Acculink’s graphics department recently experimented with HP SmartStream’s Mosaic feature by producing 10 uniquely designed covers, spines, and edges for a series of journals. HP SmartStream’s Mosaic technology automatically creates millions of designs from just a few core pattern files. The application, HP SmartStream Designer, generates these random images by transforming patterns through Mosaic’s dynamic scaling, transposition, and rotation feature. Spot colors can also be arbitrarily shuffled or replaced to maximize design assets. The possibilities of what Mosaic can offer inspired Acculink’s designers to create projects highlighting the benefits and potential of this feature for their clients.
Some considerations on the cover were made during the design process about how to create the pattern files (also known as Seed files). It’s recommended to use vibrant, complex designs with high contrasting colors for maximum impact. All Seed files are required to be in a CMYK color mode but can include Spot colors (Spot colors must be present to use the Shuffle Spot Colors option). Patterns should be optimized and use small design elements with chaotic, non-linear arrangements. File sizes can be up to 3MB, but smaller file sizes are ideal for rendering the HP Mosaic variations, especially when considering larger variable quantities.
Setting the edge designs posed some cutting challenges with the recommended bleed area. We increased the bleed after our initial press proof for our cutters minimum tolerance of .125″. Also after reviewing the final product, we determined that our future layouts would include more of the edge artwork on the page to integrate it with the page design.
We additionally created a backside view with our logo. Our Acculink logo and tagline were added to this side and originally, it didn’t work well. As seen in the photo below, the copy was too thin and the impact was missing from the logo. During the final run, a pattern was created with just the logo and looked more appropriate.
The following outlines the recommended steps and our initial process. We found that some adjustments were necessary to adjust for bleed but others, like the height adjustments, just made the artwork compress to fit the smaller area.
The HP Mosaic feature allows for spine printing where an image is able to span a set of books. For example, if you have 7 books in a set with a database of 70 records the software will create 10 sets of 7 books. We are currently working to achieve this with our future journal series. This journal was created with the variable artwork on each spine.