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  1. #1
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    This one is for nsr. Sorry it took so long to post, but I forgot about it LOL. It was sitting half-done on my desktop for a couple weeks.

    Print collateral refers to any graphic document that will be printed, such as business cards, letterheads, brochures, pocket folders, and so on. Print collateral is quite a bit different from web graphics, in a few ways:
    1. Print collateral requires a higher resolution. Web graphics are always created at 72 dpi (dots per inch), because that is the only resolution available in monitors today. Print graphics, however, require a resolution anywhere between 150 and 600 dpi, although most people create print work at 300 dpi. That's the generally accepted resolution.
    2. Print collateral requires either CMYK mode (4 color digital printing) or Pantone, or some other color profile setup (2+ color-match printing). As you all know, web graphics require RGB color mode, because that's how screen colors are generated. I'll get more into detail about this later.
    3. Print collateral requires attention to your borders. If you want something to "bleed" (extend beyond the edge of the medium) you have to overlap your artwork by about 1/4" to allow for fault-tolerance in the die-cutting.

    So there are the basics. Now that we understand some of the environment that we're going to work in, here's some specifics on how to make a collateral item with Adobe Illustrator. Most graphic artists like to use Quark for assembling print jobs because it's easier to set up (it's made for that). I personally prefer Illustrator because it's easier to transport your work between print and web that way, and well, I'm a web guy, not a print guy. So here goes:

    How to Make a Business Card in Illustrator (Corresponding screen shots posted below):
    1. In Illustrator, hit Ctrl+N to create a new document. Leave the size at the default 612pt x 792pt and the color in CMYK mode.
    2. Hit Ctrl+K to open your "Preferences" dialog, and select the "Units & Undo" settings page.
    3. Set your "General" units to "Inches". This will make it easier for both you and the printer to work with.
    4. Switch back to the "General" preferences page and make your "Keyboard Increment" 1/4 inch. This means every time you move something with the keyboard, it will move in 1/4" jumps, making your life easier.
    5. Switch to "Guides and Grid" settings, and set the "Grid Line" spacing to 1 inch, with 16 subdivisions. This will allow you to snap to as little as 1/16".
    6. In the top menu, select "View - Show Grid" and "View - Snap to Grid".
    7. In the top menu, select "File - Document Settings" to open your Document Settings dialog. In this dialog, set your document size to 3.5 x 2 inches. This is the standard size of a business card, so you won't have to pay extra for a custom size.
    8. Switch to the "Printing and Support" page and set your resolution to 300 dpi.
    9. Click "Ok" and look at your drawing pane. There will be a rectangle the size of a business card there. All that's left now is to fill that up with the contents !!! Since this tutorial isn't about DESIGN, but technical layout etc., I'm only going to show you some basics.
    10. Always consider spacing when laying out your business card. I like keeping spacing consistent throughout. In this example, I've drawn a 1.5" square on the left of the card, with a 1/4" border all around. This square might represent your company's logo.
    11. Now, on the right of the card, I've added a text area, maintaining the 1/4" spacing all around. By keeping space around the card, I allow the printer plenty of space to do back-to-back die cuts, which results in a cheaper card than one containing bleeds (ink that runs to the edge of the card).
    12. Now I've filled the text area with information. This could be any pertinent information related to your business or services that you offer. Usually, though, it's just your name, title and business contact information. Always remember to treat text as a graphical element. It has size, shape, color, and weight. You should put as much thought into the layout of your text as you do everything else in your card.
    13. In this last example, I'm demonstrating how to create a bleed in your card. By overlapping the "crop marks" by 1/4", I'm allowing the printer plenty of room for error in die cutting the card. I'm not using traditional crop marks in this card, but by making the document size the exact size of the card, the crop marks are defined in the document's properties itself.

      Also, Notice the top left corner of the bleed lines up with the corner of the crop marks. Don't do this. Your full bleed graphic should not "line up" with any edges of the cards. Remember that the cuts are imperfect, and it will never look right.


    Well, that's about it. I hope that's enough to get you guys started!

    The images are below.

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  3. #2
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