Often those in the industry (graphic designers even!) think a designer’s job is to do that and only that—design. That is, the job is supposed to be to create a design that visually communicates the brand strategy and receive the “thumbs up” from the client. Check. Check out . . . well, not quite. Obviously, it is fundamentally important that a graphic designer creates good design. However, as a creative authority on a project, it is also important that a designer creates smart design. It is the client’s place to identify they need a design to “look good” on a PDF or on an laser printout. It is the graphic designer’s responsibility to consider these important factors that affect the outcome of the final product. From there, the client will just expect everything to come out right, and rightfully so. If the designer doesn’t take the time to do this, who will? A designer that always relies on the developer or the pressman to fix their oversights will not be a popular designer. Printer spreads. Image size. Resolution. System fonts. Color mode. There are a multitude of factors that can be controlled during the design and prepress process that will greatly improve a design’s usability in the real world. These rules vary for print and Web design, and it is important to learn them for both mediums. That being said, it is equally important to realize that a designer rarely gets exactly what they want. Sometimes visual perfection is not possible. There are always going to be compromises to be made, but a smart designer knows how to carefully weigh each factor and make an educated decision that benefits the design. Part two of this blog will focus on “Ensuring your Print Design Can Be Realized in the Real World”.