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Selecting the Right Paper for Your Project

One of the most important considerations in any design project is the color, weight, and surface properties of the paper chosen for the job. Paper is usually divided into two basic categories: coated and uncoated.

Coated paper is typically only available in shades of white or cream and has smooth surface that is ideal for 4-color printing and detailed imagery.

Uncoated paper is a less expensive alternative that offers a warm, casual feel and can give a piece with limited color additional color depth.

 

Data That is Just Your Type

Just as there are different software programs for different design task, there are also different types of data information that make those programs work effectively.

Raster data is used to describe small areas of color information (pixels) within scanned images. Type can also be "rasterized", which eliminates font problems but can make small type hard to read.

Word processing programs create pages of type, and the data that describes those pages is called symbolic data. This data is editable and easy to work with.

Vector data describes the shapes, lines and fills for the drawings and type created in an illustration program.

A bitmapped file uses, bitmap data, which usually can't be edited and describes all of the elements on your page in terms of the resolution of the output device.

 

Color Measurement Systems

Color is measured with automated, handheld instruments that each provide different types of information in different ways.

A colorimeter measures reflected light using the CIE Standard Observer measurement system.This system uses a mathematical model to express what we see as color and is stated in numerical form.

A densitometer also measures amounts reflected light, but it is measured as density and helps a press operator control the density of the ink film. If an ink gets too thick, it can cause subtle changes in color, which can in turn cause inconsistencies within one print job.

A spectrophotometer captures the best description of color, is the most consistent, and replaces the need for the previous two instruments. It uses CIELAB to give values to its measured ink.