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This tutorial informed us on how to set up an InDesign document for different printing methods, which can be useful if you plan to impress a design agency with professional looking print based materials. To start, we opened up a basic A4 InDesign document. We selected 4 random images off the Internet and laid them out in the document one below the other. If you were professionally getting this printed, you would use an offset lithe printer where each process requires a metal plate (for each different colour, CYMK process). After going into Window > Output > Separator, we created a new layer above images called ‘text’. We typed out “100% Yellow”, “100% Magenta” etc. for each colour in the CYMK process. We turned on swatches and looked at the default swatches. With these, we de coloured the text to the exact colours. If you wanted to print metallic, you would look through the pantone books and look up the code (as a Graphic Designer you would never do it based on screen). We created a new colour swatch and changed the process spot – spot colours are pre-mixed. We looked up the pantone metallic coat under “Colour Mode”, hit okay, then a swatch appears and you will have 5 separations, now including the metallic colour.

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This is the same process for embossing, debussing or die cutting (punching text out of paper), but you need to ask the printer just to make sure you are doing it right. To do this we created a new layer and called it ‘varnish’. This can be any spot colour (because it’s clear) as long as it’s a specified spot colour. We chose an image we wanted to stand out and created a rectangle which is a varnish colour – as long as printer knows the image is there, the colour will not print! To create an instruction layer, take off the print layer and it appears metallic in the layers palette – then as soon as you turn the separations on, it will disappear because it is not classed as a proper layer. To export, go to File > Print > Postscript File and set the colour mode t0 CYMK. A postscript file is like a very basic pdf file. If you give that to a printer, you will save a lot of money – they can transfer it directly to the printing plates. Ask them how they want to get the submitted separations before committing to a print job.

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