What advice can you give me for preparing an image for print?
Wayne Jones, US
Preparing your artwork for print for the first time can be daunting. You want your work to be as close to the original as possible – and there are a lot of pitfalls to avoid before you can finally hold your work in your hands.
If you’re new to printing, you might not have considered things like colour gamut (the subset of colours your printer can reproduce), and DPI (the number of pixels per inch of printed space), but if you’re planning on printing an image you should absolutely have these in mind from the start.
Knowing what colour gamut you should be using (such as CMYK), and final resolution of your image will enable you to work within these parameters early on, and save you hassle later. To check in Photoshop if your colours are ‘out of gamut’ use the Gamut Warning function under the View menu.
Printed images will often come out darker than intended, so check your values and avoid using values that are 10 per cent and under. If you later check your values and find out that your image is very dark, you can fix this with a Curves or Levels layer, which will subtly bring up the image’s overall tone. Some prints won’t always come out crisp, so use the Sharpen and Blur tools to help emphasise the focal points of your picture and obtain the best read possible.