Greeting Cards - Creation and Printing. Any advice?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Arcus, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Arcus macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2004
    of my hand will get me slapped.
    After Steves keynote my GF got the idea of making greeting cards. A small amount for personal use and maybe some to put on display at her friends brick and mortar retail shop. We went out to check out the greeting card feature in iPhoto and we were both less than impressed. The lack of ability to do anything freeform was a turnoff.

    Does anyone have any experience in making greeting cards? What did you use? Did you print them yourself? I talked to a print shop and he suggested an EPS format or PDF.

    Any insight would be great.
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    If you have little experience in getting files ready for press, I suggest you brush up on a little prepress/repro knowledge first to save potentially expensive problems down the line.

    This is not a venture to be undertaken lightly and it represents a more formidable technical challenge than running out a Word document at home.

    Not all PDFs are created equally... and some are just not suitable for press at all.

    Vector tools like Illustrator and Freehand provide artwork that is — generally speaking — scalable, like a font, so it doesn't get the jaggies when enlarged.

    Photo-editing/bitmap programs like Photoshop deal in files that are rasterised i.e. broken up into pixels, the size of which depends on the file's resolution.

    The pro's usual tool of choice is the Adobe Creative Suite. You can download trial versions (tryouts) of InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop from Adobe's site although these programs have a steep learning curve for the novice.

    I recommend InDesign to assemble the artwork and output a decent PDF.

    The most important but general points to bear in mind at this stage are:

    1. To provide CMYK artwork, not RGB. You can work in RGB as long as your file is converted to CMYK when it's ready to be assembled on page.

    2. For images keep to a resolution of 300-450ppi and any rasterised type or graphic elements to min 1200ppi.

    3. To use vector work where possible when a crisp outline is needed.

    4. To put a 'bleed' around the artwork of 3mm i.e. any images/graphics that run to the edge of the page must run over and beyond that trim so that when the page is trimmed, the image runs to the edge.

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