For a long time now, Photoshop has reigned as the premier image-editing application for print designers and production artists. In fact, those of us in the print and publishing fields have become so dependent on Photoshop that it’s hard to imagine life without it. In the early days of Photoshop, it was considered primarily a tool for graphic designers (ah…the good old days). But with the advent of digital photography, and the development of web and multimedia design, Photoshop’s demographic has widened considerably over the years. Nowadays, Photoshop is used not only by print designers, but also by web and multimedia designers, digital photographers, videographers, and professionals in fields from medicine to law enforcement. Our old friend Photoshop sure has come a long way.
So where does that leave print designers? Are we not important anymore? Has Photoshop turned its back on us in favor of other forms of digital media? Well, judging by the change in Photoshop training over the years, you might think so. I can remember a time not so long ago when every Photoshop book on the Barnes & Noble shelf was for print designers (sigh). Now it’s hard to even find one Photoshop book that was written specifically for you, the print designer.
That’s where this book comes into play. I haven’t forgotten about you, because I’m one of you. And despite evidence to the contrary, Photoshop hasn’t forgotten about you either. In fact, Photoshop CS3 contains a multitude of new features and improvements that can greatly enhance your print production workflow, including a new Curves dialog box, a new Black And White adjustment feature, and editable filters known as smart filters (just to name a few).
This book focuses solely on the various Photoshop features that are used on a daily basis in print design and production. Unlike other Photoshop books that attempt to reach every available demographic (which is virtually impossible anymore, considering the depth of the application), this book was written for you and you alone. I purposely did not include a web design chapter or any digital photography tips. My intent was for this book to become your print design companion. The chapters within should serve as a reliable resource that you can refer to again and again for answers to all your print design questions—and you won’t have to wade through pages and pages of unrelated (and unwanted) material. My hopes are that you will come to rely on this resource almost as much as you do on Photoshop.