Check mark and circle

Get to Know Your Agency: The Production Artist

There are many advantages to working with a design agency, but none are more prominent than access to a skilled production artist.

The production artist ensures the designer’s work is able to function within its final application, whether it’s a brochure, a web page or a printed advertisement. This process involves a review of every aspect of the designed file. Adjustments such as copy edits, photo retouching, recreating components, color correction and repairing broken links all help sustain the designer’s vision and maintain brand standards.

These checks can also end up saving a lot of money. Just because a file looks perfect on the screen, it doesn’t mean it will translate perfectly in print. There are many things that can go wrong on press that the production artist works to prevent.

Missing image or graphic links

The images that appear in a layout are actually often linked to other files. If the final file is not properly packaged, these images will appear as broken links. This issue could hold-up a project, causing delays and blown timelines.

Low-res images

Low-resolution images will bottom-out the perceived value of any piece, taking the brand with it. High quality printing requires images at 300 DPI when scaled to 100 percent. Pixelated photos or graphics could cause you to miss your ad deadline. In printed collateral, it could result in a costly reprint.

Photos are drastically enlarged or reduced

Photo files have a limited number of pixels. A 300 DPI image scaled down to 25 percent is 1,200 DPI at final output. That same image enlarged to 150 percent is 200 DPI at final output. Photo links should be placed at 100 percent size at the proper DPI for final output to prevent image distortion.

RGB and spot colors in print

RGB (red, green and blue) is the standard presentation for computer monitors. Print requires a CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) color-build or spot colors to ensure color accuracy. RGB files might not reproduce accurately on a four-color press. Correcting this oversight will prevent delays and additional costs.

Spot colors are often used to reduce variations in color tone from print run to print run. If a spot color is accidentally included in a CMYK project, that four-color run becomes a five-color run and the cost will increase. The printer may or may not catch this, and there will be additional charges involved with converting the color.

Messy files

Stray unused fonts, colors, text or images that remain in the file can cause a lot of headaches for printers and publications. These extra components can add unwanted size to the file and interrupt a proper rip (translation of the file), resulting in errors in the final printed piece and interrupted timelines.

If you have questions for our production designers, or any other member of the Korzenowski Design team, please contact us or visit our Facebook page.