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Brian Coale

Brian Coale

This year so far has been "Printacular!" Lots of cool projects on the way I'm looking forward to sharing with you.

Recent Posts by Brian Coale:

Topics: Print Design

How to Prepare Files for Print

Brian Coale

One thing that's a constant source of concern for many of the great people I work with is how to prepare files for print. I'm not talking about the printer at home or the one in the office, but the professional offset and digital presses used by commercial printing operations. Sending files to a print vendor to print thousands, even millions of copies for mass publication is a much bigger deal than pushing out a few copies on a desktop printer. That's why it's important that you do everything possible to give your files the best chance to print exactly the way you expected them to. In high quantities, do-overs are expensive and not always possible, so let's look at some ways we can make it right the first time.

Topics: Adobe Print Design

Setting Up Margins in Your Adobe Document

Brian Coale

When you're creating a layout for a flyer, magazine, brochure or even a business card, it's extremely important to to know where your content is so that it doesn't get too close to the edge or partially cut off. This can be difficult since the view on our screen can be very different than what we see on the final product. This is where guides, rulers and margins come in handy. You set a margin based on a real-world acceptable minimum distance from the edge, then keep your content inside that margin. Doing this will save you a lot of time and reliably result in better layouts.

Topics: Adobe Print Design

How to Add Bleeds to Your Adobe Document

Brian Coale

If you're a designer or a publisher, or even if your a hobbyist, there's going to be a situation sooner than later where you're going to want to have an image, color or other graphic print all the way to the edge of your final printed product. This is known in the creative & printing circles as a "bleed." In this article I'm going to show you how to add a bleed to any Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop document. So let's get started!

Topics: Print Design Adobe

InDesign: Print Ready PDF Files in 5 Easy Steps

Brian Coale

One thing we get asked a lot working in a commercial print shop is how files should be sent to us. Generally this strikes up a conversation about file types, the software they're using, and how to make those files work with our workflow and presses to get the absolute best results. That's why I decided to somewhat demystify the process by providing 5 easy steps to create press-ready PDF files using Adobe InDesign. If you're not using Adobe InDesign, or you've rather have a more generalized info, have a look at our post How to Prepare Files for Print. Otherwise, read on.

Topics: Print Design Adobe

How to Package Adobe InDesign Files

Brian Coale

Normally when supplying files to a printer or service provider, a PDF file does the trick, but there are situations in which you may need to provide a little more. For instance, if you need your printer or a design firm to make changes to your copy or graphical elements, a PDF is not a good choice. In these situations it's appropriate to supply "native files," which is shop talk for a copy of your original files, links and fonts.

Topics: printing File Preparation Design

Why are some of my photos blurry?

Brian Coale

It's happened to all of us at one time or another. You design something, it looks great on your screen, you get it back from your printer and... ugh! Your beautiful design has blurry, jagged-looking photos. What happened? More importantly, how do you make it NOT happen? In this article I'll walk you through the science of how image resolution works in print and on-screen to answer both of those questions. So you'll understand why your photos are blurry and learn how to prevent it from happening to you again. Let's dig in.

Topics: Design

The 5 Best Software Tools for Designing Brochures

Brian Coale

Whether you're a do-it-yourself-er, a creative hobbyist, or a professional designer, sometimes it's challenging wading through the sea of creative tools available today to pick the right one for your specific project. The default for most of us is to try to make it work with our go-to tools — the ones with which we are most familiar, but sometimes the software in our 'comfort zone' is not the best software for the job.

Topics: Design Print

How To Design a Magazine in InDesign (Free Template!)

Brian Coale

Let's face it, magazine design can be time-consuming and expensive. When start-up magazines first open their doors, money is tight, and keeping the budget skinny is important. Although you may not have the in-house staff to completely produce your magazine, understanding the process and being able to do some edits on your own can be a life saver. Even if you do have the in-house staff, it might be a challenge getting properly formatted files to the printer on-time and on-budget.

If this is you, and you have a Creative Cloud subscription (usually starting at about $70/mo for businesses), you can rein in expenses and creative control by building your own template. To help you with this challenge, I've put together this step by step tutorial.

How to Design a Brochure: 10 Pro Tips and Free Templates

Brian Coale

In a world where digital marketing and advertising have become increasingly popular, brochures have managed to sustain their importance as a printed marketing channel. Portable, versatile and economical, brochures are an excellent way to convey company or product information.

Topics: Design Tips

What Are the Different Kinds of Brochures?

Brian Coale

Brochures are one of the most versatile and prolific marketing media in print today, but often times when we go about creating a brochure for our product our thinking can be a bit limited. Many of us tend to jump immediately to the popular Letter Fold (Tri-Fold) format. Although this is a great format, there are many others that may just be a better fit for your message. So what are the different kinds of brochures? Let's have a look.