Print Production

In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of producing professional-looking print publications.

myAOLCC Hub (Online)
Intermediate, Advanced
60 Hours
What you'll learn
  • Welcome to the Land of Print
  • Materials and Techniques used in Print Jobs
  • Software and Materials
  • Digital Offset and Letterpress Methods
  • Assembling and Binding Multi-page Documents
  • Paper Specifications
  • Methods of Selecting Spot Colors, Process Colors, and Varnishes
  • Designer as Communicator
  • Examines the Client-designer-printer Triangle
  • Production of Creative Briefs, Print Specs, and Budget
  • Designing Within Your Specs
  • Problem-Solving and Tweaking
  • Sending Your Design to Print
  • How to Prepare a Press-quality PDF and InDesign file Package

Course Introduction

For any designer, sending a job to the printer can be a process of trial and error. To manage a print job effectively, one must understand how printing companies work, how to communicate with them, and how to identify the best design solution to fit a budget. In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of producing professional-looking print publications. Students will also learn how to choose paper and Pantone inks, modify materials and processes based on a budget, use Adobe InDesign to prepare designs for print, and manage the phases of the production workflow to produce high-quality printed output.

Course Prerequisites

InDesign Basics or equivalent experience.

Course Outline

Print Production

Module 1: Welcome to the Land of Print

This module explores the print production process including communication from client to designer to printer. Students will look at the materials and techniques used in print jobs, from basic paper and inks to offset lithography.

Module 2: Software and Materials

In this module, students learn how InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop fit into the printing process. They learn about digital offset and letterpress methods and assembling and binding multi-page documents, as well as paper specifications and methods of selecting spot colors, process colors, and varnishes.

Module 3: Designer as Communicator

This lesson examines the client-designer-printer triangle, and the production of creative briefs, print specs, and budget. Students learn how to utilize quality, budget, time, and the appropriate printer to create efficient and attractive products.

Module 4: Designing Within Your Specs

Students will learn how to translate specs into a real design using InDesign swatches, budget-friendly spot color tints, and image prep techniques in Photoshop. They will also explore some of the printing effects like embossing.

Module 5: Problem-Solving and Tweaking

This lesson explores how to manage a print estimate and adjust for budget cuts as well as InDesign techniques for scrutinizing and polishing document text.

Module 6: Sending Your Design to Print

Students will learn what items to examine and revise for hand-off to a printer, and how to prepare a press-quality PDF and InDesign file package to send to print.

Course Notes

Students must successfully complete all the components of the online course material. Evaluation is based on hands-on exercises in each module of the course.

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