Saturday, 8 October 2011

What is design for print?

Colour for Print

Using examples of design for branding & identity, packaging & promotion, publishing & editorial, information & wayfinding explore the following colour systems:

  • CMYK (process)
  • Spot Colour (2 or more)
  • Monochrome & Tints (solid colour and half-tone)
Branding and identity

This is not intended for commercial use but I love it all the same. They are spray cans using PANTONE swatches as the main packaging design, simple yet effective. In this case CMYK swatches are used. A nice branding idea that could be used across a range of products.

This branding for ITI uses a number of colours so would probably use CMYK to be cost effective.

Spot Colour
State of the Obvious is a range of merchandise of which the brand quite literally states the obvious. Because most of the products here are black stock with white ink, which would require a spot ink. You can see below how the tote bags are printed using the screen printing process, the t-shirts would also be made in this way. 

 This notebook would either need to use a silver spot ink or the foiling process.

D&AD needs to keep its branding consistent, therefore needs to use an accurate spot colour throughout all of its publications, exhibitions, leaflets etc. The organisation also spans across different countries so the brand colour needs to be kept the same and easily communicated.

Monochrome and tints
This identity is for furniture designers Froystad+Klock. The different coloured stocks are used to separate the two different designers. The simplistic approach to the identity design reflects that of the furniture. Black ink is used on the two different stocks and CD, I really like how different tints are used to create a wooden looking texture on the business cards.

This logo and business card design is a good example of the use of half tones and tints. Even though one colour ink is used, the combination with nice stock still makes it look really nice and well designed.

Packaging and promotion


This is an example of some work created by a second year graphic design student studying in Preston called Ric Bixter. The idea was to take an ordinary object and package it in an interesting way. I love this concept of the elastic band squeezing in the middle of the package. Although it is easy to think that a spot colour would be used for each of the packages, I think commercially it would be more appropriate and cost effective to use CMYK. It isn't a massive brand so not many would be produced, also there is no need for any colour consistency across a range of other products.

This is a package design for a new mobile handset at INQ. The detailed illustration and box inside use a number of different colours all achievable by using CMYK.

Spot Colour

An envelope design by Blow for W Hong Kong Hotels. It looks like a silver spot ink has been used on top of a purple stock. A simple design turned more classy using a special finish.

A special designed package for Pepsi. This design uses the classic Pepsi logo along with a design using different tints from the blue colour used in the logo. Pepsi would use spot colours in its logo to keep its branding consistent throughout all of their packaging.

Monochrome and tints
Backyard vineyards packaging uses monochrome for their packaging. The complex illustration needs no colour, the design speaks for itself. It is cost effective but without making the design look cheap.

This time a champagne bottle packaging, quite similar to the Backyard design. Again the design speaks for itself leaving no need for much fancy colouring. Different tints of a brown colour are used to aid the complex illustration. I think this example of monochrome printing is not to cut price but simply to compliment the design, as the packaging itself looks quite expensive.

Publishing and editorial


I can only assume that Creative review uses CMYK, I didn't have a linin tester on me, but it appears to use process colours. It would also make sense as it is a regularly printed magazine and the branding itself requires no spot colour. So unless it's a special edition I believe it uses CMYK. 

Next I have found Edge magazine. The cover appears to use CMYK along with a metallic type, which would be achieved by foil stamping.

Spot Colour
Eye magazine is an example of the use of spot colour. It uses a fluorescent colour for the logo and a small detail on the spine. This cannot be achieved by using CMYK so a separate plate using the spot colour would have to be produced.

This album is made for people interested in the republic of Burytatia. CMYK is used throughout the magazine, but the cover is black stock with a gold metallic spot colour, which is also used on some of the inside pages.

Monochrome and tints

Exit magazine uses just black and white, so only a black ink would have to be used on a white stock. The density of the ink would vary in places to create different tones.

This Fash/Ed fanzine is printed on recycled stock using different tints of blue. I like this as it gives a different feel from using just a standard black ink on white paper, but without having to spend a fortune.

Information and wayfinding


Another design by Hong Kong based design studio Blow. It is a visual identity and information guide for deTour with the theme 'not guilty', hence the prison character. CMYK would have been used to print this because of the amount of different colours used throughout the design. Also it would be something that you wouldn't necessarily keep, so it would need to be produced at a low cost.

This colourful wayfinding system for a children's hospital is clearly printed in CMYK, as it would be pointless and expensive to print all of those colours using spot inks.

Spot Colour
I have found a direct mail poster for the design studio Hello Monday in the form of an info-graphic. I have had a little trouble working out how this has been printed but found it intriguing. My guess is different tints of a white spot onto a black stock. I really like the finished product and the fact that it made me think so much about how it was printed makes me like it all the better. Really interesting.

This book includes facts and information about democracy and justice in the different countries of Africa. The green used I can only imagine can be achieved by a spot ink, not CMYK. The edition also uses a spot varnish on the cover.

Monochrome and tints
This newspaper supplement Britistics presents statistics about British society. It uses different shades of black ink on a white stock, this makes it cheap to print and also keeps the design simple and informative.

This infographic also uses one ink, varying the shades by using different tints of the same colour.

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