How To Turn Your Stencils Into A Printed Book

Looking to have your art published but don’t know where to start or what to do?

The task might seem a bit daunting once you start getting into scans, image resolution, and graphic design software. We’re no stranger to the process; Kingpin has published books and flash for hundreds of artists over the years. There’s more than one way to turn that stack of stencils into a bound, published collection of your art. Here are the steps that we take to prepare a book for print:

The first thing you’ll need is a digital version of your art. If you’ve been making your designs in Photoshop, Affinity, Procreate, etc, then you’re off to a great start.  If your art was drawn on paper, you’ll need a high resolution scan of it. You can have your art scanned everywhere from art supply stores to Staples and Kinkos.

Your designs will have to go through some type of graphic design software (regardless of whichever method you used to create your art), and they’ll need to be 300 DPI (Dots per Inch) if they’re going in your book.

The next thing you’ll want to check is your color mode. You’ll see a few different color options in most of the programs that are out there: greyscale, RGB, and CMYK.When it comes to printing your art, you’ll always want CMYK. CMYK is short for “Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black” - the colors that printers use/combine to, in this case, produce a printed copy of your work. If your design document is built using RGB (short for Red, Green, and Blue), you’re very likely to experience some level of color loss, as some RBG color combinations are impossible to reproduce in CMYK. Note: Procreate only supports RGB color mode. Anything exported from Procreate will have to be converted to CMYK in another program (e.g. Photoshop, Gimp, Affinity).

Your page width and height are up to you, but you’ll want to take your page bleed and trim into consideration. If you want your art to appear edge-to-edge, you’ll want to add 1/4” to your dimensions, which leaves an 1/8” on each side of the page to be trimmed down. For example, if you want your book to be 11x17” with art that goes to the edge of the page, you’ll set your page dimensions as 11.25 x 17.25, which will be trimmed down to 11 x 17”.

File type requirement will vary depending on the publisher. We request that the files be saved as TIFF files, but other publishers might ask for PSD, PDF, or JPEGs. 

Once you’ve got your files saved out, we suggest making your own DIY mock-up of your book. It’ll help you determine your overall book layout, and it’ll give your publisher something to reference (hint: we love when artists provide mock-ups).

Complete the following steps and you’ll be ready to send your book in to be printed, bound, and admired! If you’ve got questions about potential book publication through Kingpin, contact us here!