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BEAUTIFUL LAYOUTS FOR THOSE ON A BUDGET

The most important rule in saving money is being self-sufficient.  The more you have to pay print shops for typesetting, layouts and associated services, the higher the cost to print an publication.  The greatest resource yet for nonprofessional designers are computer desktop publishing and graphics programs, because they enable amateurs the ability to create beautiful, camera-ready layouts.  Examples of such software include Ventura Publisher, Pagemaker, and Express Publisher.  As a general rule, the more expensive the program is, the more capabilities it has and the more difficult it is to learn.  Consider all the options that your organization needs, taking the future into account.  Compare different programs, and get demonstrations of each before you decide.  If possible, ask other organizations what software they have been happy with, and what has given them problems.

Assuming you have been given text and artwork and have been asked to produce a campaign brochure, here are some possible options.

    Bring the copy and artwork to a graphic designer who will create and complete a pasted-up layout piece that is ready for the printer. This is the pricier route.

    Bring in text and artwork to a print shop to be designed, pasted up and printed by its personnel.

    Design a dummy layout at your organization.  Then, create a camera-ready piece, using computer software and deliver it to your print shop.  This is the cheapest option.

Another major advantage to this last option is the greater flexibility it offers in changing the layout.  For instance, using DTP (computer desktop publishing) allows you to see each brochure as if it were a final product before any actual printing is done.  Using the program’s commands, you can zoom in on certain areas or move around different portions of a page.  If for example, a page is too crowded, you can adjust the font size, the column widths, the headline, and so on.

In short, designing your layout yourself with a computer program allows you to experiment in ways that were not previously economical or convenient.  It can also limit your costs to halftones and printing, which are the least expensive services of a print shop.

Another consideration in designing a layout is ensuring that your artwork fits the space provided in your layout.  This procedure usually refers to enlarging or reducing your original image, which are made in percentages, with 100% being a reproduction equal to the original size of a piece of artwork.  To see if the artwork will fit in the allotted space, use either a calculator or an enlargement-reduction wheel(found in graphic arts supply stores).   Say you have an 8” X 10” photo that needs to fit a 2” wide column.  This means you need to find the reduction required to fit the 8” width into 2”. What height would correspond to this and still leave enough vertical room on the layout.

To do this be calculator follow these steps:

1. Divide the desired size by the original size and press the percentage key.  The answer is the percentage of enlargement or reduction.  In the case of the above example, divide 2 by 8, press %=25.  This means a 25% reduction is required.

2. Multiply the answer in step 1 by the second original size and press the % button to find the new vertical size.  For our example, we would enter 25, press X, press 10, press %= 2.5 inches.

To do this using the wheel, line up 8” on the inner wheel and 2” on the outer wheel.  Next, find 10” on the inner wheel.  Read the corresponding number on the outer wheel, which should be 2.5”.  This is the vertical size for the reduced photo.

An 8”X10” photo reduced to fit in a 2” horizontal space will correspond to 2”x2.5”, a 25% reduction.  Clearly, if you are concerned with fitting a vertical space, reverse the process and work to solve the vertical size first.

Once you’ve found the new dimensions, write it down and attach it to the bottom of the art piece so that it can be seen by a print shop personnel.

Cropping artwork is another way to make a piece fit or to focus in on a specific portion.  Remember to crop with a crayon rather than a pen or pencil as to not dig into the photo’s emulsion. 

 

 

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