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Client Review

Finally, you’ll get your design ready for client approval, and then save it in a format that you can submit to a commercial printer for offset press reproduction. You want to show the client precisely how the final print results will look in their proper size so that you have no possible misunderstanding when the client gets the final product.

Hiding the Bleed

Because your document has a bleed, the Photoshop document is larger than the final print product. I developed a small trick for working with clients that helps eliminate misunderstanding and gives them a better idea of how the final document will look. You’ll create a new layer the color of the background, and then cut a hole at the cutlines of the guides to simulate the appearance of the final trimmed document.

  1. Click the top layer of your document to select it.
  2. In the Layers panel, click the New Layer icon newlayer.jpg. Name the layer Bleed Sim.
  3. Select the Eyedropper tool tooleyedropper.jpg and sample the background color by clicking it.
  4. Press Alt+Delete (Windows) or Option+Delete (Mac OS) to fill the layer with the foreground color that you just sampled.

    You may need to adjust the layer to make it match perfectly. Choosing Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation often works well with Saturation set to 0 and Lightness set to +9.

  5. Select the Rectangular Marquee tool and select the area defined by your guides.

    By default, the cursor will snap to the guides when you get close to the corners. If it doesn’t, choose View > Snap.

  6. Press the Delete key to delete the selected area.

    Your design now simulates the final trim size and crop of the printed image (Figure 4.44).

    Figure 4.44

    Figure 4.44 After simulating your final print trim, you may wish to adjust the elements on your image.

This method also lets you preview your design as it will look when cut to size. Sometimes it’s hard to visualize the cut document from the guides alone. After this layer is created, you may want to nudge elements or resize items. Feel free to make any changes that you think your document needs.

View at Print Size

To view the design at print size, choose View > Print Size (Figure 4.45). Doing so will simulate the final print size onscreen using the selected resolution. The results are dependent on the proper calibration of your screen resolution, but they should be close to reality. The main problem you’re hoping to avoid with this step is allowing the client to expect a different size because of what she saw onscreen.

Figure 4.45

Figure 4.45 Choose View > Print Size to view the design in the approximate size that it will be printed.

Give Proof

We talked about this when you set up the document, but you’ll also want to verify once again that your document is in soft proof view. You can tell you’re soft proofing because of the CMYK that appears in the title bar of the document panel. You can also toggle the soft proof with Ctrl+Y (Windows) or Command+Y (Mac OS).

At this point, you have a very good simulation onscreen of what the final printed image will look like. Discussing this with the client at this point is critical if you haven’t had much communication so far.

  • star.jpg ACA Objective 5.1

Making Adjustments for the Client

  • star.jpg ACA Objective 4.6

Sometimes a client asks for changes at the final review. It may be editing text, moving elements, or making other more significant changes.

If the client says that the image is too dark and he wants the bass player to have more “pop,” you may have a problem because an adjustment chosen from the Image menu will be limited by the mask you are using for the filters. But you have a simple solution: use an adjustment layer.

Adjustment layers are similar to smart filters in that they affect layers without changing image information. However, by default, an adjustment layer affects all of the layers under it, rather than just one layer. This technique can be really helpful at times, and will work for the final image adjustment that the client requested.

To create and use an adjustment layer:

  1. In the Layers panel, select the uppermost layer that you want to change.
  2. In the Adjustments panel, select the adjustment you want to use. For now, select Curves curves.jpg.
  3. In the Properties panel (Figure 4.46), click the Auto button to lighten the image. You can also choose a preset or manually adjust the curve.

    Figure 4.46

    Figure 4.46 The Properties panel for the Curves adjustments

  4. Minimize the Properties panel (Figure 4.47).

    Figure 4.47

    Figure 4.47 The final design after the client’s changes were implemented

Depending on the image you have and the style your client wants, you may need to experiment with the adjustments. Adjustment layers are completely nondestructive, so you have no chance of damaging your original image. Plus, you can easily show, hide, and combine adjustment layers to get the look you want.

Save the Document

With all the changes made and the client happy, let’s get our final design exported. Before you do, save the document as an unaltered Photoshop file in case the client asks for another change to be made.

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