Read an Excerpt
The art of print design is at both exhilarating and tedious, fascinating and gut-wrenching. It involves a combination of creativity, raw talent and technological savvy to pull it off well, and while the process can take a lot out of you, the rewards can be twice as great. There is nothing quite like standing at the press watching your own work being mass-produced for the world to see.
The trick to succeeding in print design lies beyond being creative and having a good imagination. There is a lot to know about computers, color, file formats, film and printers that all play a major roll in any print project coming to fruition. This book doesn't give you all the answers in fact, each chapter could well deserve a book of its own. But what it will do is give you a beyond-the-basic look at the elements involved in the printing process, both technically and conceptually. Overviews of business practices as well as a brief tour of select programs will act as a springboard for launching you into the world of print design.
Who Should Read This Book
Simply said, this book has been written to have a little bit for everybody. Because it presents a segmented look at a number of topics, readers from beginners to advanced can find something in here that will be useful. Maybe you're a wiz at designing things, but don't know how to set up your files for the service bureau...or maybe you can create great Photoshop designs, but are clueless when it comes to developing quality page layouts in QuarkxPress. Even in these cases, the chapters in this book will not fill you in on everything that you need to know but they will give you anoverview, and enough of an introduction to know which print aspects you will need to study further. If there is not already a "To Go" book on the topic, don't worry there will be!
For these reasons, I would not recommend that you read this book from cover to cover. Instead, jump around to the topics that you need to learn more about. Even better, keep this book nearby your computer as a reference for when you need it.
The only thing that you'll need to get something out of this book is the desire or
need to have material printed, the money or equipment it will take to get yourself
started, and a strong enough stomach to keep you sane when there is a lot at stake. If you have these qualities, then this book is for you!
How This Book Has Been Written
Like the title says, this book is good to go. That means that any information that is deemed unnecessary, boring, or wasteful has been deleted. For example, the section about file types gives you what you need to know to decide which format you should use in your print design, but stops short at describing the history behind TIFF and the mathematics behind the LZW compression system. I know that you're more interested in getting started in designing your print projects as quickly as possible, so besides my witty interjections once in awhile (which, by the way, were far wittier before my editors censored me), most of the boring, fluffy stuff has been left out.
Another thing that you may notice as you read is that most references, including screen shots, are taken off the Macintosh. When I give an example and include a keyboard command, the command configuration will be for Macintosh, and the equivalent Windows command will follow in parentheses.
Questions, Comments and Other Gibberish
I like to make myself accessible to everyone. If you have any questions or comments about this book, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I may take a bit longer responding to any negative comments, but I promise I will try to respond to everyone.
If you'd rather use U.S. Mail, you can drop me a line at the following address:
Prentice Hall Attn: Jason Miletsky One Lake Street Upper Saddle River, NJ
Unfortunately, neither Prentice Hall nor I can act as a technical support system. For technical questions, please consult your users' guides for various programs and hardware.
If you send me mail, please be patient I will make every effort I can to respond as quickly as possible, but please understand if that may sometimes take a little while.
On a more personal note, in my last book, Web Photoshop 5 To Go, I used this section to drop a subtle hint to the Today Show's Katie Couric. Since I haven't heard from her yet, I'd like to take this opportunity to let her know that I still have a crush on her, but she should hurry up... I won't be single forever!