View Full Version : Expert Input Needed

09-13-2004, 05:10 AM
Hey folks, I know I haven't been in this section in ages!Was working on enhancing my drawing skills, but I remembered tonight that there were a few experts here on illustration.
I haven't graduated yet but I got my first contract/temp job doing an illustration for a goverment group trying to raise awareness of regarding racial profiling in the province. My use of vector art and Illustrator got me the job.
It's a two colour spot Pantone job and both colours were chosen for me. One is their corporate identity, another is an orange that will be used to get attention, and they want it to look sort of like "Usual Suspects" with a stylised youthful feel. Let me tell you it's been a challenge trying to represent minorities with only blue and orange! lol But, it's a budget job that could lead to alot of outsourcing temp work.
Can any expert eyes look at what I have do far and tell me if this will be heavy on trapping? I have overlapped the two colours and with pantones, I can't create a colour bridge to avoid it. I'm just a bit concerned that the illustration will be prove to be too complex at the PS 2 RIP stage.

Thanks for any input.

09-13-2004, 09:01 AM
This looks awesome! Great use of using only two colors with screens.

There is always potential for printing problems, and it's been my experience that it comes down to the printer. I'd recommend finding out who will be doing the actual printing and contact them. Discuss your issues and see what they have to say.

By and large, the quality of printing in general has increased by leaps and bounds over the past few years. Offhand, I'd say there's not much to worry about, but only the printer knows his own limitations and strong points, and will know what paper it'll be printed on, etc.

09-13-2004, 01:28 PM
Thanks Ted, I read one of your posts about 4 colour process and thought, "I hope he answers me! " lol

I told them that I will have to talk to the printer myself and made sure I'd be paid to do that.

What I'm going to ask the printer is about the tonal range. Will 15 percent blue look different than 25 percent blue.

And about the trapping. I'm getting prompted by Illustrator that it doesn't need trapping, but it obviously will.
What I want to avoid is losing the vector. To keep it an EPS and bring it into Quark for the body text. The last time I did that I made the mistake of nesting a raster image in Illustrator first, and when I checked the seperations, I had CMYK along with the pantone.
I'm sure on their tight budget they won't appreciate a 2 plate job turning into a 6 plate job.
I'm sooo in over my head here!!!!! lol

09-13-2004, 02:48 PM
Sometimes it seems like every new job requires learning something new! Not a bad thing always, but nowadays we're required to know and do everything except actually print the job! That's why I'm trying to learn how to paint :)

Do you have access to a Pantone spot color guide? I don't have one any longer, but I have a color guide from my old days doing Sunday comics. Judging from it, I'd say that 15% and 25% are going to be pretty close. A difference of 20% is going to be more discernible, depending on if you're wanting the differences to be sharp or not. It's kind of a tough call.

Sometimes I almost prefer the old days when we did spot colors by hand. We didn't have to worry about any of this stuff! I haven't used Illustrator in a couple of years so I've forgotten most of what I knew. I do keep various bookmarks, though, and here's one that might have a little good info, from a printer's site:

Trapping (http://www.the-printshop.com/printshopper/articles/08-98-main.html)

09-14-2004, 12:33 AM
Thank you so much for finding that site for me Ted. I've just finished studying the topic in school but I'm going to give that link to my teacher because she uses the web for resources all the time. Basically, what you said and what many pros working today say is "Leave the trapping to the experts", but there are a few old school teachers who think it's better to know the basics and if you can save the cost to do simple graphics yourself, do it.Plus, a few of us do end up working in service bureaus which is not a bad way to start a graphic career. This illustration would be way too complex for me.
I've also gone back to check my illustration and made sure there's a big enough percentage gap in the really important places like the facial features.
What I find funny sometimes is how people tell me that it must be so much fun doing art for a living. Ha! It's so technical and structured, so marketing!!!, I can understand why you paint as a release. :)
You know, just for all you who still swear by doing illustrations by hand... Two artists were chosen for the campaign. One who did a hand drawn cartoon and my vectors. I really think there's room for both.
Well, I've got an 18th deadline.
Thanks for the help Ted. :)

09-14-2004, 11:18 AM
You know, just for all you who still swear by doing illustrations by hand... Two artists were chosen for the campaign. One who did a hand drawn cartoon and my vectors. I really think there's room for both.

I certainly agree, for the individual artist its just a matter of personal preference in how they want to work, you can find buyers for both types.

09-14-2004, 05:59 PM
Hi Dave,I remember you from early in the summer!, in Graphic Design illustration, you really do need to have at least the basic knowledge of one vector application (where I am anyway). But there are many types of illustration and some even cross the boundaries.

http://www.jordilabanda.com is a hot commercial graphic artist with his work on everything imaginable. I love his stuff even thogh it's shallow and about fashion. His style in ever sense of the word is magnificent. He uses gouache and paper, but it could very well be done in vector. That a look at HEY DEY just for the use of Flash. It rocks!

I stopped posting my stuff here because I wasn't sure it fitting this category, but consider it illustration and not digital art.

If I offend any purists, well, it wouldn't be the first time! ;)

Better get of the Net now before I offend my teacher!

09-15-2004, 12:37 PM
I think you did a fine job here. I like the way it balanced out, and the message is clear, both in your text, and your illustration. The use of just the two colors is done in great fashion. Screening, is such a great tool to get more out of your colors.

As a purist, er, slightly conformed, heh, I don't take offense. I use vector programs too. But I was dead set on doing everything by hand, and still do some of my logo work that way just to get the ideas down, then I import them into my vector program. It's a good thing for me to work in both mediums.

Love the work! Don't be a stranger, post more! :)

09-16-2004, 05:38 AM
Thanks coolray! And for some things, like children's book illustrations, I don't think anything can match hand drawn pictures. Vector can lack warmth, but it's that same quality that makes it good for commercial illustration.You're right! Vector is the fantastic with logo work. Any line art that requires crisp edges and curves.

I have been working with the head of the project and gosh, it's been an experience and a half learning about meeting the wants of the client. I'm applying that old adage, "The customer is always right" and following instructions. He wanted me to eliminate the lines, and use that Von Dutch font for some of the headline. It would cost him extra, so I gave him a loose tracing of what Von Dutch would look like in the illustration. I prefer a more sedate look to the headline, but he has a point that youths from 15-25 are very aware of fashion and all the brand names no matter what their background.
I'm attaching the next stage, with the same illustration in outline mode to show that in many ways, it really is like drawing. All the figues I drew on a napkin lol, first them scanned in to use them as the mdels in illustrator.

The next time I post, I'll show both versions, English and French (which is the norm here) with the body text. But, it will have to be finalized and approved because with the body text, I had to sign a waiver stating I wouldn't share the content before it went to press.
Funny all these rules.
Ted's right. Learn as you go!! :)

09-16-2004, 11:48 AM
I would let Illustrator do the default trap. I usually do this for my t-shirt work and it works out well. Also, you might want to have Illustrator print the artwork in separations to insure your artwork is totally spot colored. I quit assuming computers were doing what I thought they were a long time ago.
This also lets you view the knockouts a little clearer.
The spot color screens can drift if the printing media does not have a "linear" acceptance of the ink. For example, I did one design that looked beautiful on a keychain (Plastic. Absolute linear acceptance) but came out like crap on a shirt (Cloth, not linear). Posterboard or heavy stock is very easy to work with.
A final note, be wary of using blends from one form to another using "number of steps". In my experience, this usually causes multiple ink piles from one shape to another. It may look right on the screen, but will never work out on the printer. Your best bet is to use the Mesh tool and masks.

09-16-2004, 12:49 PM
Hey, the android! Thanks for the input and advice. Hmm, thats' interesting to hear. I know blends and gradients can look "stepped" in print with PS 2, but didn't know it was that drastic! I've done the seperations in Quark, and found no CMYK, and in the colour swatch pallete, I started by deleting every default swatch except for the two pantones, and that's still all I have, so I think I'm safe.

I wouldn't use the mesh tool on this because then I'd have to rasterize it to a TIFF to get it to print. If I was doing PS3 printing the blends and the mesh would come out sharp.

09-17-2004, 03:55 AM
Really like what you have done, but in my opinion, the male needs darker skin. This is relatively easy ro do. I have darkened the skin on your male figure subsrantially by mixing the medium orange about 18% -34% opacity, on the circle badge with the med blue shadow,100% opacity and then a 10% opacity of the sleeve blue.

2 Colors doesn't mean the colors have to stay seperate, they can be blended, the printer then places the 2 color screens on the press, blends print very well.

If you want to email me your email address I'll send the pic with darkening.


09-17-2004, 04:06 AM
Here is a link to a 2 color Illustration that was printed very successfullty on a relatively poor grade of paper for a magazine.
It gives an idea of possibilities for blending in 2 color for printing.