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Print Production Fundamentals
Illustration by John Hersey

Building a simple three-panel brochure


From:

Print Production Fundamentals

with Claudia McCue

Video: Building a simple three-panel brochure

One of the more common types of projects you might work on is a three-panel brochure. I'm going to create one here in Illustrator. I need two artboards, one for the outside, one for the inside. I think in inches, so I'm going to change my units to inches, and I'm going to put 1 inch between my artboards so I have plenty of room. I want to make sure that I have bleed, and I need to make sure that my document is the right size. Now this is going to be a 4 x 9 rack brochure. The width of it's going to be roughly 3 times 4, but remember that third panel has to be short so that it can fold in.
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  1. 2m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 7m 5s
    1. What is print production?
      1m 51s
    2. Understanding roles and responsibilities
      5m 14s
  3. 13m 49s
    1. Communicating with your printer
      3m 49s
    2. What does the printer do with my files?
      2m 39s
    3. Understanding the importance of contract proofs
      1m 57s
    4. Handling corrections and alterations
      2m 8s
    5. Attending press checks
      3m 16s
  4. 13m 27s
    1. Choosing the correct type of printing for your project
      3m 15s
    2. The art of letterpress
      1m 33s
    3. Understanding the advantages of sheet-fed printing
      2m 22s
    4. Using a web press for long runs
      1m 39s
    5. Understanding thermography
      1m 38s
    6. Considerations for digital printing
      3m 0s
  5. 15m 11s
    1. What's a process color?
      2m 55s
    2. What's a spot color?
      2m 52s
    3. Exploring how ink behaves on paper
      5m 14s
    4. Comparing monitor vs. press output
      4m 10s
  6. 15m 15s
    1. Building to the correct size
      4m 37s
    2. Folding and trimming
      3m 18s
    3. Setting up for die cutting
      3m 19s
    4. Embossing
      4m 1s
  7. 3m 17s
    1. Choosing an application
      3m 17s
  8. 9m 54s
    1. Understanding font formats
      1m 45s
    2. Using OpenType fonts
      5m 20s
    3. Fonts to avoid
      2m 49s
  9. 13m 52s
    1. Comparing raster vs. vector images
      3m 23s
    2. Understanding color space
      4m 26s
    3. Examining image formats
      6m 3s
  10. 13m 13s
    1. Looking at image resolution
      7m 16s
    2. Masking basics
      5m 57s
  11. 39m 53s
    1. Understanding Illustrator
      2m 34s
    2. Illustrator layout tips
      2m 48s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure
      6m 29s
    4. Using swatches
      5m 22s
    5. Working with effects
      5m 16s
    6. Cautions about some effects
      1m 23s
    7. Importing images
      2m 41s
    8. Exploring fonts
      2m 42s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      3m 2s
    10. Saving as PDF
      4m 36s
    11. Gathering up the pieces
      3m 0s
  12. 57m 8s
    1. InDesign layout basics
      5m 21s
    2. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method one
      7m 19s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method two
      3m 21s
    4. Working with color and gradient swatches
      7m 12s
    5. Making gradients and creating a rich black swatch
      4m 45s
    6. Exploring fonts in InDesign
      2m 54s
    7. Importing graphics
      7m 49s
    8. Copying and pasting graphics
      3m 38s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      2m 21s
    10. Packaging up a print job
      6m 57s
    11. Generating PDFs
      5m 31s
  13. 22m 43s
    1. Using Overprint Preview in InDesign
      3m 3s
    2. Managing swatches in InDesign
      5m 29s
    3. Preflighting in InDesign
      7m 58s
    4. Using the Links panel in Illustrator
      3m 16s
    5. Using blending modes in Illustrator and InDesign
      2m 57s
  14. 35m 35s
    1. Basic forensics in Acrobat
      11m 3s
    2. Using Output Preview
      5m 30s
    3. Dealing with display artifacts
      2m 52s
    4. Using TouchUp tools
      8m 17s
    5. Converting colors
      4m 11s
    6. Using preflight profiles
      3m 42s
  15. 3m 27s
    1. Submitting the job
      2m 29s
    2. Being a good print customer
      58s
  16. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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Print Production Fundamentals
4h 26m Beginner Jun 29, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join author Claudia McCue on a journey that introduces the printing process and reveals the keys to designing a document that prints as well as it looks onscreen. This course takes you on the floors of two commercial print houses (BurdgeCooper and Lithographix), to better understand the life cycle of a print job and observe printing presses in action. Along the way, discover how to better communicate with your printer, choose the correct paper, inks, colors, and fonts for your project, and how to correctly lay out your documents in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. This course is designed to help you and your printer produce a professionally finished print job, whether it's a business card, brochure, or multipage magazine.

lynda.com thanks the BurdgeCooper and Lithographix printing companies for access to their facilities and permission to film on site. Learn more at www.burdgecooper.com and www.lithographix.com.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the importance of contact proofs
  • Handling corrections and alterations
  • Choosing from offset, letterpress, thermographic, or digital printing options
  • Understanding how the inks, colors, and paper interact
  • Building a document at the correct size
  • Folding and trimming
  • Choosing fonts
  • Working in Illustrator with swatches, effects, and more
  • Laying out a document in InDesign
  • Generating a final PDF
  • Troubleshooting print issues
  • Preflighting your print job in Acrobat
  • Submitting files to the printer
Subjects:
Design Print Production Design Skills
Software:
Acrobat Illustrator InDesign Photoshop
Author:
Claudia McCue

Building a simple three-panel brochure

One of the more common types of projects you might work on is a three-panel brochure. I'm going to create one here in Illustrator. I need two artboards, one for the outside, one for the inside. I think in inches, so I'm going to change my units to inches, and I'm going to put 1 inch between my artboards so I have plenty of room. I want to make sure that I have bleed, and I need to make sure that my document is the right size. Now this is going to be a 4 x 9 rack brochure. The width of it's going to be roughly 3 times 4, but remember that third panel has to be short so that it can fold in.

So I'm going to make it 11.875, that's 11 and 7/8, so my third panel is going to be an eighth of an inch shorter. And then the height is going to be 9 inches. Two artboards an inch apart, 11 7/8 wide, 9 inches tall, 0.125 inch bleed, I'm ready to go. So there are my two artboards; the red guideline is the bleed of course. Now I need to know where my panels are, and I need to know what's the inside and what's the outside. I like to put little labels. I get my Type tool, and on the left, it's going to be my outside panel. I'm going to make that big enough so I can see it, and then I'm going to duplicate this little, which is going to be my inside.

But I still don't know where the panels fall, so I need some guidelines. So I'm going to wake up my rulers by going to View > Rulers > Show Rulers, and I'm going to start dragging in some guidelines. I recommend that you take a piece of paper, fold it up, and use that as a guide for what's outside, what's inside, and where your short fold panel is. But I will tell you, on the outside, the right side is going to be my back cover and this is going to be my fold in panel. So I'm going to start by dragging a guideline to the right edge of my artboard.

Now if you want to make sure that you know where something is, wake up your Transform panel so that it can give you coordinates. Yep, my little guide is at 11.875. So I need another guide 4 inches to the left and another one, 4 inches to the left of that. So I'm going to copy this guideline, I'm going to paste it in front, not just plain old paste, but Paste in Front; that puts it at the same coordinates. And then it's there, it's kind of hard to tell, but trust me it's there. Then in my Transform panel, I'm going to change the position of the guide by subtracting 4 inches.

I place my cursor after the "in" in inch, type -4, hit Enter, and there's my new guide. I'm going to copy that to the clipboard; this time with a shortcut, Command+C or Ctrl+C, I'm going to paste it in position with Command+F or Ctrl+F for Front, and then I'm going to subtract 4 inches from that position. So now I have my guidelines for the outside. Not a bad idea to double check. I'm going to take my Rectangle tool and I'm going to create a rectangle on that short fold panel, and it better be 3 and 7/8, and it is, so we're good.

Now I'm going to place my guides on my other artboard. This time I'm going to start from the left. So I want to make sure that it snaps to the edge. It might not be a bad idea to zoom in. Yep, it's right on the edge, we're good. So I'm going to copy that, I'm going to Paste in Front, and I'm going to add 4 inches by clicking after inch, +4, and there we go! I'm going to copy that. Again Command+ C or Ctrl+C, Paste, Command+F or Ctrl+F, and I'm going to add 4 inches to that.

So now I have my guidelines, it might not be a bad idea to double check. Remember, on the inside, it's going be the rightmost panel; that's your short panel, and that's 3.8796, which means there's something a little out of whack. I'm going to pin down the right side, I'm going to type my 3.875 in there, and I'm going to have to move my guideline to touch that. So I'm going to give my shape a little edge so I can see where it is, and you can see when it snaps, there we go! I might need to change this one, so I'm going to copy this guy, paste him in front, and give him a -4 inches.

You may find that it's a little hard to get things exactly to the edge. Remember, you can always use a transform to check. Now I have my guidelines in place, but I need to know something else. I'm going to into my Layers panel and I'm going to lock this layer and I'm going to create a new layer. I'm going to close my Transform panel and get it out of the way. In this layer, I'm going to create margins, so I'm going to just name it margins so I know what's going on. Because I want to create what's called a live area, I want to make sure that artwork isn't too close to the folder or too close to the trim. I'm going to start by creating a rectangle that goes edge to edge, top to bottom, and then stops at the guide, and then I'm going to bring back my Transform panel.

I'm going to pin down the center and what I want to make sure happens is that I have a quarter of an inch on each side, top and bottom, left and right. So I pin down the center and I'm going to subtract a half an inch, quarter on the left, quarter on the right. So -0.5 and we'll see that width of that change. I'm going to do the same thing to the height, -0.5, and there we go! Now right now, it's a real rectangle, but in a little bit, I'm going to turn it into a guide. So I'm going to do the same thing here in my center panel, line it up to the guides and the edge of the page, pin down the center, minus a half, minus a half.

Isn't that great that Illustrator does the math for you? And then one last one over here on the right, and again -0.5, because it's quarter on each side, and then -0.5. This is a cool thing that you can do in Illustrator. I can select all three of those rectangles and I can turn them into guides. I go to View > Guides > Make Guides and now you can see they're not rectangles anymore, they're guides. It's a good idea once you have everything in place to lock your guides. I'm not going to make my little margin guides for the inside; you know how to do that now.

But I'm just going to go to View > Guides > Lock Guides, and now I'm ready to go. So now we'll create another layer to hold my artwork. I like to have two layers, one for my artwork and one for my text. It's entirely up to you how you want to organize things. So I'm going to make two more layers. This is going to be my text layer and then this last one is going to be my graphics layer. Now that's a lot of work to get set up. So do this once and if you create three- panel folders all the time, get this ready to go and then save it either as an Illustrator file or as a template.

If you save it as a template, you can use it as a fresh start each time you build one of these brochures.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Print Production Fundamentals.


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Q: The exercise files provided aren't working in my version of InDesign (CS4/CS5). What should I use?
A: This course was recorded using InDesign CS6. For InDesign users working with CS4 or CS5, IDML files are provided.
 
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