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Making It Final

  • star.jpg ACA Objective 5.1
  • star.jpg ACA Objective 5.2

If the client is happy with the design, it’s time to save it in its final forms. Because this is a print job, you are going to save the project in a few formats to support various uses. Often, the final formats you need to deliver will be specified by the client or the print shop you’re using. When in doubt, always check with the client to pin down the formats they need for the final design. If the client does not have strong preferences here, you may have to guide the client in making these decisions. A good designer should have a few reputable print houses to refer the clients to where you know the workflow.

Convert to Flat CMYK

You know that this document is going to be commercially printed on an offset press, so you need to convert the Photoshop document to CMYK. You will also flatten the file to reduce its size.

Flattening a document merges all of the visible layers and discards anything that is not visible. Make sure that you have the document in its final visual form, ready to go to press, and then flatten it as follows:

  1. From the Layers panel menu, choose Flatten Image (Figure 4.48).

    Figure 4.48

    Figure 4.48 You have multiple ways to flatten a document, but using the Layers panel is the most convenient.

  2. When the warning appears asking if you want to discard hidden layers, click OK.

The layers are converted into a single background layer.

Now that the Photoshop document is flattened, you will want to convert it to the CMYK color space. To do so, choose Image > Mode > CMYK Color to put the document in the color space that is needed for commercial presses (Figure 4.49). Click OK in the confirmation dialog box that appears.

Figure 4.49

Figure 4.49 CMYK is the color space used by commercial presses. Convert your documents to CMYK before sending them to press to avoid color problems in your final product.

Save a Flat Copy

Now that you have flattened this document and converted it to CMYK for the press, you will save the document to send to the printer. Because you do not want to overwrite your layered document, you are going to save the print-ready version as a separate file.

Be sure to choose File > Save As so that you do not overwrite your layered original. Save your document as ShowFlyerFLATCMYK.psd in the same location that you saved your original documents.

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