Designing for Print

Chat about the original Pixelmator.
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2019-10-18 20:58:32

I'm designing a graphic for a friend to be used on a billboard. 1/2 of the billboard will be a high resolution photograph, the other half black background with white text. I have an iMac running OSX 10.10.5 and Pixelmator Version 3.6 Cordillera (61103).



The billboard company's specs are below. I've setup my Pixelmator document to the overall size and set the resolution to 300 pixels/inch.



A few questions:

1. How would I go about setting up the bleed area? Convert fonts to outline?



2. Will my version be able to produce and then export into the format they are requesting?



Thank you in advance.



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2019-10-19 14:04:33

My print experience is too old to be of much help. I'll help as much as I am able (in case you don't get any better info).
1a. Bleed area. A bleed should just look like part of the artwork when output but, as a designer you want to know where it starts. I'd work out on which edges the design has a bleed and how big that bleed is then put guides there.
1b. Convert fonts to outlines. From what I understand here, they don't ever want to have to deal with a missing font so I'd convert all my text to shapes before export (maybe keeping a back-up with editable text in case of changes).
2. Pixelmator can export to PSD and PDF but that might not be the end of the story. PSD has a lot of versions and there are a lot of ways to construct a PDF. Plus they don't explicitly specify the colour profile. Both .PSD and .PDF support RGB and CMYK colour modes. Pixelmator supports different colour profiles but only those in the RGB colour space. Colour profiles are a bit of a weak point in my knowledge so I really hope someone else helps out at this point.
My feel for best practice is, if you have the opportunity for dialogue, to talk and to provide output early to test. Find out if they are happy with files in an RGB colour space. If the design is simple, provide output early to test. If the design is complex, create test output with placeholder images (that are obviously placeholders) so that any problems come up sooner rather than later.
I hope this helps (and that someone else comes along that really knows what they're talking about).
- Stef.
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2019-10-19 14:46:42

Great advice. That was my next step... send them a sample and see if it would be acceptable. I almost bought a new iMac last night so I could upgrade to the latest Pixelmator, lol. Put it in the shopping cart and then changed my mind. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Stef