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What makes a good magazine cover? Author Nigel French examines the design of magazine covers, dissecting the cover and explaining the purpose of the different components that make up the whole design. He then covers the design process from start to finish in Adobe InDesign, going on to show alternative workflows that exclusively use Photoshop and Illustrator. Each workflow shows you how to place and scale your image, position the masthead, add cover text, and package the end result as a print-ready PDF.
Now our cover is ready, let's look at our printing options, and getting a print-ready PDF out of Illustrator is more or less the same as creating one in InDesign So I am going to come to the File menu, and I am going to choose Save a Copy. I am choosing Save a Copy so that it makes the PDF but retains the Illustrator document as the open document. And then I am going to just append that _final to the file name, change the format to Adobe PDF, and then we come to the Save Adobe PDF options.
And same sort of options as we saw in InDesign, we have the same presets available to us as we have in InDesign, and if you had made any presets there, they will also show up here I am going to use as my starting point the PDF/X-1a standard. This is just one standard. You will want to check with your printer about what specifically they want to receive from you But I am going to use this standard which is going to create an Acrobat 4 compatible file.
Compression options, we've seen these before. Anything bigger than 450 pixels per inch, down-sample to 300, Maximum Image Quality, Marks and Bleeds, we do not have these turned on, and I do need to turn them on, so I am just going to check All Printer's Marks, and I am going to increase the amount of Offset. We're in Inches, but that is the same as 6 points or half a pica. I am going to double that to 1 point for the amount of Offset, and I'm going to check Use Document Bleed Settings.
We added the Bleed to this document, so I am going to use the Document Bleed Settings In the Output area, here is where our RGB colors that are in the current document get converted to our Destination CMYK profile. That Destination CMYK profile is the profile chosen in your color settings, and I addressed this when we made the PDF out of InDesign, but your color settings are under the Edit menu if you want to go and have a look at those.
And then finally, the Advanced Options. Because we're creating an Acrobat 4 compatible file, the resulting file will not support transparency. So we do need to choose a Transparency Flattener preset. The default is High Resolution. We have made--or I made in earlier movie when I made the PDF in InDesign a Transparency Flattener that was higher than that, that doubles the resolution that is in the default High Resolution Transparency Flattener preset. I am going to choose that for now.
I will show you how that is made when I've exported the PDF Save PDF, it's going to warn me that we won't be able to edit this in Illustrator afterwards, that's okay, we don't really need to do that. So here is that print-ready PDF with the printer marks, and the page information Back in Illustrator, here is how that Transparency Flattener is made from the Edit menu, Transparency Flattener Presets, choose the one that you want to create, the new one based upon--I am going to click on that one to make a new one--and I will just call this Higher 1 since I already have one called Higher.
And the settings that I am using here are 2400 for the Line Art and Text Resolution and 600 for the Gradient and Mesh Resolution, so that's that. When that's made, that can then be incorporated into the PDF preset. One other thing that is relevant to what we just did, the Color Settings right there, that's the Destination profile that the colors are converted to.
While we're working in the document, it's a good idea to proof the colors so the RGB colors that are actually in that image are previewed as CMYK colors based upon that working CMYK profile. And if I switch now to Proof Colors, you may notice a very slight shift in the colors, the colors becoming a little bit flatter and a little bit duller than they were previously So those are the steps for getting a print-ready PDF out of Illustrator.
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