Since I’m totally self-absorbed, I thought I’d start a new series to suggesting books that I think any designer would be a fool not to own. First at bat is Basics Design: Print and Finish. From the publisher’s description:
How can printing and finishing techniques be used to enhance graphic design? Basics Design: Print and Finish explores that question in depth, with complete information that will be valuable to both graphic-design students and practicing designers. Concepts such as color building, reversing out, tints, shades, gradients, halftones, and computer-to-plate printing are all explained fully, with visual examples for each. Thermography, debossing, embossing, die cutting, varnishing, and other techniques are also covered in detail, with illustrations. Examples from top design studios illuminate the text and inspire readers to use these print and finish techniques in their own work.
Too many designers approach printing the way people who’ve never been on a farm approach food: all they care about is the finished product, and they don’t want to know anything about the blood and guts. Understanding print production, however, is valuable for a variety of reasons. For one, it will help you avoid creating designs that are problematic on press. This is super common with young or inexperienced designers and they’re the kinds of “oops, that might cost me my job” moments that everybody would really rather avoid. For two, understanding what kinds of printing process are available and how you can use them is an absolutely killer way to take your work to another level. If you’re not sure what I mean, pick up the House Industries book along with this. As an added bonus, this and the other three books in the series have great cover design. If you dig this title, stay tuned. I’ve got another title along the same lines that I’ll save that for another time.