3rd March 2017

Part one of our A to Z of print management terminology for beginners

By Ink team

Are you a print Padawan or a print Jedi Knight? When it comes to print terminology do you sit comfortably in the Mastermind chair, or do get lost in the lingo of litho? For those of you in the latter category, we have developed a series of blogs which we hope will help to shed some light on basic print terminology – a simple mini A-Z jargon buster for everyday use in your dealings with a printer. Don’t worry we won’t be testing you at the end – we just hope you find our blogs useful. So, let’s start at the very beginning with our first look at the lovely letter ‘A’…

A is for ARTWORK [ahrt-wurk]

In the print context, artwork comprises all the elements that create a ‘mechanical’ or paste up – a file suitable for print – including type, images, illustrations and other graphic components. In the wider sense, ‘artwork’ is taking a designer’s visual and making it technically correct for print.

A designer more often than not will create something that is beautifully designed, but they probably won’t make sure that everything lines up; that logos and images are at a good enough quality for print; that the text doesn’t have double-spaces within it; that things are spelled correctly; that there is “bleed” on a document etc. This is the job of an artworker. The designer creates the overall look and feel of a document, but the artworker makes sure that it matches brand guidelines, that the correct logos and colours are used, that the right corporate font is in place etc.

Artwork also encompasses the continuation of a designer’s idea. For example, a designer will not create an entire 120page brochure… this would bore them to tears! Instead they will create “style-setters” for each type of differing page i.e. This is what an intro page looks like, this is what a chart-heavy page looks like, this is how a case study is to appear etc. An artworker will then take the designer’s style-setter pages and create the rest of the brochure using the correct content. So again, the designer has created the look and feel of the document but the artworker has created the actual pages and dropped all the information in.

Artwork makes sure that everything is as perfect as it possibly can be. That everything lines up and looks neat, and that everything is ultimately ready for print. Great artwork makes print jobs flow without hitches, however bad artwork can cause delays and bumps in the road. So, a great artworker is worth their weight in gold!

Read our recent blog: Seven last minute quick checks to make before sending your artwork to print for tips on how to supply great print-ready artwork.

If you need assistance with artwork creation, don’t forget we have an in-house studio team of the finest Mac operators here to create the most beautiful artwork you’ve ever seen – really, they’re fairly awesome!

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