Creating, checking and proofing the vinyl artwork takes all day…

HAVING managed to get the live album vinyl labels – one for each of the four sides – designed and proofed yesterday, today’s main task is to create final artwork for the gatefold sleeve.

I guess the ‘hard’ part is the design, which is done, but creating the final files for print sees me painstakingly ensuring the layout, cuts and folds are accurate to .25mm – I also have to make sure the total ink density/coverage doesn’t exceed 300%. This avoid over saturation of the card with ink when printing.

Key Production provide a pretty comprehensive and useful document with the tech spec for their printers.

All the text elements of the design have to be recreated in vector format (in InDesign) – the quality will suffer if I leave them as rasterised text in Photoshop where I created the visuals.

Finally, I try and print off some hard copies to ensure that the design works in the real world. This is trickier than it sounds – no computer screen gives an accurate representation of how a design will look when finally printed, even if the screen is ‘callibrated’ – ink viscosity and type and the paper/card stock and finish all affect the end product. And as a vinyl release, we don’t have a printer big enough to print a proof at actual size and the ‘normal’ (ie; photocopier) paper is so absorbent that the proof is pretty much useless for anything other than reading over text and getting an overview.

I have a lot of experience designing for print and am confident in my work, but this album is a special thing for me and I don’t want it let down by anything, especially if it’s in my control.

By the time I’m done, though, it’s after 6pm and there’s a bit of a food shortage..we’d hoped to schedule a shopping trip yesterday or at least earlier today but it didn’t happen resulting in me taking a Friday night food shopping trek into Glasgow.

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