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Designing a Book Cover
Illustration by John Hersey

Setting up the document in Illustrator and placing it on a grid


From:

Designing a Book Cover

with Nigel French

Video: Setting up the document in Illustrator and placing it on a grid

As well as setting up an InDesign template either in InDesign CS4 or CS5, let's have a look at setting up a template for use in Illustrator. Now while I am using InDesign as my hub program, any content I create in Illustrator or Photoshop will be placed or dragged and dropped into InDesign. It may be useful to have an Illustrator template that equates in size and in grid to the InDesign page that I am ultimately going to end up in.
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  1. 2m 42s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 44s
  2. 29m 57s
    1. The project brief
      2m 30s
    2. Doing research
      4m 16s
    3. Setting up a document in InDesign CS5
      5m 4s
    4. Setting up a document in InDesign CS4
      6m 4s
    5. Putting your InDesign CS5 document on a grid
      3m 2s
    6. Putting your InDesign CS4 document on a grid
      4m 31s
    7. Setting up the document in Illustrator and placing it on a grid
      4m 30s
  3. 40m 39s
    1. Creating hand-drawn type with the Blob Brush tool
      4m 13s
    2. Using Live Paint to color type
      3m 40s
    3. Choosing typefaces
      3m 42s
    4. Creating a simple illustration using the Pen and Gradient tools
      8m 43s
    5. Applying type effects
      5m 42s
    6. Manual tracing
      4m 42s
    7. Using the gradient and transparency effects
      9m 57s
  4. 17m 27s
    1. Distressed type
      5m 42s
    2. More distressed type
      3m 35s
    3. Using mirrored type
      3m 34s
    4. Using giant wraparound text
      3m 56s
    5. Starting text on the cover
      40s
  5. 13m 7s
    1. Illustrating concepts with abstract shapes and transparency
      6m 27s
    2. Representing the book content with icons
      6m 40s
  6. 24m 8s
    1. Using historic photography
      6m 21s
    2. Using Illustrator to create a simple illustration
      4m 19s
    3. Using gradient mesh in Illustrator to create a simple illustration
      4m 55s
    4. Using Live Trace on a photograph
      3m 52s
    5. Using black-and-white images creatively
      4m 41s
  7. 25m 30s
    1. Developing a book set
      2m 50s
    2. Designing the back cover
      8m 42s
    3. Designing the flaps
      2m 41s
    4. Designing the spine
      11m 17s
  8. 12m 56s
    1. Using spot varnish
      4m 30s
    2. Preflighting your document
      4m 51s
    3. Preparing the PDF
      3m 35s
  9. 13s
    1. Goodbye
      13s

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Designing a Book Cover
2h 46m Intermediate Aug 26, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join author Nigel French in Designing a Book Cover as he walks through several approaches to creating professional, engaging book covers using Adobe Creative Suite applications. This course covers document setup, composition and layout, illustration, typography essentials, and printing. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Researching the design and brainstorming ideas
  • Setting up a document in InDesign or Illustrator
  • Choosing typefaces, colors, shapes, and imagery
  • Hand-drawing type and using different type treatments
  • Creating illustrations from scratch
  • Using and adapting photographs for illustration
  • Preparing the book covers for printing
Subjects:
Design Print Design Projects Design Skills
Software:
Illustrator InDesign
Author:
Nigel French

Setting up the document in Illustrator and placing it on a grid

As well as setting up an InDesign template either in InDesign CS4 or CS5, let's have a look at setting up a template for use in Illustrator. Now while I am using InDesign as my hub program, any content I create in Illustrator or Photoshop will be placed or dragged and dropped into InDesign. It may be useful to have an Illustrator template that equates in size and in grid to the InDesign page that I am ultimately going to end up in.

So I'm going to come to File and choose New, and since we are working with Illustrator, we are talking about artboards rather than pages. I'm going to create a 5 x 7.5 document with a 1/8th of an inch bleed. Bear in mind, this is just my way of working. This is not essential by any means, but I find it useful to have a framework of guidelines to work with. I'm going to make that framework the same as the framework that I'm using in the InDesign document.

I'm going to set up in a slightly different way, because we're in Illustrator. I'm going to start out by drawing a rectangle. I'm just going to click on my artboard with the Rectangle tool and let's say that we want a 5 x 7 inch rectangle. Then I'm going to position that rectangle on my artboard. Rather than just drag it around, I am going to use my Transform panel to make sure that my X value, my distance from the left-hand side of the artboard is zero, and my Y value, my distance from the top of the artboard is .25 of an inch.

That's going to give me a quarter inch margin at the top and the bottom. I'm now going to split this rectangle into a grid. From the Object menu, I'm going to come to Path and choose Split Into Grid. I'm going to use 14 rows with a gutter space of 6 points and 10 columns, also with a gutter space of 6 points.

That keeps the aspect ratio the same, 7 x 5. Each of my grid squares will be a square. I'm also going to choose to Add Guides. Let's just see what we're going to get there when I turn on my preview. Let's click OK to that. Now these, the guides that it has added are not actually guides, which is a little bit confusing. They are lines and I need to covert these lines to guides. First of all, I'm going to ungroup everything.

Click away from it to deselect. Then I'm going to swipe through the selection of the guides. Hold down my Shift key and swipe through the selection of the vertical guides or rules. Then from the View menu, I'm going to choose Guides > Make Guides. Having made the guides and then going to press Command+A or Ctrl+A to select all of those frames and delete them.

There is our Illustrator template. I'm now going to just come over to my Layers panel. I will rename this layer guides and I will lock it and I'll create a new layer called artwork. I'll put the guides layer above the artwork layer. Let's select the artwork layer as my targeted layer. Then from the File menu, I'm going to choose Save as Template.

Then in the 02_Getting Started folder, I'm going to save this as AItemplate and it's going to have the extension Illustrator template. So just to clarify, while most of the exercises in this title use an Illustrator document already in progress, if you did want to start from scratch, you could use this template.

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