Sign & Digital Graphics

November '17

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • November 2017 • 39 Figure 4). Though not completely idiot- proof, it's definitely better than having to consult the manual. The Workflow Producing a finished print is essen- tially a three-part process. The process begins with the design where an artist conceives of an idea, renders it on a computer using graphics software and prepares it for print. The design is inter- preted by a RIP and fed to a printer. After it has been printed it is sometimes fin- ished by lamination or framing. Each one of these steps requires close attention to the details and variables that constitute the process. Design First The first step in any design project is to research design idioms and motifs that reflect the stylistic, cultural and aesthetic attributes appropriate to the content of the image. Examples can be found online, in books or in magazines, or anywhere else. Research is not about copying elements from other sources. It is about being inspired by the look and feel of designs from a particular style, era or from nature and incorporating that inspiration into your vision. Do not neglect this step. In the Loop A design can start out as a thumb- nail sketch and can go through several phases where the image is refined, (see Figure 5). Each step gets closer to the final refined version. The most impor- tant step in a smooth design process is to keep your client informed during each step and get his/her approval during each phase. Commercial, design is a true col- laboration between artist and client. The earlier you get detailed input from the Figure 2: Many defensive design components are asymmetrical and can only fit into the system in one orientation. Figure 3: One-sided paper sheets that are marked on the non-printable side with the manu- facturer's logo are somewhat less "idiot-proof." Figure 4: The printer's paper carriage may have an embossed marking that indicates that the paper should be inserted face up or face down Figure 5: A design can start out as a thumbnail sketch and can go through several phases where the image is refined. (Image: Nina Nardollilo)

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