The authors of the Designer’s Guide to a New Generation of Inkjet, Mary Schilling and Elizabeth Gooding, have provided three companion design tools that can be downloaded for free below. You can request copies of the Designer’s Guide from thINK. thINK is an independent community of Canon Solutions America Production Print customers, solution partners, and print industry experts.
Below you will find tools to help you work with your print provider to:
- Test color performance and match colors on different substrates using process color swatches of incremental tint recipes (Tint Book.)
- Evaluate overall print quality on your target paper/substrate or compare quality on different substrates with a standard reference proof (Fingerprint)
- Review important information and options with your print provider (or compare options across print providers) at the start of a design project (Checklist)
This 84-page PDF file shows mixes of CMYK values in five percent increments. If your print provider requires swatch colors to be assigned as process CMYK, ask if they have a media-specific tint book available. If your print provider doesn’t offer their own tint book, ask them to print this as a test file using your target papers, or other media, to see the reproducible colors or color match on their equipment.
The following reference print, or fingerprint file, can be used to evaluate print quality on different types of papers to find one suitable for your design project. It can also be used to identify minimum type sizes and maximum color coverage that a paper or other substrate can support.
This process will help you evaluate the print quality of a particular paper on a specific press and determine boundary conditions for your design. Elements such as design color space, minimum text and line weights, halftones, solids, color fidelity, and show-through are important factors to review to see if a press and media combo will meet your needs. See the Designer’s Guide for more details on using a fingerprint to assess design boundaries.
This checklist itemizes the criteria typically required by print providers as part of a print job description for their estimating purposes. Since print specifications for production inkjet can be a little different from other print processes, we’ve provided some guidelines to help you capture the key points that will get you good estimates as well as good results.
Check out The Designer’s Guide to a New Generation of Inkjet for help with using these tools to evaluate media for your project and to understand the capabilities of your print provider.