Archive for May, 2008

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Flash has been the “releaser of energy” for all the trendy web designers on the Internet because it allowed them to express more of what they wanted to say. Soon, Flash had literally taken over thousands of websites. While Flash can be successfully used in web sites with profiles in music, multimedia, online games, interactive activities etc, on most sites Flash is used for the sake of using it and raises serious issues for users.

  • Most users are still – despite what many believe – on slow Internet connections such as dial up. Flash is not bandwidth friendly and many designers do not create Flash files bearing this issue in mind. Users on slow connections have to wait a fair bit of time before the web page with Flash loads.
  • There are still many users who do not have the Flash player installed and they are not willing to or don’t know how to do it.

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There are very good reasons why limiting the use of Flash is important:

1. Information embedded in Flash is often invisible to search engines


Most Internet navigators begin a web session with a search engine. Information hidden in graphics formats, such as Flash, is difficult, if not impossible, to find and process. While search engines such as Google try their best to extract links and textual content buried in Flash objects, the process is far from perfect. Sites constructed completely in Flash often offer very little textual information – consequently what information a search engine does find ranks poorly. Even sites partially constructed using Flash often “hide” their internal site links using Flash based site navigation.


2. Website reporting on Flash navigation is problematic and cumbersome


Web analytics systems help marketing professionals evaluate website visitor behavior in and around a website, providing actionable information valuable in improving a website’s business performance.


Web analytics tagging is often an after thought. Flash Action Script coding adds extra implementation cost and complexity. Flash designer(s) are often unfamiliar with web analytics requirements and thus don’t consider Flash events tagging requirements during site design. Implemented tag verification is a tedious process as it requires waiting for data to appear in the reporting system – hours or days later. Flash does not provide referrer information, making it very difficult to track navigation paths.


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As mentioned in the previous article, one of the key things to note when working for any print project is the resolution of the image. The other factor to note is color mode – specifically for all print projects, your ultimate destination would be CMYK. Why not RGB? This is because printers create colors differently on a printing press as opposed to colors on a computer screen. In Photoshop, a good way to gauge how a printed work would look like on paper is to turn on Proof Colors. If anything looks wrong or not what was intended, make the appropriate adjustments. Seek to foster a good relationship with local printers, as they will be invaluable when it comes to getting advice and ensuring a job well-printed.


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When working in Photoshop, one of the things to note before a new canvas is started would be resolution. Resolution here refers to the number of dots used in an image, per inch or what is often termed as ‘dpi’. For an image to print in good quality on paper, it needs to have at least 300 dpi. Generally, this is set as the standard and would bring about a good finish for say, a magazine. For newspapers, the dpi can be brought down an acceptable level of 200 or even 150 dpi for the same image. That’s because the quality of the print also depends on the quality of the paper being used, and the better the paper, the lesser the spread of the ink across the paper during the printing process. So generally, it is good to take note of resolution when preparing work – source images from any stock library, or the settings on the camera and the canvas in Photoshop. The finished image can always be resized downwards for lower quality prints or even screen, but it will be a headache if it needs to be enlarged.

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Verso is the left-hand page of a book or magazine. Recto is the right-hand page of a book or magazine.


ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit

Choke is a term used when a printing image is slightly reduced to prevent a dark overlapped border on a lighter background.

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‘Print-ready’ refers to a graphic design file being formatted to a printer’s needs, so that the printer can make their adjustments in order to print the file appropriately. Although all printers have a pre-press department that can fine-tune files and batch up jobs to a printer, and broker/client must make sure certain actions are taken before it goes to a pre-press department.

The first action is to include “bleed” in the artwork (previously described in post, which is about 1/4″ of extra border on the background of the artwork, so that the printer can then print and cut down to size, resulting in a page where the color goes to the edge of the printed piece.

If a PDF is not being sent, but rather an EPS file, Illustrator file (AI), InDesign file (INDD) or PhotoShop file (PSD), then it is recommended that the artwork be outlined (Select > All, then Type > Create Outlines). Outlining is a function that embeds the fonts in the artwork, so that a receiver of the file does not need the incorporated fonts in order to open the file.

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