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Creating email newsletter documents

From: Illustrator for Web Design

Video: Creating email newsletter documents

In addition to the traditional sizes of documents like web sites and mobile applications that we're designing inside of Illustrator, we also need to take into account email newsletters, because as a designer inevitably you are going to be asked at some point, can you design an email newsletter? And your response better be yes or you're probably going to lose that client. So in this movie I'm going to be exploring some best practices for setting up a new email newsletter document. So in order to do that, I'm going to hit Command+N or Ctrl+N on my keyboard to bring up the New Document dialog box, and once I have that up, I'm going to make sure that I'm working on the Web profile.

Creating email newsletter documents

In addition to the traditional sizes of documents like web sites and mobile applications that we're designing inside of Illustrator, we also need to take into account email newsletters, because as a designer inevitably you are going to be asked at some point, can you design an email newsletter? And your response better be yes or you're probably going to lose that client. So in this movie I'm going to be exploring some best practices for setting up a new email newsletter document. So in order to do that, I'm going to hit Command+N or Ctrl+N on my keyboard to bring up the New Document dialog box, and once I have that up, I'm going to make sure that I'm working on the Web profile.

That's very important because we want everything to be web-design-oriented inside of this dialog box. The size, none of these sizes that are listed here correspond to a traditional email newsletter template, so let's just get that out of the way. The width of your email newsletter template, my recommendation is that you don't go over 600 pixels in Width, because many people don't actually open their email; instead they view their email in some sort of Preview panel or in a smaller window docked to the side of their mail application. And on average, the smallest Preview panel for that size is around 600 pixels. So if we always design around that specific number, we ensure that most of our viewers will be able to see the full width and content of our designs. Unless you don't want people to view everything that's in your newsletter, which I'm sure you do, then I would stick to around 600 pixels, so let's go ahead and mark that down, 600 pixels wide.

The height, this can be as high or as low as you want it to be. It depends on the content of the newsletter. How much stuff are you actually putting in here? I usually use a round number like 1000 pixels, and if I don't need it, I can always crop the artboard down to any size I need after the fact, but 1000 pixels gives me plenty of room to work with, and it's a great round number to start off with on a template. So I'm doing 600 pixels wide, 1000 pixels tall, and hit OK. And once I do that, you're going to see, this is my email newsletter, and if I zoom into 100% with Command+1 or Ctrl+1, this is the full size that I'm working with.

Now I do want to add in some guides here to make it a little bit easier to determine like my margins and things like that. So in order to that, what I'm going to do is grab the Rectangle tool. This is sort of an unorthodox way of doing this, but I'm just going to show you my little trick for getting faster. What I'm going to do is I'm going to click one time with the Rectangle tool out on the canvas. Now remember, my Width is going to be 600 pixels wide for the entire document, and my Height is at 1000 pixels. Let's say that I wanted a 20-pixel margin all the way around the outside of that, so I need 20 pixels on the left, 20 pixels on the right, 20 pixels on the top, and 20 pixels on the bottom.

In order to do that, I just need to subtract 40 pixels from the overall Width and the overall Height. So the Width is 600; subtract 40, we get 560, The Height is 1000; subtract 40, we get 960. Once I do that, hit OK, then I'm going to come up here to the Alignment options and I'm going to choose Align to Artboard, and I'll just center it horizontally and vertically. Now if you are unable to see that up there, you probably don't have your selection tools selected.

I did that by hitting the letter V on my keyboard and then going up and hitting those buttons. You could also just click on the Arrow and make sure you have that selected, okay? So now I have my guideline shape out on the artboard. I want to use some guides, so I'm going to use Command+R or Ctrl+R to bring up my rulers and then I'll just drag out guides that snap to these dimensions. I'll just drag that down and snap there, drag this out, and I'll scroll down to the bottom, and snap it there. Now I've got my guides.

I can click on my shape and delete it, and my guides are all in place, giving me an even 20-pixel margin all the way around the outside, Isn't that a lot easier than doing math and trying to drag out guides to a precise pixel location? I think so. Once we get that done, we'll go to the File menu and we'll choose Save as Template. In my Templates section, I'm going to go down to my web design folder. You can just create a new folder if you don't have a web design folder yet, and I'm going to choose to call this newsletter and hit Save. So now anytime I need to create an email newsletter, I have a template already set up with guides and everything.

So if I go to the File menu, choose New from Template, go to Web Design, and select newsletter, I get this template that I just created with my guides and everything ready to rock and roll. So the next time you're asked to create an email newsletter template, follow the simple guides that I've given you here, create your new document, and you'll be ready to rock and roll.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator for Web Design
Illustrator for Web Design

67 video lessons · 24379 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 13s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 43m 51s
    1. Designing for screens
      1m 57s
    2. Decoding screen size and resolution
      2m 40s
    3. Exploring the Illustrator to HTML workflow
      3m 42s
    4. Setting up Illustrator for web work
      6m 55s
    5. Creating a new document for web
      6m 25s
    6. Creating a new document for mobile
      3m 31s
    7. Using artboards for responsive layouts
      7m 42s
    8. Creating email newsletter documents
      4m 31s
    9. Working with Pixel Preview and anti-aliasing
      6m 28s
  3. 25m 28s
    1. Adjusting color settings
      6m 47s
    2. Understanding web color
      3m 47s
    3. Creating a color palette
      5m 4s
    4. Creating custom swatches
      4m 50s
    5. Working with fills and strokes
      5m 0s
  4. 13m 15s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      5m 21s
    2. Renaming and grouping layers
      7m 54s
  5. 24m 5s
    1. Drawing simple shapes
      4m 16s
    2. Working with Pathfinder
      5m 4s
    3. Using the Shape Builder tool
      4m 33s
    4. Creating symbols
      6m 24s
    5. Editing and replacing symbols
      3m 48s
  6. 20m 22s
    1. Planning your project
      2m 56s
    2. Using guides and rulers
      5m 56s
    3. Developing a layout with shapes
      6m 21s
    4. Using a grid system
      5m 9s
  7. 25m 53s
    1. Exploring the rules of typography
      4m 1s
    2. Using text as text vs. using text as an image
      3m 37s
    3. Understanding web-safe fonts
      1m 46s
    4. Creating and using paragraph styles
      5m 16s
    5. Creating and using character styles
      3m 2s
    6. Simulating the CSS box model
      8m 11s
  8. 21m 17s
    1. Understanding object appearance
      4m 43s
    2. Applying and editing live effects
      3m 34s
    3. Creating and using drop shadows
      3m 13s
    4. Creating more flexible rounded rectangles
      3m 17s
    5. Saving appearance as graphic styles
      6m 30s
  9. 35m 57s
    1. Starting with a wireframe
      5m 23s
    2. Adding master elements
      6m 45s
    3. Creating navigation buttons
      13m 34s
    4. Working with photographs
      5m 50s
    5. Simulating pages with artboards
      4m 25s
  10. 54m 45s
    1. Creating video placeholders
      10m 33s
    2. Creating buttons
      13m 1s
    3. Creating form fields
      8m 15s
    4. Creating radio boxes and checkboxes
      5m 11s
    5. Creating progress bars
      10m 12s
    6. Creating tabbed interfaces
      7m 33s
  11. 35m 28s
    1. Understanding slicing
      3m 26s
    2. Slicing up a mockup
      3m 6s
    3. Understanding web file formats
      5m 33s
    4. Exploring the Save for Web dialog
      3m 50s
    5. Optimizing photographs
      4m 29s
    6. Optimizing transparent graphics
      4m 43s
    7. Saving Retina display graphics
      3m 46s
    8. Exporting SVG graphics
      6m 35s
  12. 9m 29s
    1. Understanding image sprites
      3m 4s
    2. Creating a sprite grid
      4m 36s
    3. Optimizing sprites for the web
      1m 49s
  13. 15m 29s
    1. Placing Illustrator Smart Objects
      3m 22s
    2. Sharing color swatches between apps
      2m 9s
    3. Exporting Illustrator artwork as a PSD
      3m 49s
    4. Importing artwork into Fireworks
      2m 41s
    5. Exporting HTML from Illustrator
      3m 28s
  14. 1m 19s
    1. Taking the next step
      1m 1s
    2. Goodbye
      18s

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