Graphic Design and Print Production Fundamentals
Wayne Collins, British Columbia Institute of Technology
Alex Haas, Emily Carr University
Ken Jeffery, British Columbia Institute of Technology
Alan Martin, British Columbia Institute of Technology
Roberto Medeiros, Ricoh Canada
Steven Tomljanovic, British Columbia Institute of Technology
Pub Date: 2015
Conditions of Use
Approaching design as a problem-solving process is useful and relevant for a range of disciplines and knowledge levels. The coverage of visual read more
Approaching design as a problem-solving process is useful and relevant for a range of disciplines and knowledge levels. The coverage of visual elements, compositional principles, and organizational principles is very thorough and provides a productive framework for design projects. The information about color selection and production ranges from the introductory to the highly technical. While this content may not pertain to all readers, it adds depth and raises important concerns central to graphic design and may spur readers to ask important questions.
While the text takes a different approach to the principles of design than my current text, the information provided seems accurate, thoughtful, and usable. Frankly some of the technical details about color science were outside my knowledge base; therefore, I cannot speak to their accuracy. The information about the history of design movements also seems accurate although additional examples and justifications for addressing the specific movements covered would be beneficial.
The historical, design process, and design principles content addressed in the first three chapters will not degrade or lose relevance over time. The technical information about color science, graphic production, and web2print covered in chapters 4-7 could become less useful as digital technologies change and progress over time.
Chapters 2 and 3 that address design processes and principles are clear and well supported with specific examples and visuals. For example, the discussion of principles like similarity and continuation are supported by useful and illustrative graphics. The heavily technical chapters are less clear in that they assume more background knowledge and refer to equipment and terminologies, such as equipment like spectrophotometers, with which students may not be familiar. Providing additional explanations and even images of these items could benefit less knowledgeable readers. The section covering history could also benefit from examples and illustrations. For instance, this chapter could reference buildings, art, or other items created out of each design movement.
Each chapter is structured in the same manner, allowing readers to learn how to process the content. The references are formatted consistently, and all images have captions although some could be more descriptive.
The text is modular in nature. Each chapter is separated into sections of a reasonable length, making it possible to assign only some sections of specific chapters. I can envision teaching a document design course using this text, but I might assign chapter 3 prior to chapter 2. Each chapter works well independently and would allow this restructuring. Portions of the more technical chapters would be beneficial for my students. For instance, I might not use the earlier sections of chapter 4 but assign 4.11 as it relates to the applications that we are using in the course.
The information is organized appropriately within and across chapters. While I might teach the chapters in a different order, within the chapters, useful content is connected and ordered appropriately so that readers can gain the knowledge needed to grasp subsequent concepts. The lists of learning objectives, while useful in theory, are too long and overwhelming. The authors might be more selective or chunk the objectives, making them easier to process.
The text could benefit from many more visuals in some sections, such as the section about history. The interface provides adequate blank space, and the content is chunked effectively into sections, making it easy to skim. For a design text, the glossary is formatted in a disappointing manner. Presenting all terms in one long bulleted list makes the items very difficult to process. The items might be chunked by first letter as is typical in glossaries or indices.
As other reviews noted, I detected some editing errors in the text. Overall, the content is clearly written.
The text has a notably Western orientation in relation to the history of design and the design principles addressed. Little effort is made to contextualize the information culturally and highlight the degree to which there are other perspectives in alternate design traditions and principles outside of Western traditions. The text also assumes access to high-level design and printing technologies. Additionally, readers who lack access to these technologies might find the book to be less useful.
The summary at the end of each chapter provides a useful overview of the content. However, the exercises are more like discussion questions than exercises that ask readers to apply the content. The text could benefit from actual exercises and project suggestions that could aid readers to take action based upon the content covered.
The topics covered in this book are comprehensive, but vary in the level of detail and intended audience. It it more of a theoretical guide for the read more
The topics covered in this book are comprehensive, but vary in the level of detail and intended audience. It it more of a theoretical guide for the design process, and a technical guide for the printing process. The early chapters about graphic design history, process and elements provide a good introductory overview of topics that could each fill an entire book on their own for more advanced students. The later chapters abruptly turn to more technical and in-depth information about printing technologies, from the perspective of preparing completed files for printing. There is very little technical information associated with the design process, and there is no mention of some print considerations that often challenge beginners, such as margins and bleeds. A number of software programs are referenced (such as Adobe InDesign), but without any discussion of the strengths of different software programs and how to set up documents for different projects.
I did not observe any factual errors. There are a few topics where a specific workflow is presented as the best or standard way to do things, when there are other valid workflows (especially in other industries), and some of the historical information is so succinct that it oversimplifies cause and effect. There are very few mentions of web design and web publishing at all, and most of these overplay the idea that the web requires a wholly different approach.
The historic information will remain relevant, and references to software or design standards are up to date with the latest versions. This should be relatively easy to update should any standards change in the future. The final chapter about web2print technologies feels somewhat dated since the ability to order products online (including printed design products) is well-established and not a novel way of conducting business.
A significant weakness in many of the chapters is the lack of visuals, which would greatly improve the clarity when describing visual principles and processes. The chapters with visuals have the best clarity for this reason. The writing styles vary between authors, as expected, but overall the writing is clear and understandable. There is often not enough context for jargon and technical terminology, and some of the analogies are more confusing than helpful — this seems like material that could work well in a lecture format, but is difficult to follow in the text. This is true of both the historic and technological information. It could be a good in-class exercise to have students split up the first chapter and find visuals and supplementary information for the many names and movements that are mentioned.
There are no overt contradictions of ideas or terms, which is a strength considering the multiple authors. The perspectives are very different, however: The initial chapters are written from a creative perspective, and the later chapters are from a technical perspective. The overall structure of each chapter is consistent, with an overview followed by sub-chapters and concluding with review questions. However, there are differences with whether vocabulary terms are in bold type, whether block quotes are used, how material is cited in the text, etc.
Modularity is a true strength of this book. The later chapters on print production have a more limited audience, but the early chapters on design history and process could be relevant for many courses, and are written at a mostly introductory level. Chapter 3, about design elements, would work especially well as a standalone chapter in a wide range of courses. Chapter 2 is also an excellent overview of graphic design as an iterative process, which would be useful in many courses of different levels.
This book is fairly well-organized, but there are some inconsistencies with the chapter organization. For example, Chapter 3 defines typography terms that are used, without definitions, in Chapter 1. The idea of "grid" is discussed several times before it is formally defined in Chapter 3.4. The overview of printing methods in Chapter 6 makes the information in Chapters 4 and 5 much easier to understand. There is some redundant information, such as discussing variable data in Chapter 6 and again in Chapter 7. This is a benefit for modularity, though.
The online interface is organized well and easy to navigate between chapters. The option to increase/decrease font size is a useful feature. There are some chapters without any visuals at all, which is a lost opportunity for a book about visual design.
There are no distracting typos or grammatical errors. Minor errors that other reviewers have pointed out (such as "complrments" in Chapter 3.2) have not been corrected yet.
The book is not insensitive and does not use many examples. The design history is presented from a European and North American perspective, so that could be an opportunity for broader inclusion, but it does not compare unfavorably to similar texts on this topic. Similarly, technical information puts an emphasis on North American standards, but that is appropriate given the expertise of the authors and the intended student audience. The fact that other standards exist in the world is mentioned.
This book is primarily focused on a corporate/commercial design perspective, though this is not stated; small changes in vocabulary or examples could make it more applicable to news design, nonprofit and education design, etc. Adapting the first several chapters of this text for design thinking in different fields would be an excellent collaborative project for faculty in other disciplines.
This book has some great chapters on the process of concept development and design, that give a great introduction to the design process. The section read more
This book has some great chapters on the process of concept development and design, that give a great introduction to the design process. The section on design seems to speak to beginners and gives them a good introduction to design and I feel that by the time you reach the section on Printing it gets a lot more technical and would speak to someone who is a bit more advanced in their design knowledge.
The information in this book relating to design, printing and the history of design are accurate. One thing that should be mentioned is that they do not mention what version of the software they are using. For example InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator are mentioned multiple times. Without mentioning what version they are using (CC?) some confusion can happen when they are talking about specific functions within these design tools, as the functions or names of the processes being discussed could have changed, if you are using a newer version, or not be available, if you are using an older version.
The section on the history of design is one that will have longevity but I think as technology changes the ones on printing will need updating. As it currently stands the information is relevant although the information on the design process could be updated to the latest design thinking process and the terminology that goes along with it. The process mentioned in the book included the following steps: Define, Research, Develop Concepts and Implement Solutions and the new design thinking process covers more steps including: Empathise, Define, Generate Ideas / Brainstorm, Develop Solutions, Gather Feedback and Improve. The extra steps are included in the text but the new terminology is not used.
There are a lot of technical terms within this book and only some of them are defined in the glossary. It would be more useful too if they were defined within context so you didn't have to keep flipping back to the glossary page as you may need to remind yourself what a certain word means. It was a little bit difficult reading some of the more technical chapters, like the ones on printing, as they were filled with technical jargon and were written for a different skill level than the introductory chapters were.
The book seems to be split on the target audience who would be reading it. The first half gives a good introduction to the history of design and the design process for a beginner. The second half is more in depth and is very jargon heavy, and would be more suited to someone who is more advanced. In terms of using it as a teaching tool I think the first half would be a good resource to point your beginner students too and only utilise the second half for more advanced students or ones who have demonstrated a particular interest in the printing process.
The text is well divided and I can see how it could be split up or reorganised to suit a specific learning environment.
Some work is needed on the overall structure / flow of the book. Because it is already split into blocks I think this could be easily done. Just some small edits could be done to correct these issues. Mainly the issue is that in some sections more advanced information is presented before some more basic definitions and information so that would need to be changed around. (eg the colour management section)
I had a number of issues with the interface, firstly this is a book about design so there should be more visuals inserted into the text. There were also issues with the layout, for example if you look at page 91 and 92. The text on page 91 is indented and the text on 92 is further in. This formatting issue appears all over the book and for me it was a visual distraction moving in and out as you went between pages. As it is a book on design I also thought that there could have been more design involved in the book itself. Chapter pages are just text on a white page and there is no design element involved. It would be nice to see the principals talked about in the book being included in its actual design.
On page 53 compliments is misspelled On page 22 in this sentence: "Defining goals allows you to home in on precisely what to communicate" - Is the phrase hone in?
This textbook covers a wide variety of subjects within it's stated purpose. In some areas, it is comprehensive - color management systems - while in read more
This textbook covers a wide variety of subjects within it's stated purpose. In some areas, it is comprehensive - color management systems - while in others somewhat more cursory - typefaces. The book does have a glossary at the end . There is no index. The chapters discussing color management seem very detailed.
The book seems accurate and also provides sources, as well as "further reading" lists. Some of the directions for InDesign, PhotoShop, Illustrator may change as new iterations are released.
The chapters on current color management may need updating as soon as the programs and/or technology changes. In some chapters, this may require quite a bit of replacement text.
The color management section requires some technical knowledge. Some of these chapters would take a bit more background knowledge.
The book is consistent from front to back.
The earlier chapters have illustrations that provide reading "breaks." Some of the more technical chapters could use this. For instance, pages 124-128 have a few subheads, but could use some visual breaks for readers.
The book is organized in linear fashion, following the production time line. This makes sense for students.
I viewed the book both as a pdf and from the html file. The pdf is well organized and easy to use. The html file is rather straight forward also, but any images are only displayed flush left (rather than next to each other), which doesn't give it a "finished" professional quality, but is easy to access.
I found no errors in the text. The text does use first and second person frequently.
This doesn't really apply to this text. It does discuss designers, but pictures only one. Examples used for various parts of the book were photos of cars.
I found that this book's focus on color management in the printing process seems valuable to those more advanced students. This would not be appropriate for beginners. In the same vein, beginning students would need more information at the beginning of the book in terms of design fundamentals.
This book gives an introduction to some key principles in graphic design, in printing, and in design business management. It gives an introduction, read more
This book gives an introduction to some key principles in graphic design, in printing, and in design business management. It gives an introduction, not a comprehensive study of any of those three fields. Some sections are written to a beginning reader while others are written to readers with extensive background already in the subject.
The graphic design information is accurate. The printing information appears to be accurate, but the text doesn't always mention which version of the software they are referring to. I gave the book a "3" for accuracy because of this concern. Since printing and design software can change substantially in subsequent versions, readers will need to know which software version is being discussed.
Some of the information in the book is out of order. For example, the project management information is presented with complex details in one chapter then the foundational information needed to understand those details is in a later chapter. A graphic design student would usually get the information on basic design principles, then some practice, then the really detailed info on project management. The same issue happens with vocabulary. A term is used repeatedly, then in later chapters the same term is bolded to show that it is in the glossary with a definition. Words that need definitions should be bolded the first time they are used since this text uses bolding to show words defined in a glossary. Better yet, the words should be defined in text. Also, some words like incunabula, bespoke, baseline grid, proofer, output device, output profile, color chart, natural base state, patch, option prompts, read head, etc. are either not defined at all or not bolded to send students to the glossary.
Too many technical terms are left undefined, and the ones which have definitions in the glossary are not always bolded on first use (or at all). The text uses bolding of words to show that the words are in the glossary, but many readers would prefer that terms were defined at the chapter level either in text or at the beginning of the chapter. The graphic design chapter is written for a beginning student, but the printing chapters are written for advanced students. A few sentences are hard to read: "“What happens when we project two of the three additive primaries on top of each other? This is the same as removing or subtracting one of the additive primaries from white light. Let’s start with red and green.”
The graphic design chapter is written for a beginning student, but the printing chapters are written for advanced students. This book would be helpful as supplemental reading for instructors, however.
Yes. You will need the modules because the text will have to be separated for different classes. Few beginning graphic design classes will cover the advanced printing information from this text but they could use the graphic design information.
Difficult vocabulary and technical terms are presented in one chapter then defined in later chapters or units. Color management information is presented in fine detail prior to readers being given the goal for color management. Sometimes foundational or background information is presented after the topic has been discussed for pages. However, in spite of the problems, I still learned a lot from chapter 5.
The images and charts that the book has are wonderful. However, this is a graphic design and printing arts book, so readers and instructors will expect many more images than the book provides. The chapter on color, for instance, is in black and white.
complrments is misspelled in the text
The text didn't really have any cultural references that were noticeable.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Design History
1.2 William Morris and the Arts & Crafts Movement
1.3 Deutscher Werkbund
1.6 International Typographic Style
1.7 Late Modern | New York Style
1.8 Post Modern
Chapter 2: Design Process
2.2 Design Research and Concept Generation
2.5 Develop Concepts
2.6 Implement Solutions
Chapter 3: Design Elements, Design Principles, and Compostitional Organization
3.2 Visual Elements -- Basic Things That Can be Seen
3.3 Compositional Principles -- Strategies for Arranging Things Better
3.4 Organizational Principles
Chapter 4: Colour Management in the Graphic Technologies
4.2 Colour Science
4.3 Measuring Devices
4.4 Lab Colour Space and Delta E Measurements
4.5 Working with a Spectrophotometer to Read Standard Colour Charts for Output Profiling
4.6 The Measurement File’s Role in Colour Profiling
4.7 Profile Creation
4.8 Beyond Output Profiling: Display, Input, and Device Link Profiles
4.9 A Review of the Profile Classes
4.10 The Components and Purpose of a Colour Management System
4.11 Applying Colour Management in the Adobe Creative and Kodak Prinergy Software
Chapter 5: Pre-Press
5.2 Raster Image Processing
Chapter 6: Imaging
6.4 Electrophotographic Process
6.5 Paper Basics
6.6 Page Description Languages
6.7 Variable Data Printing
Chapter 7: Web2Print
7.2 E-commerce for Print Manufacturing
7.3 Web2print Strategies and Goals
7.4 Implementation and Workflow Considerations
About the Authors
About the Book
This textbook -- written by a group of select experts with a focus on different aspects of the design process, from creation to production -- addresses the many steps of creating and then producing physical, printed, or other imaged products that people interact with on a daily basis. It covers the concept that, while most modern graphic design is created on computers using design software, the ideas and concepts don’t stay on the computer. The ideas need to be completed in the computer software, then progress to an imaging (traditionally referred to as printing) process. Keywords are highlighted throughout and summarized in a Glossary at the end of the book, and each chapter includes exercises and suggested readings.
About the Contributors
Wayne Collins completed his Bachelor of Arts in English Language Studies at the University of Regina while concurrently completing a traditional five-year trades apprenticeship in pre-press with the Graphic Arts Union. He moved to Vancouver in 1985 and worked at Zenith Graphics, first as a film stripper and camera operator, and later as a computer systems operator and manager. He moved to Creo in their formative years and helped champion their computer to plate systems across North America. Before starting the Graphic Communications Diploma Program at British Columbia Institute of Technology in 2006, Wayne managed the pre-press department at Hemlock Printers in Vancouver for 15 years.
Alex Haas is a multidisciplinary designer, illustrator, and artist. Her design practice encompasses art direction, typeface design, and image creation. She has a special fondness for book design. She has partnered with Canadian publishers, art galleries, artists, universities, furniture makers, filmmakers, First Nation educators and historians, musicians, the CBC and the National Film Board in her design projects. Alex studied illustration and art direction at the Alberta College of Art and Design, received her design degree in visual communication from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University, and her Master’s in Applied Art, media stream, from Emily Carr University. She has taught various aspects of design at Emily Carr University, Simon Fraser University, and British Columbia Institute of Technology for the past 18 years.
Ken Jeffery instructs in print technology and communication design for the Digital Arts Department at British Columbia Institute of Technology. He holds a Master’s of Arts in Learning and Technology from Royal Roads University, where he researched strategies for effectively implementing social media in the classroom. Prior to a move to the world of higher education, Ken spent over 18 years in the printed communications industry. Starting out composing hand-set type for letterpress, he moved quickly to adopt digital design and web2print workflows. As a business owner working on all aspects of business from sales and marketing to production and fulfillment, he brings hands-on experience to today’s modern classroom, and he is eager to share his experience with the next generation of visual communicators.
Alan Martin has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking from the University of Victoria. He has been involved professionally in the graphic arts since 1977, first in traditional film assembly and then in electronic pre-press from its early days in the 1980s onward. For the past 11 years he has worked for Kodak, supporting their pre-press workflow products. Alan is currently product support manager for the InSite family of web-based review applications. He teaches several courses at British Columbia Institute of Technology, including Colour Management Systems.
Roberto Medeiros is a production print solution engineer with Ricoh Canada. His career in the copier and digital printing industry began in 1988 as a copier technician. In 2000, his role was transitioned to exclusively supporting colour and production print solutions. In 2012, Roberto joined the Graphic Communications Technology Program at British Columbia Institute of Technology as a part-time instructor teaching Advanced Digital Imaging. In 2015, he achieved his Idealliance Color Management Professional – Master certification.
Steven Tomljanovic has been recognized as a leader in web2print and variable data with over 15 years of experience in IT and almost 10 years of experience in the print industry. He was a part of the first graduating class of the British Columbia Institute of Technology GTEC printing program. Upon graduation, Steven helped companies build their online business presence with great success. He has been honoured with PrintAction magazine’s PA35, awarded to the top 35 industry leaders under the age of 35 in Canada. Steven shares his passion by teaching e-commerce, web2print, and web marketing courses at British Columbia Institute of Technology in the GTEC and New Media & Design Programs within the School of Business. Steven currently works as the web2print specialist at MET Fine Printers, located in Vancouver BC.