Hello! I'm BABE ODED. In this post I will share my experience using Clip Studio Paint for printing art. Nowadays, image publication is often done through digital social media. Even so, printing needs are still available. Even in some aspects, printing is needed as an exclusive publication media. There are several basics we need to know in preparing art for print needs that are different from digital publication needs. Starting from setting the canvas up to setting the color profile. Therefore, I have summarized them in this post into 5 tips of printing art with Clip Studio Paint.
I hope this post will be interesting tips for those of you who are looking for printing art using CSP.
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#1 Setting the Canvas Size with Bleed
Usually, to determine the size of the canvas before working, we can define the same dimensions as the dimensions we will publish. But, if we want to print our art, then preferably, we set the canvas size bigger than the final result we need.
For example, in this practice I'm going to create a quote card with the final dimensions being 6 inches by 4 inches. So when we start a new canvas we set the dimensions of the canvas to be bigger than the final dimensions we need. The excess area beyond the final result we need is called "Bleed".
In standard printing, the bleed size should be at least 3mm up to 5mm or you can add more as needed. So, in this example I'm going to set the canvas dimensions to be 6.2 inches by 4.2 inches. So the bleed area in this work is 0.2 inches.
After we set the dimensions, it is equally important that we set the best resolution for printing needs. Resolution is the pixel density in the image which determines the image quality. So if we force the downloaded images on the internet to be printed, there will be "noise" where the pixel fragments will be clearly visible on the print media.
Therefore, the image resolution must be determined from the moment you set the canvas, so that the final print can look good as needed. The resolution for printing needs is at least 300 dpi (dots per inch). More than that number can be set according to the dimensions of print media you use. The larger the print media, the greater the need for resolution.
#2 Setting Crop Mark, Trim Line, Bleed, and Margin
In a print shop, it is possible to print our work in bulk. We as creators only need to design one work and let the printing machine duplicate our work to be printed on large media. This allows the process of cutting print media to produce prints according to the size required.
Therefore, as creators, we must know the safe areas on the canvas so that the important content of our work is not cut off during the printing process. This can be done by displaying the crop marks and margins on our work.
Crop mark is a mark in the form of angled lines located at the corners of the canvas. This mark is connected to the edge of the final size of our work or it is called the "Trim Line". To show the crop marks, go to View > Crop mark / Default border settings.
The settings window will appear. Check the box "Crop mark / Default border". In the section "Crop mark (finish border), input the width and height with the size of the final result we need. In this post I need the final result size to be 6 inches by 4 inches. And in the "Bleed width" section, input 0.1 inches.
The crop mark will cause a bleed area which is the area that will be cut off and removed so that this area does not store important content. Then with crop marks and trim lines make it easier to cut the printout to distinguish areas that are important and areas that can be thrown away.
Now, go back to View > Crop mark / Default border settings. In the "Default border (inner) size" section, input the width and height with the size that the content will start laying on. This means that we leave the space or distance from the edge of the final result to the content on the canvas or what is commonly known as "Margins".
For the margin size, you can adjust it as needed or make it the same size as the bleed. For example, in this post I use the same margin size as the bleed size is 0.2 inches. So that in setting (inner) border I input 5.8 inches by 3.8 inches.
Margins are very important to maintain a safe area in the finished print of our work. Margins also act as breathing space for design elements that will be laid out on the canvas.
#3 Laying Out The Design Elements in The Safe Area
Now, we are ready to design the art elements to fill the canvas. Don't forget to always use the layer feature to make the laying process easier.
In this practical, I have several design elements that are separate layers. Among them are logo, avatar, quote text, tag texts, decorations, and solid background. All of these elements are still stored randomly and I'll show you how to lay them out according to the margin rules we have created.
Save the logo in the upper right corner of the margin edge and symmetrically save the avatar in the upper left corner of the margin edge.
Keep a large decoration in the center of the canvas, leaving the edges to exceed the margin area even to the bleed area. Even though some parts will be cut off but we have saved enough portions to be part of the art.
Save quote text right in the middle of the canvas. You can use the Transform feature [Ctrl + T] to see the center of the object. Make sure no part of the text goes into the bleed area.
Keep it in a rectangular decoration on the bottom edge of the edge. Above it, keep the tag text left aligned so that the edges of the text line up with the logo at the top of the margins.
OK! Now our work is ready to print.
#4 Setting Color Profile
For printing needs, it is very important to use a CMYK color profile which is the primary color of the printer, consisting of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key [Black]. CMYK is a subtractive color that occurs because of the presence of additive color reflections, which affect the pigment color.
The difference is very clear between RGB and CMYK colors. RGB is an additive color that comes from light so that when all the colors are combined it will become a bright white color. Whereas CMYK comes from pigments so that when all the colors are combined it will turn black.
CSP uses color expressions to run a canvas. When we choose full color as the basic color expression, the displayed color profile is RGB.
For that, before we print our art, we have to convert its color profile. Go to View> [Scroll Down] Color profile > Prewiew Settings.
The settings window will appear. Choose the CMYK color profile according to the country standard you need. You can try and compare if you're confused and see the difference in color later. For this practice, I chose CMYK: Japan Color 2001 Uncoated.
In the Rendering intent section, choose the color approach you want. The rendering intent functions as a color adjustment system that adjusts some or all of the colors in an image when there are restrictions on the display or printer. If you are confused, just choose "Perceptual" which means the color approach will be chosen to maintain the visual relationship between the colors so that it is considered natural to the human eye.
In the "Library to use" select "IccLibrary". ICC stands for International Color Consortium which is data to define color input and output on the device used. In order to produce colors that are as accurate as we expect, it's better for each device to use the same color profile.
You can do tone corrections if needed. Click OK to save the settings on the canvas.
#5 Selecting The Best Export File Format for Printing
To see the color conversion properly, we need to export our work to a file ready to publish. I recommend TIFF for printing needs. The consideration is that these format maintain the quality of detail and image color.
TIFF has the advantage of preserving all data and information related to image manipulation and correction processes because these image files are not compressed. This file is also capable of storing images with 32 bit color depth. However, this file size is relatively large compared to other file formats.
To export, go to File> Export (single layer)> .tif (TIFF). Then specify a storage directory.
The settings window will appear. In the Output image section, you can check the "Crop mark" if you want to add a crop mark to the print.
In the Color section, change the Expression color to CMYK color. Then check "Embed ICC profile". Adjust other parts as needed. Then click OK to save the image.
OK! That's all I can share. Hope it is useful and please support me to make more tips.
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