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Print Production Fundamentals
Illustration by John Hersey

Illustrator layout tips


From:

Print Production Fundamentals

with Claudia McCue

Video: Illustrator layout tips

When you open up an Illustrator file given to you by somebody else, you need to know the size of the artboards. You can't find that out though by going to File and Document Setup like we did in the olden days. The only thing I see in Document Setup that's helpful, it tells me that I have eighth of an inch bleed, and you can see the red bleed guideline around each of the artboards. If I want to find out the size of my artboards, I need to use the Artboard tool. Once I choose the Artboard tool, you can see that my letterhead is selected, you can see the Dashed line around it, and if you look up in the control panel, you can see that the dimensions are 8.5 x 11 as you might expect.
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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

Illustrator layout tips

When you open up an Illustrator file given to you by somebody else, you need to know the size of the artboards. You can't find that out though by going to File and Document Setup like we did in the olden days. The only thing I see in Document Setup that's helpful, it tells me that I have eighth of an inch bleed, and you can see the red bleed guideline around each of the artboards. If I want to find out the size of my artboards, I need to use the Artboard tool. Once I choose the Artboard tool, you can see that my letterhead is selected, you can see the Dashed line around it, and if you look up in the control panel, you can see that the dimensions are 8.5 x 11 as you might expect.

If I choose my business card, you can see that it's 3.5 inches x 2 inches and my envelope is 9.5 x 4.25. That's actually the wrong size. I want to change the size of this to be my 9.5 x 4.125. First of all, I want to make sure that I pin down the upper-left-hand corner of that artboard, because I like the way the art is relating to the artboard. So I want to take a little off the height, so I'm going to trim off the bottom. So I'll come over here to the Height field, type 4.125, when I hit Enter you're going to see that that artboard changes a little bit; it's a little shorter.

But this is a little disturbing. I typed 4.125 because I wanted four and an eighth and it looks Illustrator rounded it off. It didn't really. It does it the way it looks in the field but it doesn't really change the value. Now what if I wanted to duplicate my business card? Maybe I want to create a back for the business card or maybe I want to experiment and create an alternate for it. If I hold down Option on the Mac or Alt on Windows you'll see at your cursor changes to a little double-headed arrow. I'm also adding the Shift key so that I can constrain it to the same altitude in the page.

When I let go of my mouse and then my Alt and Shift, there we go, I've duplicated my artwork. But here's something that might happen to you. I'm going to undo that and I want you to notice this little icon up in the control panel. It's kind of subtle and nondescript, but when you move your cursor over it the tool tip tells you it's for Move/Copy Artwork with Artboard. It's on by default so artwork moves with the artboard. If that were unchecked, it turns that option off. In that condition if I Alt+Drag or Option+Drag, I duplicate only the artboard and not the artwork.

Sometimes that's what you want, but just so you know this little guy controls whether your artwork goes with your artboard or not. So if your artwork doesn't move, he is your guy; be sure to turn him back on. If you're creating versions because maybe you're doing multilingual publishing, you could choose either to create alternate artboards or alternate layers. In this document, I've chosen to do my alternates with alternate artboards, so it's sort of up to you whether you want to build up or build sideways. But just remember that you could put different languages on different layers, you could put different language versions on different artboards.

It's entirely up to you.

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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