Design / Print advice


We often get asked for advice on designing a newspaper and what sort of quality you can expect when printing with us. We cover this in our help section but it is worth repeating every now and then.

If you have any questions not covered here, or if the stuff below sounds like gibberish, or you just get stuck you can email us or you could come along to our School of Everything class on Thursday 10 March.

To get the best possible looking printed product you should always remember that you are designing artwork for a newspaper, not a magazine, glossy brochure or website.

Newspaper presses are industrial-scale machines designed to operate at very high speeds to allow publishers to produce and distribute large numbers of copies quickly and economically. They are not designed for perfect high-fidelity reproduction or to be able to match Pantones or exact colour mixes. You can achieve very good quality results with newspaper printing but only if you start the artwork design process with the print process in mind.

Two Halves by the Rebel Alliance

Below are some hints and tips which should help you to produce excellent results.

Text works best if it’s black; colour can be used but it works best if only headings of font size 14 or above are in colour.

White text on coloured backgrounds should be used sparingly and only at font size 14 or above.

Small type (under 12pt, or 14pt if the font is a serif) should always be made up from only one of the inks. ie 100% cyan and not 50% cyan and 50% magenta to avoid registration issues.

Coloured text on coloured backgrounds should be avoided all together.

Blacks should always be 100%K only, whether for text or solids; do not use ‘rich black’.

If you have large solid blocks of colour bear in mind the ink may rub off on facing pages (and your hands).

If you repeat a standard or corporate colour repeated on every page there will often be noticeable variation, as exact colour matching can’t be guaranteed.

Image quality
Images should be a minimum resolution of 150dpi.

Photographs work best when they have a clear, strong subject and a lighter background; dark or ‘moody’ pictures will reproduce less well. (We mean moody like a Morrissey album cover not moody as in stolen.)

Blank spaces
If you have a blank page or space opposite heavy pictures or text it is possible that there will be a noticeable ‘ghosting’ impression on the blank area. It is also possible that you will notice ‘show through’ from the other side of the paper.

Two Halves by the Rebel Alliance

Of course if you use ARTHR almost all of these issues can be avoided. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to produce a handsome looking newspaper. I hope these tips help.

Further Reading
Designing a black and white newspaper
Designing a colour newspaper
Our general help section

Posted by Ben | Comments (1)

Filed under: art, printers

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1 Comment

  1. Mon, 28 Feb 2011 at 9:25 am
    Beautiful Begg paper | Newspaper Club Permalink

    [...] although it was made before my legendary design advice post, it’s the perfect example of a well designed paper. They’ve used big, bold, contrasty [...]

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