Monday, November 9, 2015

Postcard Printing Problems

The woes of black and white printing.
      Can you see the difference between the card on the bottom and the card on the top?  When I sent this file to Vistaprint, (shout out to Vistaprint, who reprinted these for free)  it appeared to me to be a solid white background. My monitor did not show this square of grey on the bottom card. (I pumped the contrast for you for this photo)   I thought a black and white promotional mailing would be a bit easier to prepare than color postcards. No calibration of monitors that are off. No RGB to CMYK disappointment.   But, surprise, surprise there is always a way for the simplest things to become complicated.  What shoulda, coulda, woulda to do?

1. Print the card on your own printer before sending off to printing house.  The light from my monitor is enough to obscure this small amount of gray. The print out proof would have shown me an obvious problem.

2. Use the eye dropper tool in Photoshop with the info box open.  This will show exact percentages   of color (even tiny amounts of black)  anywhere in your image. Even if they look pure white on screen.

    What I did wrong:  I took a greyscale image and then added a couple of layers with truly white backgrounds for the text and added width of the card.  That art layer did not have a pure white background.  Once I added the other layers with truly white backgrounds, I should have seen the difference.  But my monitor did allow. If the grey would have covered the entire printed piece,  it would really have looked fine to send out.   Next time I will be sure the background of any greyscale image is pure white using, the lasso to select and delete, bump the levels or using curves.  Lesson learned!

Promotional mailings may be the first time a client sees your work.  We want them to say, "I want to see more!" Not, "I wonder how that happened?"

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Being a Pack Leader

            I like a simple life.   I have one dog, one kid, one husband.  I’ve often wished that I had one focus for my creativity.  I see so many of my fellow artists and writers stick to their pursuits with such single mindedness I can only dream about.  I’ve often questioned why I  have a studio cramped with a sewing section, a clay section, a bookmaking section and a painting section.  I’ve wondered why, on some days, my abilities are illusive, my priorities unclear.  Well, I’ve finally realized that I have been blessed with a multitude of muses.  I finally have accepted my “jack of all trades” approach to creativity isn’t the work of one wacky muse.  I’ve got a bunch!  I just need to step up and be a good leader to them all.  I’m starting to listen to those creative partners.  Ignoring one’s desire for attention over another, gets my head spinning.  Not allowing the right creative spirit to be in the lead wastes away my day as I force the work, when I should be flowing with it.  

              Cesar Milan says, we should be the pack leader with our pets. I say that applies to my pack of creative partners as well.  My multitude of muses, have been stuck in the wrong order.  I have not been the best leader.  I have tried to control the outcome without listening to the needs of my pack. If my muses and I were a sled team, many days I've placed the wrong dog in the lead and we've ended up with disastrous drawings or wretched writing.   Art was created, but it was slow going and anything but good. 

          I vow to my pack, from now on, I will send up the right partner to whisk us down the trail of creative bliss. Hike!