Photo Credit: Willi Heidelbach Attribution 2.5 Generic

I’ve worked off and on in a quasi-graphic design capacity for about 14 years, albeit the bulk of that time with no formal training. I’ve read lots of books and asked lots of questions to get the print jobs (ranging from T-shirts to books) I’ve been in charge of completed and, in the process, learned quite a bit about getting stuff printed. However, most of the print jobs I ushered through were 10+ years ago and, as we all know, nothing stays the same.

I’m now taking a junior level class called Processes and Materials, which I’ve been looking forward to for a while since we’ll be covering every aspect of printing, from design to finished project. I’m glad to know that a lot of the knowledge I’d already acquired is still good—large bound publications are still printed in signatures, printing at an extremely high resolution on an inkjet printer with bond paper will still produce a wet lumpy mess, and developing a working relationship with a quality print shop is still a good idea, just to name a few.

I’m also looking forward to learning what I don’t know, viz., all the aspects of print that get glossed over by a self-taught person. I knew there were a lot of paper choices, and that’s still true today, but I never learned very much about paper aside from the varying weights because I never needed to know. Other qualities of paper I’m now learning about include finish, strength, thickness, brightness, and opacity. Next up on the learning docket? All the different printing processes and their best uses. I can’t wait.

Resource: From Design into Print , Sandee Cohen, Peachpit Press, © 2009