Photo print shops are things of the past now as online printings services have managed a firm grip on the market of printing services. The digital age of the present continues to surprise us with so many new gadgets being introduced on rapid rate. The most amazing thing about this fast and rapid growth is that the products are rarely a failure and almost every company dealing in them is doing pretty well. Every year we see companies manufacturing digital cameras and cellphones coming up with new models and better option. Within 6 month of launch of a new model the better options are offered by the same company. Same is the case with designing and printing industry, the advances in term of new software to edit and enhance the image have been brilliantly helpful to the end user. The designing has seen so many advances that the images can be manipulated very easily through many of the available designing software in the market.
Being associated with ImagePrinters NZ as QA assistant, I learnt a few mistakes of the clients ordering the prints which I thought of putting down in words here. These tips are more of observations of mistakes that are surely because of lack of knowledge at the customer’s end. The customer can’t really be blamed as they cannot possibly know the technical side of designing, editing and printing of the images. So these tips are meant to give people basic knowledge of things to keep in mind while designing for a print job.
Image Resolution and Print Size
This is one of the most important factors that many people can’t seem to understand. Every image has particular resolution of it. Now some of the images with low resolution can be easily printed as small size but they certainly cannot be enlarged for large size canvas prints. Doing so will enlarge the pixels that are usually blur in that small low resolution image. In case you are scanning an image to a computer, make sure that you save them in ‘eps’ or ‘tif’ format. This way you will be able to preserve the sharpness and the color of the image as it is. Saving the image in ‘gif’ and ‘jpg’ format might result in blurriness and color problems. For example an image with 1280 x 950 pixels resolution can give you an excellent 13” x 17” photograph of 72 dpi.
A computer or a laptop might be having an LCD or LED screen for display. There are different graphic cards installed in every other computer, on top of that the screen setting of sharpness, contrast and so on are also having different setting on different computers. So be ready that the end result in terms of colors after the print will not be exactly as you have seen on your computer or laptop screen. Secondly, the images created by cameras and scanners use the combination of three colors, that are Red, Green and Blue, commonly termed as ‘RGB’. On the other hand the printing machines use ‘CMYK’ which have colors Blue, Red, Yellow and Black. DO NOT forget to convert your RGB file into CMYK file, this can be done by software like ‘Corel’ ‘PhotoPaint’ or ‘Photoshop’ software. This factor is very important as RGB can have some colors that CMYK cannot make or print. Converting the file will give you an exact color to expect after printing.
These were two of the major observations I observed while working at Image-Printers and saw customers having problems in terms of print quality and colors of the image. Many websites, following Image-Printers trend have started mentioning these issues on their website to help clients understand the designing of the image in a better way.