Saturday, 4 April 2009

Printing 101: for Dummies!

Good things come to those who wait....for the ink company to post the ink to them.

Everything comes with a learning curve right? Well, my printing learning curve couldn't afford to be too steep. Limited ink and paper due to a lack of funds meant I had very little option of getting it wrong. A bunch of test prints later and a load of faffing around a few problems and I had 10 gorgeous looking copies of my very first comic book sat in front of me. To the shops to purchase an extendable stapler and they were officially ready...to...to...erm... well I'm handing them out to friends and then keeping a few for a few other places.

Anyway. I thought I would take a through a few snags I ran into along the way. Firstly, printing with a bleed directly from illustrator is completely impossible. So after messing around with it and wasting 4 out of 10 of my spare pieces of paper I exported it as a .pdf file and printed straight from there. Simple.

Problem 2 came when printing onto the back of the photo paper...no matter what setting I chose the ink would not stick to this kind of paper (Stoopid inkjets!) so I had to quickly develop my idea. I printed a black and white version of my front cover and adapted it a little to make the proper glossy front cover act as a 'sleeve' almost. This isn't what I wanted, but by no means does it look 'bad'. Just not what I wanted.

Problem 3 is an nonadjustable one and something I knew I had mucked up since the start. I didn't plan out any borders for printing...and limitations to the pages...or work out how much page would be lost due to the staples holding the paper together. I knew this from the start, but I was hurrying to get the piece finished and knew that it would be OK - if just a little of centre. Its not a particularly bad thing...they don't totally suck, its just a little unprofessional to the trained eye. To the reader they won't even notice as they glide through it.

My only other niggle is that I think a little bit more detail wouldn't have hurt. I like the individual style, but I think I could have gotten away with a bit more detail in the majority of the panels. This however is definitely something you could only ever learn from experience and as such I am writing this one off to the learning curve.

Overall though I am very pleased with the final result and do take a certain amount of pride from what I have produced. Now its just a matter of seeing how the public take it :S

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