Work experience at Cerberus – Learning about Graphic Design by Stuart Wells

My name’s Stuart Wells and I’ve been doing work experience at Cerberus for a few months now. I started in October, wanting to gain vital experience to help me learn more about graphic design to prepare myself for a University degree in graphic design. The experience so far has given me confidence in my graphic design skills and given me the knowledge of what it is like designing inside a business.

When I first started at Cerberus, I didn’t have a clue how to use Adobe InDesign (the main software used within the business). However, since then I have been able to produce designs for some of Cerberus’ clients with very positive results. While being here, I have also learnt a lot of information about the printing process which will be very beneficial to me in the future, as a graphic designer needs to know what the printer is capable of doing. I thought I would share with you a bit about what I have learnt over the past nine months to hopefully help you when it comes to the printing process.

An illustration I did on Adobe Illustrator, representing Kirkby Stephen

Colour management in print

Colour is actually slightly more complex than you may have thought when it comes to printing. The printers here at Cerberus use either a RGB or CMYK colour spectrum. RGB is made up of Red, Green and Blue whereas CMYK is made up of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black). RGB is used within the business for art prints, photographs and wide-format posters. Photographers cameras shoot in RGB, which will make it easier to send straight to the printer. CMYK is used for general printing, whether that be for business cards, brochures or greeting cards. RGB can be converted into CMYK and vice versa.

Colour can vary slightly from what you see on-screen to what comes out of the printer, so it is preferred that you convert your artwork from RGB to CMYK before sending it to Cerberus, so you are able to see if there is any colour variances. I can also go on to talk about gamut’s and colour spaces. A gamut is a range of colour that a particular device can capture and a colour space is a predefined specification that holds a specific group of colours.

If you would like to learn more about gamut’s and colour spaces then I highly recommend this video: Gamut & Colour space explained

What is resolution and how does it affect my artwork?

In my time, I have also learnt about image quality and image size. Image quality refers to the resolution of the image, resolution is based on how much detail an image has. We can also look at dpi for resolution. Dpi stands for dots per inch; the more dots – the better quality the image will be. The desired dpi to work with is around 300 dpi, in fact 300 dpi is usually a bit more than you need but it’s always good to be on the safe side. 300 dpi is great because it will give a great quality image but won’t be too big. By “big”, I’m relating to the size of the megabytes or gigabytes that the image will have. If an image has a super high quality, it will likely be a large file size and therefore may be difficult to work with (e.g. send via email), however if the image is intended to be printed very large, it will need to be a much higher quality so that it retains its detail when blown up to a big size. Bringing me to my next point that you have to think about how large you would like the image to be printed:

If you are planning on putting a high-quality image onto a business card, then that is fine as the image will retain its quality. If you are planning on putting a low-resolution image onto an A1 poster, I would recommend thinking again as the image will have to be stretched and will therefore look pixelated. Before sending your artwork to Cerberus, make sure the image is a high enough quality to print to ensure your final product doesn’t look unprofessional.

Bespoke stationary set I designed using Illustrator and InDesign

Thank you for reading! I hope this was helpful and delivered some useful information. If you have any further questions or would like to print something with Cerberus’ services, don’t hesitate to contact us. You can contact Cerberus by clicking here!

Cerberus Printing

Cerberus is an independent print and design company based in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, initially created from a fascination and passion for the beauty of print.

We opened our doors 30 years ago, and have been delivering high quality print and graphic design services to our customers locally and nationally ever since. We offer a friendly, personal service, ensuring that your needs are met through a seamless process from start to finish.

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