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Creating files for print

From: Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

Video: Creating files for print

One of the most important benefits for creating artwork inside of Illustrator is that because of the vector nature of the artwork itself, you can easily repurpose that artwork for virtually any need. That being said, the requirements for publishing something in print or displaying on a computer screen can be very different. While you can always change your settings later on in your workflow, it will always be easier if you get all of your settings correct before you get started creating your art. In fact, I've always felt that one of the most important parts of working on any document inside of Illustrator is the time that you take thinking about your project before you get started using Illustrator to begin with.

Creating files for print

One of the most important benefits for creating artwork inside of Illustrator is that because of the vector nature of the artwork itself, you can easily repurpose that artwork for virtually any need. That being said, the requirements for publishing something in print or displaying on a computer screen can be very different. While you can always change your settings later on in your workflow, it will always be easier if you get all of your settings correct before you get started creating your art. In fact, I've always felt that one of the most important parts of working on any document inside of Illustrator is the time that you take thinking about your project before you get started using Illustrator to begin with.

It's helpful to think about who is going to be using this artwork once it's created. How will the art be distributed or published? Making decisions about these important questions is called establishing an intent for your artwork. When creating new documents inside of Illustrator, you can use that intent to ensure that key settings are in place before you get started. For example, say you needed to create some artwork that was going to appear in print. It can be a business card design, an advertisement that will appear in a magazine or a newspaper, maybe a really cool movie poster, or even a menu for a restaurant.

Using the Print New Document profile here from the Welcome screen, we will have key settings in place before you start working on your art. Let's review some of these settings. I'll click Print Document, which brings up the New Document dialog box. Let's take a look at some of the basic settings here. Now, first we do have the ability to name our document right here. This won't actually save our document but the first time that you choose to save your document, we will have already done that step by naming the file. While I'll admit that it's a nice idea in concept to name to file upfront, it's certainly not something that you need to worry about right now.

In fact during a busy day I often just jump right in by creating a document. And I worry about saving the file name later. There is a pop-up list here that actually displays all the new document profiles. So you really still able to change your mind if you want to use a different intent here. But I am going to stick with Print at this point. And I'm able to choose how many artboards I want to create in my document. By default the Illustrator creates one artboard, but you can have up to 99 of them if you like. If you do specify more than one artboard, you can see that these options are now available. You can specify which direction the artboards are created in the documents, choosing to line them up in columns if you'd like.

And you can specify a value for how much space appears between each artboard. Notice that changing the number of artboards now changed my document profile to be set to Custom. That is because the settings no longer match Illustrator's default Print profile. And just to make it easier to review the rest of the settings, I am going to return back to the Print profile. Don't worry too much about artboards right now. We are actually going to cover artboards in far more detail in a later chapter in this title. You can choose what size you want your artboard to be. Illustrator has a few specific settings here, for example Letter, Legal or Tabloid.

These are standard page sizes here in the United States. And there are also A and B sizes for paper sizes that are used in other parts of the world. Of course you can also enter your own custom width and height for artboards. And while the measurements here are set in points, you could change Units to use either Points, Picas, Inches, Millimeters, Centimeters or Pixels. While I myself is more familiar with using inches, it's important to know that Illustrator will really do much of the math and the conversions for you automatically. For example if this project was a business card, I know that a standard business crd is 3.5 inches wide and 2 inches tall.

So even if my units were still set the points, I could highlight a value in my Width field, type in 3.5in for inches and when I hit the tab key Illustrator automatically figures out the conversion and converts it to the 252 points. For the Height I'll type 2in, hit Tab to accept that value, and see that that now changes to 144 points. One of the nice things about Illustrator is that I can do that throughout the entire application, almost anywhere where I am entering values into a field. I can always swap the Width and Height values by clicking on these Orientation buttons.

This would be tall, also known as portrait. This would be wide, also known as landscape. When dealing with print projects, you may be asked by a printer to specify bleed. Printers may often print artwork on large sheets of paper and then trim them down to the sizes that you specify. If your design calls for a color that goes all the way up to the end of the page, printers often request bleed, a term used for artwork or color that extends beyond the actual trim size of the page. In this way you ensure that if the trimming is off just a little bit and you don't see any white gaps towards the ends of your page.

If you have questions about how much bleed you should specify for your documents, you should speak with your printer. Overall these are basic document settings, but when you think about print there are some advanced settings that are important to get right as well. Let's click on the Advanced button here to see what those settings are. First of all you'll see that my Color Mode now is set to CMYK. CMYK, which stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black, is the color model that you should be using when creating documents for print. In addition when creating print documents we need to ensure that raster-based Effects will print at a high enough resolution.

As you can see here the Print profile sets the Raster Effects Resolution setting the 300 pixels per inch. While Illustrator itself is a vector- based application, there are plenty of raster-based effects in the program. As an example when you apply a soft drop shadow inside of Illustrator, that drop shadow will get rasterized at this setting. You'll also notice here that the Preview Mode is set to Default. However, if you are going to be using specialized printing techniques, for example overprinting or spot colors, you may want to choose the Preview Mode to Overprint. Now if all these settings seem somewhat confusing to you, because the profile themselves, for example in this case the Print profile, already has all the correct settings for most of the print work that you'll end up doing.

So really on a day-to-day basis, you'll probably ignore these Advanced settings altogether. Click on the Print Document button in the Welcome screen, punch in the values for your artboard, and then click OK to get started. I'll hide the Advanced settings here for now. And it's nice to know that as you are working on his base settings you do have visibility to what those settings are here. So you can take a quick glance to make sure that everything is set before you go. Once you've completed your settings you can click OK to create the new document.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 Essential Training
Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

126 video lessons · 81255 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Illustrator CS5?
      1m 46s
    3. Using the exercise files
      31s
  2. 12m 37s
    1. What are vector graphics?
      6m 3s
    2. Path and appearance
      3m 42s
    3. Stacking
      2m 52s
  3. 32m 6s
    1. The Welcome screen
      2m 23s
    2. Creating files for print
      6m 7s
    3. Creating files for the screen
      2m 55s
    4. Using prebuilt templates
      2m 40s
    5. Adding XMP metadata
      4m 18s
    6. Exploring the panels
      6m 33s
    7. Using the Control panel
      3m 11s
    8. Using workspaces
      3m 59s
  4. 43m 44s
    1. Navigating within a document
      9m 15s
    2. Using rulers and guides
      7m 26s
    3. Using grids
      3m 6s
    4. Using the bounding box
      3m 37s
    5. Using Smart Guides
      5m 56s
    6. The Hide Edges command
      3m 22s
    7. Various preview modes
      3m 47s
    8. Creating custom views
      4m 3s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 12s
  5. 28m 46s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      8m 50s
    2. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 22s
    3. Using the Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    4. Selecting objects by attribute or type
      3m 37s
    5. Saving and reusing selections
      2m 15s
    6. Selecting artwork beneath other objects
      2m 13s
    7. Exploring selection preferences
      4m 1s
  6. 1h 16m
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 52s
    2. Drawing closed path primitives
      11m 38s
    3. Drawing open path primitives
      5m 47s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      3m 43s
    5. Drawing straight paths with the Pen tool
      7m 37s
    6. Drawing curved paths with the Pen tool
      9m 47s
    7. Drawing freeform paths with the Pencil tool
      5m 33s
    8. Smoothing and erasing paths
      3m 8s
    9. Editing anchor points
      7m 21s
    10. Joining and averaging paths
      10m 9s
    11. Simplifying paths
      4m 55s
    12. Using Offset Path
      2m 17s
    13. Cleaning up errant paths
      2m 32s
  7. 48m 26s
    1. The Draw Inside and Draw Behind modes
      7m 34s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 56s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      8m 0s
    4. Using the Shape Builder tool
      10m 28s
    5. Using Pathfinder functions
      8m 6s
    6. Splitting an object into a grid
      1m 16s
    7. Using the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      7m 6s
  8. 49m 5s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 2s
    2. Creating area text
      8m 13s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      7m 44s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 28s
    5. Creating text threads
      8m 25s
    6. Setting text along an open path
      6m 29s
    7. Setting text along a closed path
      6m 24s
    8. Converting text into paths
      3m 20s
  9. 18m 55s
    1. Create a logo mark
      11m 26s
    2. Add type to your logo
      7m 29s
  10. 42m 42s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      8m 21s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      4m 42s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      4m 25s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      5m 18s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 42s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      4m 33s
    7. Copying appearances
      4m 51s
    8. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      5m 50s
  11. 34m 0s
    1. Applying color to artwork
      5m 57s
    2. Creating process and global process swatches
      8m 54s
    3. Creating spot color swatches
      3m 19s
    4. Loading PANTONE and other custom color libraries
      4m 49s
    5. Organizing colors with Swatch Groups
      3m 31s
    6. Finding color suggestions with the Color Guide panel
      4m 24s
    7. Loading the Color Guide with user-defined colors
      3m 6s
  12. 50m 23s
    1. Creating gradients with the Gradient panel
      8m 12s
    2. Modifying gradients with the Gradient Annotator
      4m 37s
    3. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      5m 33s
    4. Defining your own custom pattern fills
      9m 13s
    5. Applying basic stroke settings
      5m 22s
    6. Creating strokes with dashed lines
      3m 41s
    7. Adding arrowheads to strokes
      2m 45s
    8. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 35s
    9. Working with width profiles
      2m 36s
    10. Turning strokes into filled paths
      3m 49s
  13. 32m 46s
    1. Creating and editing groups
      8m 18s
    2. Adding attributes to groups
      12m 17s
    3. The importance of using layers
      5m 9s
    4. Using and "reading" the Layers panel
      7m 2s
  14. 12m 13s
    1. Creating and using multiple artboards
      7m 52s
    2. Modifying artboards with the Artboards panel
      2m 2s
    3. Copy and paste options with Artboards
      2m 19s
  15. 31m 10s
    1. Moving and copying artwork
      3m 55s
    2. Scaling or resizing artwork
      6m 47s
    3. Rotating artwork
      2m 44s
    4. Reflecting and skewing artwork
      2m 34s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 15s
    6. Repeating transformations
      3m 39s
    7. Performing individual transforms across multiple objects
      2m 10s
    8. Aligning objects and groups precisely
      4m 27s
    9. Distributing objects and spaces between objects
      2m 39s
  16. 35m 40s
    1. Placing pixel-based content into Illustrator
      5m 14s
    2. Managing images with the Links panel
      4m 49s
    3. Converting pixels to paths with Live Trace
      8m 44s
    4. Making Live Trace adjustments
      6m 9s
    5. Controlling colors in Live Trace
      6m 4s
    6. Using Photoshop and Live Trace together
      4m 40s
  17. 14m 42s
    1. Managing repeating artwork with symbols
      4m 38s
    2. Modifying and replacing symbol instances
      3m 8s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      6m 56s
  18. 16m 57s
    1. Cropping photographs
      1m 59s
    2. Clipping artwork with masks
      3m 22s
    3. Clipping the contents of a layer
      3m 31s
    4. Defining masks with soft edges
      8m 5s
  19. 26m 2s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      7m 48s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      8m 46s
    3. Moving flat art onto the perspective grid
      9m 28s
  20. 25m 8s
    1. Printing your Illustrator document
      3m 26s
    2. Saving your Illustrator document
      6m 39s
    3. Creating PDF files for clients and printers
      7m 30s
    4. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Microsoft Office
      1m 4s
    5. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Photoshop
      2m 31s
    6. Exporting artwork for use on the web
      3m 3s
    7. Exporting high-resolution raster files
      55s
  21. 2m 18s
    1. Additional Illustrator learning resources
      1m 36s
    2. Goodbye
      42s

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