CDMaker’s CD templates are free but they won’t help you if you’re trying to reprint a CD or DVD where you only have a printed sample and not the digital files. It’s really sad when we hear the stories about WHY it all happened that way. Whether the designer is friend now or not or whether it was just benign negligence or assumption that someone else was supposed to keep track of it, you still need to have something to print.
What are your options?
Then can be a difference between what you CAN do and what you SHOULD do. If your budget is healthy and you have the original pictures or original digital images that were used, it can be as simple as recreating what you have but to do so mean starting from scratch. This means someone will need to take those digital images and your printed sample and literally place them in a new set of artwork files. Yes, it does mean doing it all over again. You pay for someone to recreate it and you need to reproof it again – make no assumptions.
The advantage to this is the resolution ((how clear the photos and text are) is the best. So you’ll get the best result that will look closest to your original print.
Another option is to scan the printed piece – this is usually where everyone in their mind starts – but its less than desirable.
Why can’t I just scan my printed piece? Its the artwork, right?
A printed piece is a representation of your artwork. Technically, when you’re re-printing your artwork – the digital artwork files are what printers mean when they ask for your artwork. They have to have something that tells the press exactly how much ink to place in specific places. If you look at the printed piece in your hand, its helpful to ask yourself, “how will this piece of paper tell the press where to put the ink?”
So then scanning is the answer if I want to save money and not start all over.
Well, it can be.
Look at an example of what a printed piece looks like close up.
Do you see the little circles within circles? Those are often referred to as rosettes.
If you look closely at your printed piece that was printed by a press, you will see that your photo is made up of little dots in combination and they either look blue, red, yellow or black or some combination of two or more.
So how do you think this will impact your reprinting if you are scanning this printed piece with all the dots?
But a scan will be of the picture not these little circles – – right?
It would nice, wouldn’t it? But alas, no. A scan picks up everything – it even picks up the texture of the paper that was used in the printing.
Well how bad can it get?
Here’s a comparison of a high resolution print from a high resolution digital image and a high resolution print from a scanned offset printed image.
This visual pattern that you see in the scan is referred to as “moire” – pronounced – MORE – RAY.
And this isn’t just for images – moire affects any text that is on the same page as an image. So not only do you lose image quality, you lose readability on the text.
Isn’t there some software filter that will get rid of this?
Well, yes and no. But what ends up happening is a LOT of time is spent to get a scanned image as close as possible to the original and that costs time which costs you money. And even spending all that money may not get you significantly closer.
In short, you might find that after all reasonable efforts and time have been spent, you still don’t have the same quality in your digital file that you had in your original digital files that you first used to print.
So what can I do?
If you really don’t have original digital files, and your previously offset printed insert is truly your only source, then a combination of the two techniques might be in order. It really depends on your specific artwork – an image with no overlaying text for example might sucessfully scan and then the text can be re-typeset in a new file and the two merged together.
Either way, you’re looking at additional budget. Do not make the mistake and assume that something can be reprinted if it was ever printed previously. Make a backup of your artwork and take full responsibility for keeping it in your possession. Just because you don’t have the applications used isn’t a reason to assume that you can not benefit in the future by having it.
All CDmaker clients can have a backup upon request during their project for $10 plus postage if pick up is not an option. After the job is completed, back ups can be requested for $25 plus postage which includes a $15 archival research fee for the time for someone to go through all the hard drives for that period.