Quality control check?

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Quality control check?

How do you do your QC checks when you are designing?

1. 10 point black stroke around the image to make sure there are no stray bits or jagged edges on transparent images.
2. Run gamut check action just to cover my butt.
3. Run 300dpi action on batched images like alphas and buttons that have been exported at 72dpi.
4. Eyeball the image at full size, preferably in a neutral image viewer. Sometimes you can spot things that you wouldn't necessarily spot during workflow. I also look at my papers full size, especially the edges because you can sometimes get a fuzzy border if you don't flatten your image properly.
5. Drag everything into a 12x12 300dpi canvas to see if everything is sized properly. This is when you catch those elements that have somehow missed the resolution conversion.

Bonus step 6: Months later, when I'm randomly looking through folders or 'borrowing' my own design ideas, I'll find an element that has a million things wrong that I never noticed before. smiley

My process generally involves the following:

1. Do all designing work on a 3600x3600 pixel canvas (this is 12" x 12" at 300dpi). That way I start at roughly the right size. If I'm working with an image extracted from a photo or a scan (like buttons, ribbons, flowers, etc.), I can use this to somewhat resize the item using Free Transform, though I err on the side of large at first. Always better to work large.

1b. If I use the fill tool (the bucket) at all, I need to double-check what I'm doing. I've had more than a few instances where I forgot to lock the pixels first, and ended up with jaggy edges due to an overzealous fill tool. Zooming in to check after using the tool can catch these in time to undo and fix my mistake.

2. Once I'm done designing, I run a pair of actions I've set up to draw a thick, red stroke first on the outside, then on the inside, of the graphic. On the outside will catch stray pixels around the image. On the inside catches anywhere pixels are missing (due to how I extracted it, for example, or missing a spot while painting in a gap). I use the eraser to fix stray pixels and the clone stamp and spot healing to fix missing pixels. Then I clear the layer styles.

3. After fixing pixels, I resize to the final dimensions, eyeballing it against the full-size canvas and often cross-checking against lists online of recommended element sizes to make sure the file won't end up too big or too small. I'll copy the item into its own canvas on Photoshop so I don't accidentally save over my working file. This also allows me to triple-check the item's pixel dimensions.

4. Once the file is ready to save, I do a gamut check because even if the palette you're working off of is in gamut, varying shades in your project can introduce gamut errors just due to the interaction of the colors. If I have gamut problems, I usually use the trick of converting the file to CMYK and then back to fix them. If it's too drastic a change, I undo it, and there are other tools I can use to spot-fix the colors.

5. Finally I save, making sure not to use "Save For Web" because that converts everything down to 72dpi. I instead make sure to check the "Save As" dialogue because it does indicate (at least with .jpg) what the final file size should be, in order to keep sizes reasonable and keep resolution at 300.

And I've dealt with Bonus step 6 myself more than enough. The occasional instance where I went, "My goodness, how did I miss that?"

Ditto the above plus I sometimes design an element on top of a kraft or other lightly textured background to check the realism as I’m working. The number of times tha5 I completed an item and then went to use it on a page only to find that I hated it I just can’t tell you! 😆

Thank you, ladies. This is very helpful!