Pre Print Basics: Generating Originals

Welcome to my first guest post here at Creativeoverflow. Today we are going to talk about some pre print stuff, generating originals. As you can imagine there are a lot of things involving the creation of originals, pixel images, text, vector and/or bezier curves based images, more or less. In this post I`ll try to explain or help in the construction by giving information about original components. So lets get started.


Pixel Based Images

pixel (or picture element) is a single point in a raster image. The pixel is the smallest addressable screen element, it is the smallest unit of picture which can be controlled.
So basically a pixel based image is formed by very little squares, that form a mosaic.



Resolution refers to the number of pixels in an image. Resolution is sometimes identified by the width and height of the image as well as the total number of pixels in the image. In other words, Resolution is the number of pixels in a linear inch. When preparing files for printing you should at least make them 300 ppi. (pixels per inch)at least. But don`t confuse ppi with dpi (Dots per inch) that is a measurement describing the way an image is printed, scanned, or displayed on your monitor.

Images with Bezier Curves

Bézier curves are an important tool used to model smooth curves that can be scaled indefinitely. Any delineation of these features is defined by a series of points through which pass the curve and outside it that define its turning points, ie those in which changes curvature from concave to convex or vice versa.


Vector graphics are based on small straight sections connecting. We often can see this kind of images in logos, illustrations, etc., as you can enlarge them without loosing quality (We Could print a logo in a pen and then send the same file to a plotter).




Typography is the design and use of typefaces as a mean of Communications. It is the main design element that requires a good use for effective communication.

Is that a Font? | Is that a Typeface?

So, Whats the difference?

Font: A font is a complete set of characters in a particular size and style of type. This includes the letter set, the number set, and all of the special character and diacritical marks.

Typeface: A typeface contains a series of fonts. For instance, Times Bold, Times Italic, and Times Roman are actually 3 fonts (even though people often refer to one entire font family as a “font.”).


Typography Files Extensions:


When we are about to send an original to print, we Could have the type converted to curves or rasterized, or we can attach the type file.

Types of Originals:

Box: This original is called the box original. It has all the elements (texts, images, illustrations, etc) within an imaginary or virtual box inside. Nothing surpasses this limit, and establishes a distance between elements and the cut ends of the piece.


To the court: The images or illustrations funds reach the edges of the original. In this case we must left bleed.


Combined: is one that has the characteristics of the original box and original to the court on the same original.

Print Guidelines:


Cut lines: They are solid lines, made to determine where the cuts will be made to the sheet of paper in the proper format.

Registry cross: To produce the exact duplication of the 4 passes of ink and which are not paid registration failures, or off the record.

Bleed: When any image or element on a page touches the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge, leaving no margin it is said to bleed. It may bleed or extend off one or more sides.

Fold Lines: They are performed to indicate where to fold and in what direction, they are segmented or discontinuous lines.

Tecnología 1 Catedra Zaccin Universidad de Buenos Aires annotation.

Well that’s it guys, I hope this short article will help you to understand a little bit more about originals for printing, since most of the articles are about web related stuff. There are a lot of Graphics Designers and Graphics Designer students that I thought would find a article related to the printing field useful.

Hi there!, I`m Franco Averta, the founder of Concept Dezain. I'm from Argentina and I`m currently studying to become a Graphic Designer. I`ve started this blog as a way to communicate with other designers from the world and share a bit of my knowledge and share great resources. I have been working and learning to design for the www since early 2008 and recently I started to show a growing interest in blogging, that`s why you are here reading this!!! You can also find me in Facebook and Twitter

  1. Reply Ben February 8, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    Franco, nice article – another way to describe vector is that it uses maths equations to represent the image –
    .-= Ben´s last blog ..Create a Dynamic Flight Text Effect Wallpaper in Photoshop =-.

  2. Reply favSHARE February 13, 2010 at 2:21 AM

    This article has been shared on Go and vote it!
    .-= favSHARE´s last blog ..5 iPhone Apps Every Web Designer Should Have =-.

  3. Reply DianaB September 20, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    Thanks, I will post this.


  4. Reply Cheap Printing January 10, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Excellent post, i just wish some of my customers would understand this! Some people just spam a document with crops bleeds reg marks etc in the most random places

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