7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 25, 2008 8:03 AM by migduvednok

    Fireworks for print design?

    Derek Snyder Level 1
      I decided to use Fireworks to design a postcard for print but am unsure as to how well it will print. I designed it at 300dpi but when I print it some fonts seems a bit pixelated. Could anyone advise me as to the best way to prepare the file for a printshop? Should I export it as a TIFF? Are there export setting that I should be aware of like 'create outlines' for text in Illustrator?

      THANK you for any guidance!
        • 1. Re: Fireworks for print design?
          Level 7
          Derek Snyder wrote:
          > I decided to use Fireworks to design a postcard for print but am unsure as to
          > how well it will print. I designed it at 300dpi but when I print it some fonts
          > seems a bit pixelated. Could anyone advise me as to the best way to prepare the
          > file for a printshop? Should I export it as a TIFF? Are there export setting
          > that I should be aware of like 'create outlines' for text in Illustrator?
          >
          > THANK you for any guidance!

          The only useful guidance anyone can give you on this is that you have
          chosen the wrong tool for the job. Fireworks was not designed to do
          print work and cannot handle the CMYK color space (among other things).
          You would be better to start again in Illustrator or InDesign if you
          have either and export to print ready PDF (there are several presets in
          both apps).

          Before even going further in FW, contact your printer to see if they
          would accept a TIFF in RGB mode (which is what you'll be able to
          export). I've worked in a screen printing company for years and, even
          though the process is quite different from what your printer will use to
          print postcards, we did not accept bitmap files as they caused all sort
          of problems for color separation to produce films. On the other hand,
          color space was not important for us.

          But for digital printing which is probably what will be used for your
          project, getting a file in the correct color space from the beginning
          might be crucial to your printer as they probably will not want to take
          a chance of making the conversion themselves (it will need to be done)
          which will shift the colors in a manner that may not be acceptable to
          your client. I know we would not take the chance. You're really better
          off creating the piece in a print based application that supports CMYK
          to begin with as well as exporting to more suitable file formats than
          TIFF. A printer may even use a native Illustrator or InDesign file but
          will probably prefer a PDF over anything else.

          Save yourself some hassle and forget Fireworks for print work.

          --
          Stéphane Bergeron
          reach:connect:communicate
          www.webfocusdesign.com
          blog:tutorials:articles:gallery
          www.pixelyzed.com
          • 2. Re: Fireworks for print design?
            Derek Snyder Level 1
            Thanks for the detailed reply. I had come to the same conclusion about needing to redo the design in Illustrator or photoshop. Maybe inDesign. I have used those in the past but find Fireworks so easy to work with that I thought I'd try it for print. Oh well...

            Could you take a quick look at my postcard and advise which program might be best for me to redo this with based on my design? i have 3 specific issues that I am not sure how to do with inDesign or Illustrator. I can do some googling for help but any guidance would be great!

            1. The background color fade
            2. creating the 'CC' logo by merging or flattening two overlapping C's into one entity so that I can apply opacity to it evenly.
            3. creating a drop shadow on the box that I use as a sheet music cover.


            Would inDesign or Illustrator be a better bet for me do you think
            Thanks again,
            Derek (humble cellist)
            • 3. Re: Fireworks for print design?
              pixlor Level 4
              CAVEAT: I've never used InDesign, I'm not an Illustrator expert, and I've never made anything for print.

              However, looking at your postcard, I don't see anything that a vector drawing program (such as Illustrator) can't do. You used the vector aspects of Fireworks, to make it, so you should be able to do that in Illustrator. The CC logo should be easy enough: convert to paths then join.

              I do, however, remember reading something about opacity/transparency effects not giving the expected results when printing, but I don't remember where I read that. (As a Web person, it didn't really apply to me.) Anyway, my point would be to check the results of your drop shadow carefully.
              • 4. Re: Fireworks for print design?
                Level 7
                Derek Snyder wrote:
                > Thanks for the detailed reply. I had come to the same conclusion about needing
                > to redo the design in Illustrator or photoshop. Maybe inDesign. I have used
                > those in the past but find Fireworks so easy to work with that I thought I'd
                > try it for print. Oh well...

                I love Fireworks too but as you are realizing, it really is not well
                suited to print work. I would forget Photoshop as well because, although
                it is misused a lot for design work, that really isn't its forte
                although it will handle print just fine. Photoshop as its name implies
                should be used to edit photographic images, not create layouts.

                > Could you take a quick look at my http://cellocelli.com/LgCardBack.png and
                > advise which program might be best for me to redo this with based on my design?
                > i have 3 specific issues that I am not sure how to do with inDesign or
                > Illustrator. I can do some googling for help but any guidance would be great!

                As it's a one page thing, I would probably use Illustrator but if you
                need more pages, use InDesign.

                > 1. The background color fade

                Not a problem in either InDesign or Illustrator. In either apps, start
                by drawing a regular rectangle and make it the size you need. In
                InDesign, then go to the Effects Panel and apply an Gradient Feather
                effect to your rectangle. The settings should be self explanatory. In
                Illustrator, make an exact copy of your rectangle and apply a white to
                black gradient to it (white will remain opaque, black will be
                transparent). Then select both your original rectangle and the one with
                the gradient and go to the Transparency Panel. In there click the small
                arrow at the top right and select "Make Opacity Mask". This is actually
                closer to how you'd do it in Fireworks but, visually, its the same
                effect as the effect in InDesign.

                > 2. creating the 'CC' logo by merging or flattening two overlapping C's into
                > one entity so that I can apply opacity to it evenly.

                Why would you flatten it? In either of the 3 apps, just take the 2
                letters and convert them to paths (create outlines in AI and ID) then
                join them as one vector shape. Apply simple opacity to the shape. No
                need to flatten as a bitmap.

                > 3. creating a drop shadow on the box that I use as a sheet music cover.

                Both Illustrator and InDesign have drop shadow effects that are
                probably a lot more sophisticated than Fireworks. Simple thing to do in
                either apps.

                > Would inDesign or Illustrator be a better bet for me do you think

                Either would do the job well. InDesign will give you the best control
                over text as well as multiple pages. Illustrator would handle your
                project with ease as well. Stay away from Photoshop as your back to
                dealing with resolution dependent bitmaps and that is also far from ideal.

                HTH!

                --
                Stéphane Bergeron
                reach:connect:communicate
                www.webfocusdesign.com
                blog:tutorials:articles:gallery
                www.pixelyzed.com
                • 5. Re: Fireworks for print design?
                  Derek Snyder Level 1
                  Thanks for the most helpful info! I'm doing it with inDesign and all is going smoothly...excepct:

                  I don't seem to be understanding the gradient tool. I would like to create a fade on a box with a colored background. When I apply the gradient I seem to loose the color and now have a black to white fade. What am I missing or how can i create a fade with the color I have chosen?

                  before gradient
                  after gradient

                  I realize that this is a Fireworks forum but u have such knowledge. :) I appreciate your help.

                  THANKS
                  • 6. Re: Fireworks for print design?
                    Level 7
                    Derek Snyder wrote:
                    > Thanks for the most helpful info! I'm doing it with inDesign and all is going
                    > smoothly...excepct:
                    >
                    > I don't seem to be understanding the gradient tool. I would like to create a
                    > fade on a box with a colored background. When I apply the gradient I seem to
                    > loose the color and now have a black to white fade. What am I missing or how
                    > can i create a fade with the color I have chosen?
                    >
                    > http://cellocelli.com/PoscardNoGradient.pdf
                    > http://cellocelli.com/PoscardWithGradient.pdf
                    >
                    > I realize that this is a Fireworks forum but u have such knowledge. :) I
                    > appreciate your help.

                    Thanks for the kind words. I can help you with this issue but I am far
                    from an expert InDesign user. I have used Fireworks for a lot longer and
                    Illustrator for longer still. But I love ID so here it goes:

                    If you don't need transparency in your gradient and it looks like you
                    don't, you need to have the gradient panel open to edit and even apply a
                    gradient to your rectangle. You don't need the gradient tool... this is
                    not Photoshop ;-)

                    Also, you should be aware that you should probably create your colors
                    before doing your layout. Once you have the colors you need saved in the
                    swatches panel, coloring elements of your design becomes a lot easier.
                    Use the color panel to mix your colors then drag them to the swatches
                    panel. You can give them more meaningful names or leave them as is.

                    Once you have your colors, select your rectangle and have both the
                    gradient panel and the swatches panel open at the same time. You'll have
                    to drag one of the two out of the dock to do so. Make sure the fill is
                    selected in the top left of the swatches panel or your main tool bar. If
                    your rectangle is selected on the page and the fill already has a
                    gradient you should see it in there. If not, select "Linear" under type
                    and change the angle to 90 degrees. Then drag the color swatches you
                    need to the respective gradient swatches in the gradient panel. Select
                    each gradient swatch and adjust its location if they are not 0 and 100 %
                    respectively. For a straight linear gradient like you need it should be
                    really easy. Send me your .indd file if you have trouble and I'll check
                    it out for you: stephane (at) pixelyzed (dot) com

                    The good thing about using an app with a real color management system
                    like InDesign and Illustrator is that, if you change your mind about the
                    color, you just change it once in the swatches panel and the change is
                    automatically reflected everywhere in the doc where you used that color.
                    I really wish Fireworks had better color management with global
                    individual color swatches like that. On the other hand, Fireworks as a
                    lot more gradient types.

                    HTH!

                    --
                    Stéphane Bergeron
                    reach : connect : communicate
                    http://www.webfocusdesign.com
                    blog : tutorials : articles : gallery
                    http://www.pixelyzed.com
                    • 7. Re: Fireworks for print design?
                      migduvednok
                      as a webdesigner i usually also makes cards in teh same design for the customer. I move the graphics into a new document with a DPI of 300, finish the card, saving as JPG. THEN i open it in photoshop and convert it to CMYK colors to see if it does look as intended. then ship it to the printers.

                      but no - FW is not for print work in general. Good for PDF's though.