 black (not 3 reds and registration black)

When creating a two color document (example: black and red 186CP) place the 186CP Nebraska N or UNL logo in the document first so the correct red appears in the Color Swatches palette eliminating chances of creating multiple reds.

  • Photos:
    Grayscale = % black (C0, M0, Y0, K% ; RGB grey scale does not equal black grey scale)
  • Bleeds:
    1/8" minimum
    1/4" minimum—perfect binding
  • Digital Prepress prefers native files with packaged fonts and images/links. When sending PDFs to printing, they cannot be altered. Your file must be perfect in order to print properly.
  • For all designs, live area should be at least 1/4" from trim edge to ensure all information and images do not get trimmed.

WHAT GRAPHICS SHOULD BE PROCESS?

A color photograph means you’ll be using process color. There’s no way you could reproduce a photograph in color using only PMS colors, without incurring enormous expenses. You can scan the photo in RGB, and you can even color correct in RGB if you wish—but before you send to production, make sure you’ve changed your photograph to CMYK, unless the printer/ vendor specifically tells you not to.

If you create a brochure that uses four or more spot colors, you may find it’s more cost efficient to use process color than spot colors. Talk to your printer; they can tell you how best to prepare your files.

INDESIGN CHECK LIST FOR SENDING FILES TO PREPRESS PROVIDER

Make sure that the requisition sent into your customer service representative has been double checked for accurate file and production specifications (e.g. file name, contact name, phone number, due date, inks, bleeds, page size, number of pages, bindery specs, delivery, etc.).

  • Check layout/design files using the correct page dimensions
  • Setup page numbering and any repetitive graphics on Master Pages
  • Allow at least .125" for bleed where applicable
  • Images = resolution of 300dpi (if enlarged in layout, no larger than 115% of the original size)
  • Run spell check
  • Check to make sure that text flow, text wraps, and line breaks are correct
  • Include hard copy and/or working comp of the file with the requisition

OUTPUT / PREFLIGHT (WINDOW MENU - INDESIGN)

This checks for warnings or problems with

  • Images (RGB, Index, etc./CMYK in place of grayscale color space used)
  • Fonts verification

After running Preflight and correcting any errors, re-run Preflight to confirm all problems have been fixed.

PACKAGE (FILE MENU)

Automatically includes everything (InDesign file, images and fonts) needed into one folder to provide to your printer. Upload the folder to the printer’s server or supply it on a disk. Be sure to tell your customer service representative when the file is available and where they can find it.

FINISHING

UNL PRINT SERVICES FTP/SERVER INFORMATION

A color photograph means you’ll be using process color. There’s no way you could reproduce a photograph in color using only PMS colors, without incurring enormous expenses. You can scan the photo in RGB, and you can even color correct in RGB if you wish—but before you send to production, make sure you’ve changed your photograph to CMYK, unless the printer/ vendor specifically tells you not to.

If you create a brochure that uses four or more spot colors, you may find it’s more cost efficient to use process color than spot colors. Talk to your printer; they can tell you how best to prepare your files.

Host: BFFTP.unl.edu
User ID: printcopy
Password: 2print3m
If you have problems connecting, please contact:
Digital Prepress
prepress2@unl.edu
(402) 472-4639
(402) 472-2144 (fax)

FINISHING

Once a print job is off press and dries, it goes to “finishing.” At this stage the project is trimmed, scored, folded, and/or stitched.

Below are some of the terms to describe the finishing process by which printed sheets are put together to form books, magazine, catalogs, or even greeting cards.

PERFECT/SPIRAL BOUND ITEMS

  • Coordinate with your customer service representative or prepress about spine size before completing cover design
  • Create files using non-facing pages
  • Bleed on all sides (cover and body) = 0.25" minimum to allow room to trim
  • Binding-side margin = 0.5" minimum

WEB RUN

  • Page size 8.375"x10.875"
  • Bleed on all sides (cover and body) = 0.25" minimum to allow room to trim
  • Trim-side margins = 0.25" minimum

CUTTING, PERFORATING OR SCORING

  • The first stop for 75% of all jobs is the cutter. Some need a simple trim, while others need to be trimmed in preparation for a secondary process, such as binding.
  • A perforation will facilitate the removal of a portion of your piece by the recipient (e.g., ticket stub, return postcard).
  • A score is a crease in a sheet of heavyweight or cover to facilitate folding (e.g., table tents).

FOLDING

  • The folding machines take in a flat sheet and create a folded piece according to the need. Examples would be letter folds for brochures, hand outs, and mailing pieces; multiple folds for more extensive pieces; or folding in preparation for further assembly on our Mueller stitcher/trimmer (saddle stitch) or Perfect Binder (glue bind).
  • There are two kinds of folds: parallel and right angle. In parallel folding, each fold is parallel to the other. An example is a letter which requires a two parallel fold for mailing. A right angle fold are folds that are made at right angles to each other.
  • A four page folder is the simplest folder with only one fold either long or short. Used for instruction sheets, price lists, etc. An example is an 11"x17" sheet folded in half to 8.5"x11". A six page folder is made with two parallel folds either regular or accordion style creating eight pages. Eight, twelve, and sixteen page folders create additional pages with additional folds.

STITCHING (PAMPHLET BINDING)

After the brochure pages are collated, they can be stitched together. The two methods of stitching are the saddle-stitch and the side-stitch. The thickness and bulk of the paper determines which is used. The saddle- stitch is the easiest and least expensive. A booklet is laid down flat, and the stitches, often staples, are fastened through the spine of the booklet. Side-stitches are used for bulkier projects. The stitches are inserted 1/4" from the back edge of the booklet, so the inside margin must be a bit wider. Side-stitched books can’t be opened flat and usually have glued on covers.

PERFECT BINDING

Perfect binding is an inexpensive form of bookbinding, eliminating the expense of sewing and case-binding books. The pages are instead held together by a flexible adhesive. A special lining is put over the backbone and a cover is glued on. A paperback book is a good example of this.

MECHANICAL BINDING

  • Notebooks use this method because they need to open flat. The sheets are punched with round or slotted holes on the binding edge. Then wire or plastic coils or rings are inserted through the holes keeping the notebook together.
  • Contact Printing Services’ Bindery Department representatives for additional bindery options and services.

Scott Hawco
Bindery Supervisor
402-472-7804
shawco2@unl.edu

VIDEO TIPS

Outlined here are some ideas to help create some videos, in case you have to create them yourself.

AUDIO

  • For interviews, use an external microphone, either lavaliere or handheld.
  • The microphone built into the camera will result in noisy, echoey audio.

LIGHTING

  • As a general rule avoid shooting into windows. The brightness outdoors will overwhelm interior subjects. Ensure subjects are adequately lit. Use plenty of natural light. Overhead lights can cause harsh shadows.
  • If you need additional lighting and video lights are not available, bouncing a desk lamp or work light off a white wall or white card can provide soft, even lighting.

STEADY

  • To avoid a shaky image, use a tripod or move close to your subject and zoom out wide.

MUSIC

  • Do not use copyrighted music without permission from the author.

LENGTH

  • Research shows the attention span of most video viewers is less than 3 minutes.