18 Replies Latest reply on May 2, 2012 11:18 PM by _Chris_S3

    How to print a greeting card?


      So I'm making a greeting card and I want to print it out on one sheet of paper so that it has a an inside. I already made the card, I just cant figure out how to print it though. Also, I want it to cover the whole paper, front and back, and with the highest quality possible. If someone could walk me through this it would be MUCH appreciated! Thanks

        • 1. Re: How to print a greeting card?
          [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

          You would set up this as two pages (probably in Landscape mode). Since you mention "inside", I think you mean it's to be folded in half after printing. So on the first InDesign page, draw the Front stuff on the right hand side, and stuff that's going to be on the back (after folding) on the left halve. On page two of your InDesign document, it's the reverse: what you draw on the left side will be on the other side of the front (again, after folding). You would typically leave this blank and draw your "Hello!" on the right halve, so the surprised reader will see it right away after opening your card.


          As for printing: that totally depends on what your printer is capable of ... it has nothing to do with InDesign itself. If your printer allows, print double-sided (and for a landscape document, "flip on short edge"). To print edge-to-edge, your printer also has to support that. Check the manual for if/how to do both.

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          • 2. Re: How to print a greeting card?
            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

            Let's back up a bit.


            When you say you want it to print out on one sheet of paper so it has an inside, do you mean you will open the card and there will be printing on the inside? How are you printing the card? What size is the finished, folded card?


            If the card is going to have printing on both sides of the sheet, you need to lay out two pages and print them back to back. If the card is small enough you can print the inside and outside on the same side of the sheet and add an extra fold (like folding a sheet into quarters). You might want to make what's called a "folding dummy," which is a blank sheet of paper the size you will use to print that you fold to the same configuration as the finished card. Withthe dummy folded you then label each panel with it's position (like front, inide left, inside right, back) and an arrow to indicate the orientation. Unfold the dummy nad you can see which pieces of the card belong on each side of the the sheet and the position on the sheet, and if they need to be rotated.


            " I want it to cover the whole paper, front and back, and with the highest quality possible." So I'm not clear what this means, but if you want to use the whole sheet, you fill the whole sheet, but keep in mind that most desktop printers and commercial copiers cannot print to the edge of the sheet, so if you have content that bleeds (extends to the edge) the normal proceedure is to add a bleed allowance to the outside of the layout and extend your art beyond the edge of the page, then print on a larger sheet and trim off the excess.


            Highest quality possible depends on how you print, the paper, and what you are using in the card in terms of artwork. Vecor shapes and type can be prited at any size without losing quality, but raster images (photographs and similar art that is created in Photoshop ora similar image editor) have size limitiations based on the resolution. Format (.tif, .psd, .jpg, .gif, etc.) of raster art also affects the quality of the image in print. Highly compressed jpegs, for example are never going to look good in print, even if they have sufficient resolution. For digital printing you will want to shoot for an effective resolution of 200 ppi, for offset 300 ppi. Effective resolution is the resoltion of the image at the size it will be printed, and you can find it by selecting the image in ID and checking either the link information in the Links panel. or by opeing the Info panel and reading it there.

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            • 3. Re: How to print a greeting card?
              _Chris_S3 Level 1

              1. Well I am printing the card on a Canon Mg6120 printer, if that's what you mean.


              2. The size of the card after it will be folded is 8.5H x 5.5W (before folding the width would be 11)


              3. As far as the artwork, I have used some pattern overlay's and various brush designs in photoshop along with a few images that are somewhat transparent and some text.


              4.Finally, I did try a test sheet and it had spaces between the middle and also between the edges. I would prefer for there not to be spaces, I'm also printing on card stock paper if there is a certain setting for that.

              • 4. Re: How to print a greeting card?
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                OK, the printer seems to be a desktop inkjet photo printer that can handle borderless prints at 4 x 6 inches, but I can't find anything about other borderless sizes (and if the page is not listed as borderless in the driver, you don't get a borderless print). To set up for borderless printing you must use the driver (click setup inthe print dialog and ignore the warning), choose a borderless page size, then set ID's own pring dialog page size to "Defined By Driver."


                For a borderless print you would not need to include a bleed on this machine, as far as I know, but my understanding of borderless prints is that they work by scaling the page image, so you may lose some of the edge of your images. I don't own a borderless printer, myself, so haven't got any first-hand expereince. If the printer has a setting for card stock, you'll find that in the driver setup, too.


                I'm not sure waht you mean by spaces betweenthe middle and between the edges. You would get an unprinted border around the outer edge if you have not specified a borderless print. If the art extends to the center of the page, though, I don't know why you would get any white space at the fold.


                So, and Jong ware advised, set up as a 11 x 8.5 page size (landscape). If you want to know where the fiold is going to be, either make it 2 columns with a 0 gutter, or add a guide in the layout. Front panel should be the right-hand half of the first page, and I would advise that it extend just a bit past the fold line in the center -- inkjets are no the most precise instruments and your alignement may be off. It looks better if the front wraps a bit onto the back at the fold than vice versa.


                So you made the art in Photoshop, or at least part of it. What's the effective resolution in ID, as described in my first post?

                • 5. Re: How to print a greeting card?
                  _Chris_S3 Level 1

                  I figured out how to get rid of the spaces. I just needed to make the columns and gutter to "0" as far as the effective resolution, I assume I would need to have it finished first, which I do not. So I will get back to you on that

                  • 6. Re: How to print a greeting card?
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    Effective resolution is the number of pixels divided by the size at which it is being printed. Unless you resample your image, the only way to affect that is to adjust the scaling of the image in ID.

                    • 7. Re: How to print a greeting card?
                      _Chris_S3 Level 1

                      Oh... well the printing size is 8.5 x 11 and Im not sure about the number of pizels. How do I find all that out?

                      • 8. Re: How to print a greeting card?
                        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                        Select an image, then open the Info panel or the Links panel. ID will calculate the effective resolution for you. Youcan ignore the "actual" ppi number that is also listed. That's the resolution listed in Photoshop at the dimension listed in Photoshop, and is completely meaningless.

                        • 9. Re: How to print a greeting card?
                          _Chris_S3 Level 1

                          sorry for the late reply, ive been busy lately. So I have a problem. Im trying to paste it in InDesign using "Place" but I cant move the image once it is "placed" and also it is very pixely even though I saved it as maximun quality from photoshop. It's a JPEG image btw. Any ideas? I'd prefer for it to be as clear as in photoshop.

                          • 10. Re: How to print a greeting card?
                            Michael Gianino Level 4

                            If you select the image with the selection tool (black arrow) and you can't move it, there are a few possible reasons.

                            1. The object (image, in this case) is locked. (Unlock All on Spread from the Object menu.)
                            2. The object is on a locked layer. (Window>Layers, uncheck the lock icon in the layer.)
                            3. The object is on the master page, and you are trying to move it on the document page. (Command/Shift click on the object on the document page to release a copy, or just move the object from the master page to the document page.)
                            4. There is an object above the one you want to move, which you may be clicking on when you think you are clicking on the image. (You can click through a stack of objects if you hold the Command key.)
                            • 11. Re: How to print a greeting card?
                              Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                              _Chris_S3 wrote:


                              and also it is very pixely even though I saved it as maximun quality from photoshop. It's a JPEG image btw. Any ideas? I'd prefer for it to be as clear as in photoshop.

                              Very pixely on screen, or in your print? On screen you are looking at a preview in ID, which is never as good as looking at the actual pixels, which you see in Photoshop. At the same scale, however, you should get the same quality in print from either application. To imporve the appearance on screen, View > Display Performance > High Quality Display. If the print is poor quality, and if that isn't caused by low resolution due to scaling, you may find that you'll get better results by changing the Send Data field in the Graphics tab of the print dialog from Optimized Subsampling (the default) to All.


                              Jpeg is never the best choice for format for print, by the way. Even on the maximum quality setting it is a lossy compression method and introduces compression artifacts. The effect is cumulative, as well and your images are destroyed a little more each time you resave as jpeg. ID supports native .psd and .tif formats, both of which are better choices for print work.

                              • 12. Re: How to print a greeting card?
                                _Chris_S3 Level 1

                                Alright, so now I have it placed and figured out how to move it. The High Quality Display made it look a little better, but it's still a little pixely on the computer. I haven't had a chance to print it out yet. I'd like to print a qucik sample to see how it will look, but I'm not sure how. When I click on print, it gives me SOO many diffferent options "General"..."Setup"..."Marks and Bleed"... "Output"... Graphics"... "Color Management"..."Advanced"... and "Summary" and Im not sure what to do to make it a high quality greeting card. Any advice?

                                • 13. Re: How to print a greeting card?
                                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                  On the General tab you probably don't need to do anything other than verify the number of copies. The other defaults should be OK.


                                  In the setup tab, make sure the page size listed is the same as in the paper tray on the printer, or that it says "Defined by driver" and that you've entered the print driver (click the setup button and ignore the warning) to set the page size to match. We discussed printing borderless earlier, and in general you must select borderless page sizes in the driver. Also check the orientation so it matches your document, and the scaling, which probably needs to be at 100% unless you've designed this card at a different size than you intend to print it. I would change the page positioning from upper left to centered.


                                  On to Marks and Bleeds... Did you include a bleed allowance? Are you printing on oversize paper and trimming, or just printing to the edge of the sheet? Can't really tell you what to set here without knowing those details. From your earlier disecriptions, though, I think you can leave this section blank.


                                  Output should be set for Composite RGB for non-postscript printers (which I believe describes yours). If you used transparency, check the Simulate Overprint box.


                                  On the Graphics tab most users find the print is a bit better if you change the Send Data field to "All."


                                  On color management it usually is best to Let Indesign Determine Colors, but you need to turn off any printer based color management in the printer's control panel becasue you don't want to manage the color in both places. If you have a custom printer profile you can use it, otherwise leave the profile set for the document space.


                                  On the Avanced tab I would probably change the Transparency Flattener to High Resolution.

                                  1 person found this helpful
                                  • 14. Re: How to print a greeting card?
                                    _Chris_S3 Level 1

                                    Alright, so I just printed out my first test copy on regular paper. The problems I'm noticing are first, it's a little pixely. Not too bad, but if it's possible to make it look HD, that would be nice. Also, I placed direct .JPEG images. That may have something to do with it, but Im not sure what else to use taht would have better quality.


                                    The next problem is that It pretty much fits, except about a quarter inch or less gets cut off from the right side of the inside page.


                                    The third problem I'm having, which isn't a huge problem because I do own scissors, but there is roughly a quarter inch border going around it.


                                    The final and biggest problem is that one side is upside down. As a greeting card, I need both sides facing up. I have a "duplex setting" on my computer which I used. Im not sure if that has anything to do with that. Just thought I should let you kow though.

                                    • 15. Re: How to print a greeting card?
                                      Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                      JPEG is never the best format for high quality images. Even at its best quality level  it is a lossy compression method. Once saved as jpeg, however, there is nothing you can do to improve the quality. You can prevent cumulative damage by saving any revisions as TIFF or PSD, but you can't fix any damage done by the first compression. That said, high quality jpeg is usually good enough for print, presuming the image is good to begin with. Most of the PDF presets actually use jpeg compression when downsampling over-large images, and for commercial printing it's invisible.


                                      Your choice of paper will have a lot to do with the quality of the print, as will the setting you've used in the print dialog in the graphics section under Send Data. Change it to All for the best print. If there were compression artifacts, though, they won't go away.


                                      It's not unusual for there to be misalignments front-to-back or page to page on a desktop printer, and there is no way for you to control this, nor is the shift likely to be consistent. These machines don't have positive paper feed stops and grippers like presses, and are manufactured to low tolerance. A shift in any direction of +/- 1/16" is pretty typical, but it could be more. You should design your layout with that in mind. Your non-printing border may be exaggerating the problem, too, as might be using automatic duplex. For critical alignment I find using the same feed for both sides helps, and usually the bypass tray is better, if you have one, but that is not cast in stone.


                                      If you want to duplex, your driver should have settings for adjusting which edge to flip around. Various manufacturers call them different name, but they all do the same thing. If side two is rotated 180, shcoose the other option for page flip.

                                      • 16. Re: How to print a greeting card?
                                        _Chris_S3 Level 1

                                        If it helps, I didnt delete the original PSD template for this reason, just incase a JPEG wouldnt be the best. Would it better to open up the originaltemplate and save it as something else? If so, then what should I save it as that would be compatible for CS5?

                                        • 17. Re: How to print a greeting card?
                                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                          You can place the .psd

                                          • 18. Re: How to print a greeting card?
                                            _Chris_S3 Level 1

                                            PHEW! I finally got this to work! Thanks everyone who helped me out!