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When you're building a piece that's going to fold up like a three or four panel brochure, sometimes it's sort of hard to relate the artwork that you're looking at on your monitor versus that folded final piece. And what I like to do, I like to make a paper model, doesn't have to be fancy, just needs to show what falls where. And then when I fold that up it makes it much easier for me to think, oh see? What's going to be on the front cover? What's going to be on the back cover? And then I have to start thinking about the short fold panels, because remember the interior panels aren't the same dimension as the exterior panels, because they have to fold in, and you don't want them to buckle.
So what that means is that as you're placing artwork on these interior panels, if you want stuff centered, you are going to have to center on that smaller dimension. So how do you know the exact dimensions of the panels? Well, if your printer prints a lot of jobs like this, chances are they can give you a template, and that's a really great starting point. Then you know you've got everything right. If you're building something like a standard rack brochure, you could probably get away with not using a template. If you know that the size is 4 x 9 when it's folded, you know you need two panels that are four inches and then your third panel is going to be that short folded panel.
Usually if you subtract an eighth of an inch, you're good to go. This is really important first step. You really want to make sure that you're building to the correct size before you ever put artwork in place, never assume. So here's a finished piece. It mimics what I showed you in the paper. And you can see that it has a short fold interior panels, and it also has a little problem, they missed something before this went to press. They didn't accommodate the little short fold panel. So they have nice artwork here, but it's centered in what would have been the full-size panel.
See the little margin here is little shorter than it is there. It's a shame they didn't catch this before it went to press. And so my goal here is to make you think about this sort of stuff all the time so that it doesn't go to press with that kind of a problem. So when you're building this kind of a piece, I recommend that you check for type that's too close to the trim. You don't want artwork too close to the trim. And you don't want art or type that's too close to a fold. And it can be a little tricky if you have artwork that starts right at a fold. Or if you have type or artwork that crosses a fold sort of oddly, and it don't looks great on your screen because it's sort of all unfolded.
But if you cut somebody's face in half or you cut a word in half, that's going to look really awkward in that final piece. And of course you want to make sure that you have adequate bleed on any project you create, not just folded projects. In later movies I'm going to show you several methods for setting up a three-panel brochure both in Illustrator and InDesign. For building templates, I really like foldfactory.com. They have great little plug-in for InDesign call FOLDRite Template Master. And, by the way, sort of the opposite is true if you're printing in-house on a printer that can't print all the way to the edge of the paper. You know what you can do? Design to accommodate that white rind around the piece.
Make that part of the design, otherwise it's going to be thin on one side, thick on the other. Make sure that it's uniform all the way around the artwork. And it's sort of a funny thing. Sometimes designing around the limitations of your final process can actually inspire some interesting changes in your design. So with any piece that you're creating for print, it's important to consider that last process that touches your piece, and that's the finishing process. It can have a huge impact on the success of your project.
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