Round That Corner!

A cool, inexpensive and quick way to enhance a project is to add a round corner here or there.  Here are some examples that were used on some business cards (thank you, Erica of ELK Media! Visit the ELK Media portfolio here: )

Round cornering is available on many sorts of projects…magazines, note cards, business cards, etc.  They are available in these sizes:

Here is a sample that shows the relative size to a business card:

Remember to include your BLEEDS and also keep your important copy AWAY from that radius cut!

Call me if you need to know more about this very affordable method of getting ATTENTION with your printed work!


Catch the Dry Trap Gloss Varnish Vibe

Here is a great example of a great application of a dry trap gloss varnish.  This is what dry trap is all about!  Easy to do with instant impact!

Call me if you need to know more about this very affordable method of getting ATTENTION with your printed work!

What does that K mean in CMYK??


oK!  Here, koncise and korrect answer as kopied from a kontestant’s entry: the truth about the K in CMYK:

The ‘K‘ stands for “key,” as in key plate. The three primary inks, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow, are aligned with the press’s key plate, which produces the fine details, outlines, and contrast with black ink.

Some thought it stood for the K at the end of the word “Black” and others thought the K was thrown in so that Blue would not be confused with Black if the letters were CMYB.  Good effort but not true!

And the winner is Mr. Steve H. of Western Colorado!  Steve, you win 100 free business cards for having the 15th correct answer!!

Congratulations and thank you for playing!

The CMYK Four Color Language

Quick!!  What does this mean:

To begin with, you must understand how ink is applied on the paper.  ANY offset process that involves “full color” uses a MINIMUM of the four colors to the left.  These colors are put on the paper with tiny, tiny dots.

These dots are placed VERY close to each other (the finest offset dot available on Earth is called STOCHASTIC printing and you can read about it here.

Above you see a comparison of these dot patterns.  The top is from a newspaper where the dots are visible to the eye.  The next at 175 and still visible to the eye.  The last one is our version of the dots…which you can’t see without a lens.  They are simply too small.  My hope is that you can see how offset printing is really just the individual dots of C, M, Y and K ink.

For clarity, here is an enlargement of the top image (or, just go find a magnifying lens and start looking at printed pieces).

No mixing…just patterns that trick your eye into seeing colors that are not on the paper.  Even lousy printing succeeds at this mission!

So..if you were going to print FULL color on BOTH sides of a sheet, this is how you would represent that process:

4 / 4 …which means CMYK “over” CMYK…or full color, both sides.  This is read as follows “four over four”.

SO, let’s invent a few more formulas:

4 / 0 Means: Full color on one side and NOTHING on the other side (kind of like a poster)

4 / K means: Full color on one side and BLACK ink on the other side (traditional post cards use this)

4 + FLOOD VARNISH / SAME means: Full color then a flood varnish coating on both sides of the sheet (learn more about coatings here)

4 + PMS + SOFT TOUCH AQ + DRY TRAP SPOT GLOSS VARNISH / SAME means: Full color plus a Pantone color (silver? fluorescent green? you must specify) plus a soft touch flood the a dry trap of a spot of varnish on BOTH sides of the sheet.  Again, learn more about floods and coatings here).

We could invent many different combinations of this formula but this should give you the basics so you know how to speak the language.  Is this the Language of Love?  Not really…I would not recommend bringing this subject up while cuddling in front of the fire this weekend.   But it IS the language of printing and I love printing so, I guess, it COULD be some sort of language of love?

A simple light lesson

The other day we had a bulb replaced in the office:

The above image was taken just after we had a new bulb replaced.  Both pillars are painted the SAME COLOR yet the two different fluorescent bulbs totally tweaked the color of the paint…one looks almost white and the other (closer one) is more of a tan.

Remember this when you consider and examine your print projects.  Usually you have no idea what light the project will use when being viewed.  Daylight to incandescent lighting is a HUGE jump in reflective color.  Not everyone will look at that brochure under ideal conditions (and some are color blind too…).

Photo Contest #243-K (I have lost track)

Think you

know what

this is??

Email me at with your guess.  Be the SEVENTH CORRECT answer and win this FABULOUS LIZARD (see below).

Guess Right and Win ME!

Font-tastic information

I am not sure if you have ever visited but, if you have not…you should!  Go get a cup of coffee and poke around the site…there you will find a TON of information specifically for the graphic arts world.

Ilene's Book

One article in particular caught my eye that was written by Ilene Strizver.  Ilene is an expert on fonts and it you may want to check out her columns at and maybe even get her book, Type Rules.

But first, please read this post by her and inventory your font world and find deep meaning in these truths!  TypeTalk: Five Typographic No-Nos

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